It is sort of built into the speculative fiction aspect of science-fiction that concepts will sometimes date as either technology advances the state of the art or as science abandons certain concepts. On the other hand, sometimes there are moments where that very speculation is spot-on. A famous example was the stir Cleve Cartmill created when he discussed atomic weaponry and outlined some of the very real problems that were facing the scientists working on the Manhattan Project at the time in an issue of Astounding Science Fiction.
Of course, one of the woolliest concepts was that of a teleportation device. This mainstay of Star Trek was something that was convenient for television but not so convenient for physicists. Like telepathy and telekinesis, it often came across more as either a money/time saving device or as a means of injecting fantasy concepts into the rather strict rules of the science fiction genre than any real technological prediction.¹
Until now, it seems! Scientists have actually teleported information over a distance of about a meter. It's not particularly efficient (it works only one every one hundred million times), but it is a huge leap forward on several levels (although the process looks like it's more in keeping with the device Bernard Hughes and Cindy Morgan were developing in Tron than anything on Star Trek or Blake's 7). And maybe, in about two hundred years or so the term "two to beam up" won't be greeted with a guffaw...
PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC, MIX BOY
I have begun to revise my Urban Danger compilation. The major reason for doing this was to remove the music from Dirty Harry and Magnum Force as Lieutenant Callahan is getting his own CD soon (which required an alteration in the cover art, which originally featured Clint Eastwood in that iconic role), but it also gave me the chance cull some of the weightier material and to add music from Elmer Bernstein's Report To the Commissioner and Quincy Jones' They Call Me MISTER Tibbs I was planning on adding music from Don Ellis' The Seven-Ups, but that score is more about tension than grooving, as is the unused Johnny Mandel music). There will also be a more rounded representation of Ellis' contribution to the French Connection movies. This is going to be quite funky when I'm finished with it. When I've completed this disc I will most likely be moving on to the Dirty Harry compilation, which I'm rather looking forward to.²
I've had this project on the boards for some time, and I wasn't really expecting to start it up right now, but it occurred to me as something fun to do while I was deleting all of the project files for Alone In the Night. It was obnoxious how many of them there were, as I don't erase anything until I'm done, which means that in addition to the .wav files of album tracks there were a lot of parts of tracks and little stingers and pads to smooth over transitions and several drafts of the resulting suites. "Babylon Prime" may have been something of a record with all of the versions I edited together before I settled on one that I was satisfied with, which meant that a glance into the temporary Babylon 5 folder would have revealed "Babylon Prime (War Without End).wav," "Babylon Prime (War Without End) Final.wav," "Babylon Prime (War Without End) Final New.wav," "Babylon Prime (War Without End) Final I Mean It This Time.wav," "Babylon Prime (War Without End) Final I Mean It This Time No Really.wav" and "Babylon Prime (War Without End) I Mean It This Time No Really Moose Bites Can Be Dangerous.wav." And that's just the finished tracks. I don't even want to get into what I called the little bits and pieces I used when assembling them...
Ever since I established that public LiveJournal entries show up as notes on my Facebook, I've been annoyed at the formatting limitations that occur in the imported entry. Embedded videos don't appear properly (not even as a link), the text doesn't justify or center and I have no idea why the separations don't seem to work. I had attempted to find some form of compromise, something that might look good here and there at the same time. It was like trying to frame for both 2.35:1 and 1.33:1 in Super 35 at the same time.³ I also have to admit that I'm annoyed that the imported notes are not editable, which became a bit of an issue when I accidentally posted my the track listing and liner notes for Alone In the Night from Semagic (why is "Post" so close to the "Close Window" on the preview screen) before I had finished proofreading it. The Facebook version thus is riddled with typos and errors that I was able to correct on the original Livejournal entry.
I am going to continue to import my Livejournal to Facebook, but I'm not going to make any special allowances for the formatting. If you're reading it on Facebook and it looks weird, go to the "View Original Post" option on the bottom of the screen and you can see what it's supposed to look like.
Film Score Monthly has just posted an extremely useful resource, a Film Score Calender compiled by Scott Bettencourt.
¹ — Science fiction does indeed have strict rules. This may not be apparent if one is not as familiar with sci-fi as it is written, however, as it is very rare that it is translated accurately to the screen, which has more to do with the difference in mediums than it does anything else. That said, I feel that there is definitely room for more hard science fiction in the cinema.
² — I surprised myself in 2007 when I found myself working on a string of albums starting with Battlestations. This was followed it up by Nature Finds a Way, Watch the Skies, revisions of both my original and prequel Star Wars mixes and my concept album Redwoods. Since then, however, it has become fairly common now that I'll work on one mix and end up producing several in a row.
³ — You can get workable compositions in one or the other with Super 35, but you just can't frame well for two aspect ratios at once, I don't care if you're Ed Wood or Vittorio Storaro. Frankly, any film produced in that format proves me right... they're either good wide or they're good flat, but never both (although there are some films where the results are uneven).