Silent Era Cool Hand Luke

This Return the Silent Era video remakes the 50 eggs eating contest in the 1967 classic prison camp movie Cool Hand Luke. On a sweltering stormy night, the prisoners are dreading the closing of the windows of the barracks as it will mean a sweaty night of misery. Luke (Paul Newman) takes the bunch off […]

This Return the Silent Era video remakes the 50 eggs eating contest in the 1967 classic prison camp movie Cool Hand Luke. On a sweltering stormy night, the prisoners are dreading the closing of the windows of the barracks as it will mean a sweaty night of misery. Luke (Paul Newman) takes the bunch off guard by flippantly suggesting he can eat fifty eggs. Even his biggest fan Dragline (George Kennedy) finds it hard to believe this is possible. Soon a wager is born and the camp is again distracted from their suffering through Luke’s impishness and levity.

The contest scene takes about ten minutes in the movie and I was pretty sure I wanted to keep the silent version much shorter. So I decided to cut out most of the haggling over the rules of the bet as well as speed of the film. At times I made moments as much as 2.5x faster than the original footage, which quickened the pace but also reflected the unnaturally fast footage often seen in silent movies which were shot at frame rates lower than the 24fps standard of sound pictures.

Another hard decision was to choose which pieces of dialogue to place on title cards. The most important elements of time and the number of eggs eaten were included, as well as a number of Dragline’s colorful comments as he coached Luke through the contest. Also I hoped the Dueling Banjos soundtrack would provide an emotional substitute to a lot of lines.

I edited the film using Final Cut Pro and made the title cards in Photoshop. But I again found a good use for my iPhone as part of the process, similar to my recent discovery of using it in my designs. The 8mm app has some really awesome antiquing filters for video, including a ‘Noir’ and ’1920′ filter. I ran the video through both filters.

Bouncing a three minute video at almost 100MB in size bacj and forth between the computer and the phone and then back again is little cumbersome but the effect I think makes it worth it. There’s even an included projector sound effect.

If You Could Make Anything…


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by cali.org

And had only a semester to make it, what would you choose to make?

Committing to a particular project for an entire semester is a big decision – what should I make? Will it help me after I graduate – learning new skills, and/or having a quality piece of work to showcase? Will I be able to stay focused on the project without a professor telling me what to do?

If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.
William James

These are some questions you should ask yourself before commiting to a particular project. Realize that you are allowed to make anything – the project can be a blog based, film/video, animation, photography, drawing, writing, reporting, and even LOL KATZ!

So how should you start? Well there are two things I want you to think about and reflect on in a blog post:

1. How did you do on the two week daily creative assignment? Did you struggle to stay consistent? Post something everyday? Did you like what you posted? Did you make it or was it a reflection on others work? Think of this assignment as a barometer of your ability to work independently. Because the final project is an independent study (unless you partner with someone) what strategies will you use to stay on task not having a regular class meeting or assignments? Engaging friends and partners might work, but you still need to lead the effort. Maybe working on a client driving project so you’re accountable might work. Just thinking about your work habits and your day – when you work best can help you figure this out.

2. You also picked out three of your favorite pieces of work to present to the class and reflected on why they were your favorite works. These works reflect a bit about your taste and sensibility in your own work and your sense of your own skills. Will you incorporate some of the topical interests reflected in your favorite works? Why/why not? Will you use some of the skills you exhibited in these works? Why/why not?

After reflecting on these questions, present two possible project ideas and describe how they fit your taste, skill, and ability to organize your time. Describe what you’d like to learn from working on this final project. What do you think will make it successful? And what does successful mean to you?

Categorize this post as ‘final project first steps’

Rear Window Animated Movie Poster

Alan Levine’s post about watching cool flick’s with Jim Groom finally got me to get of the snide and finish this animated movie poster for the amazing Hitchcock classic Rear Window. I have an older post with animated GIFs from … Continue reading

Alan Levine’s post about watching cool flick’s with Jim Groom finally got me to get of the snide and finish this animated movie poster for the amazing Hitchcock classic Rear Window. I have an older post with animated GIFs from Rear Window, but all things GIF need to ratcheted up a notch every few weeks.

