FILM 04: "Freedom From Fear"

In 1941, FDR did a State of the Union speech that we now know as "The Four Freedoms" speech.  He spewed the bullshit deftly as he spoke about "a world founded upon four essential freedoms." These are, according to ol' Frankie, the Freedoms of Speech & Worship and Freedoms from Want & Fear.  These were meant to either reinforce or expand upon the original bullshit story of Unalienable Rights we see in the Declaration of Independence.

But it's this fourth one that really speaks to me...Freedom from Fear.  FDR describes it as: "a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physicial aggression against any neighbor - anywhere in the world."  In layman's terms, take the guns and bombs away and no one can attack anyone.

If FDR were to peer into a crystal ball in 1941, to 2017, he would see no such reduction of armaments.  Actually he'd see a considerable growth.  Not just in numbers of actual weapons available to the masses, but a growth of the fetish for "bearing arms" as well.  And that's just in this country alone. (I don't dare speak for the rest of the world.  We haven't learned how to look after one another in this country yet.)

This speech's bottom line was that it was a pitch to go to war.  Maybe it's just me...but it seems pretty hypocritical when a call to arms includes a major point about a reduction of arms.  But it was certainly a call to arms and to get The People to back the idea, Uncle Sam employed good ol' beloved illustrator Norman Rockwell to help sell it.

Below are Rockwell's "Four Freedoms".  Some of which are his most recognizable works.  Look at all those white people who had the luxury of these freedoms!

They became some of the finest examples of weapons of mass communication.  Both "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of Worship" included this piece of advertising at the bottom:

 

Here's the "Freedom from Fear" piece as it appeared in the Saturday Evening Post:

"OURS...to fight for".  Yes, for sure.  No one wants themselves or their loved ones in harm's way.  They don't want to be sitting in a movie theatre, a high school library, a college classroom, a first-grade classroom, a nightclub, the workplace, a restaurant or the finish line at a marathon and have to worry about a COWARD showing up and surprising them with mass murder.

But in the world we live in, those things actually happen.  With every surprise mass murder I, for one, have become more and more leery of where I'm going...and will I be killed by surprise while I'm there?  I live in New York City, a major target.  Of course, I don't have high anxiety every time I step on the train or some other crowded place.  But it certainly is in the back of my mind how easy it would be for a COWARD to do away with unsuspecting folks with their guard down.  One thing I can't imagine is the terror those students, teachers, patrons, movie-goers, club-goers and spectators felt when the COWARD arrived.

Also, to be fair, no one wants their armaments taken away from them.  Especially folks who are responsible and respectful and private with said armaments.  There are many, many people in this country who own guns, have respect for their guns and treat them with care.  I respect that they respect it.  I respect that some families shoot guns as a means of family bonding.  Or just simply enjoy hunting as a hobby.  It's not my place to judge.  I grew up with guns in my house and learned to respect them.  And the reality is that everyone in this country has the right to have one.  And use it when necessary.  Like it or not, cemeteries like Arlington are packed with soldiers who lost their lives fighting for this right (amongst many others).

So with this film I offer a new "Freedom from Fear".  The point is that our carefree existence has been flushed down the proverbial toilet and has been replaced with mass murder by surprise as a normalcy.  And it's not like the threat is coming from an outside "neighbor", as FDR put it.  It's from the inside.  Inside neighbors.  Actual neighbors.  American neighbors.  Ones that have access to military grade assault weapons designed to remove the entire top of someone's skull.

If you disagree, I really wish I could have even a fraction of an ounce of your naiveté.

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Not so much to report here as far as HOW this was done.  It might be interesting (or laughable) to note to other animators that I did this with Ray Trace 3D in After Effects.  To those who don't know what the fuck that means, I drew shapes in an illustration software (Adobe Illustrator) and then added volume and lighting in an animation software typically not used for 3D animation (Adobe After Effects).

Since there were lots of elements to deal with (10 bullets, 1 hand gun, 1 revolver chamber, 1 spring and a scope) I went though several iterations in the design process to get a recognizable version of the Statue of Liberty.  All iterations are below in order:

After I figured out the design and camera angle, it took me 5 days to animate this.  3D animation is heavy on the computer.  On some occasions, I had to wait about 20-30 minutes just to see the animation at full resolution.  Then do a few tweaks.  Then wait another 20-30 minutes to see the tweak in it's full glory.

As far as style, I wanted this to be stark.  Originally I had this in a high contrast black and white:

Then I tried blood red but for some reason I wasn't feelin' it:

So I settled on Statue of Liberty green.  I thought this oxidized copper tone made the most sense:

A final note...I did not record the sound effects heard in the film.  They were all purchased from a sound effects site.  If I ever find out how they got those diarrhea sounds, I'll let you know here ;)

Click here to WATCH "FREEDOM FROM FEAR".