Post Haste



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I haven't blogged in over a month, and that's basically because I've been cooped in either my room or in Cantor building finishing up Thick as Thieves. It's been a lot of sitting around, waiting for things to render, making sure computers weren't logged out by people who didn't quite understand why they were all logged in to the same person.. There was a lot of script writing, which I didn't quite understand (but my only job was to change the variables anyway, which was easy enough), and supervising and animating and reanimating, but not in a cool Herbert West way, more of a "this animation is rubbish, I won't sleep until it's completed" way. Which is fine too, I guess. Haste has been the best word to describe everything - both in the production and the post production, where I spent a whole night mixing sound and music, and editing clips and stuff

But it's finished, finally finished and a hundred times better than Toil and Trouble  ever was. Yeah, remember that? Here it is: watch and love. (Here's a link to it if the embed doesn't work for some reason).




Of course, as I've blogged about before, it's not even close to being all my own work. András and Li played huge parts in making it and it wouldn't have been anything close to what it is here without them, so a huge thanks to them. I don't even know what I would have done with this story if I had done it all by myself. It certainly would have looked a lot different.

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It occurs that I'm basically not a student anymore, which is not really something I haven't been ever in my life. It's odd to think it.

Here is the finished A2 piece of work I handed in for the concept art module. It's not the composition I had originally wanted to do (originally I wanted something more like the Inception poster where the city overbears the small characters scattered in it), but the design didn't make sense for a poster that was supposed to deal with character design when the characters would be so far away.



I plan on redoing it, with the characters in their original locations when I get back into writing the story. Which I now have time to do! Hopefully I'll have it finished before I find a job, along with the coulpe of other summer things I want to do
.

The first one of these was to finish a business card and get a .com domain name. both are now achieved, although I'm still having doubts on the domain name. Sometimes it works, sometimes it only works with or without a www and sometimes it doesn't do anything at all. Anyway, i t redirects back to the front page and the link is www.basilbaradaran.com or, if that one doesn't work, basilbaradaran.com. Sometimes an http:// seems to change things too. It's very confusing, but I'm working it out. I've also put on the front page Thick as Thieves, instead of an Enter sign, but I'll switch it with my showreel once that's done.

Here's my business card design:






I tried to keep it simple, with enough on there to show what I did. Everything else is right there on my site anyway.



That's all from me for now. At least I  think so. I'll be compiling a showreel and applying for jobs soon. This is gonna be fun.



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Four Lions and a kick ass poster

You know what's not a great deal of fun? Not having anyone to talk to because everyone in your apartment decided to move out when you were in France. Wilson's been gone all week and Lisa left the day after I came back, leaving me with my House boxset, and the feeling that I'll probably end up going through the whole thing before the week is out.

Thankfully, that wasn't entirely true. I did spend some time with Li and we went and saw this stupid film about suicide bombers in Sheffield called Four Lions. It was a mockumentary of sorts, and for a while I feared that by going to see it we were supporting Colin Pons. Which, as you can tell from previous posts, is something I wouldn't do with a ten foot science pole. Here's the trailer for the film, and despite the stupidity of the whole thing, it was actually quite funny. There's this brilliant bit, near the end, where they're meant to be in London (in fact, it's about the last half an hour) but the street they filmed it on I walk past all the time. There were even "For Sale" signs with Sheffield area phone numbers on. Silly people. I've gotten a hell of a lot done, though, and working towards this animated short I want to get finished by the end of summer. I'm also working on a few ideas I want to explore (again over summer) for my third year animation project. Considering doing something I've entitled The Mind of Thaddeus Prosper, but it could be the sort of thing everyone else will do, so I've looked into the Victorian legend of  Spring Heeled Jack and have done some cool concept art for him. I'll upload something once I know exactly what I'm going to be doing.  In other news, I posted up a couple of pictures on deviantart. One is Harley Quinn, although I don't really like it a great deal. The pencil sketch was much better. And then there's this self portrait which I think is quite cool. Gonna finish watching this John Woo film I bought the other day. It looks pretty good, and this is the fucking poster for it.

Whoa.

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A quick one, from atop a mountain of work

Tomorrow I need to hand in all my work, because I'm leaving the country for a month on  Monday and won't have time to do it then, so I have one day to finish everything. Hurrah. However, it seems it'll be just fine though as all I seem to have left to do is an essay.

