Tag Archives: Emptiness

The 10 Favorite Books

Once again, I find myself in a predicament.  Someone has asked me to send them my favorite book, and as we all know I have problems with choosing a favorite anything.  But I can at least narrow down my list to 10 Favorite Books.  So without any further ado, here they are:

  • House of Leaves: A creeping and mysterious tale that got a lot of people interested when it was published in 2000 because of its experimental formatting.  This could have easily become a gimmick, if it weren’t for the fact that every colored word and blank page, every page-long footnote, every chunk of sticky-note sized text is all adding to the character’s psyche and the mood of the piece.  I have yet to read more Danielewski, but his first novel was more than captivating.
  • Ubik: Another first, this time the first P.K. Dick story I read.  A strangely twisting tale that instantly captivated me and painted a world of immensely imaginative science fiction.  Like with many of Dick’s works we begin with a captivating science fiction concept (Extra-sensory powers), and from there go down a rabbit hole where the reader begins to question the very fabric of reality within the book itself.
  • If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler: A book completely about reading, which makes it simultaneously a brilliant written work and the singular book I would love to adapt into a movie.  Another work which includes a central idea which could become a gimmick if every time the story switched and every time The Reader (both protagonist and yourself) begins again the central idea and conceit of the book becomes clearer and clearer.
  • Crime and Punishment: An exploration of guilt, conscience, and most interesting (for me anyway) obsession.  Dostoevsky is able to write a profoundly fascinating tale which includes many scenes where protagonist Raskolnikov is just walking through streets named K or N.  Also, Porfiry Petrovich, the police detective intent on proving Raskolnikov’s guilt, is one of my all-time favorite literary characters and his interrogation scene where he slowly goes mad is an absolute work of art.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: My Mother read to my Sister and I almost every night growing up.  We would have a story time, where she’d read from a book we didn’t yet have the capacity to do ourselves, and we would listen and marvel for an about an hour then go to bed and have wonderful dreams.  She read the entirety of The Wrinkle in Time series to us, and the most memorable part for me (which technically comes in a later book) may also be what got me first fascinated with the idea of parallel universes.  The book itself is also a brilliant science fiction adventure story bringing in questions of angels, time travel, alternate universes, and dimensions beyond time.  Though it’s true that a lot of why this book is on my 10 List is because of the memories surrounding it, the memories accumulate around this one for a very good reason.
  • Fahrenheit 451: Another book about books and reading, and one of the few instances where the book is adapted into a pretty great movie.  It shows the both the power of the written word as a means of expression and culture and travel and passion, but more importantly it’s a book about the power of ideas and what happens to a world when there is no more expression and a government goes too far out of its way to repress The Idea.  If this book were simply about the rise of television and radio and how it will rot a person’s brain, I don’t think it would be as lasting and as adaptable as it most certainly is.
  • The Stranger: A guiding philosophical force for me, though I was already familiar with The Myth of Sisyphus, Absurdism, and Existentialism before this (though The Stranger isn’t Existentialist, Camus’ philosophy of the Absurd is markedly different in a few incredibly important ways, mostly: The Point is to Live).  The Stranger touches on many of the points of Camus’ philosophy while being much more digestible and simple than his essays.  Through the protagonist of Mersault, who is an ultimate book protagonist in that he has no wants outside of what external forces demand of him be it society or others’ expectations, the reader is able to understand the absurdity of living for expectations outside of your own and existing for no other reason than to serve a society which itself is absurd.
  • Doom Patrol: The Painting that Ate Paris: I haven’t read many comic books (or graphic novels.  There’s a difference between the two, though I’m not sure what it is and which Doom Patrol falls into.  Probably Comic Books), but I have read all of Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol and it is fantastic.  It’s this compilation that really gets into the heart of how imaginatively insane Morrison’s Doom Patrol was and just what, exactly, being the supergroup “tasked with protecting the fabric of reality itself” meant.  It also helps that this is the compilation that introduces my favorite villain team Mr. Nobody and his Brotherhood of Dada.
  • Animalia: One of the most important books of my childhood, which brought me so much joy seeing it again as an adult at the Albuquerque Zoo that I just had to buy it so I could look over each illustrated letter over and over again.  Animalia feeds into almost all of my obsessions that have been with me throughout my life: Words, Animals, and true-to-life animals wearing silly hats.
  • Timeline: This was my favorite book in Jr. High School, and even though it wasn’t my first Crichton book (that was Congo, I believe), it’s the one that sticks out in my mind.  It continued my ongoing fascination with time travel and science fiction, and it was the first book I read to approach science fiction with a more measured and scientific look.  Outside of the world of memory, it remains an interesting story of causality and time, and a neat medieval adventure story as well.  Is it the best of Crichton’s works?  Probably not.  That might be Sphere.  Timeline also has the distinction of being the work that I was most monumentally disappointed in when it was adapted into a movie.  The movie is absolute garbage and shouldn’t be watched by any means.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • American Psycho
  • Naked Lunch
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Cat’s Cradle
  • The Metamorphosis (by Franz Kafka)
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Les Miserables
  • The Magicians
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Lorax

