pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Stealing this meme from [livejournal.com profile] paka just because.

So. If I were God for a day, what would be top of my TODO list?

Assuming it would break the universe to badly bend the rules too much, I'd try to be kind of discreet about my actions.

Letsee. I think I'd set a large extra-solar object on a collision course with the inner system. Actually, I'd go for an object about 2X the size of Earth but composed of water ice and rock, kind of fragile. Set the path going just close enough to Jupiter to break it into a couple of large chunks.

One of the major chunks would be on a direct collision course for Mars. The resultant impact would shatter the poor thing but would put enough heat, water, and mass into it to make it a strong life-sustaining planet in a few hundred million years. Probably want it to end around 1.5 Earths in size.

The other big piece would be a hook-shot for Venus. Not a direct impact, just close enough that it tears off half the atmosphere, sets the planet spinning at a good clip, and ends up caught in a very fast orbit with it. I think the result of just the right collision could make both of the resultant planets habitable by some very heat-loving creatures.

This is of course dependent on neither Mars nor Venus already having some kind of life unknown to man. As for the Earth... It would miss most of my inner-planet pinball. There'd be some fallout of course. A few good-sized chunks smashing into the Earth but nothing that would end civilization or even wipe out large chunks of the population. Texas is large and mostly empty. It's a rather appealing target. :) Maybe give them another little ice age, just to give man some time to get their part of the Earth back into balance.

Then I'd sit back and watch. Imagine how amusing that would be. On the one hand, you'd have religious zealots, frantically scrabbling to make up explanations, both for the event and why we were 'spared' and why we were going to end up with 4 habitable planets in our solar system all of a sudden. At the same time, it would drive scientists MAD. First off, they'd get to see planet creation and evolution in progress just we got to see that cool stuff with Shoemaker-Levy-9. Second, it's just a little TOO nice a coincidence to be fully believed. I also suspect that in the long run, it would get humans to be a lot nicer to each other. Watching 2 other planets get wiped out and a near-miss for ours from a single rogue would probably be a pretty big encouragement to stop bickering and figure out how to get off this planet (the new ones would make good stepping stones) and eventually to other systems.

Or maybe I'd just play out the scenarios and see how the turn out, then rewind things back to 'normal'. Or maybe I'd make sure that a computer AI got its chance at life. Or maybe I wouldn't be interactive at all. If I were God, I might spend some time seeing what it was like to be a turnip or a cat or an ocean. Could be fun. Then again, I can already play the what-if's in my head and I can already create worlds of my imagination so I already am God when I chose to be.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
The 9th dimension is a fascinating place. It's the dimension of dimensions where all possible variations of all possible dimensions of all possible rule sets exist.

It occurs to me that if there are an infinite number of dimensions with infinite variations that somewhere out there, there's a dimension where magic capable of crossing dimensions exists and there is another me who is there and in one of those dimensions where the other me with dimensional magic exists, they've had the same thought I just had but from the opposite side.

They've just thought that there is some other version of themselves who lives in a universe without magic and that other self (me) is contemplating her and trying to figure out a way to make herself a beacon so that other self in the distant dimension might open a portal to connect us so we can explore the worlds of one another.

Surely in one of those other dimensions, one of those magic other selves has the power to not only open a portal but to find me if I were to work hard enough to make myself found, and she'd have enough of the same curiosity as me to actually try bringing me across or vice versa. There must be another self that tries to see what's on the back side of their looking glass.

In a universe of infinite rule sets and infinite variations on experiences, it would be extremely improbable that we live in the suckiest of all universes. Perhaps that means the failing is just me. Perhaps out of my untold trillions of variants, I lack the focus required to be a beacon and allow the gap to be opened. Or perhaps I just need to set aside a block of time and actually try it. It seems like it'd be something that would at least require more than a bit of bored blogging in the mid afternoon. Or perhaps it has happened a number of times and these weird bits of inspiration, art, music, and such are just momentary connections with other selves.

