visual insights

7

“Hundreds of film performances dazzle, shock, and dumbfound you in the moment, only to evaporate the second you exit the theater. The best, however, swim in the brain and linger there long after, leaving behind impressions, insights, and visuals that remain just as evocative as they were upon first or second meeting. Rowlands has made it impossible to forget Jeannie Rapp, Minnie Moore, Mabel Longhetti, Myrtle Gordon, Gloria Swenson, Sarah Lawson, Another Woman’s Marion, and every other woman whose unsteady life she has steadfastly inhabited. But she has also made it equally difficult to recall what life — or the movies — were like before Rowlands herself ever existed in them at all.”

On her 87th birthday, a tribute from Matthew Eng to the unmatched, indefatigable cinematic force of nature known as Gena Rowlands.

(Source: tribecafilm.com)

Rurouni Kenshin Fight Sequence Analysis: Choreography

                                           Elements of Cinema


The most popular elements that passionate fans and dissenters of the RurouKen film trilogy all seem to agree on is that the action scenes are awesome. Dissenters usually say, “just watch it for the action.” This always struck me as a strange thing to say. I think it’s because it was always intended to be a slide against the film, as though to say, “The only thing the films did well was the action,” similar to how some might say, “Watch Transformers for the special effects.” 

This actually got me thinking, though. What makes a fight scene? If we broke down a fight scene to its cinematic elements, if we peek behind the curtains, what composes the fight scenes that everyone, including dissenters, would argue is this film trilogy’s strongest element? And to it’s fans, what makes it better than its competition? What did Team Otomo just get right?

The truth is, those questions are gateways to more questions; film is different from any medium because film is alive. It’s evolving, moving towards new directions, restructuring old words and phrases to create beauty and meaning in new ways. RuroKen is no different, but if we’re going to understand how these elements congeal together to create the magnificent and electrifying action sequences fans of this series are going to enjoy, we need to understand those elements in their own isolated contexts. There’s a lot to keep track of, and a lot of these posts will overlap with one another since film is collaborative, so always make sure to come back to previous posts to freshen up and see how things come together. 

Also, if we’re going to understand what Rurouni Kenshin does well, we sometimes need to look at how other fight scenes are crafted, sometimes to terrible results, which means we will occasionally be drawing on other fights from other films and TV shows.

DISCLAIMER: THIS SERIES IS NOT A REVIEW. I WILL SPECIFY IF I LOVE SOMETHING, BUT OTHERWISE I WON’T COMMENT TOO MUCH AND THE FLAWS I POINT OUT MAY OR MAY NOT IMPACT MY ENJOYMENT OF A NON-RK SERIES I’M NITPICKING. THIS IS A FORUM FOR RUROUNI KENSHIN PRIMARILY, SO PLEASE RELEGATE DISCUSSION TO THAT TOPIC, THANK YOU. I DON’T WANT UNWARRANTED GoT SPOILERS OR PEOPLE SAYING I HATE THEIR FAVORITE SHOW. 


The Dancers of Cinema: Choreography and Action Direction


This post MAY contain spoilers for the following: (you’ve been warned guys):

  • Game of Thrones Season 4
  • Rurouni Kensin trilogy
  • Star Wars The Phantom Menace

The most obvious and exciting element of any action sequence is choreography. This doesn’t always apply to just fighting; stunt coordination, chase sequences, and so forth, require very precise positioning between the actors and the camera to capture the intended effect of that sequence. To a choreographer, also known as an Action Director, designing a fight sequence can be more than just exciting violent titilaton; it can be a valuable lens of which to view our characters. 

The Action Director in our case is Kenji Tanigaki. Bringing his flair and experience from working in Hong Kong and Hollywood action films and working with some of the biggest names in action cinema such as Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen, Tanigaki-san works closely with Otomo to make sure that everything goes well and ensures the actors are perfectly safe. He is also responsible for making every action in the film cinematic and crisp visually. This can get very elaborate and set up varies between directors, but the end result, if done right, is usually incredible. Even his peers respect Tanigaki’s skill; look at this tweet from Gareth Evans, director of The Raid and The Raid 2. (Warning: Language)

First thing they need to make sure they have right is the casting and action team. The actors typically are the ones that need to do these moves to feel authentic. This isn’t universal and can vary depending on director or production team. This mostly commonly in American or Western productions as these actors are often high profile and the right actor isn’t always the best fighter even with training and 6 months isn’t enough time to make them look good. What’s worse, not training seriously can result in injury, which might interfere with scheduling for other shoots that actor may be doing.

In these sorts of productions, especially those with a tight shooting schedule, they will cast stunt doubles to do the more complex movements that the character might demand but the actors are unable or unwilling to do (Unless you’re Leo DiCaprio and your director is Alejandro Gonzalez Iñnarítu). Here’s an example. This is from Episode 8 of Game of Thrones, “The Mountain & The Viper” (Slight spoilers).

