48: "Downpour"

Getting down to the wire here and need to finish films fast while keeping SOME kind of thread.  I went back to my list of true experiments and tests and picked out this "scratch film".  I remembered I had done rain before in another film using scratches from a dirty film texture I had. But being that that was a ready-made live action clip of film scratches, I couldn't control the scratches themselves.

So I took a thin fabric marker that had run out of ink made scratches on blank pieces of paper.


When scanned, it just looked like a blank white sheet of paper with barely noticable marks:

So I added a Threshold filter, which basically crushes all colors into pure blacks and whites and ramped up the black Levels:

I did about 50 pages worth of scratches in various shapes to look like sheets of rain, ripples, drips and drops, etc:

This is good for a first test.  It's a great, easy and fast way to create analog rain or moving scratch textures without CGI.  If I ever expanded on this technique, I'd want to try a more painterly approach to the coloring as opposed to tinting it overall with one or two colors.

Here are some finished stills from the film:

Thanks for reading!

31: "Bad Bits"

A few years ago, I had an issue with my computer that was concerning enough that I needed to call Apple to resolve it.  Turned out the solution was simple.  All I had to do was unplug the computer from the wall and from the back of the machine and let it sit for a little while.  Then plug everything back in.  The Apple rep explained that the problem was common and that it had to do with the way the power cord was directing the flow of electricity.

"Sometimes you just gotta get rid of the bad bits", he said.

Turns out, this is true when you're creating things as well.  I hit a wall recently and could not remove these images that have been haunting me for months.  Almost every time I set out to make a film, one of these images or bits of sound popped into my head.  They were starting to collect into a bunch that was blocking the creative flow.  Clogged artery.  Heavy traffic.

So instead of trying to eradicate these terrible ideas from existence,  I decided to string them along and make a film out it.  If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?

It's a terrible film.  I'm embarrassed by it.  But I feel it was necessary to make it so I could finally be rid of them once and for all.  It taught me a lesson in not trying to force things.  I was starting to get angry that these bad ideas were at the front, yelling at me, while blocking some good ideas from coming through.  In the past, I had gone wherever the creative winds took me, but I was following good ideas.  Following bad ideas isn't usually a good idea.

So, here they are.  They wanted to see the light of day?  Wish granted.  Happy now?


There was no way in hell I was gonna spend any money on a bad film.  So I did what any thrifty person would do; go to a stock image site and raid their free section:

Since the very first film I made, Eadward Muybridge's motion studies kept popping into my head. 9 months of this now!  So, for fuck's sake, I finally used them:

I also have a hard and fast rule that I don't show human faces unless it's SO incredibly important to do so.  Naturally, when conjuring up ideas, people and faces appear in my head.  It's all we're ever shown.  So I try to refurbish the idea that included a human face or figure into some other metaphor.  This time, I used them all.  Even famous ones!

I did some stupid overlay drawings.  That was a highlight:

This film was not fun to make.  I'm not excited to release it.  I don't want to secretly watch it over and over.  It was a necessary turmoil.  Kind of like when you're holding in a bad shit. You know you gotta let it out eventually and you know it's gonna be a mess.

Anyway...whatever...it was inevitable.  I did it.  It's done.  I'm glad it's over with.

Thanks for putting up with this one :)