I definitely need to spend more time contemplating this. I think it could make for a good story.

Hmm. I wonder if perhaps it's easier to be a beacon if you get a bunch of friends together and make a circle and help you try to summon yourself. You know. Classic-like.

Costumes

Dec. 13th, 2007 01:17 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Behind this cut are several sketches where I was considering various costume ideas for myself. Includes some early design sketches for the koosh costume.

Costumes )

Additional Self Portraits )

And finally, a couple of drawings of things you never wanted to think about. They're both NSFW so they're links, not cuts. Click at your own peril.

I was watching a program about some ancient city and the narrator said that two giant stone sphinxes guarded the gate. Prickvixen said, "Sphincters?" and I went along with it. Later this was dubbed, "The Mark Merlino Manor".

And last... A few months ago, Shatterstripes said she was in a drawing funk and was stuck doing Doodles. I considered this and felt that 'Doing Doodles' was bound to result in some sort of funk. I drew this to cheer her up or annoy her but then thought better of actually showing it to her immediately. ^_^

wc -w

Nov. 5th, 2007 01:04 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
NaNoWriMo wordcount is still 0. I didn't do anything this weekend. No writing, no art, no animation, no schoolwork, no programming, nothing. I just kind of laid around and wasted time. :/ Actually weekend is too short a descriptor. Most of the past week I've been that way. Not exactly depressed but not really active.

It's kind of frustrating. I'm not stuck for ideas, just motivation. In fact, if anything, I have too many ideas. Ideas are cheap. Doing something with an idea is the real challenge.

Anyhow.. As far as NaNo goes, I guess I had one false-start last week. It's a story that I would like to do but it needs a lot more time and research than I can presently devote to it so it can't really take off right now.

Thus at lunch time, I hit puree on my plot generator and threw together about a 500 word outline of a story that I believe I can do within the confines of NaNoWriMo. I'll get started on it tonight after I get done with my schoolwork. Soooo... I wonder if I can pull off 7,000 words in an evening and get caught up. :)


In other news, looks like Godzilla starts filming this coming weekend. Yay. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
No. I mean it. Government contractors are really really dense.

I was watching a program on Gamma Radiation and this just occurred to me. Not only that, we can calculate precisely how dense they are.

Consider the following:
You've heard that in the past certain government construction projects used 3 in place of PI as if they expected the entire world to revolve around them?

Well... What if it did?

Think about it. Circumference = 2*PI*r in planar space, but what if you were the center of an extremely massive body like a star? Because of the compression of spacetime around the center, half the distance of the radius in real space is less than half the distance in planar space and that means that from one model, C/2r could = 4 and in another frame of reference, C/2r could = 3 given appropriate mass for either.

Now. I'll simplify a bit and assume a rather spherical person. Short and fat, maybe 100cm in circumference (just because it's a nice round number) So now you just need to work out the mass required in that circumference to set PI to 3.

You have now accurately calculated the density of an average politician.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
OMG!! OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!! I think I just had the biggest geek orgasm I've had in a decade!

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/10/10/an-open-source-internet-stupidity-filter/

The best thing ever in the whole entire universe!
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I was playing with an online random substitution generator thing and was about to post it to LJ because a couple of results made me giggle though the rest were stupid, then realized that behavior is much more interesting than the results.

Why is it that whenever humans encounter something funny, sad, annoying, that tastes bad or good, that we instantly want to share it with any other human around.

Taste and smell makes sense. Primitive monkey food-gathering stuff. Emotional stuff too, probably as social networking on a hind-brain level.

I find it interesting because it's a function as automatic as breathing and it really seems to be a built-in component to most people.

It also leaves me wondering... What sorts of things are we NOT automatically tempted to share. Not ones we've learned to be guarded about through abuse or training, but what things do we as a species, genuinely tend to not care about enough to share?
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
A friend posted privately about a group he's in that had a red-panic because a chinese guy wanted to join their RPG group. Some of them work for defense contractors or something and there has to be a sudden and drastic alert because of potential contact with a foreign national! OH NOES!