Originally posted by freakyharmony

Here is a set piece clothed with a flurry quick cuts of multiple angles (coverage) of a single piece of choreography done in several takes. We’ll discuss this particular editing style in the Editing section of my series, but the point is, it looks really cool. Pedro Pascal (The actor for Oberyn Martell, this particular character) begins and ends the shot, and it looks as though it were him the entire time until we zoom in. 

Now this isn’t necessarily bad or even terribly distracting if done right. It’s an insurance policy for the actors since fight choreography is extremely exhausting work and training for months on end might not be enough or even an option, especially for the tight shooting schedule found in the production of Game of Thrones. 

This small excerpt took a lot of designing, practice, and rehearsals, not just by the stunt team and the actor/double, but for the crew behind the camera. They probably had to do multiple takes, some with Pedro and some with his double, and edit it rapidly together. They also set up coverage from multiple angles for the editor to have as much footage as possible to assemble an acceptable cut. It’s pretty tiring work just for one seemingly tiny little throwaway and inconsequential piece of choreography.

That being said though, the small bit can show us a lot about the character of Oberyn Martell himself, so it definitely has a place here. Oberyn is pleasing the crowd, showing off his prowess to his audience and THE audience. He’s a bit of a cocky guy so it fits right in with his character in my opinion.

I bring this up to create a negative because this is something Otomo and Tanigaki ACTIVELY avoid. Let me explain.

In Otomo’s action scenes, the emphasis is more on the actors rather than the the movement of the character. His blocking (the arrangement/placement of elements such as characters and objects within the frame) for fight sequences mirror the standard coverage of a conversation with two or three cameras depending on the set piece. Once again, I’ll explain in detail later, but what this is meant to bring up is that his emphasis, as is the emphasis with dialogue scenes between characters, is character.

What I mean is that the camera is usually emphasizing the face of his actors along with their individual movements to show the audience their state of mind and also to show the audience that it’s the actors doing the movements.

 This helps increase immersion, as well as simplifies shooting because the cinematographer (Director of Photography or DP) has a bit more freedom to shoot naturally rather than manufacture angles where we can introduce a stunt double and return to the actor in editing. I refer back to my GOT example. The editing cuts between wide angle and long dolly shots to make sure we can’t see the stunt double’s face as we return to a medium shot before and after the little stunt is done is something Otomo isn’t keen on and neither is Tanigaki.

                     The Men and Women Behind the Moves


A fight sequence is a programmed dance, coordinated moves and visual cues that must be hit for maximum effect but to actually be effective, it needs to seem completely organic and representative of the person fighting. The fighting moves need to come from characters themselves and when done right can illustrate a lot about a character. 

When the choreography comes before the character and feels too rehearsed or unnatural, you can actually distract from the drama of the scene as well as offer no insight visually about the characters fighting. Consider the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. 

This may look cool because its fast, the moves are flashy and elegant, but from this small bit of choreography and the entire fight itself, we can’t really tell anything about these characters. We know one’s evil because of the color of his light saber (we’ll discuss this in another post), but beyond that, we don’t actually know Darth Maul or how brutal he is, other than he’s ready to kill Obi-Wan’s master and does so. Aside from the cool costumes, there is nothing that visually separates these characters from one another in terms of skill or style. 

Compare this with  the first fight sequence of the first live action movie. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about.

Originally posted by suzuyajuzoo

This fight sequence delivered a lot of critical information we needed to know about Kenshin without him having to say a single word. In the opening text of the film, we’re told of the Battousai’s legendary cruelty, but to see it was a different story. His fighting style tells us three crucial things:

  1. He’s fully equipped to fight and overcome multiple opponents at once, emphasizing his use as an asset in the war effort. He’s fast and kills efficiently, stopping neither to torture or gloat. He neutralizes the threat as quickly as possible.
  2. He has high manuverability to get in and out of his opponents space, suggesting master level swordsmanship skills, especially since he is the only character in the entire scene that we’ve seen with this proficiency. 
  3. He economizes his movements, so there is no motion goes to waste signifying he is ruthless and very efficient in killing. Notice how in the gif above he cuts one opponent and it smoothly leads into him facing the next. He is every bit deserving of the legend we’re told in the opening text.  

Originally posted by suzuyajuzoo

The interaction he has with Saito in this scene shows us that they’ve had multiple inconclusive encounters on the field and Saito managed to survive them, subtly signifying to us that Saito is at the very least his equal, which becomes important given what motivates the forthcoming action scene 10 years later where he completely dominates Kenshin and cuts his shoulder with the Sakabatou. 

