Tag Archives: sunlight

VATAS: Ebicyd 13

Finally, an episode that delivers on a promise made in the very first VATAS: This is an episode about bicycles.  It’s not one of the most important episodes, it’s not revolutionary, but I like it. But what about you? Will YOU like it?

 

Ebicyd 13 on YouTube

As I said above, I like this episode.  It has a meandering feel that never makes it too long, and there are some great shots of bicycle gears and valves (although by the end of the episode everything is pink, and I certainly could have done a better job rigging the camera to the bicycle to  get a clearer shot of riding.  Ebicyd 13 is in many ways the end of VATAS proper, and I feel that it’s a good episode and a strong marker for slightly above the middle of the road.  It occupies a similar space as Number 5 did, but it significantly improves on the formula, and although the titles don’t feel necessary in the episode they also don’t feel all that intrusive.

Even though VATAS proper is more or less over, there are still three more special episodes left.  So look out for those!

Rattler

I decided to start small with script-only projects that I’ll be putting up on the Henceblog.  While I was looking through my archives, I came across this one: Rattler.  It’s a story about a struggling rattlesnake farmer, and his problems with the rattlesnake inspector.  It’s a good script, and would make for an interesting short film, but as of right now I haven’t the resources or budget to make it.  So here you go, Internet, enjoy and let me know what you think of it.

RATTLER (2010)

Also, please remember that this is copyrighted by me, Vincent Gagnepain.  If you would like to use this in any way, please contact me.

VATAS: Erpisode 7

Now we’re improving a bit and getting back into the sweet spot of a VATAS episode: In Erpisode 7 we have a simple task that’s rather boring (It was recycling day, the second most exciting day behind laundry day), which has been chopped up and interspersed with stranger segments (like me eating paper, singing a song about recycling and failure, and the constant refrain of “Recycling!”).  It’s still a bit tedious, but it’s an improvement over the previous two episodes.

VATAS 7 on YouTube

Despite the tedium of Number 7’s recycling sequence (I feel like it could have been pared down, and that this could have been an excellent 6 and a half minute episode rather than 7 and a half), there is much more confidence in this episode and what it’s doing (and I think the previous two rather unremarkable episodes helped me get that confidence).  There’s also a sense of unraveling beneath Number 7 that I rather enjoy, and come Episode 8 we’ll see why. Also, I think the one-liner of the episode (“This is a hat rack. This is MY hat rack”) worked a bit better than it has in the past (although I think my favorite one-liner is still “The Tie was FAKE”), and some more intelligence in what to cut and how to streamline an episode is beginning to form.  In short, Erpisode 7 is a solid improvement, I think, and an important episode (Among 3 and 4 in it’s way of showing the growth of the VATAS experience).

We’re going to be coming up to the three big VATAS nuggets next, so come back in about a week for Deadisode 8.  Or, you can watch them all on Vimeo. As always, it’s completely up to you.

VATAS: Epsix

During the original run of VATAS there was a gap of a few months in between Episodes 5 and 6. Thus this almost represents another Episode 1, although it certainly doesn’t feel like it.  It feels par for the VATAS course, not bad mind you, just par.

VATAS 6 on YouTube

There’s not much to say about Epsix. Much like Essisode 5 it’s what we’ve come to expect from a VATAS episode, which I suppose is a good thing.  A syntax had been built up over the previous months and videocasts and after a few months away Epsix was more a way to get back into putting together a VATAS episode. But don’t worry, there are some good mold-breaking episodes coming up next. Or, you could just watch them here.  It’s up to you, as always.

