a day in the studio

100 Days of Trump Day 62:  need to talk about Kenny/This is Phil Fish

Welcome back to 100 days of Trump, where I try to explain WTF happened in 2016 though 100 recommendations, and this is sort of a last min one I just thought of and am just running with it because spontaneity.  So Telltale’s the Walking Dead is pretty good, you should check it out, best thing to come out of the Walking dead brand, but it isn’t Season 1 I am recommending to understand Trump.  Season 2 is a pretty objectively worse total game experience with some really good and really bad bits, but it too is not something I an recommending.  I am recommending this video by Innuendo Studios about the Walking Dead series 

   And since it is one video that is only 20 mins, you ave no excuse for ignoring my recommendations this time =p.  But ok why am I recommending this?  It helps if you play Season 2 of Tell Tale’s the walking Dead (seriously somebody needs to get a new name) but it isn’t necessary, what am I about.  

   Lets look at Kenny as a a likely Trump voter, and he is a white man from the South so that isn’t like…impossible.  The man is destructive, cruel, selfish, and utterly toxic to the people around him, and I don’t want to excuse his behavior (After all, I shot him), but I think it is important to understand him.  Because Kenny and a lot of Trump voters, particularly those who have lost their jobs from NAFTA or the Crash or are vets from the War, act this way because they don’t really have a way of processing their emotions.  

    Poverty is not a kind thing to people with psychological issues, and there isn’t much in the way of recourse, and people like Kenny or rather the Trump AU voter version of Kenny is a fundamentally broken, they are without prospects, education, or really hope.  I talked in my previous segments (episodes, what am I calling these?) on Fight Club and 1984 about how the people who most brag about masculinity often are abject failures at it and how people will parrot something without actually valuing it, and this is sort of the conclusion of that little mini trilogy I am doing here.  Because a lot of the people who live in that Right wing Media hate bubble look and act a lot like Kenny from Walking Dead II, they are deeply unhappy people who are in this mental state where they really really don’t want to dwell on their own emotions.  This might be shame about failing to be successful in a society that sees poverty as makings you a loser, they might have had their wives or friends leave them, they might be embittered vets or socially maladjusted Gamergaters/MRAs bitters their own unpopularity, they might be people who have been realizing that America is fundamentally broken, the point is they are really upset people who are trying to not come to terms with their actual problems.  And for a lot of these people, they have spent their entire life as Republicans and opposed democrats, hating democrats is a core part of who they are, and they are suddenly confronted with the fact that maybe…just maybe…the left was right all along.  Maybe Socialism has a point, maybe the Free Market really doesn’t care about the little guy, maybe the War on Terror is impossible to win, maybe the War on Drugs makes no sense, maybe the Republican Party is built on lies, and maybe their entire belief system is just fundamentally wrong.  And that scares Republican Kenny because Kenny really doesn’t want to deal with his own feelings, if he does, if he starts to question his views on systemic racism or views of women, or the entire foundations of American.  And then comes Donald Trump, who is different from any modern US politician who comes up and says “Don’t try to deal with your emotions, just take the raw sewage of your internal psychological state and channel it into incoherent rage as personified by me”.  And When Republican Kenny looks and sees HIllary fucking Clinton, the most establishment person in the world as the only alternative, he throws himself into Trump.

       And so he takes this sort of incoherent rage and channels it into protecting America, something which he doesn’t understand, because that to him is the only thing that really makes him ok and serves as a pillar in his world. And that is the trick, a lot of politics is not actually about facts, its about the emotions, and you need to understand these people’s emotions to know how to live with this in the future.  And remember, a great deal of Trump voters at their heart are extremely unhappy, depressed and in many cases on the verge of suicide, these are broken people, and broken people have always been extremely easy to exploit.  But until something else becomes his anchor, Republican Kenny will continue to support Trump, the only thing that can change his mind is a video of Trump being told by Putin to destroy America and him responding “Yes My master”, or somebody else to serve as a vessel for his insecurities.  

Also as a little bonus, this video is a good summery of the way people with existing anger view things based on a basic first impression, and when people say that they hate or like something, they are often talking about a concept, even if they can’t conceive it.

