Saturday, March 19, 2011

My First In-the-Theater Movie of the Year

Tonight I went to the theater with my brother Joel, and my cousin Shaina. We went to see "Rango". It was really, really good. If you like westerns you'll love Rango. Even though this was about a chameleon lost in the desert, it was a truly epic western. Just don't go expecting them to have cutified all the animals, like most animated movies do.

There were a few animals that got a slightly better face than their real world counterparts. The singing owl mariachi band, the little mouse girl, (Whose name I never caught till the credits, Pricilla) and the female lizard (Whose name was Beans and had curly hair) were the only "Cute" main characters in the entire film. Some might argue that Rango was cute too, but he was still very lizardy. Pascal, the chameleon in “Tangled”, was far more cutified than Rango was. The rest of the creatures all looked incredibly realistic, and most were downright ugly. Just like vultures, toads, moles, and other assorted vermin should be.

I love the fact that they ride roadrunners like horses.

Everything was amazingly animated, And some of the scenes were downright gorgeous. One of my favorite shots was a scene where the posse was riding through the desert, silhouetted by the setting sun.

The music for the movie was written by Hans Zimmer, one of my favorite composers. It has a very western feel to it, but you can tell he had a lot of fun with it. I especially liked his version of “Ride of the Valkyries” played on banjos during the air-raid-with-bats sequence.

Told you the animals were ugly.

The story was very well thought out. It far surpassed just about anything churned out by most animation studios these days, and it will definitely be a contender for best animated film at the Oscars next year. Pixar still makes the best animated films, but other animation companies are beginning to wake up to the fact that they need more than just cute animals spouting funny one liners, dancing, and making fart jokes to make a good movie. I enjoy the dancing animals too, but the best movies are the ones with a really gripping story to tell. The company that animated this film though, believe it or not, has never made an animated film before. It was made by ILM, Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects company responsible for a lot of big budget special effects heavy films, such as the Star Wars Trilogies. They definitely have an eye for detail, and I hope they make another animated film soon!

In case you’re interested, I will leave you with the trailer for the film.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


What do you do when your “N” key stops working?

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Take it to a repairman and spend maga dollars to get it fixed? Well, that’s what I was going to do… Until I decided to do it myself. I found a site on the internet that explained how to disassemble a laptop and from that I figured out what I would need to do to replace my keyboard all by myself. I bought a new one off of e-bay for around $20 and yesterday I performed surgery on my laptop.

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If you attempt such a feat, remove all sources of electricity so you don’t get fried.

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I took off this panel only, because I needed to get to the screw underneath.

Laptop 007Laptop 009

Then I took out that screw and these two. All clearly marked with a keyboard symbol.

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I was very glad I had these little magnetic balls so I could get the screws out and keep them from rolling away and getting lost.

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Then I had to pry out the old keyboard.

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This had to be carefully removed and replaced. It’s stuck in there tight and the brown pins have to be moved just slightly so it will let go. This was what I was most nervous about messing with, but it turned out fine.

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Then just do everything in reverse and it’s good as new! The transplant was a success! Except this keyboard is kind of coppery, and my other one was black. Oh well. At least I didn’t have to pay a couple hundred for repairs! Open-mouthed smile

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bieber Beast

Yesterday I mentioned starting a project to work on at home. I haven’t worked on it a whole lot, but I thought I’d share the beginning of it with you since I ended up scrapping it and starting over.
At the end of class on the first day we were making our prints, our teacher told us to make two collages by the next week. He didn’t tell us anything about the project or I would have made mine much different. All he said was that we were going to make an abstract drawing out of one of them. After finding out the next week that we needed to have a whole sheet full of stuff, I scrapped the two I made and started over, but I decided that I’d share them here, just for kicks. Smile
My first one:
My second one:
And yes, that is Justin Bieber. Smile with tongue out Can anyone guess what and who the rest of him is?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Printing Press Project

Soon after we finished our first project on the printing press, we got started on another one.
You can refresh your memory by reading my original post here.
This one was a lot more detailed, and took many weeks to complete. Today we finally finished it, and I have been photographing the whole process, so you could see how it was done.
At the end of class one week our teacher handed everyone a piece of paper and told us that by the next week, we needed to come up with a design that we would be carving into a printing plate. The design was to be in such a way that we would carve some of it away after printing it and then do it again, as many times as it took to create a final image. This was my design.
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The next week he brought out colored pencils and had us color the drawings how we wanted the final image to look like.
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Then he handed out graphite paper and had us trace our image onto a printing plate.
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Graphite paper works by placing the paper graphite side down onto whatever you want to transfer the image to. Then you place your drawing on top, and use a pen to trace the lines into the plate.
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Then we were told to have our first stage carved out by the next week.
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The next week we started the printing process. I started with a black background. I did this five times so I’d hopefully get one that was better than the rest.
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None of them printed very well, so I went back over them with the paint roller.
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The next stage was to roll paint onto the plate, I only did the flame at this point, and then I sent it through the press.
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The next step was to carve the outer edge away to make the next block of color.
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More paint. I used orange for this stage
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This was all I got done that week, so by the next week I again had to carve it down.
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The next week we did not use the printing press, we started a new project to work on at home. I'll be doing a separate post about that later.
Today we finished our paintings. This time I added in the glow of the stars.
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By this stage my original drawing has long been washed off, so I drew it back in with a pencil and carved it down again.
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I also carved out the stars this time, even though they don’t get painted till the end.
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More paint, turquoise blue this time.
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Final carving, the meteor itself.
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Final stage, I used white for the stars and the meteor.
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One of the final five.
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As you can see it is a mirror image of the drawing I came up with at the beginning. I had not taken this into consideration, but it turned out fine anyway. One guy was not quite so lucky however, as he had carved Superman’s “S” shield. Woops.
As soon as I get my projects back, I’ll post all five copies of the painting.
I see the plate as a work of art in itself, even though it is now heavily stained. I carved it carefully. It reminds me a lot of Van Gough’s Starry Night.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Julian Smith

It’s been a long time since I did a “Random” post. This one isn’t as random as I have been in the past, as all these videos are by the same guy, but they are all random in the fact that they are all VERY different from each other.