This poster is was created for the limited theatrical re-realease of the movie in 1999 after an extensive restoration. I am a little disappointed with myself as if I were to really make something truly awesome, it would have been modeled after the original theatrical poster, which showcases all the happenings in the many neighbors windows. *Note to self, amazing summer project might include creating a number of Hitchcock animated movie poster GIFs.

To make this poster, I used the James Stewart GIF from the previous post, as well as made a new one for Grace Kelly. The work on Grace Kelly’s GIF was a lot tougher as it required the erasing of the background on ten separate frames (not fun). Here’s what one of the frames looked like beforehand:

To create the animation, I used the animation timeline in Photoshop in which you basically turn on and off different layers per frame. This is also a bit tedious, but it allows you to create some interesting timing options. Each frame can be assigned its own amount of time, which is how the pauses work. Here’s a look at a few frames of the animation timeline:

And here’s a look at the layers:

Since Alan’s post refers to Blow-Up as well as Rear Window, looks like I still have more work to do.

Hand Picked Finest…

Seeing Red
cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by BarelyKorean

What’s your best work? Which photos, drawings, films, designs, etc are you most proud of? How do you want to feature this work and why? These questions are really lifelong questions creative people ask themselves all the time. And the funny thing is that you’ll find this answer changes over time as you modify your taste and evolve skills.

So for the next week choose three things that you’ve created that you wish to showcase and include them in a single post (please embed all three things, do not just link). Give some description how you made each and why. Also describe why you wish to feature this work. How does it showcase your skills? Your uniqueness? Your sensibility about design, photography, filmmaking, or ‘anything making.’

Be sure to categorize this post as ‘Featured Work’ and any tags that describe the kind of work it is – Drawing, Crocheting (that one’s for Leeza), Documentary, Short Film, etc.

 

I Want to Work HERE!

designers at work

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Mathieu!

Now that you’re working on your resume with Daniel, it’s time to start searching for internship opportunities. Even if a company does not advertise an internship program, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they would do not have interns. Who wouldn’t want to have free work from a really focused student that’s has some skills?

For this assignment, I would like you to find three potential internship opportunities and do a write-up on each of them in a single blog post. For each location please include the following information:

1. The contact information for the company. This should include the obvious Name, location, telephone, and web site address (please link it don’t just paste it). But also see if you can find the HR person, and or internship coordinator if there is one.

2. Give a description of the company (please do not copy/paste their about us page or description). Give some details about the size of the company, what kind of work they make, for which clients, link (or better embed) examples of work they do that you like, etc.

3. Describe the kinds of jobs that exist in this company/organization. What ones do you believe they have internships for? If they don’t give examples, then you should call and find out! Now is the time to reach out and make a connection. We can’t do this for you sadly, it’s up to you to put yourself out there. Report back any results.

4. Be sure to categorize this post as ‘Internship Opportunities’ and lots of tags that describe the kinds of work they do. And be mindful of the auto-complete of previously used tags and use them if they work for you.

Bad Guy Business Cards – David Lynch Edition

So what’s really surprised me recently is how my phone could suddenly be such a big part of my design process. I’ve used Photoshop and Illustrator for years, to touch up photos, create logos, set typography, etc. But in the … Continue reading

Frank Booth Business Card

So what’s really surprised me recently is how my phone could suddenly be such a big part of my design process. I’ve used Photoshop and Illustrator for years, to touch up photos, create logos, set typography, etc. But in the past few weeks I’ve been bouncing images back and forth between my mac and my phone just so I could use these amazing photo image adjustment tools that I don’t have on my computer. In particular I’ve been using Snapseed an iPhone app that maintains the original image’s resolution and allows for multiple passes with filters unlike apps like Instagram.

I created this Frank Book Business card based on the frame below from the film Blue Velvet.

After deleting the background, I converted the image to grayscale and applied a Halftone Pattern filter, which emulates old printing processes to emulate grays with lots of tiny black dots.

Next I imported this image into Illustrator and used one of my favorite techniques which is to convert bitmap images into vectors using the Livetrace tool. After that I did some additional vector work, type setting, and the placement of the Pabst Blue Ribbon logo. To bring me to this point in the design:

Here is where I would have normally stopped and been fairly satisfied with the work. But lately I’ve been importing this work next to my phone and doing additional filter work to produce the final result above.

Right now it feels like a new process, that leads to some interesting rich results. I worry that I might lean too much on some canned computer filters to create a particular ‘look,’ but for now I’m sticking with it.