    So when people say “Trump is real, Clinton is Fake” they are going off a basic impression of the two, rather than the facts, because for a lot of people, voting is a form of emotional catharsis or comes from the same psychologically place as the way people care about celebrities.  And just as Phil Fish the concept is very different from the man, so too do we err when we do so with politics.  And how a lot of people will jump on board with 

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On this day in music history: March 24, 1986 - “5150”, the seventh studio album by Van Halen is released. Produced by Mick Jones, Donn Landee and Van Halen, it is recorded at 5150 Studios in Hollywood, CA from November 1985 - February 1986. Prior to recording, long time lead vocalist David Lee Roth departs from the band for a solo career, making Van Halen’s future uncertain. After considering a number of possible replacements, Van Halen even consider disbanding at one point. Then in July of 1985, Eddie Van Halen meets singer and guitarist Sammy Hagar at a garage while both are having work done on their cars. Van Halen extends an invitation to work with the band, and Hagar accepts. Once in the studio together, everyone gets along so well that Hagar is offered the lead singer spot, taking David Lee Roth’s place. When word gets out about Sammy Hagar replacing Roth, many fans are skeptical at first, referring to the new line up mockingly as “Van Hagar”. But once the album is released, opinions quickly change, with the record becoming a huge success and the first chart topping album of their career. The title comes from the California Welfare And Institutions code for someone who is “criminally insane”. Van Halen adopts the moniker as the name of his home recording studio, as well as a line of guitar amplifiers (made by Peavey) that he helps design and endorses. The album spins off three (plus two additional radio only tracks) singles including “Why Can’t This Be Love” (#3 Pop), “Dreams” (#22 Pop), and “Love Walks In” (#22 Pop). “5150” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

I’ve wrote about this before, but I still think it’s worth repeating; I don’t understand Warner Brothers’ aversion to anything McGonagall related. I had a day off work today, so went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It’s not my first time, I was last there in 2014, and since then they’ve added the Hogwarts Express. It’s a perfectly fun day out, but I’m still struck by how the tour, and indeed Warners in general, seem to neglect McGonagall when it comes to a) the exhibitions, and b) merchandise - hell they’ve still to release the cut scenes of a recovering McGonagall in a wheelchair from the Order of the Phoenix, which is utterly nonsensical given photos of the scene exist and they actually included a two second clip from the scene in a making of featurette on one of the DVDs. I get that Harry Potter is mainly about the “Golden Trio”, and that as such nearly everything from merchandise to the general gist of the studio tour is geared around them and the younger characters, but I can’t help but think that Warners is missing something in ignoring the older characters, especially McGonagall. I know I’m not the only one who in effect fell in love with the books and watched the films for her rather than the main protagonists. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Warners haven’t bothered to do much market research and instead have just made a bunch of assumptions about the fans of the series based on their ages - assuming the average age of the first fans and then those new to the series equates to a preference for the younger characters rather than the teachers. About the only the characters who seem to escape the rather ageist assumption that only the young characters are worth more than a cursory mention are Dumbledore, Snape, Bellatrix (who appears on a t-shirt in the gift shop), and rather bizarrely Umbridge, who warrants a whole little section all of her own on the tour (her office is on display, as well the pink suits). I’ve nothing against Snape getting some quality time during the tour (and it’s a nice subtle way of remembering the late Alan Rickman too) - three of his outfits are on display, and the potions classroom, but it feels really rather odd that McGonagall, perhaps not as pivotal in terms of plot but still an important character, warrants only one costume on display and a single wig. Admittedly they have thankfully switched out her rather drab costume from the Half Blood Price for her glorious green robes from the first two films, but it’s still irritatingly little. She’d had more than one set of robes, they could have displayed some of her amazing brooches, they even ignore the cat that played her animagus form in the picture board of the animal actors lol. I know I’m biased, but I don’t think my bias is coloring my opinion that much when a character that was in seven out of the eight films barely gets a look in in a tour that on average lasts over two hours. And literally the only thing you can buy merchandise wise that relates directly to her is a wand. When you can buy all manner of sweets with a Honeydukes logo on the tin, would it be that big an ask to maybe include ginger newt biscuits too? Hell, you can buy individual posters of Dumbledore, Snape, even Hagrid, but no McGonagall. Come on, Warners, show McGonagall a little love!