 This is an example of how fight choreography can go beyond being cool action and can actually be a tool to help tell the story (the second half of this series will be focusing on just that). 

Originally posted by sexe-fitness-problemes

Later in the film, after these two same characters reunite 10 years later and have a duel, Saito brutally overpowers him. In contrast to Kenshin’s manuverability and speed, Takagi-san designed Saito’s moves to utilize his weight as he’s physically taller and stronger than Kenshin. He’s not as fast but his strikes hold an insane degree of power as we see when Kenshin attempts to parry and Saito manages digs the blade into his shoulder. Saito gives Kenshin a significant amount of trouble and this piece of choreography shows us that Kenshin’s skills have greatly diminished from the opening action sequence. He’s rusty, and if he fought Saito for real, he’d likely die. This once again factors in the story as it sets up Jin-e’s plot at the end of the film to draw out Kenshin’s fighting ability through sheer anger by emphasizing the difference between Kenshin’s current skill and that of his former self.

Another example where choreography transcends its role of entertainment and spectacle and becomes a form of visual storytelling is when fighting Gein. Notice how Kenshin seems to be having trouble here, but after Gein begins to aggravate Kenshin, we get this:

We even get subtle foreshadowing as Kenshin cuts his nose. This foreshadows what he’ll do to Jin-e when he gives him a similar wound after Kenshin is slowly beginning to revert back to the mindset of his assassin days. Even if you don’t have subtitles and have never seen RK before, you can grasp what’s happening just from the visuals.

My absolute favorite example of how choreography can be a powerful indicator of characters and their state of mind is the final fight between Kenshin and Shishio. (The video is below, please check it out before reading on).

Let’s talk about this brutal bastard for a moment. This single fight right here lasts about 2 minutes in the film and to the amazement of everyone, it is one of the most brutal fights I’ve ever seen on film (and I watch A LOT of martial arts films). 

We see glimpses of his utter brutality earlier in the second film when we watch the flashback of Shishio at Toba Fushimi. 

This scene actually sets up about as much crucial information about Shishio as it did Kenshin:

  1.  He is ruthless and unrestrained; his moves emphasize the maximum amount of pain and brutality, ensuring suffering in his opponents before they die.
  2. He fights dirty, not being above using human shields and considers life expendable.
  3. He takes sadistic pleasure in humiliating his opponents, as seen when he stomps on an opponents head and presses their faces into the dirt as he brutally impales them.

When Kenshin-gumi finally arrive to challenge Shishio, we see Shishio’s choreography speak volumes about him.

In the small clip I’ve posted below, we can see that Shishio is psychotically brutal. He isn’t graceful or formal, he lacks all the elegance of Kenshin’s fighting style, and he is sadistically toying with his prey like a cat taunting a mouse. He is less interested in slicing Kenshin as in a formal duel and more interested in repeatedly bashing his flaming sword into Kenshin’s face or pummeling him into a pile of red-headed pulp. He makes no effort to dodge Kenshin’s moves. He reacts to the pain they cause, but instead of deterring him, they excite him. He isn’t above pulling dirty moves like slamming Kenshin repeatedly against a wall while chuckling, or biting a chunk out of Kenshin’s neck. He’s designed to be the exact opposite of Kenshin. 

Tanigaki, when planning a scene of this magnitude, needed  to take into account several elements that can impact what the audience needs to know about these characters. How long has Kenshin been fighting? Is he injured? Shishio, is he ready to fight? Is he reluctant, eager? How would Shishio fight? Does he fight with a flowery style like Kenshin? Is he evasive or does he just take hits and overwhelm his opponents? 

These kinds of questions are some that he needs to ask and work out with the director and actors on set to figure out the fight scene and choreography.  It’s not an easy job. After his stunt team performs it and does camera tests to show Otomo as well as be prepared to revise if Otomo and his DP want to place the camera in certain places, the set of moves are then taught to the actors who interpret them in the context of their character, and then perform them in excruciating detail. Just imagine he nightmare he went through filming the four vs one fight scene at the film’s climax. I think that fight scene deserves its own post some day. 


                                     Reality vs Cinematic Realism


As impressive as they may be, the final obstacle a choreographer must deal with is the camera. Some moves may be practical, but they don’t look good on screen. The moves need to test well for the camera, which is why there are cameras present during rehearsals. 

This helps the director and the cinematographer know in advance what the shot is going to look and give feed back to the Action Director to adjust certain moves if they don’t test well or are illegible on screen. That being said, sometimes this means certain moves need to be exaggerated, heavily expanded on, or redone entirely, which may not be in accordance to the real life basis of those techniques. The biggest example of this is actually a fan favorite technique… The Battoujutsu that Kenshin earned his name sake for.