100 Science Fictions

  1. Space Crisis on Planet Helmar

  2. Greygax the Horrible

  3. It Came from 5 Places

  4. Don’t Look at It!

  5. I Have Space-Sickies

  6. Robot with Mallet

  7. The Monster from Pluto’s Moon

  8. Urion

  9. Capricia

  10. The Lowest Point

  11. Stanley Spaceman: Man in SPACE!

  12. Mars is Puce

  13. Hyraxi!

  14. Uh-Oh, Asteroid

  15. The Stock Crash of Fortuna

  16. Planet Without a Face

  17. The Saddest Belt

  18. Mantis!

  19. Remus V: Planet of Wretch

  20. KRAAG

  21. C.C.C.X

  22. Stanley Spaceman in Jungle Trouble… IN SPACE!

  23. His Eyes Were Gone

  24. Lof the Greedy

  25. Zzzzzappp

  26. Zapf: Dingbat from Space

  27. The Tromper of Delubina

  28. Justise

  29. Tortoise of Terror

  30. GIF, GIF, GIF!

  31. The Incredible Moron

  32. Death Isn’t on the Moon

  33. Stanely Spaceman and the Case of the Martian Mirror

  34. Ghosts of Yesterday’s Past

  35. A City of Unrest

  36. The Jewel of Forever

  37. Not This Time

  38. Fear of Stars

  39. A.R.C.S and L.E.A.D

  40. The Forgotten Workday

  41. If the Moon Could Dance

  42. Hitler was a Space Robot from Saturn’s Past

  43. #ROBOTOHNOOHPLEASE

  44. Stanely Spaceman Can’t Find It.

  45. Cybermonday

  46. “The Goo”, It Said

  47. Martian Ragweed

  48. Tyler is Gone

  49. IT DOESN’T WORK

  50. The Giant Reef Monster

  51. Nibbles the Unrelenting

  52. Iron Cast

  53. The Looming Cloud

  54. The Twin of Janus

  55. A Bead of Six: A Stanley Spaceman Tale

  56. Error of Infinity

  57. Not Again This Time

  58. *See Appendix

  59. The Fire of 1000 Suns

  60. “I Can See the Future, Captain”

  61. I FORGOT THE KEYS!

  62. Curiosity’s Folly

  63. It Was Right There

  64. You Won’t Like It

  65. The Longest 10

  66. Stanley Spaceman has a Problem

  67. Steam-Powered Monster Brains Attack the Pentagon!

  68. The Creeping Time

  69. But, Why?

  70. The Look of Galf

  71. The Year of Ice

  72. There’s too Many!

  73. Yesterday’s Tomorrow

  74. It Sneezes

  75. The Cats of Forever

  76. Green Gooses!

  77. Stanley Spaceman Makes a Friend

  78. Crazy Enough

  79. Lorem: The Always Planet

  80. Lights of Mars

  81. Samuel?

  82.  /ERROR/

  83. The Monster Needs to Eat

  84. Unidentified but See-Through

  85. Zeron: Element of the Void

  86. Woman of Sad Eternities

  87. Horrible Things

  88. Stanley Spaceman’s Space-Egg from Outer Space!

  89. I Can’t Hear It

  90. Don’t Look Now, But It’s Here

  91. Robot Needs an Outlet

  92. Anger of Deos

  93. Beige and Marooned: Lisa in Space

  94. Helmets of Crius VI

  95. Steel Heart, Living Lungs

  96. The Green Also Grows

  97. K.O.R.P.S.Es

  98. The Gears of the Martian Revolution

  99. The Death of Stanley Spaceman: An Earthling’s Tale

  100. “It Can’t Be”, Said the Moon.

Without the T’s: The Man Who Fell to Earth

“Without the T’s” is my film review for both current theatrical releases and any release on home video that I may see.  I treat these as a way to discuss and understand a film for it’s merits and demerits, but unfortunately since it’s a review I hindered by two main points: A grade and a gimmick.  Therefore, the more I enjoy a film the more of the letter “T” will be included in the write-up of the film, with “lesser” film reviews becoming more and more incomprehensible.

 

What does it mean to be alien? This is the primary question focused on in many films of the sub-genre which I’ll refer to as “Visitor” pictures.  He Man Who Fell o Earh is one such film, and it certainly captures a bizarre alien feeling, puting the viewer directly into the head of its protagonis Thomas Jerome Newton (played by David Bowie).  There are moments where the viewer is thrown into complete visual chaos… no, scratch tha: There are small islands where the viewer is able to find their bearings in time/space/storyline, and then the res of the film is visual chaos.

This isn’t a bad thing, as stated before it helps unite he viewer with what this reptilian space monster must be going through.  Newton was able to get a feeling of what Earth was like through elevision, but watching is never the same as experiencing.  When you’re on Earth, you begin to see all of the mess and wonder hat is human life and tha (presumably) leads to one hell of a trip in sorting everything out (Like the difference between a Noh performance/sword fight and a sex scene) hat no amount of television can help you through.  Much like this, no amount of words can explain the experience of watching The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I hink these wo trailers (the original and he trailer for the 35h anniversary re-release) can help you understand:

The Original 1976 railer for The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell To Earth- Rialto Picures 35th Anniversary Trailer

Some digging into the hisory of the director of this film, Nicolas Roeg, led me to discover hat he began working with cinematography and editing.  Roger Corman’s The Masque of the Red Death and Francois Truffau’s film version of Fahrenheit 451 are among Roeg’s crew work before he began direcing with Performance a film tha stars Mick Jagger and is described from Roeg’s IMdB page as “… multi-layered kaleidoscope of sex, violence, and questions of identiy…”.  I bring this up not to impress my seven readers with my incredibly limited research into the director, bu rather because I feel this gives us an accurate account into how and why something like He Man Who Fell o Earh was created.

