Monday, 14 December 2009

Unit 3 Interim feeback

It's probably going to be quite difficult for me to get much feedback, as i'm aware, in terms of visuals there isn't much up, although i will be posting my concept art tomorrow evening.

I have my idea for my essay, and my tableaux vivant thumbs are there albeit a bit blurry.

i do have a goal in my head, and i know what i want to achieve from this unit, so any feedback, any ''kick up the ass'' motivational remarks are welcome Phil, although i am heading in a good direction and have been for a good amount of time now, only a a couple of weeks until i reach my destination!


ok so because of the Halloween remix earlier, i decided to do a crazy dubstep remix of John Carpenters 'the thing'.

its not finished and i know i should have been doing my concept art, but in a way, this is demonstrating to you all that i am capable of sound design etc.

all sounds and drum samples are created by myself. all movie pieces are obviously not mine.

i hope some of you enjoy, and feel free to tell me what to add or take out

ps. the picture is a picture my brother drew which i just think is funny as hell.


I think it is possible, John Carpenter is one of the most talented men the film industry has ever seen. His Hitchcock style of control never ceases to amaze me, and as i said earlier today, other than John Williams' Star Wars soundtrack, it is one of my all time favourites and just screams horror whenever you hear it.
It does upset me to see that some of Carpenters more recent releases, such as 'ghosts of mars' are terrible films at best, but i guess you can't stay on top forever right? The man is a legend, The Thing is one of my favourite movies of all time and to be allowed to watch Halloween in the warm lecture theatre, lights out while it's all cold outside, filled me with that joy we used to get at school, you know, when it was the Christmas holiday week and your maths teacher says
''OK class today we're making Xmas cards!''

Anyway, before i ramble on any more, as Phil said, there isn't much of the uncanny in this film because it is what it is. despite this there are the obvious moments of ''is he there? am i imagining this?'' which to some degree makes the movie.

over the years I've had hundreds upon hundreds of thoughts about this movie, and now that my opinions are of significance, i have sweet FA to say about it.
Nick castle is an abomination of an actor, however, in this movie, no lines and intentional wooden walking make him seem like a god. Kane Hodder, the man behind the hockey mask of Jason Voorhees says on DVD commentary (Friday the 13Th 7: the new blood) that he was inspired by Castles emotionless as a killer and even eliminated grunts from scripts, in other words, Jason is totally and utterly silent no matter what.

Let's go back to the soundtrack (this isn't the most linear review i must say) I'm utterly in love with this composition. Music plays a big part in my life, my brother and I could both read music before words, so therefore you'll understand why i care so much about it. The 10/8 time signature gives it that creepy offbeat syncopation, while the clashing minor chords sit at the back of your fillings on some notes, until the melody comes together at one point. Amazing stuff!
An overseas colleague of mine, composed a contemporary remake of the Halloween theme and in my opinion is the best remake I've heard on the Internet.

The soundtrack, it's done, let's move away from that now Elliot. Unfortunately, there a number of sequels to Halloween, and even more unfortunate is happen to own all of them - with the exception of anything Rob Zombie touched. That man is a fucking dick. sorry, but he ruins everything he touches. If anyone here was unfortunate enough to have seen house of a thousand corpses, then you'll know what i mean. the mans music is terrible, and every movie I've ever seen of his, is just an excuse for gratuitous amounts of sex and violence, and the prat puts his wife in everything he makes. What a pretentious bone head. Let's not even go there.
this rant makes ME want to do a video review too - spoiler alert <

the movie is a genre defining trail blazer. If you haven't seen it, you've at least heard of it, if you haven't heard of it, then you're going to have seen the mask somewhere. countless spoofs, video games and conventions for this film show just how big of a deal it should be. i was shocked to hear some of my fellow classmates say it was their first time seeing it, yet they're all too happy to talk to me about the
Saw franchise (something i have never and will never watch).

I could go on for days about the Halloween franchise, It was a masterpiece, and then one day i saw Bustah Rhymes doing KungFu kicks to Michael Myers, and the magic died.

Long live Slasher movies!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Cancer research lift

If anyone would like to come to this event, feel free to let me know at uni or just leave a comment here.
It's in Dartofrd next saturday, and along with tons of other epic events, i'll be attempting to squat 550lbs. for charity.
it should be a fun day, and if anyone would like to come along, just let me know.