This looks good. In real life though, this stance is incredibly impractical, and to help me illustrate that fact, I present you real life superhuman Iaido master, Isao Machii.

This is the real life Battojutsu stance. Notice how different it looks from Kenshin’s.

Originally posted by silenthill

This is the technique performed:

Originally posted by marshallastr

Why did Otomo and Tanigaki change it? I mean, it doesn’t look to bad right? This all ties in to how Kenji Tanigaki choreographs and speaks to the main element that TeamOtomo emphasizes throughout all of these action sequences: Drama. Drama comes first and in good cinema, drama doesn’t just stem from the writing; it’s also visual. Kenshin’s stance is very exaggerated compared to Machii-san’s because Hiten Mitsurugi was designed for the camera. This may be obvious to some, but remember that the next time we see a film with unrealistic choreography, it might be because it looks better. 

Don’t misunderstand though, Machii-san is extremely impressive, but on film, it doesn’t have the same gravitas or dramatic flair it does in RK. This is because Machii’s battojutsu is designed to actually kill; it’s a practical move with no room for flair.

 Tanigaki probably adjusted the stance because, arguably, it’s not as visually interesting and doesn’t work as well with the camera  because its much too practical and restrained. Otomo envisioned the Battojutsu strikes to carry a lot of narrative weight, and Tanigaki has to interpret that with considerations to the camera. You might think, “well, I thought Machii’s looked cooler.” Sure, you may be right, but it wouldn’t work on camera the same way Tanigaki’s “Sou Ryu Sen” does. How do I know? Because we actually do see Kenshin perform Battojutsu accurately.

Originally posted by pedroam-bang

This is what it would probably look like this in real life, which works for this particular instance. Our reaction is probably like Eiji and Misao’s in the background. But when Battojutsu becomes the point of the whole fight, the finale or the ultimate technique, it can’t look like this. It needs to be dramatic, it needs to be cinematic. Compare with this: 

It’s slow, the stance is heavily exaggerated but the tension rises. The slow moves emphasize this epic moment; because we know there’s going to essentially be an explosion of motion, the slow build up tenses us with anticipation. We know these two are going to go at it, and the exaggerated stance tells the audience visually, even if you have no clue what battojutsu is or looks like in real life, that this is serious and this moment is climactic. 

The choreographer doesn’t just have to adapt the movement of characters to look good on camera, they need to make every move cinematic to fit the tone of the scene. They need to design a move after carefully considering whether or not it looks good on camera. Multiple camera tests are needed in order to ensure they get the look just right and months of planning go in, just to film a tiny little scene like this battojutsu duel. Impressive, huh? 

                  

                                               Final Thoughts


All in all, Rurouni Kenshin’s choreography and stunt team all work day and night to build an aspect of the visual language of this film. Their choreography spellbinds us, shows us insight to their characters, as well as sets up different tone, and whether we laugh:

Originally posted by takeruandcaterpillars

or cheer:

Originally posted by lynxyz

They are masters of controlling what we see and how we feel about it and if done right can create truly memorable drama without being tied down by dialogue. I have no doubt in my mind Kenji Tanigaki and his team are a large part of why this worked as they took what we loved from the manga and brought it to life with a wonderful stunt team and actors and we should applaud their efforts. 

These are some of the most exciting action sequences to make it to the screen, up there with Bruce Lee films, Ip Man, and the Raid movies. Great action, great drama, and great story telling; that’s what this is all about folks. And this is where I leave you to go work on the next installment; See ya guys!


                                             SPECIAL THANKS 

  • To everyone for reading
  • HYRK for giving me an avenue to write about this wonderful series. 
  • To the people who let me borrow their gifs. I know many of you worked so hard on them and they’re really helpful. 

DISCLAIMER ABOUT GIFS: A lot of the graphics I used are crowd-sourced. I got them from Tumblr’s auto-find system they implemented or on google. If you see a gif without proper credit and its yours and you’d like some credit, please contact me and I’ll designate everyone to your blog as well as give you a credit in this section of the post. 


Seven Chakras and Mantras

Muladhara (मूलाधार)
Base or Root Chakra: Cervix/Perineum
Sound Note: C
Colour: Red
Element: Earth
Mantra: Lam
Frequency in Hz: 261.6, 523.3, 1046.5, 2093, 4186
Keeps you Grounded. Connects you to Earth, helps one to be decisive.

Swadhisthana (स्वाधिष्ठान)
Sacral Chakra: last bone in spine
Sound Note: D
Colour: Orange
Element: Water
Mantra: Vam
Frequency in Hz: 293.7, 587.3, 1174.7, 2349.3, 4698.7
Emotions, Passion, intuition and creativity.

