Monday, 6 October 2014

Corporate video talk

This is considered a master class on bullshit.

The story goes that, many years ago, Rockwell International decided to get into the heavy duty automatic transmission business.

They were preparing to tape their first introductory video and, as a warmup, one of the stage crew began a monologue that has become legend within the training industry.
This man should have won an academy award for his performance. Now keep in mind, this was a rehearsal for camera, lighting, and stage crew, and he had no script!   This is all strictly off the cuff, nothing is written down, and nothing he says is true.  It's just meaningless drivel made up as he goes along.

The drivel is better than meaningless. The Retro-Encabulator is apparently a machine that not only supplies “inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors,” but is also “capable of automatically synchronizing cardinal grammeters.”

Snopes suggests the talk wasn’t exactly impromptu:

This youtube video has a description purportedly from the camera operator:

This is the first time Turbo Encabulator was recorded with picture. I shot this in the late 70's at Regan Studios in Detroit on 16mm film. The narrator and writer is Bud Haggert. He was the top voice-over talent on technical films. He wrote the script because he rarely understood the technical copy he was asked to read and felt he shouldn't be alone. We had just finished a production for GMC Trucks and Bud asked since this was the perfect setting could we film his Turbo Encabulator script. He was using an audio prompter referred to as "the ear". He was actually the pioneer of the ear. He was to deliver a live speech without a prompter. After struggling in his hotel room trying to commit to memory he went to plan B. He recorded it to a large Wollensak reel to reel recorder and placed it in the bottom of the podium. With a wired earplug he used it for the speech and the "ear" was invented. Today every on-camera spokesperson uses a variation of Bud's innovation. Dave Rondot (me) was the director and John Choate was the DP on this production. The first laugh at the end is mine. My hat's off to Bud a true talent.

[Hat tip KN]

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