Tag Archives: ds106

The Freddy Affair, Episode 1

“The Freddy Affair,” by Andrew Forgrave, on Flickr

Paul Bond (@phb256, on Twitter) posted a request earlier today for some #noir106 bumpers for ds106radio. After a bit of messing around, I decided that this particular project needed a new voice, and so the narration was re-recorded (and slightly modified). We always tend to be hyper-critical of our own recorded voices when we hear them. Anyway, I’m pleased with the result.

The Audio

The text evolved in conjunction with successive listens-and-speaks as I tried to match the narrative flow with the phrasing in the music. After a couple of recording efforts using the wonderful, free, open source, cross-platform Audacity, I sourced a bit of ambient street sound from freesound.org to add at the beginning and the ending.

Street noise: “street short” by hoptenon on freesound.org (CC0 1.0)
Music track:  “Pink Fish Signs V2″ by GeeNerve from the 2004 recording Suspense Dance Delights (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Given that the backing music track is 0:57 in length, I was initially going for a 1-minute bumper. But in the final analysis, I decided that this might instead be better positioned as the initial episode of some kind of #noir106 radio short.

The Image

As I was pondering what to use for a graphic to accompany the audio track on Soundcloud, I decided to make use of a screen capture I had already collected. The image is from the opening credits of Alan Parker‘s 1987 film “Angel Heart,” starring Mickey Rourke as a down on his luck P.I. in post-WWII  New York/New Orleans.  (I’ll save my commentary on the film — and my GIFs — for another post.)

Opening Credit Scene from Angel Heart (1987) film by Alan Parker

Opening Credit Scene from Angel Heart (1987) film by Alan Parker

I cropped the image to provide a 1:1 square album cover using the most interesting part, and then tried out a number of fonts found on fontspace.com.

I poked around with several before settling on DK P.I. which has a grunge-typewriter look — the kind you get from the P.I.’s busted-up typewriter after it’s been knocked off the desk and shot, four times too many.

DK P.I. font

You can see a number of different looks below that I tried before settling on the chosen font.

"The Freddy Affair font experiments," animated GIF by @aforgrave

“The Freddy Affair font experiments,” animated GIF by @aforgrave

You can also see that I decided to change the title from “The Freddy Files” to “The Freddy Affair” during the album cover preparation.

The Process

In this post I’ve tried to model linkingembedding, attribution, and the process of sourcing and documenting visual, audio and font resources. I didn’t go into the details of using Audacity or Photoshop, but there is time enough for each of those in the coming weeks — by me or by others in the community.

Although this is perhaps a bit long for a #ds106radio bumper, it probably sells the #noir106 experience and invites the listener to tune in to #ds106radio in coming days — so I’ve also tagged it for Audio Assignment 36: Create a DS106Radio Bumper

Let me know if I’ve missed something!

A Bit of History, and Ten Little Noirs

New-Nostalgic-B&W

2013-era Screening Room at Kingsway Theatre, Toronto, based on an original image (CC BY-3.0) by Jason Whyte

 Nostalgia

Decades ago, when I was going to school in Toronto, there was a great repertory cinema called the Nostalgic Cinema. Rather than screening newer films, the Nostalgic stuck to older 16mm films, mostly black & white — Alfred Hitchcock’s work was regularly featured to the extent that there was a framed list posted outside the screening room that identified his role and cameo for each film in his body of work.

The screening room itself was small, located on the second floor of the Kingsway Theatre, and featured perhaps three plywood risers each holding perhaps two rows of maybe five or six seats. Wonderfully cosy, (I think I remember bead curtains on the two entry doors off the second floor hallway, and drapes on the walls for ambiance — and soundproofing), it was a great place to get introduced to all those old films. Limited information located tonight suggests that the Nostalgic sat perhaps an audience of 25-30. Sadly, I was unable to find barely a mention of it on the net.

"Kingsway, coloursplash," by @aforgrave, based on an original image (CC BY-3.0) by kingswaytheatre

“Kingsway, coloursplash,” by @aforgrave, based on an original image (CC BY-3.0) by kingswaytheatre

At the time (early 80s), the Nostalgic Cinema and the downstairs 700 seat Kingsway theatre were part of the Festival repertory theatre chain (perhaps 5-6 theatres total throughout Toronto), each of which offered up two different movies each night of the week, plus matinees on the weekend. Admission for a movie at the time was $2 (with your membership card, which perhaps was a one-time fee of $2?) and was as close as you could get back then to Netflix today. This was pretty much before VHS and video-rental chains took off.

A few years after, but on the opposite end of the Toronto, I found a video rental shop that stocked an inventory of classic films (we’re talking VHS cassettes at the time) — it was there that I was able to source out a copy of the original The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), directed by Robert Wise. Having seen the film once years before, I knew that it would be a perfect focus for a paper I was writing on the 1950s fear of nuclear power/aliens/other/cold war. Being able to call up the store (on a landline, mind you) and then rent a copy at the time pointed out how valuable it was to have such resources at hand. We’re talking LONG before the Internet.