This film has a lot of strokes of editorial genius, from the above mentioned cross-cuting of a Noh Performance and a strangely murderous sex scene, and in Newton’s abiliy o transcend the boundaries of time (which is never fully explained, and I for one am happy it isn’t).  The Man Who Fell to Earth doesn’t have a straightforward narrative, insead it focuses on details, flashes of a life: Cookies being flung into he air, the first few interacions Newton has with real-live humans, and the gradual death of Newton’s family on his home planet and exact details of the plot are left for the viewer to fill in. This is admirable, alhough it (along wih the fact hat Bowie’s character never ages) lead to some intense confusion and a need for just a few more islands of calm in the mids of this kaleidoscope especially once we get o the governmen (?) detainmen of Newton and the idea tha he becomes a prisoner and slave to alcoholism (which is a great idea hat doesn’ come across). In fact, scrach the idea that He Man Who Fell o Earh is a kaleidoscope, instead it’s like someone broke open the ‘scope and threw all the gliter into the sky and is now watching as the sparkling dust falls to the ground.

Another demerit to the film (at least in my view, which is by no means the only way of seeing a film) is the performance.  Candy Clark’s performance as Mary-Lou (The woman who Newton loves and who teaches Newton about life and sex and alcohol on Earh) strikes up a delicate but fascinating balance of being too rehearsed and absolutely life-like, and it’s difficult to say which way the scales ulimately fall with her.  However, and especially for being one of the largest selling points of the film even to this day, Bowie’s performance I found to be a bit lacking in dimension. He tries, mind you, and there are moments of the rue heartache and loneliness Newton must feel, but in the end I’m not sure if Bowie had the life experience to show this aspect of Newon’s persona (I feel like modern-day David Bowie could, though, especially given his surprisingly restrained performance as Nikola Tesla).

And so, for reasons of being just a touch too far into freeform erritory and having a lead performance tha seems a bit too rehearsed, my obligaory but arbitrary grade for The Man Who Fell to Earth is as follows:

 A "B+" Grade.

I feel like for all of its faults, this film still holds an imporant role for anyone interesed in the creation and release of not only Science Fiction Cinema, but Cinema and its history as such a bizarre and personalized vision hat unforunately cannot be made and released withou extreme difficulty anymore.  So, The Man Who Fell to Earth is nowhere near perfect and perhaps B+ is too high a grade, but it’s also a great tesamen to giving funding to have pet project released: It’s strange, it’s messy, it’s both beautiful and a touch pretenious, and I think it’s something hat is missing from many of the average film audience now. Which I choose to see as too bad.

Life on Mars

Here it is.  About a year and a half in the making: Life on Mars.

Life on Mars from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

I decided to try my hand at animation again, as now that I’m out of school I no longer have access to a room full of equipment and another room full of crew members.  So, around October of 2010 I wrote this script (also thinking to myself that I won’t be able to make many Sci-Fi films for a while) and I figured I could get it up by Thanksgiving.  I was wrong. Very, very wrong.  Granted, I’ve been taking long periods off of working on this project, but between character design, audio recording, and actually animating this project took much, much longer than I would have wanted it to.

This being said, though, I think the final product is about the same amount of quality that I expected from the project. I had a bit of trouble figuring out the exact dimensionality of the space the rovers are in, so I’m not sure how well the turn-around shot of the sun figures into everything (but it’s far too beautiful to leave out), and during audio recording there was a bit of a mix-up in the day we were recording (also, half of the voice actors weren’t in the same state as I was).  There’s also a very noticeable editing blip, which I tried to get around but mostly this was the best choice.  So is it perfect? Oh my no. But it’s finished. And, although I’m not an animator, I feel I’ve crafted together a good enough animation that certainly helped me hone my After Effects skills.

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.