atomic action

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I know I’m late to the part but here’s the trailer for “Atomic Blonde”. All you need to know is that it stars Charlize Theron and is directed by one half of the duo that directed the first “John Wick”.
I’m really excited for this one. We’ve needed a good female fronted action film for a while. There have been a few that have tried and failed, but this one looks like it might actually work. The fight scenes look brutal and well conceived (she doesn’t look like Wonder Woman. She has to work hard to beat her enemies) and Theron seems to suit the role perfectly. Can you believe she’s 41?
That neck-yank-causing-the-dude-to-kick-the-other-guy-in-the-face moment is solid gold.
I’ll be watching the fuck out of this one.

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Atomic Blonde Based on the Graphic Novel The Coldest City

Directed by David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool 2)

Cinematography Jonathan Sela (John Wick)

Edited by Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir (John Wick)

This trailer is amazing, it is art. And queer woman action lead! And Sofia Boutella, James Mcavoy, Toby Miller, and other excellent character actors. I don’t even care that it has lame slow moody pop music in it!

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Thanks in advance for watching and sharing!

I was going to have the first bit of footage I showed to the world be the trailer, but with Net Neutrality in jeopardy, it’s probably better to start showing stuff sooner rather than later.  Plus, you guys are cool, so… why not?

This is just a collection of almost-finished FX shots I put together and slapped some sound on.  As you can see in posts below, I’ve been working on getting the full-sized bus set ready while I wait on the final puppets to come in.  Until those last pieces are in place, I’ve just been working on vehicle FX and getting my ducks in a row.

Most of these shots are from an early sequence where our heroes are escaping Beverly Holes Maximum Security Prison.  The prison itself is in the last long shot.  Nothing is final, so don’t get clingy.

More to come!

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New “Atomic Blonde” trailer, with plenty of kickassery from Charlize Theron.

Long ago, I started this as a piece of promo art before abandoning it in a folder titled “New Folder 3″.  

I actually “got my start” in video games, having scored a few jobs doing bitmap art in high school.  I remember one of the games ended up getting published.  A dull side-scrolling shooter called “Gort”.  I can find no evidence that it ever existed.   In college, I worked on a series of groundbreaking never-to-be-released adventure games.  Looking back, it was years of work for little-to-no pay, but I learned a lot.

Once I started this bitmap Heck and Dead Meat poster, I was flooded with pleasant memories of placing pixels.  And I soon realized that if I was really going to to a good bitmap poster, I’d basically have to create a whole tileset and some poses from animated character turns and… I ain’t got time for that!

Plus, Dead Meat’s got nothing to do with video games.  Or at least very little.  So what was the point?

Still, there’s something soothing about making pixel art.  It probably has to do with the grid and limited palette forcing me to contend with the sort of rules I usually prefer to ignore; knocking my brain into a different drive.  Maybe after Dead Meat I’ll still be game for some game art.  But in between, I plan on getting really into Mai Tais.

having a body, and other such things

#epistemic status: this is all true, but this post is only a rough outline of what it should be
#oiginally attempted irl, in collaboration with @blindalchemistblog, to @jenlog and @nonternary
#a lot of this is hard to convey over text. i am willing to teach people irl but i am basically only free on saturdays so i would prefer groups of at least like, three people
#if you have a physical disability these will probably be different but at least i through iii should transfer at least partially
#click through to the original post for the complete version

i. know that you have a body

many people, especially many people likely to read this, don’t like having a body and try to ignore it/never really learned to use it. ones body is not a vehicle for transporting you along predefined paths and interacting with computers (i mean, it can be, but being aware of your body actually has upsides). if you hate your body you have an incentive to dissociate from it all the time. it will probably be painful to stop, but you will hate it less if you manage to. identification with and pride in the way your body moves and general connection to your body really helps. being a human in your human body hurts, but you can make the best of it. i believe in you <3

action:
- walk, or run if running is natural for you. pay attention to what is happening in your body. go through your joints and muscles and feel what they’re doing. this breaks down a skill that is sufficiently natural that you don’t recognize it as having component parts into component parts; a lot of people are uncomfortable with doing things that require thinking in terms of small components at all + seeing the small components of atomic-seeming actions is useful. to be able to do more things you actually want your atomic-seeming actions to be smaller and have wider applications and to be able to lace them together quickly
- notice your minor physical needs. the way you’re sitting is probably uncomfortable to some degree. pay attention to that.
- see pt iii

ii. paths (world)

there are paths we are expected to travel—you walk on the sidewalk, you sit in chairs (normally, sitting up, feet down), etc.. people often fail to notice that not following the paths is even an option. following paths is strongly socially reinforced; children often don’t notice paths; general comfort with being unconventional helps wrt paths.

