Category Archives: Fall 2015

The Hyperboreans’ Blessing Part 1/5

Rain pattered down against the windows of my old beaten up Volkswagen Beetle, assaulting the glass with heavy torrents of water reaching the beginning of its cycle. Outside to my right were the fields of Mason Park Cemetery, the now muddy green fields where my father was buried one hour earlier. It was a bittersweet feeling, knowing that he was gone. I can’t honestly say that I loved my father as a son should love his father because if he were here today he could not honestly say that he loved me as a father should love his son.

I sat in the driver’s seat, sulking as a man in mourning should, thinking about the past and with the future a mere hindsight. Now that I think about it, at that moment, the future was all that I had. My father did not reflect myself in appearance in the photo, the people who set up his funeral used his faculty photograph from Gwirion University, where he made a living as the head of the anthropology department. In the picture he was an upright figure with greying hair pulled neatly back into a tight bun. His glasses reflected the flash of the camera giving him a strange look in his blue eyes. As I sunk into my seat a little further a figure knocked on the passenger’s side window. I let the thuds of their hand rapping against the glass fade into the rain as I stared at the photo of Daniel glued hastily to a damp invitation.

Once again, however, the figure to my side knocked on the window with the persistence of a starfish working open a clam. I unlocked the door without giving him a look as he quickly opened the door and slid inside. I could feel his stormy, worrying eyes upon me as I stared into open space. While my father did not care much for me, his brother, Arthur, had taken me into his care for most of his life. He wore his age like a badge which made his resemblance to his brother uncanny. My uncle sat next to me dripping for a moment before he could find any words to say.

“I,” he paused “I cannot begin to imagine what you are feeling right now Simon.” There was another pause, and I flinched as he reached to put a hand on my shoulder. “That’s why you need to talk to me. Closing yourself off like this… It’s not healthy.” I looked up at the scratched ceiling of my car. I knew it wasn’t healthy to isolate myself, but it felt right, it felt good. “I know that these past few years with your father must have been hard…”

“It wasn’t the past few years Arthur, and you of all people should know that Daniel wasn’t my father,” I snapped my head around to look at his face. The look I saw upon it filled me with guilt and I found the floorboard in my gaze. “He was just the man I lived with.”

“He did his best to support you.”

“How?” I felt a small twinge of anger behind my words, though I didn’t entirely know who I was angry at. “He wasn’t supporting me, he was supporting his research.” I looked up past Arthur to see the grave where Daniel was buried. “I was just another expense to be paid.”

“But…”

“The moment he got home from work he went right up to his study without even a passing glance. He did not love me, Arthur, I don’t think he could have loved anyone.” Silence fell on the last word, and all that could be heard was the rain for the longest time.

“He loved your mother,” Arthur said, almost in a whisper.

“Well look where that got her…” I said bitterly, then, realizing what I had said, looked at my uncle. The shock on his face tore me open, and he dove right in.

“Simon, believe it or not, everything that your father did he did for you, for her, with nothing but love in his heart,” he asserted. “He did love you,” Arthur reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a manila envelope. “and he left you everything.”

I sat silent, staring at the document. Why would he do that, I wondered as the sound of the rain began to fade outside. Where else would it have gone, I looked to Arthur.

“I won’t stay here and try to convince you that your father was a good man, but I won’t stand by as you let his memory, or at least, your perception of his memory, drag you down.” He opened the door as he was saying this. “You should stay in town for a little while longer until your inheritance is all sorted out. And if you want to talk about things…” His voice trailed off and a cloud of emotion filled the cabin of my vehicle. He rose out of the Bug, closed the door, crossed the rain-darkened street, and was gone.

~ ~ ~

As I stood at the gate of my father’s house, my house, I watched as the remnants of the showers dripped and plinked from the gutters. The muck-ridden canals were new to the Victorian era construct; they extended the slanting, shingled roof by a quarter foot and some were off-kilter with age. The house, however, stood upright and as dignified as its age. I laid a hand on the latch of the wrought iron gate that rose nearly a foot above my head and twisted it open. Behind me, I heard the fluttering of wings as the portal creaked open and I trudged through and up the short path to my former home’s threshold.

The door was tall, far above the standard height of any other home. According to the historians at the university, the family that had this place built brought it over with them from Germany. Some heirloom. I pushed the key into the top latch, and the click carried a foreboding tone. The whole of the house seemed to take a deep breath as I stepped across its threshold, and with it, I let out a deep breath that pushed dust motes across the foyer. I scanned the layout of the once-familiar room, now darkened and buried under books and scraps of loose paper covered in chicken scratch. Such is my inheritance.

