gonna fly now.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

still alive!

may not be posting much in the next few weeks / months.
(heh heh heh.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

smooooth as eggs...??

the balloon bounce is harder than it looks.

then i had to animate the stupid string too... ...smh.. i should be playing dark souls 2. real 'easy'...
took about 1 1/2 hour.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

... ultra sneeeeze combo...

my friend ko'd me with a flower in 3rd strike one time... them allergies man...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

to build Pyramids - 'The Wind Rises' review

I gotta say this is Miyazaki's finest work up to date, as well as his farewell letter. It's not just an animation film, to categorize it as a medium is like saying a novel is just words. It's a live action war time drama painted in water color, I dont think i've seen anything like this in any of his previous works. Those subtleties in the acting, the beautiful silence and the sound of the wind - it's visual poetry. Miyazaki break out of the 'spirited away' mold that viewers often associate Studio Ghibli with and created something daring and perhaps a personal journey in the form of visual storytelling.

'The Wind Rises' makes American animation look like kid's play, it's not about good guys vs bad guys, not about boy fall in love with a girl because they are there. I feel like in most of animated movies  all you see is a formulated black and white writing made on an assembly line. This FILM feels different, it is not a cartoon for kids, nor just entertainment for casual movie goers. "The wind is rising! We must try to live." doesn't just show up on the screen to be some clever message, in my understanding, it's bout a person heading towards a challenge/struggle for a cause, and that process may result in terrible loses but you must continue to carry on.

when your passions becomes a tool to be used in destruction, why do you build them? Why do you need those weapons of war? In the film, Castorp asked Jiro whether he would want pyramids or not, he is saying if your beautiful planes becomes a tool to murder, would you still build it? It's not so different when they visited Germany, the military is converting a passenger plane into a bomber. Is the plane designer responsible for this decision? It's an unfortunate circumstance that your skill is becoming a tool for someone else's ideals, when your dream is to meet Castorp on top of a hill and become your hero, seeing your plane fly freely in the sky. Jiro even mentioned that he would drop the machine gun to reduce weight, clearly he doesnt want to build a weapon. This film isnt about glorifying Zero Planes that killed million of people, (nor about smoking cigarettes that would cause lung cancer), that's silly (not that i don't respect historical events) but you are really missing the point!

Emotionally, I really like the slow yet steady movements in character's acting. In japanese culture, respect and feelings are expressed in a subtle way, the nodding of the head, the stillness of the face, when characters do not blink in a scene, are all great acting beats that you feel subconsciously. When Naoko meeting Jiro the second time in the forest, her expression says it all, they simply looked at one another for a moment and tears rolled down her eyes. That moment when Jiro's listening on the phone hearing that Naoko is very ill, that quick cut of her vomiting blood, and the way Jiro rushing out of the house, all in complete silence, are extremely powerful gut feelings weaved together perfectly from shot to shot. That to me was the best part of this film. and I do not see just drawings moving across the screen, or bg painted by hands. (Nowadays, too much is being focused on comical exaggeration, and special fx). To express real feelings from the heart requires control and draftmanship in order to execute the scene properly. These moments make you forget the animation, but how real the characters had become. did you also notice the different way Jiro walk from time to time? or  the way he looks up in the sky. I find the film very emotionally fulfilling, it may seem to be long, and mundane on the surface (for most casual movie goers), but with careful observation, if you immerse yourself in the struggle of the character's mind. You feel their sorrow, hope and what Jiro wants to create isn't some metal machine to be used in the army.

To sum it all up, 'The Wind Rises' is different in a way, that after all the films done in the past, Miyazaki-san is giving us a look at his final thoughts on his career. Was he just building a pyramind? No, he built a plane that he always dream of, and not for any other purpose. It may not make a lot of money in the box office, people who dont understand his views maybe think he is a narrow minded grumpy old man, but I think this is a personal film he made for HIMSELF. It's not a political message of any sort, you may think, "how dare he pay tribute to a man who's work massacred million of people, how dare they not showing a drop of blood at hands of the japanese empire?! how dare him not showing a single guilt as if he is proud of what his nation did in world war II?!" Would you feel better if there were images of dead bodies? (watch 'Night and Fog') No, this is not a film about killing machines, if every movie on Albert Einstein is about the destruction of the atomic bomb, then what would be the importance of science? why do we bother creating technology? If these 'pyramids' didnt exist, would that make a better world? NO. Technology is invented to improve on life, but sometimes we take advantage of them for destructive uses. As artists, we create images to reflect our personal feelings on life and its memories, without them we'd simply live and die as time goes on, then what would be the significance of achieving anything?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

rage drawing

lets see if i still like the drawing in a few hours...

 my non artist friend gives the best comments... but really it was just a warmup for zoidberg.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

sometimes, you just cant let go.

my version of 'edge of tomorrow' would be (try) to do boards on korra... and get shot for every screw up... (reboard, die, revisions...)