Grand Island 07-05-15

 

I’m beginning to move into more exploration with my bends than the bending itself, this Grand Island glitch of a crab being an exploration of bending each color (RGB) separately.  The result is a fascinating bit that evokes a haunted security tape, that by glimpsing this crab on the beach we’ve somehow glimpsed into an extra-dimensional rift that’s destroying the fabric of reality itself.  The smattering of this reality boundary continues to be the thing I’m most interested with in these bends, and it’s something I hope to continue to explore.

The only regret that I have with this bend is that with all of the ensuing pixels, rainbow shatters, and freezes that the footage of the crab itself gets a bit lost.  With most of my other footage this doesn’t matter too much, as the footage for these bends is much like the footage for any other film, merely a tool for exploration and (in more narrative works).  The main difference for this ghost crab then is that I liked the little guy, I thought he was pretty cute.

Bonne Terre Mines 5/30/14

So this is a data bend from a while ago, but currently the last one I have finished.  It’s from the Bonne Terre Mines in Missouri, the largest man-made underground cave structures (although most of the mines are now underwater).  Back in the day they were lead mines.  Now they’re a tourist attraction. And now it’s also a data bend:

 

Even for a series of experiments, this one is much more abstract than some of the others (due in large part because, surprise surprise, there’s not a lot of light underground).  The shimmering and jumping effect, then, becomes even more noticed, as does each extra pixel and splash of “missing green”.  I like it.  I’m also a big fan of the cameo of my brother-in-law Hector at the end as he turns around and is almost stuck in a pixelized time loop.  It’s like a monster from a J-Horror movie about a monster that attacks video pirates.

I’m Tired and My Head Hurts

Here’s a seldom seen one from my time in Boulder.  Part of that is because I’ve never thought very highly of it, part of it is because it’s completely made up of copyrighted material that I don’t necessarily want to break the copyright on. At any rate, it’s a “Film Essay” that I made about the themes of loneliness and alienation in “Meshes of the Afternoon”, “The Cool World”, “Ornette: Made in America”, and “Jeanne Dielmann 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles”.  Let’s take a look at it and see if I’m right about it being sort of boring:

I’m Tired and My Head Hurts from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

No I’m not.  The disjointed nature of the film not only helps keep something like this interesting (I had never heard of film essays before, since then I’ve seen a few and so I know it’s a thing and something that could be sort of neat), but it also helps convey a lot of the ideas on these films and how they can connect visually and metaphorically in a scattered but understandable approach.  Outside of the realm of Video Essay, though, I also think that if nothing else this is a good study on alienation through information, as I included so many layers of video, audio, and text, that it overwhelms the viewer when they can’t keep up with everything (plus, the minute in complete blackness is a nice touch).  So in the end, I suppose I learned today that one of the films I had previously thought was pointless is actually sort of nice.  What did you learn today?

Shrimpocalypse!

I had to make a video exploring the post-apocalyptic landscape.  It also had to have something to do with zombies, maybe?  To top it all off, I was in Boulder with limited resources (I wasn’t an upperclassman, even though I was, and so I didn’t have access to good equipment.  Thanks, University) and I didn’t know many actors around Boulder.  What was I to do? What could I do?  I could create an apocalypse of images. An apocalypse of sound. An apocalypse of Shrimp.

Shrimpocalypse! from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

This is still surprisingly powerful.  It’s connection to the Katrina tragedies (Both before and after the levees broke), it’s connection to the feeling of encroaching doom I had recently experienced (and anyone feels when they’re facing their personal apocalypses), and this is all tied together through image (Mostly photos of water damage acquired through the Wikimedia Commons) and Andrew’s reading which is both simmering in rage and resigned to doom.  I do think the narration and the film goes on a bit too long, and we don’t need much explanation for why or how this happened (also, I don’t think many of us would know or care why the world had ended).  Still, though, I’d say this is another strong entry in the Henceforth filmography.

Clean Garage

It’s strange how often the pieces that were Plan B’s ended up being pieces that I’ve either become known for or have really embraced as personal favorites.  My Name is Ward Armstrong and I Travel Through Time was a bit of a plan B project (and now it’s one of my most popular works) and Clean Garage, embedded below, was a Plan B and it’s one of my favorites.  I can’t remember what the Plan A was or what the exact nature of the assignment was, but basically one afternoon I got together a small crew and one actress and we made ended up making this.

Clean Garage from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

I see Clean Garage as one of my unsung classics. It’s got loneliness, claustrophobia, a bit of wackiness, and a some sort of Polish theme song.  I feel it’s a bit difficult to know exactly what’s going on (I chalk that up to not getting enough footage or definition on the little chunk of gum attached to the wires), but the obsession and the confining emptiness of the space really work to create on heck of an eerie atmosphere.  This atmosphere is, of course, thrown in contrast with what might be my most playful title sequence yet which results in an odd and wonderful bit of cognitive dissonance.  Also, as opposed to a whole lot of my other films, the sound mix here isn’t too low or too overpowering (I would say that this is thanks to us shooting in an almost entirely empty garage).  What about you, internet-land? What are your feelings on Clean Garage?  Do you know that’s a piece of gum on the wires? Do you believe that she isn’t able to reach it? WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE PLANNING ON DOING TO THOSE RECEIPTS?

100 SpooOooOOOooky Things

1. On a dark night in a carriage going across a remote mountain range in eastern Europe there is a scratching at the door. You had heard a strange monster inhabits these parts, but those are just superstitions, right? “Rat-a-tat” goes the scratching in return, accompanied with a cluster of nervous bubbles that begin popping in your stomach.
2. Spiders
3. Barracudas

4. You ask for the carriage to stop and ask the driver about the scratching. “Little English” says the driver before patting the horses “Good horses”.  You nod: It was just a tree. You’re working yourself up too much.  That, of course, doesn’t explain this deep feeling that not only are you being watched, but that you can almost make out the smiling face of your assailant in the forest.
5. Bumblebees: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
6. The Rhinoceros that just can’t stop laughing
7. Gangrene
8. Eyes.

9. The carriage has stopped at an inn for the night. The scratching has followed you.  In your room you brush your teeth and get ready to sleep: It’s a tad early, but you and the carriage driver head out early in the morning.  You lean down to spit, and look back into the mirror.  There, standing behind you, is a cloaked figure with a bleeding club. “The driver is dead. There is no escape. You belong to us now” the figure says before knocking you over the head. You descend into blackness.
10. The look of absolute disapproval when you tell your extended family “I make movies for a living”.
11. Home invasions by people wearing lifelike animal masks.
12. Lifelike animal masks.
13. The liquefaction of your insides.
14. The Dark
15. Paintings of children

16. You awake, tied to a table with your head strapped in.  Somewhere just outside of your field of vision comes the sound of a record skipping, far off in the distance is the sound of an air raid siren.  Directly above you is a peeling picture of a wide-eyed smiling ape holding a cup of coffee.  A gelatinous mixture drips slowly onto your forehead, you know full well that soon this mixture will drip into your eyes and it will sting. Oh how it will sting. The record almost plays something: It sounded like your name and a gunshot.
17.The sound of a dying cat.
18. Precious Moments Figurines: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
19. The many-toothed mouth of a lamprey.
20. The morning you wake up and realize that you’ve become everything you’ve ever hated.
21. Teddy Bears
22. Disembodied hands
24. A hen bathing in lamb’s blood

25. More paint peels form the picture above you. You don’t know how much time has passed, but the ooze has already started to flow into your eyes. It hurts more than you expected. The door to your chamber creaks open. A cloaked figure (A different one from the one who knocked you out. This one’s shorter) walks into the room. It hovers above you for a moment, watching you; observing you. Light creeps through the hood, and you’re able to see some of its face: Peeling skin, sharpened teeth, the works. The worst part is its smile, its near ever-present smile.  You start to ask the figure something (perhaps yell, you haven’t decided which yet), but the figure presses a hand over your mouth. The hand smells like moldy blankets. The figure leaves its hand on your mouth for too long. Your breathing slows. You black out.
26. A lamb bathing in chicken’s blood
27. The farmhouse of the dead
28. Low light conditions, fog, and a mysterious drone coming from somewhere.
29. Marionettes
30. The knowledge that you are but a small cog in the infinite and meaningless machine of the universe. Worse still, you’re not even an important cog.
31. The face of a flounder
32. Furbies: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
33. G-G-G-G-Ghosts!
34. A Goat’s Eye
35. Leftover food that’s still stuck on a plate after its come out of the wash.

36. Falling. You feel as though you’re falling through an endless black void.  You think your eyes are open, but there’s nothing around. No peeling ape, no cloaked figure, nothing.  Your head spins. You try to breathe but all you smell is moldy blankets. You start to cough, but you can’t hear it. You try to scream, but nothing comes out. You scream and scream again, but not a sound can be heard.You feel yourself gasp for air. You feel your lungs grasp for air. You feel a metal enclosure push down on you, trapping you.
37. Nightstalkers
38. Clowns
39. Snake heads
40. One day you will be forgotten, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
41. Small screaming monkey-rodents gripping onto your leg with their terrible claws.
42. Red, squinty eyes and sharp teeth.
43. Giygas.
44. Young Adult Vampire Fictions:  THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE
45. Deep sea fish
46. Parasitic worms
47. A million tiny papercuts!
48. Rusty dentist drills

49. Your clothes stick to you with sweat. You’ve lost track of time, you’ve even lost track of your own mind. Finally, the metal box is opened. You’re alone in a large banquet hall: Just you, a large table of food, and a great stone ogre with glistening ruby eyes.  You’d wonder how the box opened, but instead you eat. You eat and eat and eat, shoving as much food into your mouth as possible.  Tastes don’t matter, the fire that’s slowly spreading over the room doesn’t matter, all that matters is shoving as much food into your mouth as you possibly can.  After what seems to be a lifetime of eating, you gaze up at the stone ogre. It’s ruby eyes bore into you, it’s stone mouth gradually morphs into a hideous smile. You sweat, you panic, you see that the room is on fire and that there is no escape. The flames glisten in the ruby eyes. Your stomach starts to hurt, and you realize that there’s no way out of this. You lie on the floor and wait for the flames to eat you.
50. Your children will never appreciate all you’ve done for them until it’s too late.
51. Vampire Mummies! Oh No!
52. Vampire Squids! Oh No!
53. Eyeless toads
54. Narrow hallways without any doors
55. Faceless names
56. Rotting pumpkin heads
57. Maggots
58. Clowns
59. The Krampus
60. Modern medicine will keep you alive long enough for your brain to turn into mush.
61. Ghost Popsicle!
62. Flaming shrews
63. Moldy peaches

64. Cold water. You hope it’s water, anyway.  You open your eyes and find yourself in a doctor’s office.  Antiquated charts of human anatomy decorate the walls, and one of the cloaked figures  examines your medical chart (it’s also wearing a stethoscope, thank God). The figure looks up “Oh good, we weren’t sure if you’d make it and we’ve spent so long looking for you”. You open your mouth and realize that you’ve forgotten how to speak. Instead you let out a dry moan.  The cloaked figure walks closer, the smell of blankets again invades your brain.  “We need your blood. It’s not for us, though, it’s for the awakening of Garothe. And I’m happy to say that your blood will be perfectly healthy for it.  Your skin’s mostly gone, and we’v head to restrain you again, but your blood will be perfect”.  The figure winks at you and leaves you alone in the office.  You turn your head and look at a jar of pickled eyeballs. You try to sit up, but the leather belts of your restraints dig into crispy shell that used to be your skin. Searing, blinding pain takes over. You let out another dry moan and stare at the eyeballs.
65. Parasitic worms
66. Sticking your hand into a vat of jiggling jelly
67. Old purple drapes with teal polka dots.
68. Bratz Dolls: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
69. Sewer mutants
70. Credit card debt
71. Frozen bodies
72. Baby Pigeons (Look it up)
73. Insects burrowing in and out of your skin.
74. Loud thuds
75. Crowds
76. Spiked walls slowly closing in
77. Body-snatching plant pods
78. The noise Donald Sutherland makes in the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers
79. Microscopic lake organisms
80. People who are important to you will die, but no one around you will seem to care.

81. The tickling of the flies wakes you up. You’re back in the feast room, which hasn’t been cleaned out since you passed out.  What food wasn’t burnt in the fire (and even some of the burnt food) has layers of mold growing on it.  Your eyes meet the great stone ogre. This must be Garothe, you think. You try to stand, pain shoots through your legs. You fall on your back, only bringing forth more pain.  And still, the flies buzz away. You start to gain more consciousness as the stress from food, fire, and kidnapping begins to wear off.  You notices a tube leading from the blackened husk that was your arm straight into the cavernous mouth of Garothe. Your blood slowly drips into the ogre-demon’s mouth, and it’s all too happy to gobble it all up.  You try to take the tube out, but your hands have been been fused shut due to fire and spider’s webs.  Even if you could open your fingers, the tube itself has been fused to your skin.  Your head feels weak, but your eyes stay open: Locked onto the gaping mouth of Garothe as all of your blood is drained into its great stone stomach. You notice a crowd of the hooded mutants around you now, they begin chanting and throwing handfulls of salt at you. This is either to spice your flesh for the monster you’re about to set loose, or just another in a long line of tortures.
82. Dunkleosteus Terelli
83. Crocodile smiles
84. I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
85. Ticks
86. Footsteps that you aren’t sure are real.
87. Nothingness
88. The popularity of Vince Vaughn: IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
89. Haunted Jukeboxes
90. When you realize that your heroes and mentors are awful, terrible people.
91. Proterozoic Monsters
92. The slow march of hot lava
93. Old mansions
94. Decaying statues
95. Fish bites
96. Fly stings
97. Festering pits
98. Ant lions
99. A beast with the head of a chicken, legs of a spider, and wings of a skeleton crow. We’ll call it “The Skelenid Fowl”.

100. Garothe’s ruby eyes let loose a stream of light. It’s mouth slowly clenches down on the tube of your blood. Your eyes stay open, though you can hardly muster any energy left. The stone paws of the great best move right towards you.  The hooded figures chant and scream and cheer as Garothe bends down to sniff you. It opens its terrible mouth letting loose a breathe that smells like rotten eggs and burnt toast.  As the great stone jaws of this infernal beast close around you, and you feel as your bones are slowly crushed, you realize that all of the time you’ve spent being locked and tortured and beaten in by this satanic mutant cult you probably would have wasted reading useless articles on the internet anyways.

Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be

Here’s a rather obscure one from my time at CU Boulder.  We were to explore a place through video, and I decided to do an old abandoned pool (although it may not have been abandoned, only out of season).  The result is an eerie exploration of a space outside of its purpose that is filled with sadness and a playful energy. It also ended up being a bit of a precursor to a lot of my experimental work, and you can see bits and pieces of “No!”, “Powerful Magics” and even a little of “In Fridge” spread throughout.

Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

I always feel like this is one of my more underrated works.  Its not perfect by any means, and I feel like in a few places I could have used some more aggressive editing .  However the balance between play and melancholy not only captures the feeling of the old pool perfectly, it also communicates a lot of what I was going through during the time of this piece’s creation.  I also think the sound (though some bridges needed to be fixed) adds another layer to help the viewer get fully immersed in the place, and a lot of the visual effects that I played with helped tie together the surreal nature of where I was filming (and the overlay of the zoom shot is still pretty damn cool, even three years of craft-honing later).

The Babel Project

As the seven readers I had before the Henceblog reboot know, I worked as the art director on two student senior theses before I left Santa Fe.  The later of the two was called “The Babel PRoject”, a sci-fi film about a future where people can download information directly into their brains, thus causing the downfall of language and the commodification of information. Well, that’s the world the film’s set in, the actual film itself is about a mind-erasing conspiracy at a research company, but for me it was all about the creation of the info-filled dystopia.  So let’s dive head first into it.

The main art direction for this film was to create a number of large infographic posters that would be featured throughout hallways and on walls.  These posters were about everything from the functionality of walls to the history of Tungsten to the reason why information must be hoarded and gotten at the risk of human rights.

Small Security

Elevator Safety Information

And I also created an entirely separate typeface built around the idea that once information became something that you can simply have, then the very basic act of reading and interpreting letters becomes almost irrelevant, and that as such letters would be stripped down into their most basic forms in order to be more efficient and less extravagant (the entire design philosophy for this world was to create something that would be crowded with data and information but be presented in the most simple of ways).  Seen below is a brains can that was printed onto a transparency, with information written in English (Fun Fact, the dominant typeface int his dystopia is Lucida Grande, which is the placeholder typeface for the creation of titles in the Final Cut editing suite), Chinese, and in the Simplified typeface.