In front of me were four paths: to my left, an arcing passage that led to the remnants of the dining room and kitchen, to my right was the parlor. Ahead was a hallway, long and dark, that lead to the back of the house, and halfway down the corridor was a staircase that went up the through the ceiling and turned to the right. Set into the side of the stairs was a door that led to the cellar. All of these locations while different in their orientations on the compass, all shared one thing: each room in the household was completely cluttered with stacks of books and old tomes, papers with my father’s notes and parchments with ancient texts, stone totems, and trinkets. These things held the house in their weight and made the structure bend under the weight of its own ancient spirit.

I was, at first, in shock at how my father’s obsession, his sickness, had spilled out into the rest of the house. In years before he would keep the house tidy for dinner parties with his fellow academics and scholars, parties where he would reveal his latest theories or discoveries within the realm of ancient anthropology. Behind his smiles and glasses of Bordeaux, he hid his madness. I considered him, in my youth to be a madman, bent on some secret discovery, some device that would grant him his heart’s desire. Somedays I believed that wish was to be rid of me.

I hung my coat on the banister and climbed the stairs to the second story of the house, all the while dodging past literary clutter. The upstairs corridor did not escape Daniel’s maelstrom of studies and artifacts. The materials sat in stacks; some almost reached my height. I followed the hall down towards his study, making sure to step lightly so none of the towers fell like Babel. The door to Daniel’s study was set to the left about halfway down the hall. The air in the old house was heavy and cold, and it cut through me like a knife as I stepped into the darkened room.

Of all the cluttered rooms and halls in the house, my father’s study had to have been the worst. Books and scrolls and loose parchments towered high above me towards the vaulted ceiling of the study. There was no order to the structures, they all stood like silent sentinels in their non-Euclidian forms. Directly across from the door was his desk, now my desk. It was a large mahogany, presidential workspace that spanned the niche where it rested. The surface of the desk, unlike the rest of the household, was clean. Even the dust which had layered itself across the artifacts of my father’s house seemed to steer clear of this space.

Upon the desk was a laptop computer, an old one by today’s standards, but not terribly so. I sat in the small wooden chair before the computer and flipped it open. There was no prompt for a password, only the desktop screen which, like the actual desktop, was clear save for two items; the recycling bin shortcut and a file entitled “For Simno”, I looked past the typo and opened the folder. Inside was a video file, “untitled3.wmv”, I opened it and turned on the computer’s speakers. The screen was dark for a moment as it considered the command, then the video began to play.

I didn’t immediately recognize Daniel as he sat down in the desk chair, the same one I was in. Watching him sitting there was like looking into some magical mirror, showing me the past. I leaned in. He was dirty, his shirt and face looked to be covered in soot. His glasses were cracked and his face was long and tired. For a moment he seemed to be staring at himself, almost in the midst of a revelation of something awful, something that scared him. He looked terrified.

“I don’t know how long I have before he wakes up,” Daniel whispered in a panicked voice. “Oh God, what have I done…” He buried his face in his hands as he said this, then realizing his limited time looked into the camera. “Simon, I want you to know that everything I have done I did for us. For her. I studied everything I could, searching for a way to make us whole again but in the end, I’ve only torn us further apart, and now I fear there can be no repair and no hope for this family.

“I needed your blood. You shared her blood, but there was something older in you, in us, and now…” The sound of a door somewhere in the house being closed rang out and Daniel turned towards the portal behind him. Looking back he muttered something. “Strong of mind, weak of will.” He then looked directly into the camera. “Listen, Simon, he won’t know how to access this so I have no fear of him finding this video but you must know,” he shuddered as a familiar voice called out from somewhere in the house. “Curwen Maynell lives. He has stolen a life so that he can continue his ungodly works among man, and it’s my fault. I’m sorry.” He reached into his coat and pulled out a large bottle of pills as the voice called out again.

I watched silently as my father filled his hand with the pills, then swallowed them, then he repeated the action. Someone had begun to bang on the door. On taxed breaths Daniel looked into the camera once more, his broken glasses fogged over and his scraggly cheeks were moist with tears. “I am so sorry Simon, but without me, he will come for you. You are young and healthy and he is old and broken. Do not trust…” The screen went black and I heard the exhaust fan wind down as a blinking light on the computer notified me that its battery was dead.

I looked into the once magical mirror which reflected my father in his final moments. Now it was dark, and I saw only my reflection. I stared into my own eyes as I asked a thousand silent questions. Then, over my reflections shoulder, I saw something. A dark silhouette against the glare of the machine, one that was not my own. Moving closer. Closing in.

The Traveler

Let me start off by saying that this project has absolutely  drained me.

Although it has shown me that I am capable of  creating short illustrations, I think It will be awhile before I even think about starting a new one ( and that’s after I go back and finish editing this one to my standings).