Manipura (मणिपूर)
Solar Plexus Chakra : Navel area
Sound Note: E
Colour: Yellow
Element: Fire
Mantra: Ram
Frequency in Hz: 329.6, 659.3, 1318.5, 2637.1, 5274.1
Confidence, Assertiveness, ability to take a stand and say No, enhances Will Power.

Anahata (अनाहत)
Heart Chakra: Heart area
Sound Note: F
Colour: Green
Element: Wind
Mantra: Yam
Frequency in Hz: 349.2, 698.5, 1396.9, 2793.9, 5587.7
Love, Kindness, Compassion, fosters harmony in relationships.

Visuddha (विशुद्ध)
Throat Chakra (throat and neck area)
Sound Note: G
Colour: Blue
Element: Sky
Mantra: Ham
Frequency in Hz: 196, 392, 784, 1568, 3136
Self-Expression and Open communication.

Ajna (आज्ञा) Brow
Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland or third eye)
Sound Note: A
Colour: Indigo
Element: Body
Mantra: OM
Frequency in Hz: 110, 220, 440, 880, 1760, 3520.
Insight and visualization, boosts one’s perceptive physic ability.

Sahasrara (सहस्रार)
Crown Chakra (Top of the head; ‘Soft spot’ of a newborn)
Sound Note: B
Colour: White (combination of all the colours ) or Violet
Element: No Element
Mantra: No Sound
Frequency in Hz: 123.5, 246.9, 493.9, 987.8, 1975.5, 3951.1
Wisdom. Connecting you to your Higher Self and spirituality.
Astral projection, Inter galactic travel, higher spiritual powers, timelessness, language of light etc.

Advantages of natural production of Nitric Oxide in our body-

The anuswaram (nasal sound) MMMM humming boosts the production of Nitric oxide in the body. This was known to Indians and documented over 7,000 years ago. Nadaswaram (Shehnai) is an ancient musical instrument which produces similar nasal sound.

OM opens up quantum tunneling, where the wormholes do NOT have a restriction of speed of light. The secrets of this universe are contained in energy, frequency and vibration.

If you make the sound of OM in front of a drop of liquid, it will transform itself into a Sri Yantra which is a very specific visual form, symmetrical and also holographic, complete in itself.

This Sri Yantra was revealed to Maharishis with a 12 strand DNA and king-sized pineal glands 8000 yrs BC. Sanskrit Mantras have the precise golden ratio of 1.618 sound harmonics.

By K.Nagori

Hey guys! :D I was thinking a lot about Visual Storytelling and some of the ways I incorporate it in my own art, so I wanted to make a little tutorial insight about it so it might MAYBE help some of you folks!

Okay, let’s start from the basics: What’s a CONCEPT and what makes it original ? Well… In MY humble conception (get it ?) I think it goes basically like this: If I say “Imagine a Wizard” and the first thing you think of is somewhere in the lines of Gandalf or Merlin, you’re not thinking of a concept, you’re sticking to what you know. Dressing some dude in generic heavy armor and saying he’s the captain of a secret order of paladins doesn’t cut it. You have to convince me he’s important THROUGH his design. That’s his CONCEPT. That’s how you tell a story through his appearance, the so called *ahem* Visual Storytelling.

Let me give you an example:

Get it ? If your character doesn’t convince the interactor (that’s you) about his story through his appearance you have to learn it through Text… and HEY, that’s super fine… we’re fine. It’s all good…. but you know… maybe some medias (if you’re not writing a BOOK or a comic or a story people will have to read anyway) can gain a lot if you manage to tell MORE about a character’s story on his appearance rather than having him tell you about his business… (plus he super sounds like a liar when he does… pants on fire.)

See if something like this is more convincing:

At first sight you’ll think he’s just more -detailed- than the other, but that’s not true. The difference is each of his ornaments reinforce his story to a point I could just scrap his bubble-chat and you’d still understand his role in whatever story he was in. Even if I chose to make a game without words. Cool right ?

It goes without saying there are a BUNCH of kinds of games and scenarios where your project may benefit from having characters tell LESS on his appearance. Most times when the player of a game will create a character, you don’t always want his looks to tell a story that never happened, right ? In those cases less is more and the experience is ENRICHED if the player gets rewarded with items that illustrate everything he went through. But in MOST cases I see projects where the artist failed to tell a story about a character that ACTUALLY has a story.

“But hey, if I make my character start off naked, does it lose his Storytelling ?” No~ most of their general LOOKS have to give it away. Their hair, body shape, scars, expression will often do the trick. You can specially benefit from that if your proportions are more cartoonish too. Giant dudes, shriveled old guys, buff ladies with giant swords, there’s no limit. You can say there’s 4 ways it can go:

Here are some examples of games and where they stand in my opinion.