(also, why is every korra gallery employee only?! ...rage...)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

the Itano Circus

in animation, I often think about the things I haven't done yet. and this is one of those.
after watching many clips of missile circus scene from anime, I broke down some patterns of what makes it work:

the basic straight trail. single direction w/ timing variations. how it all started.

mass missile circle. the leading object will circle around the center of the shot, as missiles following its path, mixing background and foreground placements. timing variation happen when missiles enter and leave the scene, but the eye will always be tracking the object.
it's easier to figure out the composition once the path of the lead object is done, the missiles should always compliment the ships movements. like a dance. its also crucial that you should track each missile in key animation, so you don't end up pulling your hair out on inbetweens.
 although the leading object will travel in a linear course, it's what the trail does that creates the rhythm. In a guitar solo, there are slow and fast riffs/licks. In my case, its the 'wave principle', fundamental but very important. (i think 'Itano' circus has more straight trails but more camera work in them, especially cg stuff)

limited missile w/ animated perspective
 the scene would be more graceful if i didn't have so much trail flapping here. so it can balance out the moving bg.
I had no clue how to do this, or what the style would look like, then i remembered this 3d sakuga clip and started noodling down the basic shades, things started to click, and I figured out what I was going for. tracking the rocks is so much easier than tracking 6 missiles haha.

some bgs i mashed together. reuse!

there are no blue prints for this, but there are some guidelines to why it works. mix and match camera work with animation style and you can come up with some amazing things. overall, when you get pass the technicalities of drawing, it all becomes feelings of self expression. (...aka my unhealthy obsession to animate.)

"don't think! feeeeeel!!!..."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

yes you ken!

killing sum animation right now... come back after feb 20th. ciao!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

TMNT (re)vision quest

it was around the time Kill la Kill came out,  so i thought of using giant letters in this sequence. Sebastian made the shots full body so they are shorter, and more consistent. (when i started on TMNT i had interesting ideas but wasnt experienced enough to execute them properly)

listened to Princess Mononoke music pretty much the whole time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

'Birdman' review

if you are a struggling artist, you will feel what this film means.

between ego tripping and wanting to blow your own head off, this film bring to life the struggles of a washed up actor breaking out of his mold doing what HE wants. despite the criticism, anxiety over people's opinions, and fear of failure. When that poster of your old movie hangs on the wall telling you this is all you can ever do, self doubt becomes a ticking time bomb, or perhaps... bitter fuel for motivation.

There will always be better and more successful artists out there, and if you arent as good, then you are but a small shadow in their presence. Edward Norton played a role of a highly successful but also narcissistic broadway actor who seemed to have lost his moral conscious long time ago. (quiet contrary to what he is in real life) someone who thinks he on top of his game with disregard to his actions nor respect for those around him. Mocking the protagonist that his success is wholly dependent on his name.

Main while, Michael Keaton's performance makes one forget hes ever in that Robocop reboot. (perhaps this will be a good change from the popcorn movies he was in...) Portraying a divorced father with a voice in his head, struggling just to survive the everyday mental test of directing his first broadway show, the drama between his staff and the visions of his career. He faces constantly pressure from everything around him. His room is almost a metaphor for his state of mind, among the piles of mess around, theres that window he looks out to and see the sky above... Give in to the voice in your head, that depressing yet hopeful cringe feeling telling you not to give up, and screw those who disapprove. You can do this! Dont we all sometimes just want to gulp down a whole bottle and forget who you are? but when you wake up, no matter how trashy you feel, if you set out to do the one thing you meant to do, you could care less whats around you. You are in the zone, you become Birdman, and you can do anything. (you still have to pay that cab fare though)

its funny, how the cost of success is just like blowing out your face with a pistol, and you bleed a little to show people what you are capable of. Through that pain, the struggle, and the urge to just 'kill yourself', at the end of the tunnel, that long dark tunnel, if you dont lose yourself along the way, you are gonna get what you wanted.

ps - yes the camera work is superb in its subtle way.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015

ermahgerd a drroorrrwin..

i can still draw...

(a week of not drawing turtles... horraaahhh... horraahhh....horraahhh.....)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dog eat dog - review on 'Nightcrawler'

first of all, Robert Elswit's cinematography is superb in the film (and im defintely not the only one to say this). its very apparent that the way its shot not only brings a personality of los angeles to life but also set up in a way that compliments the protagonist's personality as well. We are not only seeing the world through Lou's eyes, but also his mind. From still shots of the city, to the streets at night and the pov of a recording cam, the camera work brought this film to life. It's not just in Jake Gyllenhaal's acting that tells a story of immoral judgment and narcissistic needs, but we feel it as we watch the protagonist transgress deeper for his desire of getting what he wants.

