Raise your hand if you’ve ever used a typewriter…

Tom, Pat and Greg write a morning show promo for Greg and the Morning Buzz – 1991

I was talking with my friend Bob, who stumbled upon this clip at the Boffo Yux Dudes Repository at You Tube.

His main point (other than my expanded girth and follicle length) was that we were using an electric typewriter to do the bits. That got me to thinkin’ – did the process of manually creating skits without a computer enhance or detract from the creative process?

We did all our station writing on an IBM Selectric. At home, it was a good old Leading Edge LE running 5 1/4″ disks where most of the series material was hatched. But there was something about huddling over a typewriter with a blank sheet at 5 in the morning with people in the other room saying ‘Be Funny – Now’!

That got the adrenaline going.

I never experienced the workflow of using digital editing when we did bits – the station bought a digidesign after we were gone, and we ended up at multitrack recording studios, or other Radio production rooms with a few reel-to-reels and cart machines… maybe a flanger or SFX unit… but for the most part it was all low tech.

I’m in the process of remastering to digial those old bits for a new project, and it’s interesting how much easier it is, yet harder to do. Quicker, yes – But you don’t have nearly as many buttons to play with.

This clip is from an early Greg promo we had written at the WHEB production studios. Bob Dylan and Tom Petty were favorites when we didn’t actually want anyone to understand what was actually being said. Astro the dog fell into that as well. So this is a snippet of behind the scenes in the ‘creative’ process. Scott Mercer joined us as cinematographer. Enjoy.

Extra: – That’s Pat and Greg doing the VO in the break… and Pat really isn’t that huge.. he’s actually sticking his gut out doing an Alfred Hitchcock impression.

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4 Responses to “Raise your hand if you’ve ever used a typewriter…”

  1. Adam_Y Says:

    It has to help, the physical manifestation of the work… that is to be able to hold the script in your hand.

    I sill hand-write everything before typing it up on computer… even then I’ll refer to my written notes rather than a printout. It’s especially true of any creative endeavour.

  2. boffoyuxdudes Says:

    There is a satisfaction in holding a script in hand, and the ability to scratch and change it in the margins –

    I’ve done it both ways, but since my handwriting is very illegible, typing helps when someone is over your shoulder trying to find the correct intonation for a rhyme or researching what Julia Child’s sign off line is.

    (Bon Appatit- took us a long time to remember that one)

  3. scottmercer Says:

    Analog will never die!

    It may fade away, but never disappear. Computers will always be just another “layer” added across the top of society.

    As I get older, that’s how I begin to see the world. For people born before television was popular, there was a point where it came into society, and so it became just something “added” on top of the “Real” world underneath it all. But for me, there’s always been television, so TV is part of the “real world” as it has (for me) always existed.

    Cue spooky music and order a Grand Slam at Denny’s. Then pass the pipe.

  4. ajmilner Says:

    Someone once defined “technology” as “anything invented after you were born.” I think I see the point.

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