Below are the before and after phone edited versions of a business card for Sailor from the Lynch film Wild at Heart. And thanks to Paul Bond for the inspiration for the bad guys business card assignment.

Sailor Business Card

Karateka – Animated Floppy GIF

If there is one videogame I’m certain that I spent a few hundred hours playing, it’s definitely Karateka on the Commodore 64. Karateka a simple fighter game, which like most games of that time was really hard to complete, as … Continue reading

If there is one videogame I’m certain that I spent a few hundred hours playing, it’s definitely Karateka on the Commodore 64. Karateka a simple fighter game, which like most games of that time was really hard to complete, as there was no option to ‘save’ and pick up where you left off. The game gives quite an extensive narrative introduction, defining the role of your quest, including this text which rolled in the beginning with this music:

High atop a craggy cliff, guarded by an army of fierce warriors, stands the fortress of the evil warlord Akuma. Deep in the darkest dungeon of the castle, Akuma gloats over his lovely captive, the Princess Mariko.

You are one trained in the way of karate: a Karateka. Alone and unarmed, you must defeat Akuma and rescue the beautiful Mariko.

Put fear and self-concern behind you. Focus your will on your objective, accepting death as a possibility. This is the way of the Karateka.

This kind of narrative foundation was fairly unusual at the time of Dig Dug and Donkey Kong, and even more compelling to me was the minimalist aesthetic that went into Karateka.

The bottom half of the animated GIF shows Princess Mariko being locked up by Akuma. The color palette is restricted to black, white, gray, and the tan of Akuma’s costume. Also, the game was effectively ‘letter-boxed’ into a more cinematic wide-screen format.

So this is not exactly an remixed game cover, but it is in the spirit of that particular assignment. I wanted to give homage to the media of the day, the floppy disk, which allowed me to participate in my first bit of software piracy.

It was common to have dozens of boot-leg games copied to 5 1/4″ floppy disks. Back in the 80s you could rent videogames on floppy disk from video stores, and the only piece of copy protection was a little piece of aluminum foil sticker. It was a bit of craftsman’s work to remove and replace it without leaving behind a hint of your deviant copying behavior.

To create this particular animated GIF, I used this lovely scanned copy of the original C64 Karateka floppy. And to make the animation of the characters, I used an emulator of the C64 for Mac OS X called Power64 and then loaded up a Karateka ROM. The whole culture around rebuilding games from scratch and creating emulators is quite remarkable actually – there’s some real amazing geek efforts to preserve game history.

Once I loaded the game, I used Quicktime to do a screen capture of the intro and some game play. These movies were then opened in Photoshop to do work on the frame-by-frame animation in multiple layers. More to describe about that another time.

York College Album Cover Design Blitz

Your going make an album cover using three random pieces of content for your design. This classroom design blitz is based on the album cover ds106 assignment. First you will go to this site of quotations and the last four … Continue reading

CA PROP 56 - Laugh At Life's Realities

Your going make an album cover using three random pieces of content for your design. This classroom design blitz is based on the album cover ds106 assignment.

First you will go to this site of quotations and the last four to five words of the last quote on the page will be the name of your album.

Second the name of your group will come from the name of a Wikipedia article selected at random.

And finally the image for your album cover will be the third image you find on Flickr’s interesting images from the last 7 days.

You will work in groups of two, to create your album cover. Choices the two will have to make include, trimming the image to a square aspect ratio. Other things you can do is filter, crop, contrast, colorize, decolorize, etc.

Choose fonts for the name of the band and the album title. You can visit dafont.com to find fonts.

Once you are finished, upload the image to a Flickr account and tag with ds106albumdesignblitz.

Here’s a link to the results in the Flickr RSS feed.

Freedom From Fat Cats

This fat cat started like probably a lot of other fat cats, you find the cat find the painting or vice-a-versa. Well I found this fat cat all plump and orange and it reminded me of Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving Dinner, … Continue reading

Freedom From Fat Cats

This fat cat started like probably a lot of other fat cats, you find the cat find the painting or vice-a-versa. Well I found this fat cat all plump and orange and it reminded me of Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving Dinner, which is actually the “Freedom From Want” painting from the Four Freedom’s series.  Replace that turkey with a nice plump fat cat, a little Photoshop clone tool to round out its butt, done.