PS. if you can't come but would like to make a donation, again, let me know and that can be arranged. Thanks guys n girls.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Stepford Wives

This was a real shocker to me, I wasn't at all familiar with the story of the film, and had no idea what to expect. In the end, this definitely made it a far more interesting experience, as i thoroughly enjoyed this film.

The undercurrent which was popping at consumerism was very noticeable, and as Phil mentioned, there were dialogues which almost seemed like commercials, another way to pop at consumerism.

this made me very happy, as it links to my essay in some way. George. A. Romero's original Dawn of the Dead, was a very strong stab at consumerism, when the zombies, couldn't even tell apart from ripping the heads off of their loved ones, knew that they had to be in the mall: it was where they needed to be, they didn't know why, they just had to be there,

and to a lesser extent, computer game release: Dead Rising, in where again, the zombies have no reason to be at an abandoned mall, yet endless hordes of the creatures infest every corner.

I was quite shocked at when the main character saw her double. As mentioned, this is said to be a bad omen, a sign of imminent death if you will. although we don't know for sure what happened to her original body, was she killed? was she taken elsewhere? we, get an eerie sense that it doesn't matter.

The most disturbing part of this for me, is the men. what man in his right mind would want this?
it's really weird. The men are so devious and conniving in this movie, i felt ashamed to be one watching it.

look at this vacant stare. imagine coming home to your partner, only to gaze upon an emotionless face for ever. shudder.

I had a very silent walk home after watching this, and the image of the eye-less android wife was flashing in my head constantly. it was very disturbing. although, it has definitely helped me grasp the concept of uncanny. when the android malfunctions, it becomes slightly comical, much like when most uncanny things are revealed.

All in all, the film gets a thumbs up in me, i may follow this up with a more in depth look, I'd like to think a bit more about it first.

Monday, 7 December 2009


James Rolfe, internet celebrity and movie critic finally words my deepest frustrations

tree texture #2

ok so this one went far better, and took less time, reason probably being that it was a more defined image in the first place. Anyway, here are the before offset and after shots as usual.

you can barely tell the difference! :D

i know, i know, this isn't exciting blog material, and don't worry, I won't be posting every texture i decide to buff up, but my last project i posted very little, so i feel the need to post everything to make up for it.

tree texture #1

Now i know this could get confusing but out of all of my concepts that i like, there is going to be some form of bark texture, so i thought i'd knock out a few of them, so i have a nice variety to choose from when it comes time to texture my scene.

this is before offestting

this is after offsetting, this was quite a tricky one, as the tones were all over the place, i actually spent a good hour on this one, and enjoyed it to be honest, i'm actually considering making a video tutorial on how to do it, as i really used every single tip Phil gave me effectively, ALTHOUGH, this was a strongly lit piece initially, so the end result wasn't fab. hey ho, keep on at it

Essay idea

Okay, so i spoke briefly with Phil about this already today, but if anyone else had any input it's always appreciated and returned.

I wanted to talk about the uncanny relationship that director and writer George. A. Romero established with the public when he invented the cannibalistic zombie.

originally zombies known only in voodoo folk lore as Nzambi, were nothing more than trudging trance like beings who were mentally and physically incapable of doing anything.

it was when Romero looked into this and many of mans deepest darkest fears that he eventually invented the flesh eating zombie, which later became the super zombie (the kind we see in films now with super agility, strength and intelligence).

Phil said something interesting, that i should discuss in both ways how a zombie can be both uncanny and then on the other hand not. some films are so point blank, that they blow the uncanny aspect out of the water e.g. Return of the Living Dead (Tarman). if anyone has seen this film, they'll agree, that zombies trudging along with no back story or initial introduction, moaning ''braaaains'', is completely ridiculous and is not uncanny.

this is just ridiculous

however, those who have seen a film such as White zombie (which stars Bela Lugosi, MY ABSOLUTE ALL TIME HERO OF CINEMA, and if you don't know who Bela Lugosi is, please please please check him out....children of the night!) will know that, when a loved one becomes something else, someone else, and are not necessarily parading murderously, it is far more thought provoking and chilling compared to the before mentioned.

