“A lighthearted essay on contextualized characters.
Reconstruction follows deconstruction.”
*Dusts off keyboard*
Whoa. Hey, what’s going in? It’s been a while.
The short story: I’ve been busy.
The long story:
I’m a dad and my daughter is at the age where she notices (and gets upset) when I’ve got my face stuck in a phone or laptop whilst spending time with her. I was lucky enough to have parents who paid attention to me and know how important that shit is so, quite out of the blue, my not-at-work screen time is now at a premium.
I’ve started open sourcing some of the software I’ve been writing over the last year and that’s been sucking up a lot of my time. “Sucking up” in a good way, in a “get lost in what you’re doing and end up feeling accomplished” sort of way. It’s really fun to hone in on, refine and document things I’ve been building with the express purpose of helping other people solve challenges similar to ones I’ve had to tackle. I learned how to program by using (and studying) code that was written by others and if those folks hadn’t open-sourced what they wrote I honestly wouldn’t have the skills necessary to do what I do for a living. I am seizing an opportunity to be useful to others; a state of being and action that, for me at least, yields the maximum about of bliss. If you’re curious:
I’ve been working on a project that I can’t talk a lot about right now but let me put it this way: if it happens I would post in on this web zone (even if I didn’t have a hand in making it).
Watching rad videos and talking about why I love them is one of my favorite things to do but sometimes even THAT has to take a backseat to other pursuits. Everything interesting on this website I found freely available to watch online and as compelling as it is to continually consume what others create, I also want to contribute my own drops to the internet’s vast ocean of interesting things.
All the above can be summed up with one of Ms. Tripatorium’s favorite phrases: “You can do anything but you can’t do everything.”
Over the past month or so I started to receive messages from many of you inquiring about the status of the site. Most of them included a little note of appreciation and none of them were mean or rude which was super-cool. To know that so many of you were missing these little posts I like to write in my spare time late at night or on the train to-and-from the city was tremendously gratifying.
Speaking of posts: attached above is a bizarre little treat Carl Burton introduced me to on twitter. It’s essentially improvisational animation; a minute-and-a-half riff on what gives birds their birdness. The ‘worm sequence’ is just mental and easily my favorite. Anyone have like $50,000 so we can hire ZEITGUISED (or, at least, lead animator Matt Frodsham) to make a whole bunch more of these?
Thanks, as always, for reading. Cheers!
“14 teams of Austin based studios and freelancers participated in a 48 hour animation challenge in the spirit of an Exquisite Corpse presented by the Austin Motion Artists Group, Moontower VFX, Houndstooth Studio, and The Octopus Project.
On January 17th, 2014, each team received a specifically designed start frame, an end frame, an 11 second 4 bar phrase of the chosen Octopus Project song and a guiding theme “The Ecstatic Energy of Geometry.”
P.S. Didya see the one Cartoon Network commissioned last summer?
posted by respondcreate on Feb. 08, 2014 in Videos | tags: austin motion artists group, bizarre, colorful, exquisite corpse, geometry, hd, houndstooth studio, moontower vfx, music video, the octopus project, trippy
“I do for sure. I don’t like going places and sitting around for twenty hours waiting for them to reset a shot. I made the conscious decision a long time ago: I’m done with live action. ‘Cause I can just sit in my agoraphobic darkened room and create worlds, and now I’m doing it with a bunch of awesome, talented animators and designers and we can go anywhere we want. Anywhere…more” – Justin Roiland in response to the question Do you find writing for animation more creatively liberating than, say, writing live action?
Last year, after reading that Dan Harmon would no longer be the showrunner for Community, I got super bummed-out. My love for the show is well documented and to confront the reality that it would no longer be nurtured with nutrients from its central, creative teat was pretty depressing.
A few weeks before Sony axed Mr. Harmon, adultswim announced it had picked up a pilot of an animated show he co-created with Justin Roiland (who you probably know best as the voice of Lemongrab on Adventure Time) and I distinctly remember feeling giddy at the news. Community, in many ways, already felt like an animated show – with its insane, truly far-out plotlines and laser-focused visual execution – and I figured that without any need for cameras, Dan Harmons creative vision could flow out, unencumered.
I’m happy to report that Rick & Morty is as bizarre as I had hoped it would be. Attached above is the
second third episode (you can watch the first two at adultswim) and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
WOW. This gorgeous three and a half minute trip-fest of undulating, constantly-morphing animation by Masanobu Hiraoka (of Je Regarde) demands to be watched on the largest display currently at your disposal. Grab your headphones, too; Aimar Molero‘s music/sound design properly sets the atmosphere and breathes life into the sloshing, shifting abstract forms.
Oh and be sure to check out our Je Regarde feed, it’s full of other fantastic watchables.
Nineteen ninety-seven was a big year for me; Dig Your Own Hole, Fat of The Land, Homework and Vegas were all released within ten months and suddenly I was a fan of music. After purchasing the aforementioned albums I started to frequent the ‘Dance’ section of my local record stores, expecting to find more of the same only to discover that their paltry selection lacked the sounds I was after.