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Sukeno is counting down the days to the final episode of the anime adaption made by Studio Pierrot on his twitter account and provides us with a bunch of doodles.

He calls this doodle, I call this pure art!

Btw it contains another Shimayu hint. Look at the picture on Shimon’s shirt.^^

source: https://twitter.com/sukeno0723

When you realize it's been exactly 7 years since How To Train Your Dragon came out in theaters and you just feel a lot of things.

HTTYD will always be my favorite movie. Not just for the witty writing or the original storyline but for the animation and the all around likable characters as well as many other things it did so incredibly well.

I saw this film four different times in theaters and many more on DVD. Every time I rewatch it I fall more and more in love. It’s important to see something so brilliant come out of a children’s animation studio in the day and age when animation is being taken less seriously. These films have taken an approach to storytelling that is different. They are packed with heart and important lessons about family, loyalty and being true to who you really are inside.

It’s been 7 years since the film that completely changed my outlook on life and animation in general. I can’t wait for 3!

How the Fantastic Beasts were brought to life: An interview with visual effects supervisor Pablo Grillo

The lingering perception of visual effects supervisors among mainstream movie-goers is that their entire day job consists of nerdily beavering away at computers in tucked-away studios, well out of the way of the real action of a blockbuster set.

These days, that couldn’t be further from the truth, and Pablo Grillo - one of Framestore’s lead animators who worked his magic on Paddington, The Golden Compass and four of the Harry Potter films - is the perfect example of someone who has a guiding hand in the filmmaking process from conception to completion.

Today he’s talking about his Bafta-nominated work on JK Rowling’s newest baby - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. One of the most obviously praise-worthy elements of the box-office smash was the beasts themselves: funny, full of personality and visually stunning, they indisputably stole the show, as the film’s title suggested they might. The naughty Niffler and doleful Demiguise in particular transformed this from a run-of-the-mill dip in the wizarding world into something far more memorable.

Grillo was in place from day one of production and played a central role in shaping each of the creatures individually. “We were given a lot of creative freedom from the beginning, there was almost an alarming level of trust in us and the team,” he chuckles. “It was an open brief, essentially. David [Yates, the director] saw the value in bringing the animation team in from the start, to shape how these creatures were going to come together.

“We were put in charge of overseeing how the animals were going to grow into real characters, and not just the flat images we drew them as. We went through months of creating situations and funny moments with David and the producers, before chiselling it down to the batch that made it into the final film.

“From there we could start to formulate behaviour, or visual gags, and how we could build them into the big set pieces - little quirks actually informed the final script. It was an incredibly fulfilling process overall - mainly because of the challenges open to us.”

And there were countless such challenges, Grillo explains. The process of developing “intimacy” with the creatures, as he put it, was a long and difficult one - finding layers of detail in things that could be seen as fairly throwaway in the script, and creating a believable bond with Eddie Redmayne’s Newt. “Quite quickly we’d get an impression of whether they would work anatomically, but it took longer to being feel their places as performers in the film, and whether audiences would engage with them.”

Grillo is currently putting the finishing touches to Paddington 2, which recently wrapped filming and is due out at the end of the year - “It has a similar tone to the first but with a bit more adventure, which is great for us,” he grins, but refuses to give away any more hints. “I’ve become something of a creature specialist over the past few years, and that suits me just fine.” He says that although the tools and technologies available to Framestore have changed hugely over the years, their basic approach to films is more or less the same as it ever was.

“We utilise the same classic principles of movement that have been around for decades, so the basic elements haven’t changed that much,” he says. “With the Potter films, it felt like each year we were pioneering, pushing the edges: each step represented a huge feat for us. When the Hippogriff came together it was like ‘Wow, we’ve really done something here’. I think nowadays the way we construct creatures and build them, these are things that we now understand better and have done so for a while.”

The animator reveals that there is one innovation he is excited to see pushed further: the use of augmented reality on set. He hopes that in the not too distant future, a cameraman will be able to look down the lens and see a pre-animated character ready to roll. “Something that I think we need to be able to do better is making it less of an abstract process on set,” he says. “That would be one of the more pioneering things, to give filmmakers a better grasp of distancing while using animation and allow us to do away with using bags on sticks as placeholders.

