Friday, November 23, 2007
After viewing the film The Mist, I had a revelation about the true mentality of humanity. This film dwells upon the premise of a fog coming into a small town in Maine, after a vicious storm the previous night. The story centers upon a number of townspeople shopping in a local supermarket to replenish supplies as the fog bank moves in. As the fog descends on the general area of the store, a bloody man runs frantically toward the store's entrance, in a desperate need for refuge.
As time continues, the mystery becomes solved as to what terror awaits the townspeople in the fog. Creatures of unimaginable magnitude set prey to them as to satiate their hunger. But the fear of the beasts does not compare to the true horror that arises from the psyche of the people within the supermarket.
I begun this post with the question, what is it about The Mist, that makes humanity come to life? It's not the mist itself that awakes the subconscious of the townspeople, but a combination of fear, ignorance, hate and a number of other weaknesses of which free thought sits in the backseat. Not many people can say that they have feared for their lives, or been in such desperation that reason becomes irrelevant.
This film questions our religious and spiritual beliefs, the importance of class, racial predjudice, and our overall human power struggle. As I watched this film, I had to ask, are we born virtuous and good or morally deficient and evil? The answer that I have personally come to is, neither. I believe that when we are born, we are a clean slate for thoughts and ideas, for which our environments will write upon. We grow to feel the pain of having something taken away, but that same pain could become pleasure, when we are the ones who are doing the taking. Once we begin to think and reason, we understand that taking something from someone causes pain for which we would not want to experience, if something was taken from us.
When power, fear, and ignorance become our life's guide, war, discrimination, greed, degredation, and death then become the pillars of our society. But if there are those who believe differently, I would hope that this could be a forum for free thought. And I hope that The Mist doesn't bring out the worst in real world of our humanity.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Word of the week: BALANCE
cliche' application: "Stop and Smell the Roses"
The UK project is 50 percent complete. I would have started on the second half this week but I had a some computer trouble. My PSU (power supply) in Shogun Black (the big computer) was malfunctioning. The fan wasn't cooling the system properly. I took out the old one and replaced it. Now everything is good as new.
Production on Monkkey and Logos are steady.
Four new links have been added for: DV Republic, Ajamu Space, James' Space and Newgrounds.
Check them out.
The sketches that have been added to my portfolio this week are of Krru LeUn(pronounced: "Croo", roll the "r". This is the title of a master monk. LeUn is pronounced "lay oon") Krru Klungcla (The female) and The Soimdauk (Grand Master) Animus (the smaller of the two males). The Grand Master Animus is featured in the second episode of Monkkey training the young pupil Somnang.
Monday, August 13, 2007
With that said, there were many good films to be seen at the festival. Particularly, Silent Choices by Faith Pennick, which tackles the truths and myths about abortion in the Black Community. As well as the audience award winning film, I'm Through with White Girls by Jennfer Sharp. The title of the second film may be an enticement or a discouragement, but this film will dispell the sterotypes that you may expect. And also Algeny:The Genetic Factor by Andrew Burroughs, a sci-fi thriller about a man with a unique immune system. This film was the winner of the HBO best feature award.
All in all, I as everyone who reads this blog to support all of the films which were at the festival. You can see a listing at http://www.mvaaff.com/index2.html . And please spread the word about my film and the other films that were chosen to be a part of such a wonderful experience.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Mr. Bowman's film, "Kindred the Immortal." will be shown at Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival this weekend. The Festival kicked off on Wednesday and will conclude this Sunday Aug, 12Th.
We just received a nice size contract to do animation on a website for a company based in the UK. Can't get too much into details right now but we'll be able to provide more as we wrap up the project. Inadvertently this project has slowed production of MONKKEY and LOGOS.
This week the website has been updated with another a scene from MONKKEY and a teaser trailer of a project called GILGAMESH.
Also since the last update the website has been a little revamped for better maneuverability!!
Cliche' phrase for this week, "Iron sharpens Iron". Word of the week Audacity.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
This week 4 new characters that are apart of the LOGOS universe and have been added. In 3 of the four pictures the characters are truely in motion. I went back and numbered each piece by when I completed the sketch. So the pictures may appear to be out of order because they are not aligned chronologically in the portfolio.
Two more scenes of MonKKey have been cleaned up. There are currently 20 scenes. There are a few more scenes that still need to be added. I orginially was going to split this chapter into three parts (A, B, and C) due to thinking the file size maybe two large. However part A is coming out to be reasonably small in file size so I may combine A and B into one segment.
Friday, May 25, 2007
1) "All that glitters not gold."
2) "There's a place and a time for everything."
3) "Can't see the forest for the trees."
4) "Better Safe then Sorry."
5) "Sure and steady wins the race."
6) "Haste makes Waste."
7) "The Golden Rule."
8) "Taking care of two birds with one stone."
9) "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
10) "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."
