Tuesday, July 10, 2007

David is Scared of the MPAA

So I was going to include clips from Collateral and Jarhead so you could see what I am talking about specifically; but even though I believe even posting to this blog for this purpose would be fair use, just having it up on YouTube would not be. I guess I could still load it, set it to private, and then only link to it from here. Not sure if it matters.

But here is where I was going anyway:

Jamie Foxx: Expert Estimator

I need you help out there. I am going to make the leap to PowerPoint for my course lectures. The thing that finally sold me was Mr. Jamie Foxx. It turns out that Mr. Foxx has done a couple of movie scenes where he speaks directly to the subject of estimating.

The first lesson is in Collateral. In this film Mr. Foxx shows us that you build accurate estimates by breaking large, undefinable things into small, easily analyzable things:

(checks his watch)
How long you think this'll take?

Fourteen minutes.

Fourteen? Not fifteen? Not thirteen?

Two minutes to get onto the 101.
Transition to the 110 to the 10 and
exit on Normandie is four minutes.
North on Normandie is five minutes.
Two minutes to South Union 'cause
there's roadwork. Thirteen plus one
for "shit happens."

Vincent checks his watch.

Mind if I time you?
The actual footage has a less involved breakup of a seven minute trip, but you get the idea.

Lesson two comes from Jarhead. In this lesson, Mr. Foxx explains that you can estimate things of which you have little knowledge by working from something you do know:
How far are those trees?

(calling out all at once)
500 yards

300, how'd you figure that?

uh, three football fields.

Three football fields. That's
right, you take what you know
and then you multiply.
We often use the same kind of technique when bidding new kinds of scenery.

Two very sound, fundamental techniques expressed by movie characters. Should be fun to work into class.

So here's how I need help. I have a staff this summer that could rip these things for me, but I don't really know where they are. The only reason I noticed these was that they were the same actor and I saw the films close together. So, if you have any memory of film or TV content that would be good for any of my classes, please shoot me an email. My students will thank you - they'd certainly rather listen to the likes of Jamie Foxx than to me.

No comments: