Tag Archives: fragment

R for Rewind Man

Sorry that we’ve been out of commission for about a month now, November ended up being a massively depressing month that took a long time to regulate.  But now we’re back with another encyclopedia article!

Yes, that is “article” in the singular sense, and yes this will be the last of this year.  The original plan was to get this all done in 2016, but about mid-way through I realized that the more important thing was to have these be well-written and thought out.  So that’s what I’m doing, and we’ll finish up next year when we’ll figure out what to do next.  In the meantime, enjoy one of the ones that would have come out in October: Rewind Man.

R for Rewind Man

The Computer’s Test

In preparing for my upcoming film “Superb Fire Space Laser Blasters” I had to do some per-visualization for what a panicky computer would look like.  Here’s what I have so far:

Computer Test on Henceforth’s YouTube

This project is very much informed by 16-bit arcade shooters and by classical sci-fi from the 1960’s, and I wanted a computerized face that’d reflect that.  I also need a computer that can reflect the panicky nature of it (Within this world, the ship’s computer lives in constant fear of being yelled at. The computer is doing everything it can, but it’s just one computer and it could REALLY USE A BREAK).   I think I still need to make a few tweaks here and there, but It’s still fun to see the process, don’t you think?  Anyhoo, keep at least one eye open to this space, because Superb Fire Space Laser Blasters should be releasing by mid-November, and it’s going to be wacky fun.

Missing

All I want is the truth. That’s how “Missing” begins, and it greatly lives up to that hope: It’s one of the most honest and personal films I think Andrew has ever made, and I greatly appreciate that.

Let’s back up, then, because it’s been around three and a half years since the Tape was last sent.  In those years, I spent plenty of time thinking about how I’d next reply. I even had footage shot and ready (Fun Fact: Most of these failed ideas were later compiled into “No!”).  As the years dragged on (and this isn’t fair, but it happened) it would be harder and harder for Andrew to come up with a decent enough reply. And so what was I looking for?

  1. The next installment had to explain why I had waited for so long.
  2. It had to be worth the wait.

Despite not being a very long list, it was a tall order to live up on Andrew’s part. And “Missing” wholly delivers.  There is only one part of the film that directly references “Powerful Magics” (and, by extension, the rest of the Tape‘s complicated web) and that’s when we see Andrew’s reflected face in the television (and, yes, the part where his face syncs up to his face was a nice touch).  Besides this, “Missing” doesn’t go along the lines of other Tape replies.  It throws any cheeky meta-references to YouTube out the window, it doesn’t attempt to counterpoint or ape anything from the previous installment, instead “Missing” simply IS. And that’s something that, during these past few years, I haven’t been expecting.

There are plenty of ways that I can talk about how this film still fits into the ongoing narrative of the tape and how its a microcosm for the internet, and I could probably pick it apart bit-by-bit and tell you how it actually does mirror everything else in the tape, but I think that would only destroy part of “Missing”‘s power (also, I don’t I would actually be able to do that last part).

Now that it’s my turn again, I have much the same feeling as Andrew did after watching “Powerful Magics”: I’m not quite sure what to do or how to reply. One thing’s for sure, all of the thinking I was doing and all the digging into internet memes is now void.  “Missing” is too good to get a reply similar to anything I’ve sent before, and so it’s time for a new strategy.

So now the old tape is dead, and with it comes an end.  “Missing” signifies a new letter, still between the same two people, but the game has been changed and I think that’s for best.

Vvinni Gagnepain’s THE BOX

I bet you all knew something was up when I posted the four Tape videos all in row.  Well, now you can see for yourself. What we all thought was long over and buried has come back from the depths of it’s yellowed jelly hell and back into our waking world.  Here is Andrew’s latest package with THE TAPE:

Vvinni Gagnepain’s THE BOX from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

The Tape had to die. I realize this, and although included in that object are years of heartbreak, passion, and vengeance, it had to go.  Otherwise, we’d just continue the cycle of destruction.  So: Included in the package, then, were a few other recordable devices:  The first was the wax figure I was cutting into before the postal service got to me.  Inside of that was was a whole lot of foil and a memory stick that had been stripped of its casings.  I was greatly excited: Now that the tape was dead, we were moving on to sending this stick back and forth to each other (which provided a lot more hiding opportunities, as shown by the wax).  But, no. Instead it was a poop video.

This wasn’t it, was it?  I had waited around three and a half years for Andrew’s reply, and he gives me a poop movie that lasts a few minutes?  I was distraught and angry, but I had some bit of resolution when I came across the piece of cardboard that the cake (which you couldn’t see, but it read “I AM DEAD” in wonderful frosting letters): “NOT YET, SOON” it read.  Okay, so pretty soon I was going to get another package from Andrew. Good, so I’ll just eat these cookies and wait.

Soon...
Not Yet.

Well, there was another surprise in ANOTHER cookie (Yes, Andrew Gingerich is a devious sort): More foil, this time including a Mini SD card.  I still don’t know what’s on the mini SD card. I’ve tried a Mini SD card reader, a Mini SD adapter, and a Mini SD slot in a tablet.  The card never reads.