A Brain Scan of something

The Simplified type and many elements of the art direction for this film were a bit rushed, and I don’t think I ever really got into the swing of things and really got to create a fully realized world, part of it had to do with me and part of it had to do with lack of communication between the director and me.  But for the entirety of the production I was acting off of my first impulse, and one of the reasons I wasn’t able to act off of more than the first impulse was because of all of the information and the complicated nature of how the inforgraphics looked.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the smaller pieces:

THe Elevator may break.

Do Wash your hands
I’m not sure what’s happening with the background here, but it’s supposed to be the same binary behind everything.

Always look at Information

So with every single smaller part of each sign every element had to be measured (because measurements are information), the color information had to be placed (again, the more information the better), and I also had to think about how best to simplify forms (People are inverted exclamation points, because we’re already using exclamation points and because all you need to show a person is a body and head) as almost everything in these infographics (minus the hands) is a combination of letter shapes found in most fonts (parenthesis, astrix, O’s).  So in between doing this for every inforgraphic of every poster, I also had larger warning signs to make that are full of almost every language (again, if you have the knowledge of speaking a language, and if this knowledge is incredibly easy to obtain, then everyone will want to use it):

Uh Oh Chemicals!

And on top of all of this I also had to create an info-filled letterhead and the Logo to the evil Logos Labs.  Fun Fact about the Logos Logo: Most of the type is all based around the same square repeated over, the only difference being the “L”: I wanted the L to bring to mind both an eye (because this is an evil future lab that’s always watching you because of science fiction) and to look like a fermata (Thus, Logos becomes a company that is focused on holding, keeping and hoarding.  It’s a company that resists change and will do whatever it takes to make sure that Logos stays Logos).

Logos Labs: Information is the Future

The entry form for Subject 17, who has had all of her understanding of language removed

And so that’s it.  Again, not my best work, but for a rush job it turned out alright.  At least, I can safely say that I think this production had bigger problems than the art direction.

VATAS: Episode 14.

So once the College of Santa Fe closed I went to school at the University of Colorado- Boulder.  The campus setting and the educational philosophy of a massive university like CU versus the small and fiscally troubled CSF was vastly different, and this shift had to be shown in VATAS (Also, I was entering my third year of college and, by extension, the third year of VATAS). So let’s see how I did:

VATAS 14 on YouTube

If the point was to signify a shift, then Episode 14. does it greatly.  I never expected to stay long at CU Boulder, thinking instead that after a few semesters of introductory classes (which I had already taken at CSF but CU wouldn’t accept because CU only accepts credits from CU) I would transfer to another school.  At the time that I made Episode 14. I had already started to notice all of the issues that would later cause me to move back to Santa Fe and finish out my schooling there: A campus that was too big with too many people, they were too focused on getting as many new students as they could and not keeping the students they had, class sizes were enormous and professors didn’t have a personal connection to their students, etc.  This is all leading to the point that when I was at CU I felt like I had entered into some kind of Bizarro cult world where we were expected to Love CU for the very nature of being CU, even though it’s entire academic philosophy was flawed.  And I feel like this feeling comes through well enough in the video: The overexposed lighting and the low saturation make this into a very white and blank episode, the fact that “THE UNIVERSITY” is always repeated with an echo and louder than everything else helps lend an air of brainwashing to the piece, and the piece is also kept very simplistically written.  There are a few problems with this episode, though. Firstly: This is the first episode where the art direction is incredibly distracting and takes away from the idea that this place has stripped away all character and replaced it with UNIVERSITY.  Second, and more importantly: YOU CANNOT HEAR THE EPISODE.   During my stay at CU I had four roommates and one person was almost always home, and as we all know I was (and still am) terrified of someone walking in on me filming a VATAS episode where I’m biting the head off of a stuffed chicken, so I spoke quietly to make sure no one knew what I was doing.  Still, YOU CANNOT HEAR THE EPISODE.  As such, I find myself wishing that I had paid greater attention to sound recording throughout the filming of these, as it would have solved the sound issues here, in number 8, and in number 11 as well.

But, such is life.  Especially at THE UNIVERSITY where you’re not allowed to take out good equipment unless you’re an upperclassman and even if you are the equipment has to be used for a school project and not a fun side project.