This was pre-Napster – hell, pre-Google – and, without a hive mind to consult, I started logging in to every electronic music-centric chat room I could find asking around for ‘stuff that sounds like The Chemical Brothers’. What came back were not album or artist suggestions but anonymous logins to FTP servers that contained gobs of music organized by genre from independent artists who were creating the types of sounds I wanted to hear.
I would stay up late and connect to some far-off file system with WS_FTP and download MP3s whose filenames caught my attention (since I had no way to preview the audio beforehand). After hours of labor my near-overheated 33600 baud modem would have retreived a scant 30 minutes worth of new music which I’d promptly load into WinAmp where I could create impromptu music videos with the help of the keyboard-controlled Geiss visualizer.
Those late-night music discovery sessions were formative for me and led, in no small part, to the creation of this website; every post I’ve made has been an attempt to pass along the same pure-and-peculiar magic that accompanies the unexpected discovery of something new.
Last Tuesday at midnight, when Ghost Stories was first released, I felt similar giddy pangs while watching it for the first time. Some of the eleven collected shorts are silly and charming, others bizarre and heartwrenching but all are an expression of their creator’s unique, creative vision undiluted by client feedback or the pressure to generate money.
It’s wonderful, wonderful stuff.
My favorite is Charles Huettner‘s Jump (4:46) which bursts with Miyazaki-esque supernatural intrigue and whimsy. Phantom Limb by Alex Grigg (18:47) runs a close-second with its exploration of the soul-crushing heartache and depression that accompanies unintentionally wounding someone you love.
Scott Benson deserves a special mention for both his fantastic, enigmatically haunting Last Lives (32:31) and the brief 1-2 second transitional bits he created that tie the entire release together.
All-in-all Ghost Stories is an absolute treat…ENJOY!
P.P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Scott Benson and Late Night Work Club, be sure to check out the interview I posted last week.
posted by respondcreate on Sep. 10, 2013 in Videos | tags: alex grigg, bizarre, caleb wood, charles huettner, ciaran duffy, colorful, conor finnegan, dave prosser, eamonn o'neill, erin kilkenny, jake armstrong, late night work club, louise bagnall, scott benson, sean buckelew
“Lost between his dreams and his frustrations, a man is the witness of his own insanity.”
David Maingault‘s graduation film from his time at EMCA is a gorgeously rendered whacked-out fever dream that bubbles over with bizarre, unsettling intrigue. ENJOY!
This marks the fifth time an Ori Toor creation has been shared on this webzone which I’m fairly certain makes him Our Most Featured Artist™. If you’re reading this in the far-distant future go ahead and check his feed, chances are I’ve posted more of his stellar animation since.
The attached is even more representational than Ori’s last outing for Kingdom Crumbs (my choice for best video of the past calendar year), a trend I’m über-thrilled he’s continuing to explore. His trademark undulations are even more intriguing when they’re evolving from pure abstract blobs into foxes or ghoulish faces (or fish or worms or elephants or…) and then back again.
As usual, Ori takes his cue to progress the visuals from compositional shifts in the backing music and Vial of Sound‘s ragged bass synth, square wave lead and mysterious, vocoded vocals are a natural fit for his style.
So yeah, top marks all the way ‘round so turn the lights turned down, the volume way up and get these bits loaded full screen in HD.
P.S. Ori’s style of animation is fundamentally satisfying to me so if you’re a band/artist that wants to get featured on the site, I’d suggest hiring him to direct your next video.
“Is it easy to relax when you’re told you’ll never fail?”
A whimsical-yet-dark and bizarre music video – created by Persistent Peril for The Leisure Society – where an all-powerful hand lovingly creates a planet teeming with life before having second thoughts…
Garth Jones, Ginny Jones, Mark Billington and Emma Wakely – who handled the animation in the attached – deserve a special mention. Their ability to consistently pull off such descriptive motion in few-seconds-long vignettes using a cast of minimally constructed figures shows their proficiency for the medium.
P.S. When you’re done here I recommend giving Noise Trade, another fantastic Persistent Peril-created music video, a watch next.
Teppei Maki‘s technicolor, lo-fi-VHS-psychedelia visuals pair perfectly with Kool Keith‘s (a.k.a. Dr. Dooom/Dr. Octagon/Black Elvis/Poppa Large) trademark far-out, surrealistic flow. If you’re a fan of the site you’ll be all over the attached…ENJOY!
Thanks for sending this one in, Kenny Love!
The Who’s and What’s don’t really matter though cause the visuals in the attached are off-the-chain great and super-trippy; if you’re a regular visitor here I’m confident you’ll love it. My only gripe is that it’s far too short, I can watch stuff like this for hours.
P.S. If you’re interested in process then definitely give the ‘making of’ a watch, too.