I swear these are the variety of people with 'security clearance' because they have to go into the offices to empty the waste baskets. Personally... I worked at NASA for several years and much of that time I was only a few yards from soviet scientists who'd worked on the russian ICBM guidance systems. Yes, ITAR had some stupid rules about 'foreign nationals' but they basically boiled down to. "Don't let them into secure areas. Don't trade files with them." but definitely not OMG COMMIES ARE INVADING MY D&D!!!! Seriously. Get a fucking clue. I've noticed an inverse proportional curve on security clearance when working at NASA. The lower your clearance is and the more useless you are, the more important you think your clearance is and the louder you are about it. Still... Seriously. I wonder what goes through these people's heads? Was it like?

I shall cut you down with my +20 Sickle of the People.
ROLL FOR INITIATIVE, YANKEE DOG!

That would actually be pretty awesome. Someone should make a D20 adaption parody of the Cold War.

On the same subject, I should hunt down my old notebooks containing ASCII HERO. It was an expansion to the HERO roleplaying system that was cyberpunk set inside a PDP-10 where basically you operated as strings of code in the system, dealing with daemon processes, hostile users, glitches, virus programs, etc. Blocks of code made up rooms, data streams roads and.... Oh my god... I'm a huge flaming dork.

Kitty!

Jul. 26th, 2007 10:56 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Daaaaaw! http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=bizarre&id=5511288


This could make a really sweet story. Too bad my last animation was a melancholy story about a cat.

EEeeeeeew!

May. 9th, 2007 09:58 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I don't get a lot of spam e-mail and sometimes the sender and topic are close enough to e-mails I might expect that I open them. (Though I use elm so they're not even getting webhit counts for their embedded images or anything)

Anyhow. Today's is apparently a weight loss drug... At least I guess that's what it is. Their advertisement is so bad that I can't really guess its true nature. But here's the line that stood out:

the most enchanting flesh loss product is now readily available

.... Um... Eeew! If I thought it wouldn't bounce, I'd consider writing them back with an advertising slogan:

Zombo-goo! It's good for you!

EDIT: Reading a little further, the ad starts going on about The Hunger and the cravings. I really think this might be a zombie med. Here's a bit more:

I greedily devoured all this garbige

and just could not stop.

This ruinous passion passed away after I started course with *PRODUCT!

Oh, God,

my inclination to eat constantly vanished,


*I hate spammers so much I'm not even going to give them the benefit of name spreading by copying their product name while ridiculing them.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
This is a pretty neat idea. The photo below is of Crissa and I visiting a 'town' created by a comic strip artist to promote his strip. He made the whole area look like his strip, and while it's not a strip that interests me, this is a pretty cool idea in terms of self promotion. The sound and things like cartoon raindrops falling from the sky also give you a strong sense of atmosphere.

Transit

May. 5th, 2006 12:46 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
An unseasonably cold wind screams through the maze of tall buildings and naked gurders. After the light changes, I dash across the street, making my way through the sea of people, out onto the platform, down along the length of the iron giant. As I board, I'm greeted by a blast of dry heat. Thermostat must be malfunctioning. Means the car is almost empty. Besides, the heat suits me fine. A few minutes more at the station, the last wave of passengers cram aboard, filling even this overheated car. Twice the conductor bellows, "All aboard!" then the doors slide closed.

A low rumbling whine shudders through the train as it creaks and groans into motion. My seat is set opposite the direction of travel and at first it seems the empty cars in the bay beside this one have set into motion the opposite direction. It's strange to see a train at this distance, moving along side it. It gives me a true sense of the massiveness of these vehicles, panning slowly along it's metal skin. Gradually we pick up speed, the windows of the waiting cars strobe beside me, all the seats empty, save for the control room. As we roll past, I watch the engineer take a bit of his sandwich and flip a page in his book. His face lit by the cool greens and oranges of the displays around him. A few more minutes and he is out of sight.

