29: "Flea Circus"

Oh man...everyone is in SUCH an outrage!  Everywhere you turn, someone is up in arms about something they didn't know anything about until it was brought to their attention and were told that it didn't line up with their convictions.  The funny part is, though, there is a complete opposite side to each outrage.  Where the matter at hand DOES line up with the convictions of a certain group.  So naturally that group thinks their right.  And the other opposing group thinks they're right too. And then they fight and argue and try to change each others minds (hahaha good luck with that).

Here's a picture example I saw in an article about how the media in the digital age feeds our fears (and our algorithms) to keep you outraged so you'll click the link and help them make a profit.

Poor Bob. No, fuck Bob! No, I said POOR BOB GOD DAMMIT!

Maybe this is something we know and are aware of as a species? Maybe not? I don't even know anymore. People never cease to amaze the shit out of me with the spewing of hot molten vitriol over the pettiest shit.

I keep going back to the example of when Ebola was going to kill everyone!  Very conveniently, that Ebola scare happened during the mid-term elections of Obama's second presidential term.  His opposition did their very best to tie the bungling of the Ebola outbreak to Obama and the Democrats.  As if that has ANYTHING TO FUCKIN' DO WITH EBOLA.  But...somehow...it did!  And whether it worked or not, whether they were right or not, didn't matter.  You know what does matter? That immediately after that election, we never heard of Ebola virus again.  Like magic, it was gone. This is the power of the unseen force placing steaming shit nuggets for you to devour. Control and distraction. That's the name of the game.

I think the major point here is to recognize that most of this stuff really doesn't matter. Lots of it is very petty. You can make a difference in the world, and maybe even change people's minds, by actively helping the situation that bothers you. Putting yourself in the line of fire. Not just shouting about it all the time. The media, nor the dominators, will tell you that though. They can't and won't give that to you. So, instead, they give you Joel Osteen not opening his church to flood victims, Twitter fights, the Casey Anthony trail, the amounts of times Donald Trump has golfed versus the amount of times Barack Obama has golfed.  And, of course, Fox News gives you tits and bikinis.  One big steaming pile of shit that we're all devouring while the real problems in the world have yet to be solved.  We're just never gonna get anywhere like this.

I don't know.  Whatever.  It's all about money and control and power anyway.  Go hug your kids.  Hang out with friends.  Laugh.  Cry.  Do something selfless.  Those are the only things that count.


I wanted to take an analog approach with this but I just didn't have enough time to make that happen.  So instead I turned to a tool that most animators have in their digital toolbox, Trapcode Particular.  It's a particle generator and animators use it to create things like sparks, fireworks, fairy dust, etc. You can control how many particles are born, where they're born from, how long they live, how they react to wind, gravity and other physics.

The thing with particle generators, though, is that some of the behavior of those particles are randomized and hard to control.  So it was a challenge for me to create this field of "fleas" using Particular.  They had to be spread out and animate as if they were stressed.  And then all come together to a fixed shape (the shit nugget).  The end result wasn't EXACTLY what I wanted, but it definitely did the trick.

All of these little black dots are "particles" (in this case they are small black spheres), that were born from a center point and spread out far enough that your eye doesn't notice the center point from which they are born. I blasted the life of these particles up to something like 350 seconds.  That is to ensure that they won't randomly disappear (or die...that's the technical term haha).

Aside from the boring technical jargon, it's important to note that I sort of made this film up as I went along.  My original intentions were just to have the fleas devouring each shit nugget to circus music and then just have that loop constantly.  Then loop the whole film.  But I liked adding this extreme perspective shift.  It brought in a new conceptual layer.  An "aha" moment.

I like for my films to be good but it's more important to me that they are solid and are rooted in a point of view.  A moral, if you will.  Or else, it's just a bunch of fleas eating a piece of shit over and over.

OK...rant complete.  Thanks for reading...go watch "FLEA CIRCUS".  And then go be excellent to each other.