This link here is my Girl Anachronism music video, on youtube.  And these two here are for these posters I did, for he sole purpose of not having to do any more work. 

Like when I went to the States, I have no idea if I'll be able to update the blog at all while there but I'll certainly try. If not, again, expect a hell long one at the beginning of June.

Behold the world's worst accident

So I've spent most of Easter holidays working on a music video for the Dresden Dolls' song Girl Anachronism. I have to do a minute of it, but I've barely got thirty seconds so far, and the aim of the assignment is to use a mix of 2D, 3D and stop motion, which wouldn't be so hard but the problem is I don't have the faintest idea what to do. I have these two clips here online at the moment. 

Also I'm working on a presentation and essay on the treatment of women in comic books which isn't going too smoothly as I don't really know what's acceptable for a pass grade in this class. It's about visual representations of things and buzzwords like discourse and context and none of it appeals to me at all so I'll be lucky to scrape a pass. Oh well

Also thinking on ideas for my big animation project for next year, and I really want to email a load of voice actors and see if any get back to me about doing a small voice part for a student film. I've heard some people managed to get them just because the actors like doing favours. I'll see if I strike lucky.

Now for some sleep and a more interesting post later

Three Square Imaganiums

My list of things to do has been completed and I'm rather pleased with myslef. I can't remember the last time I have fully completed a to-do list without making stupid compromises. Fifteen things done in like 12 hours, which isn't bad considering I've spent seven of those hours playing Tekken or doodling. And now it's half twelve and I'm forcing myself to convince myself that it's late. I have a weird feeling that the rest of my life will comprise of me battling myself over what time is acceptable and what time is stupidly late. I've gotten to the point where 4AM isn't. That's not good.

Oh drat, I wanted to do some writing before I went to bed (shouldve put it in my to-do list). I might do Wanderer instead. That needs to be written, still. To be honest I have no idea where to take it now. I'm writing an issue to be released (or whatever) before my original first issue, but it's reached the point where I've got all these plot twists,  new characters and stories and shit in my head and it's hard to write anything without accidentally slipping anything in there and thus confusing the audience. Originally the Wanderer was going to have a big ol' coat and hat (he still does), but hid his face for the entirety of the first issue ... because apparently seeing his face would have been bad. Seeing I can't hide his face in this one, I'm scrapping the idea, wondering why it was even a good idea in the first place.

Or maybe I could type up my notes from classes this week. I have a visual culture and representation class which, basically, is looking at pictures and films and analysing the shit out of the pretty pictures, integrated project with the world's greatest film producer COLIN PONS (here's his IMDB...) who's given us a choice of three themes: Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, or the Showroom Cinema. For those of you who don't know, the Showroom is in Sheffield, just down from Sheffield Hallam. Gee, thanks again for your wonderful contribution to our education, Colin. How could we ever have passed the course without you (he's the guy I was talking about in this post here).

You just wonder if he was just sitting in his office, wondering what to pretend to teach us and then looked out the goddamn window. There's amoeba who could teach us better animation.

Then there's our claymation class which no one bar three others attended on Friday for unknown reasons, which was fine because it made everything easier considering the room is about the size of Colin Pons's imagination. (That's three square imaganiums, for those calculating imagination in metric)

Ho hum. I'm going to go find something to write about. Ciao world. I'll leave you with pretty pictures of WANDERER I drew some time back

...

It's more than just extracts, by the way

I've moved back up to Sheffield for the next three and a half months, for more animation fun and fancy free frolics. And things have been pretty productive: playing Tekken 6, watching films and doing absolutely nothing else. I wrote a couple of reviews, but they won't be up on the public internet for three days. Here's some I prepaired earlier

My first class of the semester is on Monday and it starts at 9, which automatically makes it my least favourite class of the course. Ho hum. Till then I'll keep writing up bits of Dial M for Mephistopheles 2 till I run out of ideas. I should really put the first one up on the internet. Here's another random extract:

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A godless place. That’s what the world had become. A godless place is dangerous. Nothing can live in a godless world, especially not anyone born from the Devil. The Antichrist shivered, and tried to cover himself with a blanket, but the cold wasn’t outside. It came from inside and every second it was destroying another part of him. Armageddon shouldn’t have happened. There should have been a warning, and rapture ... everything. But there wasn’t. One second there was life, the next there was nothing. Where had everyone gone? Surely they hadn’t been taken into heaven, or dragged into Hell. There hadn’t even been a show. No riders, or monsters or angels. He wanted to hit something, but he felt tired and cold. He sat in his small broken church, and tried to pray. But he knew it was pointless.