A northbound train passed outside my window as we leave the train yard. Through the windows, I can see the passengers just starting to gather their things to disembark. when headed north, the trains run in reverse, the driver concealed in a tiny room in the last car. It seems strange as we roll past the engine cockpit. Its big windows hollow, empty, as if piloted by ghosts.

The train crawls through the decay of the south end of the city. Bridges and underpasses with layer upon layer of graphitti, the ground littered with piles of trans and unidentifiable scraps of old structures. Camps of homeless people hidden away beneath the refuse. Battered blue tarps strung between a fence and the earthen buildup for the train tracks. Darkness engulfs me, then a pressure wave as the train barrels into the close darkness of an old tunnel. A moment or two of light, then into another tunnel. Emerging on the other side, I see the steep hillside and a vacant field. My eyes follow faint lines of abandoned rails in the overgrowth to the shadows of old tunnels hidden behind ivy, overgrowth and trash.

There's an open field whisking past my window now. A couple of bench-styled car seats sit facing the train track. The ground is littered with bottles, cans, and other manner of waste. Further out in the field I can see stripped and broken cars laying like the skeletons of elephants in the sun. Fog is rolling over the distant hills, taking the city into it's cold embrace. Even the tall radio towers of Telegraph hill are but faint ghosts in the haze.

This is how my trip home starts every day. I enjoy it really, even when I get on the slower trains that stop at some of the really dark and nasty stations late at night. This isn't the pretty side of the city that the City Council wants you to see. It's the dirty old industrial town, dying in slow and horrible splendor. The scrap yards, the battered industry shops, with half their windows broken out, though they're still in operation. There's a realness to this part of the world, harsh and alien as the face of Mars. A few minutes more and we'll be passing through pretty little townships with 'revitalized' downtowns festooned with familiar name brand stores and plastic facades. Tidy little houses with bright backyard playhouses for their two point five kids. The fog hasn't come here. The cold wind doesn't blow in the trees. I pass from the eire old weird dead parts of the world to the fake silicon smile of the valley. Home again, home again.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Backstory
When I was younger, I was a fairly good storyteller, quite probably also a liar. Or at least someone exaggerated egregiously with quite a bit of regularity. I grew up in a world of storytelling, I suppose. We only had 3 TV channels, and frequently as not, my summer nights were spent at a campfire rather than in a house. I've heard hundreds of variants of ghost stories, urban and rural legends, and dirty jokes.

Rumination
I guess I gave it up for several reasons. First and foremost: Everyone fancies themselves a writer. Writers are even more common than artists. The truth, of course, is that most of us aren't nearly as good at it as we believe we are. Writing can be fully stream of consciousness and only your own mind can complete the image. It's the rare writer who can focus that image for others AND make it interesting to read as well.

I believe also, I found it difficult to find ways to advance in writing. My artistic abilities had so many obvious flaws that it was easy to see where I needed improvement. It's also fair to state that it's much easier to get someone to comment on your art rather than writing since writing nearly always requires a more serious investment of time and mental faculties. It takes 10 seconds to say 'That character has a broken wrist and the hands are too small.' but perhaps 20 minutes to read a short story and say, "Why is Bob going to kill Stella? Where did he find a pipe wrench on an empty street?'

Getting to the point
Another story that was more subtle but perhaps more profound is a fear of getting the facts wrong. Writing requires research and structure and these things don't mesh well with spontaneity. I guess this is a big hang-up for me. Catching a detail that I know is totally wrong breaks the suspension of disbelief. This is my single biggest block to writing.

A couple of examples and a rant
Yesterday I was listening to a stream of 50's 'scary' stories on internet radio and there were two stories back to back which pissed me off. Stripped down, the two were basically identical. In one, a guy in old clothing appears, and our good white christian americans follow a map he was carrying back into the mountains where they find a hidden society of druids with their huge gold idol to Crom Croauke which is alive and demands human sacrifice! In the second story, a stone idol of Siva with rubies in each of her hands hunts down the good christians and demands blood for taking her jewels. She's the wife of the GOD OF DEATH, you know.