“It will still require a lot of preparation and you wouldn’t want anything to detract from live element of shooting a movie, but anything that smooths out the whole process while retaining the dynamism of filmmaking would be valuable to us.”

Until that happens, Grillo is getting back to what he and the Framestore team do best: dreaming up new ways to bring smart creatures to the big screen in a way that leaves their audiences gawping at the magic of movie-making. “The more we can form these creative partnerships with filmmakers and offer our expertise, the more stories we’re going to get to tell.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out now on digital download and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD 27 March.

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On this day in music history: March 24, 1986 - “Dirty Work”, the twentieth (eighteenth UK) studio album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by Steve Lillywhite and The Glimmer Twins, it is recorded at EMI Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France from April 8 - August 17, 1985. The veteran rock band’s first release under their new contract with CBS Records, it is recorded during a period of major acrimony between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards which considerably affects its outcome, as well as the death of Stones road manager/keyboardist Ian Stewart. Part of the friction between Jagger and Richards is caused by Jagger’s absence from many of the recording sessions as he is off recording his first solo album “She’s The Boss”. Richards, unhappy at Jagger not making The Stones his first priority, records the majority of the album with the other members of the band. Jagger overdubs most of his vocals after the basic tracks have been cut. Keith’s ire is further raised when Mick Jagger appears at Live Aid in the Summer of 1985 solo (and with Tina Turner), while Keith and Ron Wood perform with Bob Dylan. When the album is finally released, it is to largely mixed reviews, with the rift between Jagger and Richards being widely played up in the press. For the first time in many years, it is the first Rolling Stones album not to be supported by a tour or any other major promotional appearances by the band. It spins off two singles including a cover version of R&B duo Bob & Earl’s classic “Harlem Shuffle” (#5 Pop), whose music video (and the single picture sleeve) with is directed and features animation by artist Ralph Bakshi (“Fritz The Cat”, “American Pop”) and John Kricfalusi (“Ren & Stimpy”). The second single “One Hit (To The Body)” (#28 Pop) features a guitar solo by Jimmy Page and background vocals by Bobby Womack, Don Covay, Patti Scialfa and Kirsty MacColl. The accompanying video directed by Russell Mulcahy (Duran Duran, Kim Carnes, Elton John, Bonnie Tyler), captures the palpable tension between Mick and Keith at the time on film. The original vinyl LP pressings feature a cartoon on the inner sleeve illustrated by artist Mark Marek (Cyndi Lauper), with the album jacket wrapped in clear red shrinkwrap with a “hype sticker” affixed to the front. Originally released on CD in tandem with the vinyl and cassette, it is remastered and reissued in 1994 and again in 2009. In 2014, a limited edition DSD mastered Japanese SHM-CD is released, replicating the original vinyl LP packaging (in mini-LP form) including the red shrinkwrap and hype sticker. It is also issued as a single layer SACD at the same time. “Dirty Work” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Hot Spot

Imagine your OTP sitting next to each other at a lunch table. Person A slides their hand over to person B’s thigh, moving closer to the ‘hot spot’ with each rub. B gets really shifty while A’s doing it and people ask if B’s okay multiple times, while A’s just grinning. You decide what happens next.

“Hey little sis. What’s up?”

“Hi Val. Do you have time in that busy schedule for a quick dinner with me tonight? I know you’ll be at the studio all day tomorrow. I just wanted some time with you before the show starts and then you will be across the world all the time and…”

“Whoa there Laurie. Of course, I’ll meet you for dinner. Where do you want to go?”

“Oh good. Yay! Let’s go to the diner right near the studio so you aren’t too far. You’re going to bring Jenna, right? You know, now that you came to your senses and fixed things.”

“I’ll ask her.”

“Good. You know I like her a lot for you Val.”

“I know you do. I like her a lot too. Always have. I’ll text you when I hear from Jenna. What time?”

“I can be there within a half hour but whenever you can get out.”

“Half hour sounds good. I’ll see you soon little sis.”

“Yay! See you soon” Laurie says with a giggle. “You better have Jenna with you” she says just before she hangs up, not giving Val a chance to respond.

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