so it's going to be a tough one, but i think a bit of research will be in order to make it count. Tom Savini (make up artist for Maniac) also will be a big name in the essay i feel.

now this is what i call a zombie flick!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

part 2

blogger gets funny for some reason every time i want to put a bulk of images up...oh well.
this one is pretty lame, it was the first one i drew, it's literally just the raven perched in a well shadow contrasted room. nothing really exciting. sorry #4 this is where it ends for you.

this one is one of my favourites also. its the window bursting open after the raven has flown in, or perhaps before? anyway, there's going to be a major sense of direction with this one, and some intense lighting will definitely to the trick.

this one is by far the most likely to end up as my final piece, although I'm still debating whether or not to have raven in it, i most probably won't although i reckon i could knock one out in zbrush over the Xmas break. anyway, its from the ravens perspective, and is looking into the fire lit room before entering, it is cold and rainy outside and the trees are blocking some of the image. i like it.

this again is a piece that I'm fond of, however what with the time restraint i have and limited maya skill, i think it would be wise not to use this piece. it is the raven sat above the fireplace with the strong wind blowing everything and the fire to the left although the raven seems unfazed.

I'll be doing a few concept pieces in the week of the ones I'm most likely to use and hopefully Alan can can give me some pointers on how to make it easier for myself. fingers crossed.

tableaux vivant sketches part 1

Firstly, please excuse the poor quality of these thumbs, as i had to photograph them in the end, i'd rather have something up than nothing.
anyway, this piece is from behind a perched raven in a sort of cctv position, it keeps the viewer outside of the picture almost, this was an early idea so i don't think i will e using this one.

this one was a favourite of mine, when in 3d i can see it being extremely atmospheric, i know it's difficult to see here, but it's going to be the dark empty corridor that the student looks down to find nothing but an empty space, broken up by dirty windows letting small pieces of light in. this is a big possibility.

this one is of the open door to the empty corridor. personally it seemed like a good idea before i put it down, and done well it could work out very nicely, it gives a sense of urgency with the books all over the floor and the dense foggy air. i like it personally. however, i think there's a lot going on in terms of a 3d set, and realistically, me and maya don't get on well so probably wouldn't be the best one to do. I'd rather finish a piece well than not at all.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Picked up some good stuff from Phil today, i only managed to get one texture 'thingy' finished, but i've definatly got the hang of it.

this is the offset texture and single panel. quality or what!? you wouldnt even know that half of those bricks are fake.

anyway, quite happy with this little texture. watch this space for more.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

good energy

i've knocked out a few thumbnails which I'm going to upload shortly, but I'm really excited as there are a number that i feel very positively about. I'll upload by tonight hopefully, scanners are shits, but I'll talk a bit more in detail then.
feeling a lot of positive energy about this project

EDIT: i'll have to scan these at uni tomorrow, i genuinely hate printers, scanners and any other form of temperamental tech.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Invaders from mars

In the words of Simon Cowell ''that is the worst thing I've ever seen in my life''. I Don't say this, because I'm a special effects guy, because anyone who knows me knows that I'm old school, heck, Tom Savini changed my life, but this was far too, well, linear for me.

it starts, and then just goes through, theres very little side story, or very little peril aside from the main theme. even at is time of release, critical reception received was average at best.

the film when released in Britain had an alternative ending shot several months after, and Jimmy Hunt, who played young David, had gained a substantial amount of weight. that's just ridiculous, careless film making. if movies before this can stand up stronger, it cannot blame its downfall on lack of technology, because it does have some very elaborate scenes for its time. i think the film, as a whole does not succeed, as it bites off more than it can chew. the ending was far too strung out, the pacing rapidly changes, which is often very difficult to sit through.

despite all of this, and i know I'm sorry if some of you really enjoyed it, it do see why we watched this.
again, the feeling of knowing that someone close to you could change into something so malign, is chilling. there is a constant sense of paranoia, the feeling of broken trust and we get this when young David asks the female doctor ''can i see the back of your neck?''.

I'll admit, when the story ended as a dream, it really was the icing on the cake, it was a new idea? it's still a shit one. HOWEVER, when the ship began to land again and the story began to retell, i was quite intrigued, the whole dream in a dream nightmare scenario made me think.

to be honest, i don't have much to say about this film, a lot of my opinion is negative unfortunately, i would love to have enjoyed it, but compared to something like the original 'the thing', it doesn't stand a chance.

this is what I'm talking about, this is how you take over someones body!