A LOT of the 50's stories are this way. 's God has an evil lust for blood and stalks our poor innocent white people, who either A) die because the were greedy or B) prevail because they're so much more clever than the 'pagan' cultures or because their God is soooo much stronger than those EVIL gods.

A few ideas
The revulsion of yesterday's programs lead me instantly to my own version of their stories, of course: The corpse that walked.

I felt a terror rising within me as the great stone boulder rolled back from the entrance of the cave. The odor of death and incense rushed out to greet me. Frankenscence and Mur, and the stale decay of rotting flesh. His eyes were upon me, burning. Those hollow dead eyes, the cheeks sallow and slack, caked with dried blood run down from the crown of thorns. I stood paralyzed as the slow heavy footfalls approached me.


Or how about a comic book series about the Last Roman Soldier. Been done, you say? Not my way. In my version he is immortal in the sense that every time he dies, he is reborn in a new body. He may or may not regain his memories, sometimes it takes a while. He is cursed to live an eternity of wretched lives, each time he is reborn he is cast into some pained or crippled form. He is left with one burning desire. To refind his spear. The spear that can slay a God. He seeks revenge. Release from his eternal torment by this twisted diety. Or perhaps he's just mad, a crazy homeless person killing the pious for no reason.

Comments
It's really easy to write when you have no respect for the source material. On the other hand, it's very limited in your audience. Some group of people is going to be pissed off or at the very least, not enjoy reading your story because you 'got it all wrong' and what's the compromise potential? You could set the story in an alien world, but then you have to expose the details of your fictional race and hilight the similarities and differences between your alien religiona nd the Earth ones it's based on. Either the writing is totally obtuse (back to stream of consciousness) or so thinly veiled that it's again unpalatable.

Voices in my head
Another issue for me with writing is the tone I use. I have several identities in my head that I can pick and write in their voice. The particular one in use for this writing is something like 'dispassionate secretary'. There are many voices I'm afraid of using to write though. Vicious heartless murderers and rapists, violent psychotics, the completely insane, gibbering power-mad megalomaniac, and the intensely depressed woman standing, arms spread on the edge of a cliff, looking down at the cold crashing sea below.

I think this must be an issue for a lot of would-be writers. Good characters in your head are stronger than just elements of the story, they are whole other personnas and there's always a lurking fear that if you open up to them, write as them, let them possess you, there may be no way back. Probably we are creatures of habit and would eventually return to the pathways more familiar to our brains, but it's still a fear and one that definitely limits my own writing potential.

A dream
This is a bit long and gruesome so I cut it )

Thankful
Finally, a few closing thoughts in writing all this. I love my job. This may seem totally tangental but it's not at all. It's a creative place, I can come and go as I please. It's beautiful outside right now and I'm sitting in a park just north of the Bay Bridge, looking out at all the ships. I saw a submarine earlier (I think. It was long and very very low in the water. Looked like half of it was submerged) and there's a big freighter in the bay and across on the far side, a fire boat is spraying looks like 5 cannons of water into the air.

I'll probably end up staying late at work, of course. I do that a lot. But just knowing that no one is going to give em a hard time about taking a break and getting some sun is really nice.

It also amuses me that there is an open wireless network here, which means I should be able to post this from this park. I think I'll try that, then head on in to work. I've got a project I'm really enjoying that I'd like to get back to. :)


-me
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So.. Chatting online with [livejournal.com profile] singedrac gave me an interesting idea for an animation project. A retelling of various bible stories.

