Sketching & Photo Touchup

Not very productive today so no new project launch. Might do a test tomorrow, but I have to prioritize my Character Animation Bootcamp lessons. I worked on a photo touchup of myself from when I was approx 4 or 5. Got that before & after so you can see what I did. Glorious throwback. Also made a little photoshop sketch of a tent since I’m going camping later this week.

Check those out below and come back tomorrow for updates. I hope to continue the tent sketch and test out my animation project idea.

 

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Before
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After

tent

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Lettering TBT Process

Preview of a mograph I plan on finishing tomorrow evening. I spent tonight lettering this and then starting on the animation. Will be refining and adding more to it then. I should probably tweak it to throwback instead of throw back too. It made sense when lettering, and then I got online and realized people don’t usually put spaces between the words. Welp, fixing dat tomorrow along with finishing the full mograph. Till then enjoy the “throw-back”. Now I need to sleep ’cause early morning!

day10_tbt_process

The Vault 1.0

Day 38 of 365.

I spend a lot of time starting stories and never finishing them. So here’s one from the archives. This a previous attempt at a NaNo WriMo I never finished. It’s still a cool beginning which I would love to continue at some point. It’s fascinating reading a story I started a long time ago. All the ideas I came up with, but never got to perfect. Perhaps one of these next few days I’ll take this story and tweak it.

In the meantime here’s this for you to read. (Warning, no edits have been made so if something doesn’t make sense that’s probably why.)


 

Everyone in the world has a card. Your card is your life. It is how you function. When a baby is born into the world the typewriters print the card. The cards exist as long as you exist, and vice versa you exist as long as your card exists. The cards have your life printed on them, your weight, personality quirks, parents, history…etc. They change according to how you change your life. However, there is a darker side to the cards. If one should write on your card a word or personality change, you will change with it. That is to say if one would to write bully on your card you would become a bully. If one were to write slave you would be a slave to the one who wrote on your card. The worst thing though is to have your card typed over. That makes it permanent. You are forever enslaved to the one who typed over your card.

As one can imagine this causes a lot of problems in the world. There are wars over the cards which are damaging and horrifying. There are the rebels who exist to say that the cards should be in the hands of only the one they belong to, and there are those who are in politics. The ones who say that cards are to stay in the warehouses, where they were printed with the security provided by the government. There are the ones who have no choice in any of the matters because someone already wrote on their cards. Of course there are the criminals too, the ones that steal cards for themselves so that they can become rich and famous or worse rule others.

However, the biggest problem of all? Most of the world doesn’t know they have a card.

People believe in free will, but sometimes they never had a chance because people were writing over their card the entire time. Others made their decisions because they weren’t important enough, they were just there. There are the pawns—like a game of chess—that were moved to fight unknowingly. Then there are those who know and take advantage of it like the criminals, the rebels, and the politicians.

There are exactly 50 warehouses all over the United States in various parts of the country with the highest known security, and under the noses of most of the world. Each warehouse contains several rooms. The printing room, where they print the cards on the fresh paper which changes as people grow and form their personalities. The second room is the storage facility, which takes up most of the warehouse. They store most of the cards there. The Freezer room, an odd name—but one of the most important rooms. This is where they store the historical cards. They include the names of Elvis Presley, George Washington, Hitler…etc. The cards of the men and women that changed the world and created the most horrible events. These cards are kept at a perfect temperature with limited access to only the elite people. Most people in these cards are dead and can not be revived so the state of the cards are frail and old, some have bullet holes in them from where their person was shot. Others are a pile of ash or soggy from drownings. It’s difficult to understand who these people are sometimes.

The most heavily guarded room out of all of these is a chamber. It contains what is known as the Liar. The Liar is unknown to everyone who knows of the cards. Even the most powerful men can’t get access to the Liar. All that is known is that they play with history in there. It is said that there is a typewriter with red ink which corrects cards or alters lives. They kill people there or put them in the lines of fire. The Liars however never see the light of day so no one knows if it’s just a typewriter in there or a person, it’s left up to people’s minds.