The Raven E.A. Poe (idea for tableaux vivant)

I'm sure we're all familiar with this poem in some sort of way, whether it be the Simpson's parody or the poem itself, it is a very successful, eerie piece by Poe, and undoubtedly his most famous.

for those of you who aren't familiar with the poem, it is a narrative piece following a supposedly 'talking' raven, who follows a distraught lover who has come to part with his other half, and it is this raven that further intensifies the 'students' slow decent into madness by supposedly saying nothing more than: nevermore.

it begins with the man reading an item to help ease his suffering, when he hears rattling at the window, upon opening it a raven flys in and perches in his room. the man asks the raven his name only to be told 'nevermore'. upon many a question the bird answers the same, and the student eventually comes to the conclusion that the bird was taught this word by an unhappy master.
as the poem progresses, the air seems to become denser, and the student feels the presence of angels. he becomes confused as to what the bird is doing there, what is his connection with the angels and mist, and this angers him into yelling at the raven only to be told 'nevermore'.

an interesting accusation he makes is calling the raven a prophet. to me, this crucial, as it lets the reader think that the bird could be bringing some kind of 'energy' or 'force' or 'message' with it, without being to precise.
the student tries to get the raven to move, but nevermore shall it.
it is in the end that he admits his soul is that of the ravens, it's cast under its shadow and his soul shall move nevermore.

now, i', not here to explain a million and one meanings, but what i will say, is that illustratively, the poem has a lot of moments that in still, could be caught as tableaux vivant. there are several moments, such as the denser air, the 'presence' of angels and so on that could be caught beautifully, as they suggest something could occur, or has.
I'll draw up some thumbnails and upload tonight with any luck.
Phil...if I've totally missed the box with this one, let me know. i thought, it would be a nice carry on from the last project almost.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


OK, this one is either a very straight forward definition, or so discreet that i missed it.
when trying to discover what it means and its relevance to my Tableaux vivant, i came across the word 'paradox' several times.
it came up as a synonym on one site. a paradox is a self contradictory statement, Abraham wolfs example being a man that admits to being a liar, is not, therefore this his statement is a paradox, it can only be true if it is false, vice versa.

what i could get from aporia was that it is something that 'seems' to be unsolvable, unable to be grasped or conquered, yet can be.

Socrates, through elenctic testing, the testing between subjects via debate with opposing viewpoints of an examined concept, had his his subject, after many failed attempts, admit he had no idea what he was talking about, admitting aporia.

...i'm going to sleep on this one before i cap it off, i think looking at it with fresh eyes could be the trick.
i really hope i'm doing myself a favour with these brain teasers.


first off, I'd just like to say, i thought i had the project sussed when this word came up, and mild visions of me choking on food as a child were brought back to me. i guess i was wrong.


what does it mean? i could easily copy and paste some jargon form wikipedia, but how is that going to help any of us? I've been doing some reading this evening, and i've even asked a few people who i thought may have an idea, however, I'm afraid to report, this still seems like a hazy subject.

ambiguity, i get, its the feeling of pre-completion, its not sparse, its not empty, its there but finding it is the task, its not given directly to you. i can understand the definition, and i can find an ambiguous source i.e. Andy Warhol's transgender images, seem to have an obvious sense of ambiguity to them, they have several different meanings, the subject itself goes both ways in a sense.
however, studying the meaning of uncanny is a lot more perplexing to me. when Phil shot down Chucky as not being uncanny, i became confused. he is a familiar item, that has changed? how is that not uncanny?

there's a lot of talk about Ridley Scott's Alien holding a similar theme known as 'ABJECTION' . The almost blatant driving force of a 'female' the Phallic alien creatures, mothers laying eggs and the face huggers distinct graphic look all add to the reason why many reviewers look into this.
when the first male is impregnated by the face hugger, we are shown someone, with no child baring capabilities all of a sudden taking on this role (albeit unknowingly) and is then gruesomely killed due to it, this is one of the most obvious abjectifications of women in the movie.

i feel looking into this, could lead me to clearer understanding of uncanny. I'll update with more