Noah's Arc, for instance. Imagine, instead of the familiar story, we see Noah, a wine grower who maybe drinks a bit too much. He has a drunken hallucination of God telling him to build a ship and adamantly believes it. He begins construction, more or less wrecking his family as he pushes them to build this thing. He drives them, and the denude the hillside of all it's forest to build his arc. However, on the other side of the hill is a loch, and when the rains come, the deforested hillside begins to erode and then suddenly and catastrophically gives way. Noah and his family are swept up in the flood. Noah sees neighbors begging for help but lets them drown, perhaps even pushes them off his boat as they cling to it. They're swept out to sea where he becomes increasingly mad, keeping his family hostage in his delusion that God has decreed him the most worthy of men to live until finally, at last, they land on a deserted island.

Okay, that's just a rough story and it needs work but I think it's got real potential. I wouldn't even have to name the characters so much as make allusions to the biblical story and, in fact, I think that'd actually be better because then it's ambiguous and you're left to think about the meaning of the story.

I think the real problem is that I'd want to do this story in stop-motion and water is not very fun to do in stop-motion. Not sure how I'd deal with that. Also, it requires a lot of props and scenery. I suppose it'd be easier to do in 3D animation but it doesn't seem like it'd feel as dark if I did it in 3D. Hmm. Stuff to think about.

Anyhow, I should take a look at some more bible stories. I suspect there are ways to change them slightly and get new and different moral stories out of them. (This story is working for me because it does have several strong morals to it)

*sigh* No stop-motion until we move though. That in itself will be a hassle. Still, I think this might be a project I really want to spend some time putting together a screenplay and storyboard for.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So... I have this really great (and by that I mean great in the sense that surely would be great to the mind of a freshman film student, so I should be ashamed) idea for an experimental film.

So... Here's the concept, though I have no idea of the story. Basically, there are people in all the shots but their audio is muffled or drown out and they are out of focus but they are somehow important to the story. The focus, framing, and clear audio, however, is not focused on the people but some object in the foreground or background. Incidental sound and the body language of the people and maybe the audio track tell the story. Perhaps it's a romance between an aging sofa and ghastly lamp with a macrome' shade. Something like that. The story of the objects could be reflected in the story of the people but the idea is to make the people inconsequential; props and metaphors to tell the story of the things in the focus.

Clearly, the easiest way to do with and add to it's weirdness is with a fisheye lense (gets a very narrow depth of field and makes everything look weird. Now I just need to figure out the story.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So.... Stacey needed the car so I rode the train today. *sigh* I wish the train were just a little more cost efficient for me to ride it every day that I don't have school. I love riding the train. It's way better than driving. I get to start my morning off with a pleasant walk, and a nice sit where I can daydream or peoplewatch and draw.

I draw people while I'm on the train a lot. I notice two things about that though. 1) I seem to pick people that are getting off at the next stop and 2) I like to draw unattractive people. The first is just amusing. The second is sort of interesting. I guess its because they fascinate me somehow. I always want to ask them to wait so I can finish drawing them but I know I can't. People on the train alone are between worlds. They're not presenting for work, they're not with friends. They're reading or daydreaming. Off in their own place. It's like being back stage. If I told them I was drawing them, they'd switch into presenting mode.
Also, I think I like drawing unattractive people because they're just more interesting to draw. deep crevices of facial lines, bushy eyebrows, nose hair, bald spots, fat rolls. Challenging and different things to draw. Things that make these people more interesting than those with smooth even skin and perfect hair and pressed clothes. not that those things can't be fun to draw sometimes too but they aren't as captivating to me.
I guess part of it is that I live and work around mostly 'beautiful people'. People that have money and are well fed and in good health so their appearance has a certain crispness to it. Also, when you look at someone attractive, you don't wonder so much about them. It's mostly a given that they have a good job, friends, etc. The odd people though. What is it like to be them? What do they do? Where do they live, where do they go? What kinds of things interest them? There's something mysterious and interesting about them and it reflects in their appearance. I wish I understood it better and could explore those stories with my pen.

Maybe I'll try to scan some of these sketches later though most of them are incomplete. Anyhow. More later.

-me
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So. I started thinking about some stuff I wanna do for FCTV 2004 and have begun putting together a list of some preliminary ideas.