PLEASE, if you have any more that come to mind contact me and I will add them to this list. It's apart of the "Getting Back to Basics" movement that inspires the making of this list. The Back to Basics Movement is an attempt to redirect thinking. There's a reason these phrases have stuck around for some time and are familiar to most. In many future blogs I will refer to these phrases.
Together we can make "sense" more common ;)
The first 16 pages of Logos are in the toning and lettering stages. So until then enjoy some of the characters from Logos and their facial expressions in E-Motions.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Violence is not only in our recreation but abundantly available in our news. 10% of network television news, 19% of local television news, and 18% of the front pages of newspapers have some topic dealing with crime and criminal justice (Rubark and Thompson, 2001). The next question could be why is this news worthy? A common motto amongst journalist is, “If it bleeds it leads”. Violence is a money maker because it attracts viewers it wins political campaigns. In 1992 Mayor Giuliani of New York focused a major portion of his campaign on his success of fighting crime. Mayor Newsom of San Francisco has a huge plan to turn around the Tenderloin district an area of the city that has been historically plagued with problems. He says he wants to achieve what Giuliani has with New York. Information presented by the UCR (Uniform Crime Reports) correlate with these findings. Homicide rate of the 90’s went down by 13% but crime was the leading television coverage. Since then violent crime rates have continued to lower.
All of these issues present several possible consequences to the socialization of our society. They present the seemingly ominous presence of crime which resulting in the population being infected with fear. However many psychologist believe that the over exposure to crime and violence will also desensitize people to these behaviors. As citizens become more desensitized and uncaring to major criminal issues other societal concerns also become less interesting. Individuals isolate themselves more in front of the medium of their choosing. Those mediums provide all the information the person needs, so they think, to get them through the day. The family unit disintegrates and people are no longer in control of the media as a tool and the roles reverse. Researchers over the past 25 to 30 years have come to these conclusions as the possible harmful effects our media can bring to our society.
From my own observations I have seen what I consider to be the consequences of people being victims of the media. In one case while I was enjoying dinner out at a restaurant a family of three, a mother, father, and baby were eating their dinner. While the mother and father were talking to each other they had a DVD player in front of the child with a movie playing. They did not talk to the child or incorporate the child into there social event the entire time. In another scenario, while I was once again eating out, I observed a mother and her son. He was a young teenager. They were sitting across from each other at a table next to mine. The son had the earphones to his cell phone in his ears while he played his Playstation Portable (PSP). From time to time he would press pause on his game to answer what appeared to be a text message on his phone. Meanwhile the mother was talking on her cell phone. This continued even after their meal came to the table and up until the time they left. They did not converse with one another the entire time. It is as though we have been transformed into a society that needs constant bombardment by various forms of media. Less than ten years ago before a movie started in the theater the lights would be low and there would be silence. Slowly theaters incorporated advertisements through the use of slides. Now we have full commercials before and during the trailers. Many times during these moments before the movie I notice people playing their Nintendo Gameboys and PSPs. When I used to tutor children in high school I found it very annoying when they would text message one another in class. But, I found it even more disturbing that once class was over, and they could talk, they would not converse with the person they just text messaged. Instead they would leave sometimes never acknowledging the person they were just messaging.
The examples of how the media affects our societal glues abound. It seems that one possible solution to repair the dissolution of this glue would be for us to become more media literate and better critical thinkers. The family is the first institute in which most people can learn these behaviors. As Erik Erikson (1950) points, home is where infants begin to learn whether those in the environment can be trusted, whether they themselves are capable of independent action, how much they can question and explore, and how similar to or different from their peers they are in a variety of ways. However in many cases children may be without family but they are still apart of a society. Who will help then?
“If we do not change our ways, our behavior will destroy us. When the time comes that host and guest no longer act hospitably, when friend argues with friend and brothers are enemies, when children and their parents cannot agree with each other, when grown children forget what their parents have done for them and instead treat them with disrespect and dishonor, criticizing them and complaining bitterly because they have grown old and weak, when people who keep their word or are just or virtuous receive less respect than those who use their strength for violent and evil purposes, when those who are evil hurt those who are honorable, then Zeus will destroy our Iron Race.” (Hesiod, translated by Athanassakis, John Hopkins Univ. Press, 1983) I quote the Greek poet Hesiod because the picture he paints of his late 8th century B.C. society could in many ways be compared to today. Obviously our form of media was not apart of the problem they were having none the less problems they did have seemed to be very similar to the ones we have today. The societal glues for many great societies have been challenged. As history has shown us they find a balance that works and they continue to prosper for considerable time but when the societal glues dissolve a chain reaction of events occur and the society dissolves along with it. So in our case although the common citizen being a victim to the media has been my focal point there are many relative factors. The challenge will be what we can do to balance those factors properly so that we can continue to prosper as a society.