action:
- try to pay attention to paths. notice the prescribed ways in which youre allowed to interact with objects and your environment.
- do different things deliberately so that it becomes natural.
- for example, if youre walking up some stairs with a railing, walk up on the outside of the railing on the few inches of steps that extend past the railing and then climb over the railing
- pick an object, preferably some kind of furniture, or maybe a face of a building with a porch, or something like that. describe its prescribed uses. do a few things outside the expected ways to interact with it.

iii. paths (self)

people’s repertoire of available types of movements is typically quite small, and things outside it feel awkward and unnatural. if this seems counterintuitive, film yourself trying to copy a video of someone dancing in a way that is not particularly technically complex (ie youre theoretically capable of everything theyre doing) but not similar to anything youve actually practiced. movement is contrained on the order of the way the sounds you make are constrained relative to all the sounds you potentially could make (ie, mostly language, which is made of a limited set of phonemes in certain orders, limited non-language sounds).

action:
- explore the entire range of motion of each of your joints. start with your jaw. move down to your neck. roll it, push your head forward, pull it back, tip it to the side, move it to the side without tipping, etc.
- go through your muscles, one by one as much as possible, probably starting at your toes but any systemic approach is fine, and notice it. tighten it. relax it.
- the above are probably interventions that doing once will have lasting positive effects, if youre sufficiently bad at the underlying skill
- maybe try doing the sun salutation. it belongs to a category i can’t currently think of better examples of [that you could easily find how to do online] that is about paying attention to your body and your breathing and so forth  
- practice (in classes or imitating videos or people showing off irl, etc.) actual arts you havent studied. martial arts, types of dance, things like tai chi which are kinda both.

iv. know how to fall

you should always know how to fall, before anything else physical. be good at falling. be good enough at falling that you can trust yourself not to get hurt in reasonable situations. your end goal is something like not getting hurt and ending up back on your feet pretty quickly if shoved in any direction and being able to fall distances of around twice your height comfortably. the general idea is to dissipate the energy of the fall in a harmless way and not a ‘all your weight falls on one arm’ way. if you’re falling hard, try to roll a few times.

