Sunday, December 14, 2014

Merry Gif-fing Christmas

Here's a new gif for the holiday. Just 8 drawings manipulated in Gif Animator. Strange that this doesn't work on my iMac but the PC handles it. I guess Steve don't like no old programs.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Life For Old VHS

   While looking for Christmas-themed short cartoons with the classic characters (Popeye, Casper, Woody Woodpecker, etc.) I came across a VHS edit I did in the 1990's. I took an audio cassette recording I had of Mae Questel (Betty's most famous voice) and pieced together scenes available from a couple of VHS collections of Boop cartoons. I managed to find enough clips to complement the lyrics and make it a complete music video. There was one line where I couldn't find a scene that worked so I grabbed the shot from the Fleischer Color Classics "Christmas Comes But Once A Year". Betty Boop's Grampy stars in that film so technically it's all in the family.
   Have a look:

   Another 1990's VHS edit was unearthed as a result of my seeing the coming attractions trailer to the Dwayne Johnson film "San Andreas". This is a disaster film set in California with a title that pretty much tells it all. While the aftershocks from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake were still rumbling around the area, I had my VCR set for KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles and recorded several reports from the staff in the field. I intercut them with appropriate scenes from "Superman: The Movie" and got a five-minute clip of Superman's efforts to save Lois and Jimmy and LA from the quake.
   You can check that out here:

   There are other edits I've found but one in particular could be a problem. It involves Walt Disney's "Bambi". You see, I found out who killed Bambi's mother. However, knowing how litigious the Disney Empire is, I hesitate in posting the clip. I haven't even transferred it to the computer since they probably have software that can find me anywhere in the world. I'm picturing a SWAT team with little Mickey Mouse badges kicking my door down and dragging me off for waterboarding on the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Don't need that hassle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

World AIDS Day: GET REAL!

    I try to avoid the political rants of most blogs, vlogs and websites but had to speak up when the mainstream media continued their disinformation campaign regarding AIDS with their coverage of World AIDS day. Here's a Link to a YouTube video that pretty much sums up everything that you'll never hear on the networks or most other accepted news outlets. Skip the video if you're squeamish about profanity. There's a lot of it here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7P4iFg048k

Saturday, November 29, 2014

HERE WE GO AGAIN

   The pumpkins have been smashed or turned into pies and lattes, the turkey has been consumed and excreted. Now all roadblocks have been cleared to Wal*Mas, I mean, Christmas. With gas prices lower than they've been since before 2008 we can spend that money on gifts dammit! In fact, the relationship between gas prices and the gift-buying economy is so obvious it's lost on all the blowhards in the media and government. So get out there, people, buy some good stuff this year! Especially for me! I want the 1966 Batman series (either one season at a time or, if you're really not using much gas, the whole blasted box set!). That way, when the scoundrels who control the gas prices finally wake up, I can sit snugly on my sofa watching colorful, stylized violence and not have to travel anywhere. Enjoy the season, kiddies!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Unfinished Sin-phony

   Aside from the lung problems mentioned previously on this blog, there were several other situations keeping me from my creative projects. This animated music video was started in 2009 shortly after i bought a new iMac. "Come A Little Bit Closer" is a story song that I wanted to interpret in animation and began assembling gag sketches to synchronize with the audio. I was even able to take some animated gifs I made in Gif Animator and insert them in the timeline. Unfortunately, whatever bit of computer magic that allowed that got lost somewhere because I haven't been able to convert any newer gifs to use in the video or anywhere else.
     The main character started out as a slim cowboy but I soon thought that the 1984 incarnation of Prince was funnier. Not only would his outfit be out of place in this seedy bar but I thought he would be outlandish enough to French-kiss a latin thug in front of his girl friend. The name of the bar is a bit of Spanish slang I picked up over 40 years in California. Although its a rather vulgar thing to say, there's an elegant sound to my Anglo ears so I thought it made a nice name for a club.
   I suspect that YouTube and it's corporate partners will come down on my use of the soundtrack so check out the video before the gildersleeves come for me.





Monday, September 1, 2014

BREATHE DEEPLY

   Well, the summer is almost over and the traffic is returning to it's points of origin. I haven't been very good company here since my lungs haven't been cooperating very well. And if you don't believe me then take a look:


Actually, this was taken in 2013 but the current x-ray shows more darkening of the lungs that would indicate more trouble. The corresponding lack of energy and additional difficulty doing simple chores has made keeping up the blog a low priority for me right now. I'll be going in for more tests during the month but I could probably use a Roto-Rooter job on the lungs real soon. Check back for the latest developments.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

STAR TRIX: THE FLICK Returns To YouTube

Although I completed the upload early Wednesday morning, I'm just getting around to blithering about it now. Star Trix: The Flick is now available for viewing on YouTube. Part 1 starts here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM1Cktb94GM
It's not the full remaster job I wanted to do but the picture is vastly improved from the copy used back in 2007. I used the Kodachrome original from a Hi8 transfer done around 1997. Not exactly digital sharpness but there are a lot of details visible that were a bit blurry before. Of course, the Kodachrome color is better too.
I tried to choose scene breaks at natural transition points and inserted some closing titles to each segment to point the way to the next "episode". To me, the film actually benefits from being watched in short segments than all at one time. Something I noticed as soon as the film was finished was that in trying to follow the original feature closely, I inadvertently duplicated the slow, sluggish pace too. Unfortunately, once the print was made and the soundtrack mixed, I didn't have the cash to revise it. So watching ST:TF in short segments helps lessen the feeling of sleepiness (I hope).


                                                                                           Photo by GRANT HIESTAND
Pulling a knife on the admiral.