Then I went to post this little ball of fur on a plate, and decided to listen to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedom’s speech (advance to 32:02 for the introduction of the themes of four freedoms) delivered during his 1941 state of the union address to congress. I love listening to FDR’s voice for it’s cadence as much as the inspired rhetoric. What was striking to me was the call for sacrifice that preceded the four freedoms at the end of the address:

I have called for personal sacrifice. And I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that cause. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message, I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation then we are paying for today. No person should cry or be allowed to get rich out of the program. And the principle of tax payment in accordance with the ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation. If the congress maintains these principles, the voters putting patriotism ahead of pocketbooks will give you their applause.

Can you imagine any president or presidential candidate today asking people to pay more taxes? Or imagine a president asking that congress maintain a focus on citizen’s “ability to pay.” That’s why we truly need “Freedom From Fat Cats.”

I’m Still Chewing on that Over-Branding of DS106 Comment

I’ve been thinking a lot about the over-branding conversation that Stephen Downes started on Alan Levine’s blog post I Want You to Make Art (Dammit). Downes did not like the use of ‘DS106′ in propaganda, and called it “over-branded.” After Alan tried to defend the work as students celebrating the class, Downes continued that it […]

I’ve been thinking a lot about the over-branding conversation that Stephen Downes started on Alan Levine’s blog post I Want You to Make Art (Dammit). Downes did not like the use of ‘DS106′ in propaganda, and called it “over-branded.” After Alan tried to defend the work as students celebrating the class, Downes continued that it was ‘some’ that are over-branding ds106 and ‘didn’t expect you (Alan) to get it.’

I think it was the later comment that lit a fire under a few in ds106, Martha Burtis took particular offense calling that type of commenting, trolling. I as well felt there was more to Downes point that he initially wasn’t willing to discuss. Whether or not it was trolling, and because he has a long standing relationship with Alan, true he shouldn’t have to explain himself but it did seem snide.

The reactions to the over-branding comment regarding ds106 didn’t stay focused in Alan’s blog, as a number of people went on to post new work about it. Giulia Forsythe’s Join the Brand, Martha Burtis’s The Cult of 4LIFE, Alan’s Got Infected, and I couldn’t help myself and made A purely unapologetic piece of ds106 branding. And many others continued along doing the ds106 propaganda assignment.

Downes reacted to the comments and I assume posts as well as ‘hostility.’ Ok being called a troll is a bit hostile, but I’m not so sure that others were at all hostile given the short and somewhat curt description of why ds106 is over-branded. But Downes did finally go into more detail and linked to a post he wrote about the group mentality gone wrong.

And I get it, groups can transform into mobs, can become cults, and people that are part of them behave irrationally. Downes does recognize that groups have a place and have value – they are where you make emotional connections to others, in a family or on a sports team. But they can go to far, and that is a rubicon apparently some in ds106 have crossed – was it just the propaganda posters? Something else?

Downes exhorts in his final comment on Alan’s blog that we must ‘be careful.’ I find this idea particularly alarming because the course is one about creating stories and art. If the community has to be mindful their creations should not cross a line that somehow represents ‘bad group’ activity, ds106 is going to fail.

At a different time, I made art that spoke to ideas of safety and religious iconography. Back then I wasn’t making the effort to narrate the how’s and why’s of my process. About a year before finding ds106, I was working on a project reflecting on old artwork to answer these questions. And one post, “Please Keep Art Safe” I find it appropriate to reference as it speaks to blasphemous art and speech, and how the Supreme Court of the US was asked to rule on a case of blasphemy.

The 1940 Supreme Court agreed unanimously and set a precedent that basically made any previous laws against blasphemy in the US a dead letter.  The 1940 decision explains, that “the tenets of one man may seem the rankest error to his neighbor.” And that in a democracy an individual’s right to resort to exaggeration and vilification are liberties “essential to enlightened opinion.” And under the “shield” of these liberties, “many types of life, character, opinion, and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed.”

So the line ds106 crossed toward ‘over-branding’ in my mind cannot occur within the creative work of it’s participants. And it would be a fruitless to try and define a line. But if there is group behavior trending toward a ‘mob-mentality’ in the community of ds106, and those actions can be separated from the creativity ethos of the course, I’d like to know what it is.