Finally, beneath the chocolate cake, there was another video tape.  But it was Home Alone 3, with the recordable tab of VHS tapes taken out.  So I figured I’d gotten a free copy of Home Alone 3, and I would just wait for next package. Days went by. I got tired of waiting. I figured Andrew had to have included the Mini SD adapted in the package somewhere, and I just had to find it. So where wasn’t I looking? At that point I had eaten all of the cookies and the part of the cake I could (The bottom part was covered in inedible ink), so I dug through my trash through the parts of the cake that I threw away: Nothing. Okay. There was one part of the package that just wasn’t adding up: Home Alone 3.  But it had to be Home Alone 3, there was no way Andrew could have recorded over it, which meant one thing: ANDREW HAD HIDDEN THE MINI SD ADAPTER INSIDE OF THE TAPE.  I took out my screwdriver and got work on opening the VHS casing.  Well, one of the screws stuck and I was impatient, so I ended up breaking open the VHS and sifting through it. Nothing. I had just destroyed my copy of Home Alone 3.

THe VHS of Home Alone 3 inside of a cake.
A Tape baked into cake.

It turns out, and this seems like a massive design flaw in the VHS, that if you just put some tape over the tab area of a VHS (even if the tab has been taken out, thus rendering it unrecordable) then you can record onto said VHS. And that’s exactly what Andrew did: He re-dubbed the saga of THE TAPE onto the Home Alone 3 VHS that I had destroyed.  Oops.

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.

Accessories to Cake

As mentioned in the previous post about my thesis film Delicious Pound Cake, there were plenty of pieces leading up to the final release.  The first of which are these short videos featured on my Indiegogo fundraising campaign called Cakelogs:

Cakelog 12/27/10 from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Cakelog 1/10/11 from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Cakelog: MLK Jr. Day 2011 from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

 

Cakelog: 1/24/11 from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

 

Cakelog: 2/7/11 from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

 

Cakel♥g: Vawuntines Day 2♥11 from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

The Cakelogs were an interesting idea. Mainly, I was trying to fix what I saw as a growing problem with my other video series, Vvinni’s Adventure’s Through Art School, wherein many time they became so long and meandering that I feel it became a daunting task to watch them. So, for every Cakelog I tried to keep them around one minute and have it be quick and to the point. This eventually became a major flaw in them, as I feel with only facts and information the Cakelogs became rather boring and procedural, and this eventually hurt my funding campaign rather than help it.  But, oh well.

Next up is, of course, the “Delicious Pound Cake” Teaser trailer, which I’m fond of. I think it give an accurate idea of the movie (it doesn’t answer the valid question of why a 12 1/2 minute film needs a trailer, but this does: I was hoping to have this out on the festival circuit for some time, and I wanted to give the cast and crew a chance to see the footage and get as excited about the film as I was).

Delicious Pound Cake Teaser Trailer from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Finally, once funding and festival publicity was over, it was time to begin looking at the Delicious Pound Cake DVD.  This is still in the works (needless to say, I have some major issues with DVD Studio Pro, but that’s the only advanced DVD authoring software out there), but in the meantime here are a few extras to hold you off: A commercial from the Sugar Council of America, and gameplay footage from Salvador’s Chronicles of the Fourth Kind, described as being made by “one of the most visionary humans ever”.  Enjoy, have your cake, eat it, and explode into a miniature sun too.

A Message from the Sugar Council of America from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

 

Delicious Pound Cake

As the seven previous readers of the Henceblog know, much of my senior year of my undergraduates degree was spent putting together my senior thesis project: Delicious Pound Cake, a story about cake and the apocalypse.  The story of how production began and the story of pre-production can be seen with the Cakelog video series, but overall the creation of Delicious Pound Cake went by smoothly without much of a fuss.  Except that about a week before production began I had around half a ton of plywood fall on me and crush my leg, and that we got into a bit of a location snag for our general store (getting the proper papers signed in time, it wasn’t too terrible a problem, but it was something).

So, for the entirety of production I was on crutches, and for a sizable portion of production I was on painkillers. The funding campaign never took off as much as I would have liked it to (mainly because of lack of visibility and lack of funds for those who could see the campaign), and that coupled with general lack of organization on my part and business form all involved (this was, after all, still a school project) caused us to be a bit scattered during filming at times, and caused me to overlook a few pivot things.  But, in the end, the project was completed, and it went into the festival circuit.

That’s around where the previous Henceblog left off. Well, the festival circuit wasn’t kind to Delicious Pound Cake. Or maybe it was so kind it decided to leave it alone, but at any rate the film never made it into anything. So, I decided to put it up online so it can be free for anyone to watch anywhere. That’s where it is now, and that’s what is embedded below for your viewing pleasure:

Delicious Pound Cake from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

I now understand why Delicious Pound Cake didn’t make it into any festivals, I think the script was a bit lacking, and the overall apocalyptic idea was just barely underdeveloped (enough, though, to make it very difficult to understand, and enough to create a few glaring issues [like this one: how is it that all of the spices and the like in the general store are all unharmed EXCEPT for the vanilla? Shouldn’t all of the spices have been vaporized in a nuclear blast?]).  However, I do think it’s a fantastic senior thesis, and I also think it’s one of the best movies I’ve made (not THE best, mind you, that honor belongs to Lamplight Breakfast on a Burning Kitten).  We all did the best we could, and I still think that it should have gotten into at least one festival. But oh well, Next time.