There was a noise behind him. Footsteps on the stone floors, possibly heels. He turned around slowly, aching in every bone. A female voice spoke. The Antichrist had never heard the voice before, but somehow it seemed so familiar, like he knew it from birth. “Hello,” she said. “Who are you?” he said the hazy figure in front of him. He couldn’t tell if his eyes weren’t working properly if she was like that. The blurry figure moved towards him. She might have been wearing a tight red dress, but it seemed to flow behind her like smoke. He couldn’t see her face properly. She spoke again. “My, my, how you look terrible, my son.” Every word was enunciated perfectly, with a voice so sharp it could stab through armour.   “...What?” The Antichrist couldn’t hear very well. Then something dawned on him. “I ... I know you. You were in ... my dreams.” The female form in the tight red dress stood next to the Antichrist, now. She crouched down, so she was at the same level as he. He could finally see her face now, although he couldn’t put a single word to describe it. She looked into his eyes. “Oh, my, now that’s very flattering, Chris,” she said. There seemed to be no implied tone in her voice. She spoke, or maybe she was just planting words into his mind. “Chris ... you know ... my name? You know me, don’t you?” “Of course I know you, dear. You would think that the only person you’ve seen since you ... since you massacred everyone would be just a human? You think you are, love, but you’re so much more.” “I didn’t kill anyone!” Chris screamed. Or rather, he tried to scream. He only choked the words out. “But you did. You did all of this, you know. All your fault. There’s retribution at some point in the line, you know. Suffer for your sins. But we’re not up to that.” Chris could barely think. He was shivering still, but somehow the presence of the woman made him a bit warmer. “What are you talking about?” he asked. “Just tell me what you want.” “I want you, dear. You need to finish what you started.” Then it dawned on Chris. “You ... you killed her! In my dream! You did it, you caused all of this!” He tried to lunge towards her, but she vanished and reappeared five inches further left. Chris fell on his stomach, lying on the stone ground. He made an attempt to get back into his sitting position. “Dear boy, that’s not called for. Now you need to stop messing around. I have more things to do.” She stood up, and beckoned him to do the same. “Come on, you’ll feel so much better with me.”

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And then more shit happens

Insert Candle/Count Dracula Pun Here (Because I can't think of one)

OK, I have one of three assignments done. I have to hand them in on Thursday. I'm pretty certain' I'll manage. This is what it looks like. Now for a tiny bit of relaxing before I get into finishing this essay on Batman. 

On Friday I'm going all the way back to Cornwall to celebrate Christmas (WOOOO) with my family, but I'll be stopping off at my sister's in Plymouth on the way, and get a lift with her for the rest of the journey. Huzzah, it's almost Christmas. Oh, shit, I need to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Thrills and krill all around.

I want to write an email Christmas card with some sort of story on it, but I don't think I'll have the time. I've been trying to get Scroogical finished for like two years. Bastard thing just won't let itself be finished.

OK, goodnight blog. I'm going to carry on writing by the dim light of my Dracula candle that Wilson bought me the other day, because it was going cheap and its head was almost cut off.

No worry for that anymore, though

Christmas Countdown:  12 motherfuck'n days

"Mike Wazowski!"

I forgot how awesome Monsters Inc. is. It's funny as hell. And Hell is totally hilarious, dont' you know.    Today my friend had his birthday party. He was turning 21 and hired out some of the ol' Common Room bar for the frivolities. People dressed up as animated characters. Others did not. Ironically enough those people were the ones who did the animation course. I dressed up as "animated me" which involved painting big cartoon eyes on myself. I looked a total tit. It was soon rubbed off

God, look at all those snow particles interacting with that fur. That must have taken ages to render.    Oh wow. I wasn't wrong: "It normally took 11 to 12 hours to render a single frame of Sulley because of his 2.3 million individually animated hair strands (Total number of hairs: 2,320,413)."    That's right fellow animators, eleven to twelve hours for one fucking frame. I can't even begin to imagine that. Jesus Christ it took half an hour for my thing to render today and I thought it took a long time.

I'm really tempted to stay up all night and write or something, but we all know that would be silly. For those of you who follow my Twitter you'd have seen this, a picture I drew of Amanda Palmer

I also did this.