File under: LOLWAT
The attached morsel of bizarre animation was created by The Line over a two year period of unpaid night-and-weekends work. It was directed by Sam Taylor and Bjørn-Erik Aschim but, like most passion projects of this calibur, couldn’t have come together without a supporting cast of creatives who generously donated their time and skills.
You can see a full list of who contributed here but I wanted to call out one in particular, Box of Toys Audio, who supplied the excellent sound design. It’s easy to underestimate how much credible foley work can add to a film but, from my point of view, having audio that ‘sells it’ is one of the key contributors to its immersive potential. The first two minutes and fifty seconds are awash in pedestrian, familiar noises – the bark of a dog, the rattle of a chain link fence or the ‘bop’ of a fully inflated ball – that, when the soundscape shifts as the cube descends, you have no doubt that something alien has just entered the scene.
“Neurologists claim that stuck songs are like thoughts we’re trying to suppress. The harder we try not to think about them, the more we can’t help it. The phenomenon is also known as earworms, and the ongoing ‘dim di da da dum’ causes a kind of brain itch you can’t scratch.”
File under: LOLWAT
“I’ll start a fire with sticks,
I’ll put it out with my fists,
I’ll swim across the sound.
I’ll build a house in the trees,
We’ll live wherever we please,
And never settle down…”
When Tommy Wilson submitted the attached for our perusal he wrote the following in the ‘Why is this perfect for The Tripatorium™?’ field: “It is an awesome music video, trippy and weird in the best way possible. Animation goes perfect with music. This is your bread and butter.”
Jonathan Seligson, a Brooklyn-based independent animator, conjured up a slew of bizarre, psychedelic visuals that simultaneously leverage all the dreamy atmospherics of Black Light Dinner Party‘s synthpop sound while maintaining a narrative structure the pays homage to the song’s earnest, simple lyrics. It’s four-and-a-half minutes of fantastic, sufficiently out-there late-night watchables which is just how I likes ‘em.
The bits are available in 1080p, too so get it loaded full-screen, dim the lights and turn the volume way-up. Enjoy!
Thanks for sending this our way, Tommy!
Betz & Sainer are two Polish artists (from Łódź and Turek, respectively) who collaborate under the ETAM Cru moniker and are just as comfortable creating screen prints and canvases as they are painting huge-ass murals. The attached images are just a small sampling of their work so, if you want to see more, hit up their individual blogs (Betz / Sainer) or the official ETAM site. Enjoy!
P.S. If you like what you see here, be sure to check out Aryz’s work, too.
“A set of strange creatures whose instincts instead of focusing on survival seem doomed them to an absurd and comic extinction, in the presence of the astonished gaze of the narrator.”
File under: LOLWAT
I had been (im)patiently waiting for El Señor Studio to finally post this, their peculiar ‘nature’ documentary spoof, after first seeing its trailer back in the summer of 2011. Prepare yourself for an unexpected, bizarre treat…ENJOY!
P.S. If you enjoyed the attached, definitely give this a watch next.
“Now when we kiss, I feel like physics are true;
The world, it spins; my body, begins with you.”
File under: LOLWAT
Credit is due to Z and Zak for the suggestion…thanks for writing in, guys!
It’s nice to see Anamanaguchi finally make a music video and they went all out for their maiden voyage, tapping long-time Tim & Eric collaborators Daniel Gray Longino and Eric Notarnicola to direct and a whole host of talented animators/artists to pitch-in on the visuals.
The ‘Guch aesthetic isn’t easily pidgeonholed and the surface comparisons that often get drawn between them and ‘video game music’ and/or 90s-kid culture are, from my point-of-view at least, missing the point of what they’re up to. A few months back Tycho wrote about why naked nostalgia grabs are typically unfulfilling and it definitely applies here:
“That’s the trick of nostalgia, and why yoking it is such a dangerous business. It’s never ‘as good,’ because it can’t be. ‘As good’ wouldn’t satisfy you, now, because you aren’t the person who was satisfied by it anymore, partly because of the satisfaction you felt earlier, but also because of every other force and beam and ray which is always operating on your aggregated being.”
I don’t get the sense that anything Anamanaguchi does is calculated and, even though their style (both sonically and visually) might appear to be borrowed from another decade, it feels inexplicably modern and wholly their own. This is goddamn party music and that shit never goes out of style.
I absolutely love the arcade/clique theme that underscores the whole video and super-dig the pixel art animation sequence that kicks off after Ary is blasted to Furblivion by the L4Z3R R4V3RZ (especially the cameos-created illustrations that run from 2:30-2:33).
Full-screen HD is a must. ENJOY!
posted by respondcreate on Jan. 08, 2013 in Videos | tags: anamanaguchi, animation, bizarre, cameos, colorful, daniel gray longino, eric notarnicola, good times, hd, horror, music video, nostalgia, paul robertson, pixel art
File under: LOLWAT
P.S. If you enjoyed the attached you’ll probably love The External World, too.
“A heartwarming tale of seasonal goodwill. Probably not safe for small children…”