I recently found a filmmaker on YouTube named Julian Smith. He is really funny, and a great actor. You’ll see from all these videos how easily he slips into various personas.

This first video apparently made some people accuse him of, among other things, making fun of Christians. He wrote in his blog after he released it that that wasn’t his intent at all. I got the joke the first time I watched it, but apparently others did not. I’ll link his blog if you would like to read it after you watch it.

Double Pre-Blessed!
Usually however, his videos are just silly. He plays all sorts of different people. His Jeffery character is really funny.

You want TWO of them?!?
Jellyfish: They don’t have jelly inside, they just have lightning.
If you’ll notice, there are words appearing during the video, sometimes faster than one can read without pausing. I think they are supposed to be Jeffery's thoughts, but they are really funny. This line cracked me up so well, that I put it in my favorite quotes on Facebook.

Jellyfish: They don’t have jelly inside, they just have lightning.

“Red Eye Flashes Twice” was the video that got me started watching his stuff, thanks to my cousin posting it to Facebook.

What are you stupid, Bill?
As I watched more of his videos, I realized that I had seen quite a few already, thanks to them being posted elsewhere, I just had never paid attention to the artist before

This was the main video I had remembered seeing before. And with good reason. This was his first video that went viral, and the one that made him famous.

Am I number one? Am I number one? Am I number one?
I also remember seeing this one a long time ago. It’s so terrible, yet so funny.

I don’t wike dis bedtime stowey!
This one I am including just because it makes me laugh.

Don’t drink that, don’t drink that racist coffee.
If you’re wondering what the deal is with the “I MADE THIS FOR YOU!” scream, or the “I made this for you.” whisper at the end of most of his videos, it comes from this film.

I made this for you.
This next one is funny, but what is funnier to me, is that his mom made her own version of it after he released it, and hers is even funnier than his!

As a side note, the end of his wins the award for most random ending ever.

Don’t EVER interrupt me while I’m readin’ a book!
This is the one his mom made. Just about all the food in the video are references to other videos he made.

I’m tryin’ to cook, pig. I’m tryin’ to cook.
P.S. Something else really cool about this guy? He was homeschooled. Along with his five siblings, who all act or make videos, and most of them are still kids.

A synopsis of his life can be found here.

P.P.S. Has anyone ever heard of the web show “The Annoying Orange?” Julian Smith guest starred on an episode playing a walnut. (For those with extra weak constitutions, The Annoying Orange features graphic fruit violence. You have been warned. :p)

You’re an avocado? Is that why Lizardberry ate you?
P.P.P.S. I was just about finished with this post, and I decided to go check Facebook I “Like” Julian Smith on Facebook, and he had JUST posted a new video! It’s hilarious!

You think you could give me a jump?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Little Quotes

I used to watch “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross every Saturday with my grandma. I loved watching him paint his “Happy Little Trees.” I’m pretty sure he is one of the main reasons I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. Smile I haven’t painted much, but when I have, I noticed that I used some of the techniques he used on the show. He’ll always be one of my favorite artists.

I “Like” Bob Ross on facebook, and today whoever maintains his fan page posted a quote from him. which I reposted on my wall, then added to my favorite quote section in my profile.

"I want a nice tree lives right there. There it comes, yes. And he’s got a little friend named Harriet. Right there. Just make up little names. I know people look at you like you’re a little weird. That’s okay. ‘Cause as artists we can do anything. People expect us to be a little different. They expect it. Don’t let them down."

After this I looked up more quotes by him, and I found quite a lot, so I ‘m going to share a few more here. This first one really cracked me up. Open-mouthed smile

“Oh, that would make a nice place to fish. I like fishing, but I’m not a very good fisherman. I always throw the fish back into the water, just put a band-aid on his mouth, tap ‘im on the patootie and let him on his way. And maybe some day, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to catch him again.”

“People look at me like I’m a little strange, when I go around talking to squirrels and rabbits and stuff. That’s ok. Thaaaat’s just ok.”

“People might look at you a bit funny, but it’s okay. Artists are allowed to be a bit different.”

LOVE this next one! Open-mouthed smile

“That’s a crooked tree. We’ll send him to Washington.”

I don’t know if he said this often, or if I just happen to remember the specific episode he said it in, but this next quote I definitely remember him saying.

“We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”

This one cracked me up too. Bob Ross was very funny!

“I can’t go over 30 minutes, because we have a mean ol’ director with no sense of humor.”

I think he said some variation of this one at the end of every episode.

“Well, the little clock on the wall says we’re just about out of time. Goodnight and God bless.”

I’ll close with these quotes which I too, firmly believe.

“Traditionally, art has been for the select few. We have been brainwashed to believe that Michelangelo had to pat you on the head at birth. Well, we show people that anybody can paint a picture that they're proud of. It may never hang in the Smithsonian, but it will certainly be something that they'll hang in their home and be proud of. And that's what it's all about.”

”I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.”