It’s time for the story though, the most important story that the Liars are now in charge of. The one that could throw the world out of balance.

The Crooked Way – Film Review

crookedway

Day 35 of 365.

Trying something new here tonight. I watched The Crooked Way with my dad tonight. I thought I’d give it a review and analyze the story as well as the visuals.

The Crooked Way is a classic film noir about Eddie Rice, a war hero with amnesia. He is discharged from the hospital and decides to return home to rediscover who he is. thecrookedway1949-5He discovers that in his past he was a criminal, and now must face the cops and other mobsters he use to run with.

I really loved this script. It’s a very cut and dry mystery. The plot is set up right away, doesn’t have a lot of exposition. You know what motivates the character right away, which is rediscover who he is. He’s thrown into a messy situation of trying to figure out who the different people around him are. He doesn’t know who to trust, and he doesn’t know what he did. This sets up a ton of tension immediately, and moves the film forward. There’s no single scene that doesn’t do one of two things: one, reveal a clue as to who he is, what he’s done, and who these people are around him; two, move the plot along. The script is very deliberate. It’s good script writing, and I’m sure part of it is because you don’t want to be wasting the film budget. Reshooting a scene or cutting it back in 1949 was really tedious. It’s tedious now, and we have a digital format which makes filming and editing so much easier. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to create a film back then.

One thing I notice about older films is they’re always very deliberate with the lines and scenes. The actions and script are important in moving the plot along. They don’t waste time on moments that don’t do anything to move the plot. They reveal just enough to hook viewers in and explain important details.

The dialogue of the script is great too. There’s not a ton of lines I remember off the top of my head, but there were some fabulous moments of tension and threats. In once instance the mobster, Vince Alexander, threatens someone. He says, “When you get to where you’re going, have ’em give you a nice, even burn. Don’t let them just fry you on one side.” That line is just pure genius in my opinion. That threat is so well done and just gives him such character. It’s done eloquently but smugly, and has such snark in it. There’s also a scene later on where the cop purposely spills water on Vince. He says sorry in this tone where you know he did it on purpose, but Vince isn’t going say a word because he knows he’s not the one in power.

The delivery of the dialogue, from the actors, does a great way of transferring power from character to character, without the use of our usual cinematography tricks. By that I mean the placement of the camera. There’s certainly some limited angles in this film so rather than showing power by angling the camera up or down on an actor the shot is still. For example in the scene where the cop spills water on Vince you’re set up at a profile angle, and far away from the action. So the power grab is done from the buildup of tension as well as dialogue. If that was done today there would be a close up of the water spilling and the expressions as well as drawn out tension. It’s a great old way to show the tension with the limitations they had.

The cinematography of this film is really well done. There’s all sorts of creative lighting techniques and the black on white or white on black shots are done beautifully. Windows are bright and shiny objects are extremely reflective. image3The composition of each shot is pretty well done. They weren’t the most amazing in that regard though, but most of them were simplistic. I can’t say that every single frame is like a photograph, but that’s due to the composition. I will say that the lighting is gorgeous. The lighting really (pardon the pun) shines through and is a strong aspect through the entirety of the film.

Over all, it’s not my favorite old film, but there were great nuggets that really gave it great composure. I loved the script and the story is well done. I think the threats and powerplay from the mobsters to the cop to Eddie Rice were all strong. There’s a few things here and there that I would have loved to seen pushed like the death scenes were…under reacted I would say. Part of it comes with the time period, but I still think they were just glazed over. Some side characters weren’t given as much love, example, Petey. I would have liked if his scenes had a bit more attention to his character. Not a lot, because there is a certain amount of balance to making side characters matter, but also not over dramatizing them. They’re important, but if they aren’t serving a purpose then don’t over do their scenes.

Overall I give The Crooked Way a 6.5 to 7 out of 10. I enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone that wants to see a great classic film noir. It’s very action packed and full of mystery. I’m always a fan of learning a bit of film history, and this is certainly in that bracket. It’s got loveable characters and some snappy threats that make it fun.

Anyone else seen it? If so tweet at me! Or send me a recommendation of another classic!

~Kendall