Storytelling through VISUALS:
His gear, armor, clothes, accessories will give away a lot about who that character is and what he does.

Storytelling through LORE:
His gear, armor and clothes will look more realistic, but you’ll learn about their perks through quests, skills or books/notes scattered through the game.

Unrealistic Proportions:
You can clearly tell who’s faster, stronger, smarter, kinder or meaner through their silhouette, shape, action curves and such.

Realistic Proportions:
You can’t tell who’s faster by their looks, or at least not as clearly, but that works great if you want characters to develop in the long run or create impact scenes where the reader LEARNS about that character on a certain point of the story.

So that’s it! A little insight on what I consider when developing characters for my own projects! :)


I hope you guys find this helpful! I’ll probably make more in the future!
Thanks a bunch guys! I’ll see you next time! :D

-Kent


Do you have anything to say about this tutorial?

Dammit, Man || Joel Heyman x Reader

Prompt: Soulmate AU in which you share thoughts with your soulmate, which just so happens to be Joel. While the entire concept is sweet and helpful, it can be rather … flustering. 

Words: 1023

Warnings: Fluff, swearing, technical mention of test cheating, sexual talk with no actual sexual acts, my strong non-existent understanding of stressful college finals. 

Author’s Notes: All I can say is that I tried. Also, italicized text indicate the thoughts between you and Joel. 


“Okay, for the love of God, please do not fuck me over today.” You thought, quietly praying to your soulmate that he wouldn’t dare mess with you today - especially as today was the last day of finals. 

“As much as I’d love to fuck you. I promised to abstain.” Joel’s voice rang out in a teasing tone, much to your exasperation and his satisfaction. You sighed aloud and your hands clutched your backpack strap as you entered one of the many rooms in your university.

“Good luck, dear.” Joel sang out lovingly, a smile evident in his tone. You flushed at this, smiling softly before responding with simple thanks. You’re now met with silence, and it was somewhat heart-shattering to hear such - or lack thereof.

“You’ve got this.” You murmured to yourself before twirling the pencil in between your fingers and selecting a seat at the top back corner. You ran your fingers through your hair before groaning sharply. 

Keep reading

Gunybi Ganambarr’s work uses wood from mining and building sites to reference these industries’ impact on Aboriginal care of the land. The clan design denotes custodianship of Country predating colonialism and mining by tens of thousands of years. 


[Photo: five long poles with white painting and stand in the centre of a gallery. A woman can be seen in the background admiring other works.]

Insight


Through Visualizing expired memeroies,
I’m perpetually complexing the simple .
I’m failing and Falling through folds of space and time 
Fading away ..i conjure a place in mind ..
I’m Dissolving into ink ,
Into Blurred out emotions from which  we do not mean..
These days of grey ,
are the days in which i dream .
Days when the stars streak across the skies ,
Flickering the lights ,
of ten thousand fireflies .
I’m visualizing expired memeroies
And each time I die..
Seeing all
And all between the center ,
My soul is  forever in  winter
Forever cold..
I’m Lost in a storm of bones..
My regret is a hurricane…
A void of wind I cannot send home


JLC#poetry
 

How it was for me, working on FINAL FANTASY KINGSGLAIVE

How it was to work on Final Fantasy KINGSGLAIVE.
careful…it’s a long read.

You must wondering why I’m writing a note about “how it was to work with”…for a freelance guy…but you will understand what I’m trying to say if you keep reading. It is odd, even for me, but whats happened to me during my work on FF made me want to do it, and to give a big big up to team behind FF Kingsglaive.
let’s start…

———–

Well I must admit when I saw the email the first time from square enix I was like, what the hell is happening, it must be a mistake.
It was like : “hey hello, we liked you art and we would know if you’d be interested in working on a final fantasy thing related, let me now.”

WHAT THE?…

Of course I was interested, even if at that time I was not aware of what it was.
So I had a skype session with a part of the team, maybe one week later. They were very friendly, they talked a lot about my works and how the works I did on Remember Me led them to me. It was maybe 6 a.m for me (because of the different time zone) and I was a bit sleepy, even I was hiding it well because my webcam was not working at this time. I see you but you can not see me…you know the thing.
Then we talked about the project, and this is when it all happened, they told me that it was for a CGI movie, a side story of FFXV, I was literally shaking.

ou have to understand, final fantasy is for a lot of us, what ignited the flame of drawings or the will to put 100+ hours in a video game and most of it ,to work on this kind of video game. For me, my love of the video game really started with FFVII.

We kept talking and I eventually ended by saying that “YES” , I wanted to be a part of this project and that I still have the DVD of advent children on my desk with the artbook.
At this moment they revealed to me that the team behind this project was the same team behind FF Advent Children.