From the very beginning, we see Lou stealing a watch from a security guard, as he is cutting fence wires to sell for scrap money. He may be clever with words, and seems like an optimistic guy, but we soon learn that something is very off. I'd like to compare this film with 'Taxi Driver' where we observe Travis's pov of social corruption and decides to act according to his own morals. 'Nightcrawler' is a case of a underdog living in a dog eat dog world where everyone is only looking after themselves, a study of a person willing to abandon moral values in order to succeed. Lou Bloom is an anti hero and we are only 'rooting' for him to see him falling further down the path. From sabotaging his competitors vehicle to letting criminals getting away to get to the scene of a homicide and finally having his partner shot by the criminal just for the footage. As far as we root for his success we are also shocked at his disregard for human life, and we see through his 'words of optimism' of what he truly is. In the end, as the news director standing face to face with Lou in front of the video of his dead partner saying "its just amazing, just amazing..." and Lou's 'congradulation' speech to his new employees, we can only hope and wonder, how far is he willing to go? how long would this 'success' last?

It's ironic, that his last words were "i would never ask you to do anything that I would not do myself." with a smiling pokerface, in front of his naive interns. certainly, at one point in or another in our lives, we have experienced such personality, and have learned what they are really after isn't in those words.

Monday, December 29, 2014

on 'Foxcatcher'

facinating story, and I almost didnt recognize Steve Carell with his superb performance (and lack of hair) portraying Jon du Pont's point of view. Clearly, from the start of the story, I knew something is too good to be true, almost purposely set up that such events cant be real. The film started off with filling in the audience of Mark Schultz's point of view (his struggle and being little naive) but gradually upon realizing the problem, we transitioned into the mind set of Jon du Pont.

the film presented the viewer with several metaphors of how du Pont is keeping his wrestlers like the horses in his barn, and how du Pont is really a child still trying to impress his mother by projecting false images of himself, still trying to prove something that he thinks he deserve. its pretty hard to sum up the film in a single sentence, but it does make you think about the many themes presented in it. One can have power and wealth, but values such as love, respect, and achievements are EARNED. which is the fundamental difference between Jon du Pont and Dave Schultz. clearly, du Pont is confused seeing how Dave is able to gain the respect, and trust of the teamates, while he is only some shadow watching from the side line. As much as he tries to 'participate' everyone knows what he really is, behind all the wealth and trophies lying around. He feels uncomfortable and confused seeing Dave is loved by his kids and wife, and a bond between the brothers that he does not share - look at me! the 'golden eagle' of America!

the film does not project a positive outcome, and that uneasy feeling slowly eating away at Mark's mind after snorting cocaine in the helicopter builds up in a subtle and steady manner. i think Channing Tatum did a great job in portraying it. It reminds me of 'Raging Bull' depictions of self destructiveness when a person knowingly going down the wrong path. There aren't too many dialogues, and even when characters are talking, they are whispering in a way that almost let's the audience fill in the gap. I think those silent moments are thousand times more powerful than any lines given... often in a movie, when the characters are 'just talking' i look away, because there's no real meaning in what they are saying, but when a character is not saying anything, it keeps my eyes on the screen to really feel what the character is TRYING to say, and I get it more than words can describe. (unlike TV animation, which is filled with unnecessary dialogue trying to keep kid's attention at bay, and sell toys during breaks) anyways, but when the characters do speak, the words were spot on.
"no... you can't buy Dave." and we get it!

there were few part of the film that I predicted what was going to happen, and they did. Probably due to the foreshadowing of camera work, and Steve Carell's acting. you can see it in his face of what he probably will do. My mind went something like "oh no way! hes gonna ..." and it DID happen. the setting and the cinematography of the film reminds me of 'Fargo' not because of the cold winter snow, but the feeling of loneliness, we see a lot of open space, the gym, the field, the morning fog, and even indoors , to help establish the mood for the film. Du Pont is trapped inside an image of himself, trapped in the expectations of his family, trapped inside the estate that is in the middle of a battle ground.

'foxcatcher' is a different kind of sports drama, and more of a thriller I feel, that is different from the others. We are not dealing with winning the medal or the physical/mental challenges of the sport, but winning whats more important to the protagonist, money and comfort? or a brotherly love that cant be bought. Du Pont is like the caged animal himself, he is caged by his inherited wealth, his false image and surrounded himself with achievements of others. Mark realizes what du Pont is doing to him, and it's Dave's brotherly love that saved him from going down the same path. In many ways, the film translates to real life (not because its based off real events) but we do see these very people in our daily lives and it subconsciously helps us to make the right choices from time to time. That to me, is what makes a good Film. (amen!) : D