Tag Archives: Cat.

VATAS: Episoud 2

The question I posed in the first VATAS (that was never fully answered, and wouldn’t be for a few more episodes/months) was “What will VATAS be about?”.  For Episode 2, I decided that I would talk about a piece of work from my past, and a piece of work from my (then) present.  Let’s see how it went (SPOILER: Not well):

Episoud 2 on the Henceforth Productions’ YouTube

Two projects in one video is too much, as neither project gets the depth that it could have.  The process for designing the Ice Cream logo has all of the steps there, but it doesn’t have anything about how I came to those steps and why I made the decisions I did.  Meanwhile, Tracy McKnightly is included in its entirety and then never discussed.  So Episoud 2 gets a bit scattered.  Fortunately, it’s saved by a step up in the title work and an interesting drawing session. Episode 3 is when things start picking up, so stay tuned for it.  Or, you can just watch it here.

Powerful Magics

Blood had been shed. Cardboard had been eaten. A War had started. A War for…

A COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.

 

Happy Birthday Murderer” was cruel. I understand that it was a joke, and I’m not saying it was anything too awful, but it was cruel. My reply wouldn’t be another try at aping style. Oh no, HE ATE MY PACKAGE AND NOW HE HAD TO PAY.  And so, for both this reason and because after murder we go into resurrection, I decided to delve into magic for the next installment of the Tape.  I got to work right away, researching alchemy and the famed philosophers stone, said to have such magical properties as giving eternal life.  I would craft a package that would be the philosophers stone, a package that would give the Tape life through the sacrifice of others through Fire, Water, and Wind.  This may not make much sense now, but once you see this taped unpacking perhaps it will:

And what of the contents of the tape?  How do you reply to such a personal attack?  Should I incorporate the theme of Magic? Should I bring back the internet/tape favorite topic of cats?  The answer to all of these questions was “Yes”.  Going off of the four components of the philosopher’s stone, I created four different replies to the tape, each using a separate segment that had been established by tape standards: One would be a direct reply/recreation of Andrew’s cooking of my package with a cooking show with shared friend Ethan Holbrook; another would be a montage/poop of YouTube videos and footage from “16 Heads and Counting”, one of Andrew’s earlier works; the third segment would be all footage that I would shoot for this specific film; the fourth and final component was sound and title work.

But was this enough?  As I said before, simply copying the format and structure of the previous installment of the tape wasn’t going to work.  The flame war had begun, and it was my move.  WHAT WAS THE BEST WAY TO DRAW BLOOD?  Simple: The thing that Andrew destroyed of mine (my work) I would destroy of his. I would pick apart and criticize and do my best to obliterate everything Andrew created.  No, wait… this was too big. Too big, and it would only cycle something as pointless as a comment battle in a chat room. Instead: I would destroy the components of the tape itself. I would turn a critical eye to “Happy Birthday Murderer” and destroy him that way.

Powerful Magics from Andrew Gingerich on Vimeo.

Okay, so not everything was about avenging a cardboard collage.  At the time of crafting “Powerful Magics” I also felt that there wasn’t as much thought in terms of structuring and treating this traveling tape like a letter in “Happy Birthday, Murderer” as I had put into the previous installment of “In Fridge” (I now recognize that this doesn’t matter in the least bit).  But through the discussions and critiques that I included in this video, the focus shifted away from specific parts and more towards the whole concept of The Tape itself: Why were we doing this? What was the point? Is it viewable by anyone else, or does it exist as a mere amusement between myself and Andrew (This comes into great play with the Ghost Critique). I became the jerk who links to scholarly articles in the midst of a comment battle just to prove to everyone that my petty point of view is right and everyone else is wrong SO THERE.

In retrospect, the ideas for making “Powerful Magics” are a bit petty and unfounded, but the video itself is still pretty strong and certainly a great chapter in my work as a whole and my more freeform film making (This was also the video that made me notice that I had a pretty good understanding of Final Cut and editing).  Andrew thought something similar (You can read his exact thoughts HERE), and the film was such a shock that the Tape has been out of circulation for about three and a half years now.  For the longest time I was putting off freeform projects, in hopes that the Tape would come and I’d include everything in the next installment.  But, as the years dragged on until present day, I’ve decided that it’s best to move on.

Perhaps some day the Tape will return, and when it does we will again get entwined in this web… this

COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.

I Got the Poops

This is the story about a Tape. This is the story about A COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.

It begins five years ago in 2008.  I was having a terrible year, what with the collapse of CSF and all, and I never expected to get anything aside from a care package from home in the mail.  I certainly wasn’t prepared for this:

The Enclosure

It was an aluminum harddrive encasement, sealed shut with duct tape.  Inside were thousands of small papers that read “NO”, and another wad of wrapped duct tape hiding a Time Cube diagram. Inside of this wad was a VHS tape. A VHS tape that would become the source of pain, vengeance, and act as a microcosm for the entirety of the internet.

There were also a bunch of sticky notes on top of the encasement. Here are a few.
There were also a bunch of sticky notes on top of the encasement. Here are a few.

This tape was the beginning of a video correspondence between myself and fellow filmmaker Andrew Gingerich, and though I could go into written depth about what was on this video I feel it better to watch it:

I Got the Poops from Andrew Gingerich on Vimeo.

This laid the foundation for the installments to come: A smorgasbord of YouTube cats, our own footage (that would both be shot specifically FOR the Tape and that we had lying around), and Public Domain music, filters, titles, digital artifact, etc.  As I said above: The Tape acts as a microcosm for the internet and its culture.  There’s a lot in this foundational video that’s kind of fun but not really engaging and some recycled meme-ing, but there are also some fantastic parts that are still triumphs (There is some fantastic sound design here that I didn’t really appreciate when I first received the package, and the 8mm footage of people walking on the beach grows into a terrifying tizzy when everyone starts walking IN SYNCH WITH EACH OTHER).

It was a noble effort and an interesting idea, and I didn’t know what to make of it or how to respond.  But I tried. I tried, and tried, and I came up with something.

For more information on the creation of the “I Got the Poops” package, you can read Andrew’s write-up on it here. Stay tuned on the Henceblog for the next chapter of… THE COMPLICATED WEB OF PAPERS AND LIES.

Tracy McKnightly and the Case of the Dead Cat

Because most of the old posts were removed when the site went down, I’ll have to try and get some of the old posts back up.

This mostly means re-posting the links to all of my films on vimeo.  So, we begin with the earliest possible film that I currently have uploaded online: Tracy McKnightly and the Case of the Dead Cat, filmed in the winter of 2005 starring the recurring detective Tracy McKnightly.

Tracy McKnightly and the Case of the Dead Cat from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

There are plenty of issues with The Case of the Dead Cat, from the clear technical issues to the scattered script, but in the end it’s okay.  Not the best of the earliest Henceforth work, but it’s still good to see where I began as a filmmaker.