Try to picture me, jumping on my couch, yes…no i’m not overreacting!

the deal was settled, I will be working on some crowd people.Yes it’s not the shiny boss of the movie or the lead character, but man, it’s Final Fantasy!
Ho and for the record I still have a day job at dontnod entertainment, working on life is strange at this time, so every work I had to do for FF was on my spare times and nights. They were okay about that.

So I started, working days and nights with every spare minutes I could get. It was freaking awesome and trust me a lot scary, because, you know the level of details they want, and you are like, ok, it’s not enough, and you push harder and harder, but in the end I delivered almost 60+ differents character concept for the crowd in five weeks.
I have to say also, the collaboration with the guys at square enix, with the producers and the art director was the smoothest collaboration I had, EVER! The guys were always answering in the row, even when it was 4am for them, they always gave me the right direction for the feedback and retakes, they knew what they wanted but they were really open minded and they gave me a lot of freedom on a lot of differents things that they ended by liking, and in the end, be approved… and with people like that, the job is faaaaaar more easy.

So when I finished my first assignment I thought it was it, but no…they really liked my work and the way I was working with them, so they asked me to go on several others characters, but this time, more important characters.
Me I was like, “no it’s not happening, really?” okay go, round two!

And it lasted like that for 7-8 months of freelance with them, with a lot of concepts, from crowd people to…well…I can’t say, but when they asked me for my last gig to do, one design in particular, I was shocked…
this is not the kind of design you ask to a freelance guy, it’s more a design that the art director or the lead concept want to keep in intern, but no…they offered me this (no don’t insist, i will not say).
So for me I was brought in to design some people that you will not notice in the final product, to ended up by designing some guys/gals you will see a lot!

WHAT A RIDE! WHAT A LOVELY RIDE…sorry…wrong franchise

Now I want to explain to you why it was one of the most fulfilling and kind adventure I had in term of remote/freelance work.
They were HUMAN! yeah I know, but I mean, truly human! Rui, Kenji, Shinya, Yuri, they were the four persons who I worked with during this ride, the producers and the art director.
They were nice, kind, always trying to do their best in Japan with a guy in France. The way they worked with me was the smoothest I knew and know so far.
 The Art Director always made some long feedbacks about my designs to not let me with some grey areas about what I have to do, and the producers always reported feedbacks when kenji was not able to do it.
it was smooth!

Some of you may know or not know, but during this ride, I ended up in hospital, I had some bad things in my stomach plus a rupture of some abdominal muscles…it ended with a lot of pain.I was already struggling with pain to finish some work for them.
So I told them that I had to finish in a hurry my last design (yeah you know…the BIG ONE) because I will be in the hospital the next week for a stomach surgery who will end up by two month in bed…yeah imagine…

In the freelance area, you deal a lot of time with people who want what they paid for, not excuses, it’s okay, it’s like that sometimes, but sometimes people forget that we are in fact, all human, with up and down, for my case at this time I was in a big down.

But, they were very supportive, in fact they told me to stop working and to rest before my surgery, that I will resume my work with them after, when I will be okay, with no more pain, that I had to listen the doctors and not pushing it to far…
I was like, “yeah but your design…”
and they were like, “nevermind, it’s not so hurry, just REST”. 

Okayyy…So I went to the hospital, the surgery went well, but i had a lot of of postoperative complications. I had to go back to the hospital 3 times in the first 3 weeks because of it…it was a living nightmare…I could only stay in bed, not up, no sit, just lying on the bed.
During this two months, the guys at Square enix sent me a lot of mails, not to know if I could resume my works, but only supportive mails, letting me know that they were thinking about me and they wanted to know if I was ok.
Only this…they never asked or talked about works, only took health update from me…HOW COOL and HUMAN is that? right!

So after my month and half of rest, I started to draw again, a bit, and started to resume my work on this big design, little by little. I was super late I guess, but I wanted to finish it to not put them in trouble. And they still keep telling me, “no rest, don’t push it.”
Finally, we resumed our way of working, kenji made some important feedbacks and I made the numerous retakes, and the design was approved. This ended my work with them, with a big virtual shaking hand session.

Why am I telling you this…It is because we often listen how bad this freelance gig was, how late this guy or this studio paid you, and all and all (ho by the way they never paid me late, never, sometimes even one week before the approval), we, as freelance, have to deal with a lot of people, different kinds, sometime it is same shit/different day…but sometimes it also good and necessary I guess, to tell to others, “HEY it was a blast, everything was fine with them”.

Well in this case it was for me! so thanks again Rui, Kenji, Shinya and Yuri, it was a blast working with you guys and I hope to work again with you one day.

that is all for me.
hope my little experience could bring you something and know you understand with I made this post.

Gary.

