You remember those flats with the legs that attach with screweyes and little wooden dowels, right? Those flats that whenever you moved them or even looked at them crossways, the dowels snapped, and the flats activated the femoral autoseverance feature? (“Femoral autoseverance,” or “FAS,” is TV-studio jargon for “the legs fall off.”) And then we replaced the dowels with sturdy nails and so whenever you moved the flats, the screweyes would rip out and once again: FAS? Well, Bob Sitzwohl and Alan Zoraster and I have over-engineered a solution to this problem. “Over-engineered” means that instead of being engineered by just one of us, it was engineered by all three of us, who among us have exactly zero engineering degrees, none, zip, nada. We considered big magnets to attach the legs, until Alan suggested that big magnets and electronic TV gear probably aren’t a good mix. We considered Velcro™, until our Velcro™ prototypes exhibited FAS. (And doesn’t knowing what FAS means make you feel like a pro?) So when you come back to the studio, you’ll find the legs hinged to the flats permanently (we hope). Two of us, you see (not including me), have carpentry skills. Just one leg per flat. And the leg folds against the flat for storage. Yes, you probably can rip the screws out of the hinges. But we’ve tried to make that difficult, and honestly, the three of us would appreciate it if you suppressed your destructive impulses for a little while, at least.
PS: Now that the flats stand up, Erik Lind has been channeling his inner Mondrian to repaint them in more vibrant colors. Last I checked, Karen Adams had stuck pink flower-shaped Post-It notes on them with suggestions for other colors. Can you say “aesthetic over-engineering”?
Written by David Simon
David Simon is an instructor for the Media Center’s Studio and Zoom In workshops. He is also a Producer and Director of the public access show “Peninsula Backstage” To read more contributions by David please click here.