Fast Forward to Today*

*Pardon the magnetic tape reference.

So yes. Now we live in the age of Netflix and internet delivery of a wide range of cinema (and television) content. Some aspects of access have certainly changed. But old films and television shows are still a treasure!

Last season (during the late summer and the fall run up to #Wire106), I located the wonderfully stocked Classic Video rental shop (40,000 discs packed into two floors!) about an hour’s drive away in the next town over. In addition to providing rental access to the complete 5 seasons of The Wire, I was able to access some great television series from my childhood and from across the pond.  They even have a great video telling their story! Check it out …

Sourcing Some Noir

So this past weekend, while returning the last of my outstanding rentals of The Sweeney and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, I took a few moments to root through the Classics section at Classic Video in search of some noir for me to dig into in the coming weeks. I had a few titles I was looking for, but for the most part, if it looked noir (or if it said noir), then I added it to my stack. At three films for $4.99, I tend to get 3×3 films to tide me over. When I had my nine, I stopped digging, and tendered my $16.91 — what a great deal!

Here then, sorted in chronological order only now as I document the list, are the films that I have queued up for the next little while.

"Eight Little Noirs," animated GIF by @aforgrave

“Eight Little Noirs,” animated GIF by @aforgrave

It’s been many years since I kind of watched Our Man in Havana, and reading the synopsis clarifies that it won’t really play well as a noir, but I’ll watch it anyway.

Now, I did say Ten Little Noirs up in the title, and that’s because I’ve already started watching another film that I saw in first release back in the eighties, and that I’m looking to GIF in the next little while. I’ll hold the title to that one close to my chest for a couple of days, but I’m going to see if I can unpack whether it’s noir, or whether it is just borrowing from noir, or whether it might be some kind of mutated noir, akin to what Jim Groom was talking about.

Time for some Art!

It’s Time for Noir106

IMG_8265

Image from “The Third Man (1949)” found on http://www.winwallpapers.net

The cool dampness of the winter’s fog caressed the stubble on my weathered cheeks as the foghorn roused me from my stupor. Its wail was just like hers, never giving me a moments peace, no respite for the near-wicked, she would always say.

I started, shifting my body upright and away from the cold, stiff concrete. Another hour done and gone, I thought, as I wrapped my old coat closer around me and again stumbled out from between the wooden crates, pulling and lighting the Camel in a too-smooth move that said in a second just how far gone along I was.

It was a dark and stormy night. Cold down at the docks, and cold everywhere else. Coldest in my bones. Moist steam from the grates and Camel’s welcome smoke mixed with stale breath and the damp fog, managing to dull the stench of the harbour’s dead rotting fish. At least there was that.

Three more hours, and three more turns around this dark and dank hole, and the rising sun would drive me away from this place. Drive me away for good. I’d been here long, and when you stay in a place too long, it seeps into your bones and changes you. Changes you into things you’d rather not think about. Especially not in the light of day.

It was time to pack my case and move on.

Yeah. That Noir106 gig was starting to look pretty good.

Time to go make some Art.

100% Official Orange and Black Spirit Day Shirt

"100% Official Orange and Black Spirit Day Shirt" animated GIF by @aforgrave

“100% Official Orange and Black Spirit Day Shirt” animated GIF by @aforgrave

October 31st sees us celebrating Orange and Black Spirit Day, and what better way to show your seasonal Orange and Black Spirit but with the 100% Official Orange And Black Spirit Day Shirt. Available in comfortable and seasonal orange, with black design.

“Orange and Black Spirit Day Shirt FRONT” by Andrew Forgrave, on Flickr

“Orange and Black Spirit Day Shirt BACK” by Andrew Forgrave, on Flickr

As with a number of other shirt designs, this special creation can be yours through a simple, one-off purchase through the ds106zone store on Zazzle. Enjoy the Orange and Black celebrations in your neighbourhood in fine style!

Diver #GIFfight!

"GIFfight! Mac Aquarium, with Diver," animatedGIF by @aforgrave

“GIFfight! Mac Aquarium, with Diver,” animatedGIF by @aforgrave

The GIFfight! challenge is always a fun one. First established by New York art professor Ryan Seslow (@ryanseslow) and long-time #ds106 participant and communications instructor Micheal Branson Smith (@mbransons), it has drawn the attention of a good number of the GIFfing #ds106 community.

The static prompt for this challenge is a still of an undersea diver — on a skateboard or surfboard.  While other entries to date take the diver to a variety of locations, I decided to put the diver back underwater in a simple animated aquatic scene. Once that was done, I needed a container to house the scene. What better than a classic Mac Plus hardware Aquarium.

Enjoy! And check out all the fancy stickers that you can look at when the power is off.

 

#noir106 Winter 2015

ECOO 2014 #bit14

#ecoo14 #bit14 Bring IT Together

#wire106 Fall 2014

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