Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play some songs that won awards from the Academy of Country Music...
Answer a question about Uncle Sam ...
And report about a new way to make movies.
Most people who enjoy movies do not really care how they aremade. They want to enjoy a good story. Movie producer and directorGeorge Lucas wants people to see the best made movie possible. So,his latest Star Wars movie was made without using film. Shep O'Nealexplains.
"Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" was made using digital cameras.A digital camera does not use traditional film. It captures an imageon videotape. The images recorded on videotape are then placed in acomputer.Graphic Image
George Lucas says that usingdigital cameras permits him to have much more control over the finalproduct. For example, the image can be changed after it is placed ina computer. An expert can change color, add or take out objects, addpeople or beings who are not real.
p>Much of what is seen in the new Stars Wars movie is not real.Huge buildings, spacecraft and alien beings from other worlds wereproduced in a computer. The effects then were added to each part ofthe movie.
Movie experts say digital technology is the real future of themotion picture industry. A theater will no longer have to wait daysor weeks to show a new movie. Theaters will be able receive copiesof new movies by linking computers. Or they will use small computerdisks to get a copy of the movie.
When the new Star Wars movie was released last month, onlyninety-four theaters around the world had the digital equipmentneeded to show it. So Mister Lucas' company produced aboutsix-thousand copies of the new digital movie on traditional film forrelease in most theaters. However, most people who have seen themovie say these film copies are a much better quality than otherfilmed movies.
Critics say the new digital technology is very costly. Manytheater owners will not buy the new technology鈥et.
Many of the people who worked on the new Star Wars movie say theywould not like to work with film again. They said using digitalequipment was faster, and videotape is much less costly than film.One cameraman said the director of a movie can immediately see whatwas just recorded, something impossible to do with film.
Those who have worked with the new digital method of makingmovies say the new Star Wars movie is only the beginning. They saymovies may quickly become all digital.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Indonesia. FrankyTan asks why the imaginary man called Uncle Sam is linked with theUnited States.Graphic Image
Uncle Sam is a fun name for theUnited States government. The drawing of a man called Uncle Sam isused to represent the federal government on large signs calledposters. His name, Uncle Sam, uses the same first letters as thewords United States-a "U" and an "S".
History experts are not really sure how Uncle Sam was created orhow he was named. However, some say the name was first used onsupply containers during the War of Eighteen-Twelve.
People in the northeastern city of Troy, New York think they knowthe true story. They say that Uncle Sam was a person named SamuelWilson. Many people in Troy believe that Mister Wilson is linked tothe first use of the term "Uncle Sam" to represent the UnitedStates.
This is their story:
Samuel Wilson worked as a meat packer in Troy during the War ofEighteen-Twelve. He often was called Uncle Sam because he was sofriendly and fair. Mister Wilson supplied large amounts of meat tothe Army. The meat was sent to the troops in rounded woodencontainers. The barrels were marked with the letters "U S" to showthey were meant for the government. Someone suggested that theletters represented "Uncle Sam" Wilson. The idea that the meat camefrom "Uncle Sam" led to the idea that Uncle Sam represented thefederal government.
Samuel Wilson did not look like the drawing of Uncle Sam. Themost famous drawings show him dressed in clothes showing stars andstripes. They appeared in political cartoons. Famous newspapercartoonist Thomas Nast produced many of the earliest drawings ofUncle Sam in the eighteen thirties.
In the twentieth century, Uncle Sam was shown with a short whitebeard, high hat and long-tailed coat. The single most famous pictureof him is a large sign painted by James Montgomery Flagg in aboutnineteen-seventeen. Its aim was to influence young American youngmen to go into the army during World War One. It shows Uncle Sampointing his finger. Above him are written the words "I Want You."
Congress approved Uncle Sam as an official representation of theUnited States in nineteen-sixty-one.
Country Music Awards
The Academy of Country Music presented its awards last week. Itis the thirty-seventh year the Academy has honored people who createcountry music. Mary Tillotson tells us about some of the winners.Graphic Image
The awards presented at the ceremony included Entertainer of theYear, Top New Male Singer, Top New Female Singer and Top CountryVideo.
One singer-songwriter won three awards -- top male singer, songof the year and single record of the year. The artist is AlanJackson. He was honored with the three awards for a special song hewrote following the terrorist attacks on the United States inSeptember. It is called "Where Were You When The World StoppedTurning?"Graphic Image
((CUT 1: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THEWORLD STOPPED TURNING?))
The Academy of Country Music named a movie soundtrack as theAlbum of the Year. It is "O Brother Where Art Thou?" from the movieof the same name. One song from that album won the Top Vocal Eventof the Year award. We leave you now with that song, "I Am A Man ofConstant Sorrow." The Soggy Bottom Boys sing it.
((CUT 2: I AM A MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
Remember to write us with your questions about American life. Wewill try to answer them on future programs. Listeners whosequestions are chosen will receive a Random House Webster's CollegeDictionary.
Send your questions to American Mosaic, Special English, Voice ofAmerica, Washington, D.C. two-zero-two-three-seven, USA. Or use acomputer to e-mail your question to [email protected] Pleaseinclude your name and postal address. This AMERICAN MOSAIC programwas written by Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson. And our producerwas Caty Weaver.