Eleven to twelve hours. One frame. It still boggles the mind

Christmas countdown: 3 weeks!

I bet even this blog has been affected

I am proud of myself. I have mastered all 2,042 government set Kanji all Japanese students must learn. I am now ready to learn sentences and acutally get somewhere with this language. It's been enough time since I studied sentences. To help with my kanji-practising, I have installed a weird new add-on for firefox, which makes the first letter of certain words into their kanji counterparts. For example, the Facebook comment "that's not very lady like young Soph!!!!! Fantastic news though - WELL DONE." Is now "that's 勿ot very 婦ady like 若oung Soph!!!!! Fantastic news though - 井ELL DONE." This isn't even the right meaning of Well. Ptsch It's affecting every single page, and is very bizzare, but very usefull, so I think I'll keep it. In more good news, I have modelled this in surprisingly less time than I thought it would take, and made a little animation to go with it, here. It's this uni project where we have to do this man and machine animation. Mine will involve blowing his computer to bits with his ridiculous arm. It's gonna be much easier to do than other people's. Everyone's doing Terminators and those giant spider things from Wild Wild West which actually fucking exist in real life. And I'm doing a guy shooting his computer up. It's semi-autobiographical, semi-fantasy.

Amsterdamnible Animations

OK, just one episode of How I Met Your mother and then I'm going to bed. Promise. It's almost 2, but I've finished all the work I have to do, which I will happily drop off at uni tomorrow and then buy some celebratory cake and alcohol or something. Oh, so I went to this amazing fireworks display at this church today. It was ... well, no, it was pretty shit indeed. There was a fire, and it was kind of impressive. Pews and shit were burnt which was cool, even a cross, which we all found funny as hell because there was this black guy next to us. I don't think he saw the humour. He was too busy enjoying the fire. The queue for hotdogs was hilariously long, and when we got inside, finally, it turns out there was this secret extra line behind the door. But we got our hotdogs, which were cold (but 50p, which is pretty awesome), and the cordial was free. Then it all got boring, cos we saw the fireworks which were small and sad, but taken out of the church funds so good for them. It got boring, then people went and did things and I went home cos I'm a sad old bastard with a lot to do for tomorrow. I think I'll get some writing done tomorrow or something. Fun times ahead. I even had to laugh at Morpheus the other night to get a lot of the work done. I managed to stay up the following day very well, save for when I fell asleep during the boring showing of Drawn from Memory, a shit autobiographical animation about some bloke who grew up in wartime and really wanted to go to America cos he loved it. The film ended and he wasn't in America, but in Amsterdamn. It sucked. That n was put there on purpose for comedy's sakes. It's not really that funny. Here's a jump animation I did the other day for class. I like it. The weighting's just right.

Technically I drew it yesterday

I have been sending emails to big companies in Animation and am now pointlessly awaiting replies at ten past two in the morning. Who knows, maybe Nick Park's up at this hour for this very reason. I'm going to need to find somebody to email and interview for this Professional Context class, which is the most pointless and confusing thing since the N64 controller. I probably read like a total idiot in all of them, but whatever, it can't be nearly as bad as the podcast I did, where I sat and spoke about myself and what I wanted to do. It turned out pretty well, I think, but I have about 12 videos where I fuck it up in some way or another. I've also been watching a lot of Japanese comedy (or お笑い "owarai" as they know it as) today, and have been laughing even though I don't have a clue what they're saying. They shout a lot, though, and that's always good for a laugh or two. I drew a pretty picture today
Seriously. What the fuck?

Commodities and Contemplating Fridays

I should be in bed now, but I'm staying up and reading this stupid article on the Simpsons and commodity culture and this bloke who's called Mr Bennett, I was disappointed to find out wasn't Noah from Heroes, nor Elizabeth's father off Pride and Prejudice. Who knew the Simpsons could be so boring? Maybe if the author actually spoke of them once in a while instead of gavotting on about this obscure author no one gives a shit about. It's from a book about the Simpsons, with more articles on people studying the Simpsons. Sigh. Because it's so boring I'm trying to make the presentation I have to do on it interesting by adding funny pictures and all, but that's much harder than I thought. Maybe I should figure out what I'm gonna present before I start making up the slides. Spent the last two hours tweeting non stop, mainly cos I have nothing else to do, and the only person who's tweeting at the same rate I am is Amanda Palmer talking about her LOFNOTC (Losers of Friday night on the computer) hashtag topic which is turning into something off Fight Club, making my last few tweets a bit like a stupid one-sided conversation with myself. Oh well. I think I might head back to bed, if I can be bothered. Or watch Antichrist. Apparently it makes for very uncomfortable viewing. I'll have to wait and see.