For this project I wanted to step back and do something more serious, whether this was addressing an issue in our society or making a video that really made the viewer think (such as the Lifetime Ban video we watched in class). I eventually came to the idea of making an informational video on what Cystic Fibrosis is, having lost a friend to it around this time last year.
My plan was going to be to interview the family (to give a second-hand insight on what it means to live with CF ) and doctors. Due to personal problems, and after traveling roughly 500 miles to meet the family; I was still not able to sit down with the family over the Thanksgiving holiday.

With no friends to use in my footage and not being able to be in the frame, filming was out of the question. I was running low on time and I came to the idea that I was going to have to do illustration. I played with a few story ideas of what to illustrate and after overthinking it for some hours I finally pushed myself to just go with one. This is the end result.

Problems I encountered:

  • Time constraints after not being able to do my first idea
  • Finding decent text and making it “fit” with the background
  • About half-way through my first roughcut, I realized that the style I had originally gone with was horrible on the eyes when using a series of frames. Meaning I had to go back and redo my 90 frames (Which I later cut down).

 

29 WoWScrnShot_120315_051311

 

 

  • At one point I was using a computer at the Library. I had to leave and did not save my audio to my thumb-drive. Without realizing this I instead saved it to the desktop. When I opened my project up and realized I was missing files, I returned all the way back to the computer at the library. Only then did I realize that the desktop is cleared every time you sign off, meaning I lost about 5 working hours worth of finding/editing audio. 

Programs I used:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Blizzard Model Viewer

 

So I don’t know how to really end this off. I’m happy that I learned the steps on how to do all of this, yet I went through an unnecessary amount of stress and problems. Was this supposed to be a metaphor for life?

By Kendrick


Murderous Clown

About 3 and a half years ago my little brothers made a video on youtube called Murderous Clown (1/2) but they never actually made a part 2.

 

Over Thanksgiving break I was over at my parents house and asked my brothers if they wanted to make a part 2 to their video. Hunter (the clown) was okay with it but thought that the whole video was dumb.  Devin (the kid running from the clown) though was really excited about my idea and was totally up for it.  The only problem though is he wanted to make it serious even though the original video that is flashed in the begging obviously wasn’t serious.  I wanted him to talk more like he did in the first video but he wouldn’t.

Despite some difficulties directing and getting the actors to do what I wanted them and my dog being annoying to I think it turned out pretty good.

The story is about a boy waking up from his house and going out to hunt for some food when he sees the killer clown from 3 years ago passed out.   He thinks the clown is dead but then it gets up and goes after him.  It ends with a flash back of the clown pwning Devin then back to Devin who pwned the clown

Final Project – Le Jelli

 

I had a lot of fun with this project. Finally getting to apply the skills I have learned over the past year, both inside and outside of class, was extremely rewarding. It was also very cool to have the opportunity to poke fun at pretentious art-house films, because that is a style I very much love, but also see the flaws in. I was originally going to create a voice over monologue that would have played throughout the short, but I did not have enough time to write and record one. I also really thought about whether the monologue would have added, or taken away from, the final product. I figured that if the monologue was not recorded with nice equipment it would have made the whole production seem even more amateur than it already is. I firmly believe it is better to create something simple and polished, rather than overreach and create something that looks like crap. That is not to say that my final looks perfect – it has more than a few flaws. I was disappointed with the shakiness of a couple of the ECU shots specifically. All in all I am proud of what I have created, and I am very excited to continue making more stuff.

Moonlit Night- IMA P6

What do I say about this project? It was fun to work on despite the stressful time constraints and I found myself really attached to the characters and wanting to flesh out their stories more. Gosh golly I wanted more time than three minutes but that’s ok. Honestly #1 Dad is my fave thing.

When Derek asked me to help him on this assignment I wasn’t sure what to think since usually I’m the one having to ‘spearhead’ project ideas. But when I read his story outline that this video was based on, I really liked it. Francis and Mizuki have a cute story that will be great once it’s fleshed out more. I liked the drawings Derek did and wish I had only done more justice to them in clean up (line art takes so long like wowy). But you bet your boopy that I got really quick at slapping out frames in photoshop by the end of this. Heck yeah.

In this video we went back and forth on the idea of it being like a trailer for the comic or just a summary of the story. We went with the later and even though we omitted Mizuki’s suicidal episode, I hope you still get an idea of their relationship. I like the idea of having two people care for each other whether they end up romantically together or not. I know what it’s like spending time with very important people and knowing it’s all on borrowed time.

Thanks Derek for letting me help with your children on this project. The whole group effort was a relief and really fun, thanks for the motivation when I wanted to die. We did it ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ (Psssst if you want to redo this for the spring art show I’m up for helping out).

This project gave me a few ideas for some things I know I want to get done for the spring show. I guess expect an animatic/comic for the Jade Project.