————

ps : here is a screenshot of some of the many guys I designed for the movie. It is just INSANE, the amount of details they put on it! it’s like…my design, but moving.
We are all used to see our models, moving in a video game, but we always have to deal with video games limitation, consoles, production pipeline and all…so seeing this designs, fully CGI rendered, with all this details and shaders…I don’t even want to know the polycount on it haha congrat guys! awesome works!!

Repost via: @l10_lax a.k.a. Elton Anderson

Mood.

I’ve been cooking up a few things over the last few months and there is no better time for my latest project than right now! Follow @CreatorsOfColor – a new platform highlighting diversity in the creative sphere – for more updates, visual essays and insightful interviews.

Thanks to @jussiesmollett and @jurneebell for bringing so much fun to their portrait session! ‪#‎CreatorsOfColor‬

2

Jussie Smollett & Jurnee Smollett Bell Raise Their Fists For Black Power In New Campaign + Zoe Kravitz Hangs Out With Godmom Cree Summer

Its’ a family fair all around.  Jussie Smollett and his sister Jurnee Smollett Bell are using their starpower to help kick-off a brand new social justice movement. Meanwhile, Zoe Kravitz is spending quality time with her godmom Cree Summer.

There’s a new movement in the works. And it’s already bringing forth some powerful imagery.

“Empire” breakout star Jussie Smollett and his sister Jurnee Smollett Bell, who’s gearing up to star in a new series “Underground,” have joined forces for the Creators of Color movement, just in time for Black History Month.

The new platform will highlight diversity in the creative sphere through images, visuals essays and insightful interviews to tell our stories and to make our talents more visible.

We’re SO here for black empowerment!

In the compelling pictorial, Jussie and Jurnee are dressed in all black while raising their black-gloved fists in the black power salute. Their photo is the first installment of an ongoing portrait series shot for Creators of Color. The campaign will be highlighting artists both in front of and behind the camera who inspire us to push the limits of creativity everyday.

Jussie shared the image on his Instagram with the caption, “Happy Monday. #StayWoke @l10_lax for @CreatorsOfColor portrait session – a new platform highlighting diversity in the creative sphere through images, visual essays and insightful interviews. #creatorsofcolor”

We’re sure folks will have something to say about this, just as they did when Beyonce and her dancers held up the black power salute during her halftime performance at Super Bowl 50.  If you haven’t noticed, tons of think pieces both supporting and condemning Beyonce’s performance have taken over the net since Sunday.

We’re certainly here for empowerment and anything else that inspires our community to be great.

Hate on haters….

In another black-and-white family flick….

Divergent star Zoe Kravitz found time out of her busy schedule for a girls’ day out yesterday with her godmom, who happens to be actress & voice-over star Cree Summer.

Zoe’s mom Lisa Bonet and Cree have been great friends for years, ever since they starred together in “A Different World.”

Cree posted up the family flick on her Instagram page, with Zoe looking like a spitting image of her mom, captioning, “When My Goddaughter is by my side … @zozobear121 @zoeisabellakravitz #supportyourlocalgirlgang #GODBLESSTHEFREAKS #PIRATES”

Cute!

noddytheornithopod  asked:

Any thoughts on Mindful Education? A lot of stuff was explored in that episode, so would definitely love to know what you got out of it.

I continue to be amazed at how lovingly and persistently SU emphasizes the importance of being not okay.

For a show that’s very focused on positivity, optimism, and idealism, it also has many episodes dedicated to negative emotions, and how incredibly necessary it is to be honest about them, to let them out and express them, whether that’s singing or just crying. An Indirect Kiss was in some ways about the importance of crying, and Steven beginning to touch on his complicated feelings towards Rose.

Especially in Steven’s friendship with Connie, this is very often an avenue through which, either as themselves, or as Stevonnie, they let their feelings out and process them. Beach City Drift is a big example and Mindful Education is another.

The idea that fusions can be drawn into their own inner world that we saw in Chille Tid in times of conflict or disharmony is a very interesting one and it gives us yet another visually gorgeous insight into their feelings and perceptions. It kind of reinforces something I’ve said before, that it seems like in high-stress environments a fusion kind of dissociates. 

Stevonnie’s experiences would also suggest that the inner world of a fusion is changeable based on their environment- so presumably Malachite’s realm would not have been an endless green ocean if Malachite herself had not been submerged at the time. 

We pretty much now have an insider’s understanding of what was going on with Garnet when she nearly split apart in Keeping It Together how she froze up and stopped responding to what was around her. She was dissociating and pulled into her inner world.

Personally this is something I find really freaking neat because an experience of mine that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen represented is the idea that things inside your head can, especially in high-stress environments, become so loud and disconcerting that you sink inwards into your thoughts- and it’s all you can really focus on. It’s a lot of how meltdowns felt for me when I was younger.