Nerdonomicomicon

... is what I'd call my comic convention if ever comes the time for to organise one. I spent about fifteen minutes getting all the syllables for that one right, while walking with my friends to my next class. They were talking about something and I blurted out Nerdonomicomicon and they looked at me like I was mad. Well, more mad than usual. Anyway. I've been back in courses for a week so it's time for ....
BASIL TALKS ABOUT THE CLASSES AND TEACHERS HE HAS IN THE MOST HIGH SCHOOL BLOG WAY POSSIBLE!
Everyone's favourite part of the show. I'm not going to do it, actually. Cos my classes are, by and large, pretty much the same as last year save for the one where some bloke who looks like that old man off Up talks to us about how much we know nothing about the professional world. That man's a riot. I've spent the last week or so watching Disney films with two of my flatmates, one of which I've known for a year, another of which I haven't, but she cooks us stuff and is a very nice person to have around. Watching Disney films is research, as far as anyone who asks is concerned. I want to buy the Animaniacs DVDs, but I can't afford them.

Much ado about quite a lot of things, in fact

In a week and a half, I'm going home for Summer. This is good news. But before all that I have to hand in a lot of work. This is not good news. I need 1,600 more words on this essay which I'm actually having trouble with. It's one of those essays where nothing in the questions gets me so every word I write seems forced, unnatural and boring. Also have to write all the stuff you're likely to find on the webstie of an energy drink, for another project. This one's due in Thursday and it doesn't seem likely that it'll happen. In the FAQ we have questions like HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS IN RAPTURE? To ensure that Rapture complies with the caffeine limits set out by the Food Standards Code, our forumulation includes 78mg of caffeine per 250ml can. This is the same as in an average cup of coffee Which is perfectly normal. Then it dwells into the weird and the "I-don't-give-a-shit-anymore" WHY IS RAPTURE DIFFERENT To be honest, it sort of isn't. It's your average run of the mill energy drink. With added Uranium and Colin Mochrie ISN'T THAT DANGEROUS? Why, because he's Canadian? NO THE URANIUM Oh, no. To comply with the Food Standards Association we put in only a small amount of uranium, for that added green glow. It alters your DNA ever so slightly to give you extra energy AREN'T THERE SIDE EFFECTS? You may become sterile and infertile, but that's OK because your children would grow up with 6 toes SHOULDN'T YOU BE SHUT DOWN FOR THAT? The sad part is I'm writing both the questions and the answers --------------- And so on. That last answer was taken completely and unshamefully from the Dr McNinja FAQ (see here, it's the bottom question). --------- I'm not getting anything done, then, aside from work, cos I don't have the time. No drawing or anything, and when I do I can never seem to get into it. I tried drawing Gambit last night, after having seen the Wolverine film (which is, despite the bad reviews, a pretty kick-ass film with some really good effects and acting and not-so-much with the character development but that's not really important with a film like that) and I couldn't do it. Mainly cos I'm rubbish at drawing anything in the style that artists such as Jeph Loeb or Chris Bachalo, but also because I have no time to think about this. Also: Gambit is the shiz

The Most Thrilling Post Ever Posted

Blog. It's been a while since I've posted up current happenings as opposed to stories or silly pictures. That's cos nothing's been happening that's worth writing about, oh yes My "other" blog (it's more a univeristy project with team members) the fantastic ENERGY DRINK commercial (link here) is being updated all the time, and despite what most of the post titles say I wrote most of them. the work's theirs though. Anyway, so there uis talk of me going to Japan to teach for a couple of years after finishing university. This is in talks and very unlikely to happen, but it would be cool if it could. The whole idea is for me to refine the language before I start looking for animation jobs, probably in the west, cos I'm not the best manga artist. I'll need to save several grand too cos I'll be going with some friends around Europe after the teaching for about 6 months. That too will be language based. This leads me to wonder that I shoudl put off the vain agent hunt for a while, cos even though I'm doing all this research now, it'll probably change in 5 years. It gives me time to make a damn good portfolio of stuff though, if I can keep the motivation up.