action:
- you can’t learn to fall in ten minutes. earlier practicehours are more valuable than later ones, of course, but you do really have to practice consistently all the time
- never, ever, fall with straight elbows. NEVER. if youre falling backwardish, dont even try to catch yourself with your arms at all. if youre falling forwardish, you can catch yourself with your arms, but your elbows should be a little bent at all times. if you fall on straight elbows you might break your elbow by having it bent the wrong way and there will be bones sticking out of your skin and it will be horrible please dont do it. the same applied to legs but nobody tries to fall onto completely straight legs because most people have jumped before in their lives so it requires less emphasis.
- protect your head. your head is what you’re trying to protect. tuck it in. put your arms in front of it. turn your face away if you cant avoid falling on it. this should be fairly self-explanatory.
- start in a safe context. ideally, on something like a wrestling mat, but the floor in a climbing gym, a thick carpet, or a lawn is also okay.
- if you can, avoid falling on your back. twisting around to fall on your front somewhat off center is your best shot.
- get into a…physically prepared state, but don’t tense up too much
- the two main components that you will practice at first are falls from standing and rolls. falls break down into forward, backward, and sometimes sideways. rolls break down into forward and backward. the ultimate thing these all lead into is ‘save yourself when falling in any direction’. this doesn’t require practicing falling 23 degrees to your right specifically, but forward and backward are sufficiently different that it makes sense to learn them separately
- if youre falling onto your feet, try to land on your toes first so you can use the range of motion of your ankles. land with mostly (but not totally!!!!!) straight legs so you can use your knees for springiness
- to practice falling forward, start on your knees. fall forward with your arms in front of you, slightly bent (the bent part is very important!!) and catch yourself with your arms, like into a pushup (requires you to be able to do a pushup probably). twist your head to the side just in case. when you get good at that, start on your feet. when you get good at that, do it on a hard floor.
- to practice falling backward, start squatting like an internet slav, and fall back, curving your back so you roll back gradually onto your shoulders. start with your head tucked in and your arms protecting it. you can slap the ground as you roll if you want but tbh it makes my hand sting and isnt worth it. when you start practicing from standing, basically squat down first and then do what you were doing before. it’ll become more clear if you have someone gently shove you. in practice, youll probably want to step back as much as you can before falling if youre shoved, even if you know youll fall after a few steps.
- to practice falling sideways, basically do the backward roll thing but sweep in the leg youre falling in the direction of and use your leg + side as the surface that you roll on.
- there are reasonable online guides to learn to do rolls. the important parts that they may omit if they assume youre learning to do rolls in a controlled environment are: tuck your head in and protecting it with your arms!!!!!!!!!! your head is the most valuable part of your body. try to roll off center—if you get used to going over a shoulder youre less likely to hit your head when you roll. try to practice asymmetric things on both sides but ultimately if you can save yourself from any fall direction youre basically fine. you should get to a point where you can, for example, jump off of something your height onto cement and roll onto your feet, without hurting yourself (i have very flexible ankles from childhood ballet so ive basically written off slightly twisting my ankles as something that will happen in normal activities like ‘running 50 meters’ so i wouldnt really hold that against myself, if you have something like that that’s fine). once youre comfortable with rolls (this will take a while! it is fine for it to take a while!!), do faster rolls, rolls on harder surfaces, rolls with a stronger initial force, iterated rolls, etc. practice backward and forward rolls together, it’ll make you less dizzy anyway.
- it will be awkward for a while but i promise it gets better

v. the generic skill of balance, strength, readiness, something like that

feeds very strongly into climbing, parkour, most types of dance, fighting—things that involve being ready to move in ways you havent previously practiced, controlling your center of mass, etc. a lot of strong people lack ability to move……arbitrarily, to swing from a branch and climb the next tree over, to improvise dance, to run over unknown obstacles. i really wish i had a word for this. 

action:
- climbing trees is excellent for this skill. if you’re afraid of the height, find a tree that has a lot going on at a height you’re comfortable with and then move around the tree
- rock climbing too, and parkour
- try to generally dance around when youre standing and waiting for something or whatever. it develops balance and comfort with being unconventional.
- learn to dance, preferably not social dance bc like, social dance is fine but it is a different thing than dance dance and it is sort of annoying that they have the same name and the resolution of movements when you have to communicate with another partner, esp at the beginning, is just so much lower. but like, learn ballet, learn breakdancing, whatever, move and move with grace.
- monkey bars are great
- some flexibility training is good if you arent flexible. stretching is good for you wrt doing physical stuff anyway
- core strength is the most important type of physical strength. the second most important type of strength is probably the ability to trust your hands (as in, if youre in a tree or something and youre holding on with your hands you arent in danger if your feet slip). strength is not that important, but if you can’t do ten sit-ups you should learn to do ten sit-ups. dead hangs are good too.
- the way to gain core strength is lying on your back and raising your shoulders and legs so that your abs are strained. it also helps if you do bicycley things with your arms and legs. sit-ups are also good. if you cant do one sit-up, try lying on your back and raising your legs so theyre at a 90º angle to your body and making them as straight as you can and then lowering them as slowly as you can. keep doing that regularly and you will gain the ability do a sit-up.
- the idea is not to git gud at a specific thing, but to be in a state where it is easy for you to git gud at any physical thing you try. generic strength training is not good for this because it ignores psychological stuff, some types of muscles, and like…….readiness to do things you havent practiced before. i dont have a word for the skill outlined in pt v but it is very much a real concept and an important one
- contributed by @voidfraction: bodyweight exercises, romanian deadlifts (for balance, str, training your muscles to work for your body)
- contributed by @nightpool: standing on trains without holding onto anything (this is a vvvv good contribution)
- in the same vein, walking on curbs and walls and fences and such. balance is good and important.
- go forth. interact with the physical world.