FCTV 2004 idea list



I'll see about fleshing out some of these script ideas and making a few of the short commercials before too much longer. Probably also add a few ideas as soon as I go back and look at my notes from last year and remember the things I've forgot and come up with some new ideas to persue.

Any ideas, suggestions, offers of physical or morale support would be most appreciated! :)

-me
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Second session of stop-motion class last night. Still trying to figure out what I want to do for this class this quarter. We're supposed to produce between 15 seconds and 1 minute of animation which conveys some kind of mood or scene. No problem, I can do that standing on my head. In fact, I can knock out a 2 or 3 minute movie in a weekend in stop motion. But... (We knew there had to be a but)

What do I want to do? My 2D animation instructor kept asking this question in class last quarter, "Can this be done in live action?" as a question to students on their projects. IE: Is there a good reason to animate it. This has stuck in my head and been expanded a bit. I keep asking myself, "What can I do in stop motion that I couldn't do easier in live action, drawn, or computer animation?" Of course, there are lots of reasons someone might want to do something in a particular medium or style just to get a certain feel, but I think I'd like to play with this idea. What kind of concepts are strongest in stop-motion? I've narrowed this down to two answers: 'Detailed models and lighting' and 'Found Objects'.

Detailed models and lighting: Things like the Death Star just look better as a model than they do computer generated. Maybe some day computers will catch up, but it's still a ways off, and you can still create a more believable scene in stop motion than you can with computer animation. Compare Jarjar Binks to the Rancor or the big imperial walkers if you don't believe me. ... While appealing, I'm not a great model maker and this venue of stop motion is probably beyond my skill level.

Found Objects: This would be like Gumby jumping in and out of picture books or dolls coming to life. Scenes that have interest in part because a mundane object becomes something extrodinary. This is a MUCH more likely media for me and one that holds the most appeal.

So.. I've selected a .. genre? But I'm still stuck with that question of what I want to do. I've been leaning towards something a bit more dark and depressing.

For my stop motion camera operation class, I think I am going to replicate a move I saw in 'The Joy Luck Club'. The actress is talking to her husband who is sitting at the table, seemingly angry with her, then it cuts to a camera move from table level, standing up suddenly to above her head, looking down at her and moving suddenly towards her. VERY powerful and dramatic use of camera movement. It gave me a very real sense of being afraid and in a dangerous situation. Anyhow, if I spend all the time to program the camera for this move, I really would like to use the move in an animation.

I've had some other vague impressions about doing something related to gender, though much of this seems to involve a circular theme and I'm not sure how I could break from one circle to the next without seeming redundant or disruptive. Things like a circle of post-op stents arranged like a stonehenge with the character in the middle. High angle, low lighting, the shadows cast down on her. I also have a recurring iconic drawing of a circle of women holding hands (paper dolls would be very effective here), all facing outwards with their backs turned on the character in the middle, and above the scene is a reddish purple face-like iconification of a uterus with ovaries on falopian tubes somewhat like eystalks and the whisper in the wind, "You are the alien, not I." But there are SEVERAL problems with this.
  1. There's no connectivity between the scenes. It's just disjointed snippets.

  2. I have a weird duality about being out On the one hand, it makes me feel akward and alien. On another, I remember the sense of being alone when I was younger and wishing there were more role models for me. On yet another, it feels like a crutch. A film like that would almost necissarily get awards just due to subject and the way judgings tend to work. On another another... Heck ya! How much do I care its a crutch if it nets me some big bucks? That's just making my handicap less of one, and deeper still... I'm bothered with myself for considering the money angles because the idea was spawned of something important to me.

  3. Another problem is that my spouse has a hard time dealing with my blacker artwork. I turn into something of an emotional black hole and suck in all energy around me. I need to do this sometimes but I try to do it when I'm alone. I'm not sure I could find enough private time to do this kind of project though. Unless maybe I worked in the garage.

  4. And finally... Skill level and nerve. I'm not sure I could present this project to the class in its concept or in-process forms, and what if my work was ham-handed and ended up making people laugh? That's always a serious risk with dramatic work. Even moreso when you have personal emotions invested in it.