Oregon Cannabis Legalization Documentary

I wasn’t really sure what to do for this project, so I looked at the project ideas at the very end of the assignment page and decided to do a short documentary about cannabis legalization in Oregon.

My wife works at The Greener Side, one of the busiest dispensaries in town, so I was able to shoot some video in there one morning before they opened, and get a short interview with the owner, Joseph Hopkins. I also have a medical marijuana card and a grower, so I interviewed him in his growroom.

I interviewed a friend who lived in Coloado in 2012 when recreational cannabis was legalized there, and then he moved here before it was legalized here. He’s been to dispensaries in both those states, and Washington, which are the only states that currently have recreational dispensaries, so I interviewed him, but I could tell soon after I started editing that there was no way I would fit everything I wanted to cover in the three minute time limit, so I never put any of his interview into my edit.

There was another segment I never put into my edit because of the max run time. It was about a local cannabis convention called Ganjacon that happened in October. I didn’t have any video from it, just a few photos, so it was one of the things I was fine cutting. Even without including either of those segments or any kind of conclusion, I still had to go back and shave off four seconds. Fitting the video into the three minute time limit was the most difficult part of this assignment for me.

Sneaking Suspicions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvcgIqdfV_Y&feature=youtu.be

 

I was having trouble coming up with an idea for a video for this project. My husband and I were talking about it and we came up with the idea of someone who feels like they are being followed. Just because your paranoid, doesn’t mean someone is not out to get you right? I didn’t want to make it into a horror piece because I’m not  sure I have enough experience with editing video to scare people yet. (That is definitely something I would love to work up to though.)

The ending was a hard question for me. If I’m not going to scare anyone, then what should I do? The idea I had was that the person following him is just a bored room mate who wanted to mess with him. We all had a lot of fun making the video. My husband is the guy who is being followed, and his best friend is the one following. You don’t think about it before hand, but when you are walking around with a guy in a mask and a camera people do notice you. For the shot I have of Joe walking into the store, we made sure to tell the cashier what was going on and ask if she was okay with it. She was nervous about it and seemed like she didn’t trust us, but she said it was okay. I wanted to be sensitive to her, so I only did the one shot, and left as quickly as I could.

One of my favorite parts of the video is the music. I think it really made the video and helped get across the feelings that the character was experiencing. This was only my second time doing video and it was inspiring. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like doing video, but I think I could get to like it.

“Moonlight Night” – Trailer Coming NEVER

 

“Based on the amazing hit of Derek’s story manga of Moonlight Night. Get those feels ready for a roller coaster ride of a feeling in your heart you won’t forget.”

Basically this video is supposed to be as “if” it were a promotional video trailer to a upcoming series show or movie to come out.

Never have I came close wanting to jokingly die when working on a final’s project. This process was so time consuming for me, because I’m filling in so many 8.5 x 11 papers constantly and working almost everyday on it, the process of how I did it was more difficult then it needed to be. Sometimes I wished just killing the main heroine off right away just to end the story short to save more time, but in a trailer it would totally spoil the upcoming movie.

The story itself if from an old original story I made in 9th grade that I found and changed some things up to fit it as a trailer for my final’s project class. The story is fixated to be a romance comedy, but with a little  bit of dramatic serious moments. Due to time constants, there were many scenes I couldn’t put in, but that would possibly go past the three minute mark. I also wished the drawings were made through line art, but didn’t have time so we did a cheap way of increasing contrast from the scanned drawing and some slight cleaning up with erasing. In addition even without color, putting in some good shading and toning would have been awesome, but again no time.

I asked a week before the due date to collaborate with Jenna and working with her saved a whole lot of time for me on my part. I’m very thankful for the motivation she kept giving me and through out the process we constantly kept pushing each other and wanting to jokingly die together. Anyway I’m somewhat happy with the final outcome in a way with this project. It was a love hate relationship to the project and my story characters.

The Box – By Forrest Emery

I’ll be honest, I thought the final was due next Tuesday, so I did this project in two days, rather than in a week. Unfortunately I turned it in a bit late, however, being in a time crunch really helped me to focus on what exactly I wanted to do with my film. I had an entirely different idea going into this project, but, because of my lack of time, I had to come up with something else. My whole idea was to have a box that the viewer doesn’t get to see inside of. I thought this would provide a natural story element and a bit of intrigue. I started to storyboard and see where I could go with the idea, but I hate doing storyboards more than just about anything so I scratched it and decided to wing it. My friend and I had a blast filming this because I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with it so the whole time we were just throwing ideas out and trying different things. Because of that approach editing was a bit of a nightmare, however, I’m really happy with what I ended up with, especially given my lack of time. My goal was to entertain the viewer with humor, mystery, and good editing, so, hopefully I achieved those things.

Check it out below!