There are several factors that contribute to a person being a victim; lasting psychological trauma; severe physical injury; and a disruption of a person’s safety template. A safety template is what the person holds to be true or safe about something. We all have safety templates about various activities. Driving a car, flying in airplanes, taking medication, or going to a public restroom are examples of situations that individuals may take for granted but could take a turn for the worst. An individual also becomes a victim when something happens that is unexpected from outside of there safety template. Mendelshon’s first typology of victimization theory (Mendelshon, 1963) defines this as being an innocent victim. An innocent victim is someone that is unaware of the potential to be victimized. Cohen and Felson’s routine activities theory (1989) also suggests that there are three requirements for victimization to occur; an available suitable target, absence of capable guardians, and the presence of a motivated offender. Using these theories and working backwards we can see how it is possible for a person to become a victim of the media. (a) The “Presence of a motivated offender”: is the media sensationalizing a chosen event; (b) “Absence of capable guardian” can be applied to children that watch television. However many children may have their parents to regulate their viewing. Who regulates what the parents are viewing? Thus the suitable target of any form of media becomes very broad. Newspapers, listening to the radio, or watching television are within our safety templates making us innocent victims to what we’re exposed to. Many people may watch or read about something and just think, “That only happens to people somewhere else.” However the power of sensationalized media can allow a person to feel as though the same event could happen closer to home. A violent action that happens in New York City can have traumatic affects in San Francisco. Young Caucasian girls from an affluent neighborhood may be perceived as the only children getting kidnapped on a regular basis. All of our senses that we use to observe and assess information from our environment are influenced through these mediums.
The affects of positive and negative visual reinforcement is not a new idea. BoBo Doll Studies, based on Albert Bandera’s (Banduras, 1963) Social Learning Theory, showed that people learn intentionally or accidentally by observing others. Since then his theory has been applied to television shows worldwide concerning topics such as the transmission of disease, illiteracy, overpopulation, and gender discrimination. These shows visually tell stories in which there is a problem and a resolve amongst the characters. If what we see in the media can affect us in a positive manner then surely they can have a negative affect as well.
The mediums we use for news and entertainment are vast and powerful tools. Like the boxer in the first example an individual knowingly exposes themselves to these mediums for the entertainment and the information they provide. But, like the spectator many are unaware of the specific social effects through media use. Media can be very subjective in the information it provides and its entertainment bias. In many instances it appeals to the wants of an individual more so than their needs. It bombards a person’s senses with stimuli. Many have incorporated multi-media as apart of their safety template allowing them to think no harm can come from its use. Being unaware of its influences is what allows a person to become its victim.
For both situations the media has wanted to point out that rappers and Imus are exercising their freedom of speech. Well, let’s walk down that path of freedom of speech, and look at this very logically. Indeed as American’s we have the right to say what we want, when we want, where we want. However, like many things in our natural world there is a cause and effect (Newton’s Third Law of motion is applicably to emotion too.). Words cause things to happen they create emotion and put things into action. There is a place and a time for everything (cliché phrase application #1). In real time would Mr. Imus call a female a nappy headed ho in the middle of the streets of Harlem, Newark, Detroit, Compton, or any other densely populated area of African Americans? Again I have not met Imus personally but I can answer that for him, NOPE.
Let’s move away from Mr. Imus and move on to another topic, where yet again we can see sensationalism at work. The Virginia Tech shooting; to say it was a very horrible incident is an understatement. But, in all of its tragedy why do people across the nation need to see the manifesto of a killer? Who does this benefit? Why aren’t there an abundance of stories about how we can prevent these actions or how people think for survival in this sort of situation? Why don’t the media talk about how the police can better respond in these cases? Should they or should they not shut down a school? A practice of being, “Better safe then Sorry” (cliché phrase application #2).
Sensationalism abounds. So who is affected? Are there consequences?
Friday, April 13, 2007
-First chapter of the LOGOS is currently in the inking and toning stages and should be complete by next Friday. This project was set back do to work being done on youth program proposal that Exodus will be apart of sometime in the near future.
-The second episode of Monkkey is in the production stages. We're looking at having that completed by the end of May.
-As you can see I've added some new links to the blog. The links that have been added are excellent resources for learning Flash.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
If we don't help one another, WHO WILL?
Saturday, April 7, 2007
White people have degraded the image of people of African decent since slavery times. First as a means to condone the international institution of slavery, then after the American Civil War to help keep blacks subservient and whites continually afraid of Blacks, and finally up until the present to continually present us as being unable to succeed in modern society.
Today we have a situation where entertainers of African decent, which also include latinos, create music and visual works which either degrade or present us as ignorant and narrow minded. Is it so surprising that with rap videos as well as films glorifying thug life and hypersexual women, we have radio personalities feeling comfortable enough to call us "Nappy Headed Hos"?
What should we do as artists, musicians, filmmakers, and individual citizens to change OUR view in mainstream society? This is the question of the new millenium!