Of course, I could do something lighter. Last night we did a demo on making hands in clay and I had an idea for a funny short piece that, while not exactly found objects, would be poking at the medium a bit. A young child playing with a doll, her mom calls to her that it's time to leave for school, so she puts the doll down and runs to the door, turning and waving to the doll, then closing the door. The doll waves back as the door closes and we do an over-the-shoulder of his hand as he waves, then he stops suddenly and looks at his hand and we dream-bubble back to the kid waving, extreme closeup on the hand. ... He counts his down fingers. He counts the fingers in his memory of the child, then begins looking for his missing fingers. A few silly things ensue where he repeatedly needs 10 fingers for various tasks. (counting stuff, maybe hanging on a ledge, each finger slipping off one by one as something that might save him moves towards him, but he runs out of fingers and falls, etc) Maybe he also finds something he thinks is a finger. An inchworm or something, or he tries on different prosethetic fingers, a toothpick, a foam novelty sports finger, etc.

This story has good potential and requires a lot of godo characterization in the media. However, it isn't quite my thing. The role needs a male character and I'm finding I mostly animate male characters 'n' I'd rather do a female character this time around. Also, it requires a child actor, which I haven't got access to. I think it also works out to a longer story than I really want to do. So... Possible, but still needs work.

Last, there's WireHead. Wirehead is an action character. I don't know when I made her exactly. She's drifted around in my head for a long time, and I've sketched her once or twice. She's a derranged gadget-girl. Basically a mini-me wearing coveralls and army boots, except instead of hair, she has a bunch of brightly-coloured bits of wire... That writhe, and spark with electricity when she gets ideas, and occassionally plug into things. Sort of a TehcnoMedusa. She'd be neat to animate and pretty easy to build. She'd also be a gadget-making weirdo so it fits the found-objects thing pretty well. The problem is: What's the story? Okay, I've got a psychotic punk-thrashing cool-haired gadget-obsessed weirdo! Great character, but what does she do in Episode 1? I thought about a 'creation story' for wirehead. A beat up one-eyed barbie with all her hair cut off is thrown into a junk bin, then there's a rag fire n the garage and it melts the barbie into the pile of junk and they merge and WireHead emerges. Very cool so far, but what does she DO after that? I know she A) Builds things and B) is totally insane, but where to go from there? ... The other problem, of course is that this creation scene involves destroying a toy, which is something I have real trouble with doing. I guess I personify things a whole lot and disassembling a toy would make me feel like a murderer probably. I guess I could search for a pre-mangled barbie at a thrift store, maybe but I'd still feel weird. 'n' also, I'd want a real Barbie, not one with the panties printed on.

Oooh... WireHead having difficulty walking on the junk heap at first and then finds a wrecked GI Joe, admires his army boots then looks disdainfully at her own diminuative Barbie-feet and then RIPS HIS LEGS OFF and attaches them to herself.

Strangely, I feel no remorse at dismanteling Joes. I should investigate that dichotemy further, but now I'm rambling. So... That's all for now.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
This post is really for Paka, Perlandria, and Centauress, but any input from anyone else is more than welcome.

This is my guide to trying to start a no-budget animation group I started writing it for us but then made it more general as there is a group of people on AFF who keep saying they should collaborate and do an animation project together, so I shared it with them.

I think an important first goal we should make is setting a finite length to weekly meetings. I also want to go on record saying I don't think I'm qualified to take the Production role, nor Director, and Jonathan is probably a better candidate for senior animator. I'm best as a secondary animator and maybe sound mixing and compositing. Dunno what roles everyone wants, that's something we can figure out at the meeting.

I also put together a first-few-meetings-to-do list but it is probably overly ambitious and a little vague and most likely skips a lot of stuff. that's why we need that Grumpy Gnome role filled ASAP. Anyhow, looking foreward to seeing you all. :)

-Sammi

February 2012

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