This started out as an attempt at a poster for the episode-of-the-week, where I envisioned Agnes Moorehead’s character standing flush against the wall holding her ax as the tiny Invader creature menaced her from the laser-beamed mousehole at floor level. For a while, I had a cropped copy of the hole in place in the lower right, but the dark lighting made it difficult to make out. (See the little GIF to the right.) As it would turn out, I couldn’t find an appropriate full-body still of her that I could work with, and this particular shot of her cowering up on a chair or something had to suffice.
In the end, I completely erased the laser-beam hole and the wall, and simply copied the layer with the tiny laser beam of light to a second location to create the fanciful illustration of both aliens attacking simultaneously. This is not actually what happens at the instant captured in this photo. And so it turned into a GIFfed poster.
I’ve never tried counting stars before (probably just as good, as I gather my cumulative totals would be low), but after my first The Invaders GIF, I guess this second GIF now gives me another two stars towards the ten, for a total of four so far. And maybe another one point for the little “Laser Beam Hole” GIF. Or are we allowed to do the same assignment more than once?
“One day, perhaps on a short stroll during your lunch, you take a side street that you’ve not taken before, and come upon a store. Like a lost memory from your childhood, it’s a bookstore of nostalgia, squeezed between a barber shop and a shoe-repair nook, from a time before the big-boxes and Kindles and e-readers took over. In a dark and dingy corner, you lose yourself, amid glorious heapings of precious, musty paper — and discover, well-thumbed and studied and marked, … a treasure … from the Twilight Zone.”
I spent a good 10 minutes trying to find just the right image of Rod Serling on the Google Images, but many were too blurry and unclear. In the end, I used MPEG Streamclip to capture some frames from the Nick of Time episode and selected one that seemed to reflect a key number of Serling’s on-screen characteristics. I used the Magic Wand tool and the Eraser tool in Photoshop to remove the background and superimposed the shot on a black background. The fonts are Charlemagne Std, Cochin, and TwyliteZone, the last available free from fontspace.com.
I’m trusting and hoping that de-constructing a bit of Serling doesn’t take away, but rather add to one’s appreciation of his work. His introductions are so uniquely Serling that they form an integral part of The Twilight Zone experience. I’m sure there are other “Serling bits” that will come to light as the ds106zone continues — maybe we’ll find a 2nd edition of this release wandering out of the ds106zone later in the course.
The font is called Ringbearer (free on dafont.com). An alternative you might like is called twylite-zone (free on fontspace.com). I used a screen capture of the star field from the opening of The Twilight Zone television program as the background, and fiddled with a combination of upper and lower case (you get caps regardless, but varying sizes) as well as layering some letters individually and scaling them based solely on what I thought looked good.
This is a square version, mimicking the original layout of The Twilight Zone title.
I’m going to tag this for the Visual Assignment 169: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges Badge” assignment.
And, just because Flickr has decided to fiddle around with its aesthetic today and is taking some serious flak for not consulting with its long-standing users in advance, …
Just not in so many words.
One of the most fascinating aspects of these old teleplays is the significant number of episodes that are carried by a single character — and that character is typically isolated from the rest of the world by their experience. This probably makes it easier for us to identify with the character and therefore assume their emotions, which helps us to get the message of the film. But those notions of isolation, the other, the alien, these are pervasive in The Twilight Zone.
So far, I’ve watch the following:
There are some interesting notes in The Twilight Zone Companion about the lighting in this episode, and I must say that I did notice the lighting as I was watching — in part because the lanterns and the candles play an integral role in only revealing part of the set and thus adding to the suspense that comes from The Dark. It was almost like The Dark (the unknown) was yet another character. (The book talks about how the lighting crew had to change multiple lights up and down during each scene as Moorehead moved throughout the set carrying her candle — as she moved in and out of doorways they had to ensure that she remained lit for the camera. Interesting.)
So, yeah! Great to see the #ds106zone off and running. Time to do some design and camera stuff. And other stuff, too.
First, they work their way through the streets ….
Then around a building …
And from there, out of town, and backlit across the horizon, towards the cemetery.
This next is a GIF recreation of what is two shorter, cut sequences from the film. In the film we only see them carrying the coffin for perhaps the middle half of the frame. I figured we needed to see them carry the coffin the all the way across the full frame. You know, so we could watch them all the way from one side to the other.
Consider their movements through the town, as part of a Gilliam animation. If Gilliam were animating this, I think he would have had them moving faster …
Yeah, maybe that’s a little fast for the opening shot. But you play with the timing in a GIF for effect. In this case, a wait of 5 seconds on the first frame, and then a wait of only 0.02 for each of the subsequent frames. In the first one above, there is a wait of one second on the first frame, and then 0.15 on each of the rest, which looks pretty natural.
The Pallbearers around the Building would have less of a wait on the first (empty) frame. That way, it can look like they look like they’re racing around and around.
By the time the Gilliam’s Pallbearers reached the flats, I bet they would be making odd mouth noises and grumbling as they went.
I’ve also got a Photoshop file where they reach the upward slanting tree branch about a third of the way across, and they start to climb up it. The vision of having them get off the route by going up, and then pausing, and then down the smaller descending tree branch is there, in my mind, but as yet incomplete as a GIF.
Then there was some digging when they got to the cemetery. But unfortunately, Gilliam inspiration did not strike for that.
Post post inspiration: Maybe they need to gradually dig downwards out of sight? (Post post post-Paul commenting: I’ve started on the Gravediggers digging down. The background will be the challenge as they move downwards and reveal the non-existent cemetery behind them. Clone brush standing by.)
And what happens after the Gravediggers’ scene? I’ll have to get back to you on that! Certainly, most of the film.
Too many GIFs, too little time. At some point, one has to call it quits and just post. There are Twilight Zone GIFs to finish. But the finishing some of these Bava GIFs was calling. I have at least two more from this opening scene. But posted, I have.
The jump in the cinegram loop, together with the seemingly prehistoric colour palette of the desert came together to remind me of the visible looping in the old Hanna Barbera cartoons. The looping became obvious as we got older as kids, and was most hilarious whenever a character like Fred Flintstone or Snagglepuss or Wally Gator or Yogi Bear happened to be running and running and running.
I intentionally added the forward-and-backward movement to Fred’s running within the loop, as it seems to be what I remember from those good ol’ days. That, and the sound of bongo drums.