Okay! So Jim Groom has posted a bit more about the upcoming summer session of #ds106 Digital Storytelling, this incarnation titled #ds106zone — flavoured with The Twilight Zone. Not that anyone needs an excuse to watch old episodes of the series, but I’ve been looking forward to this all the same. Who knows, the series is on Netflix, and could make for a nice nostalgic summer of binge viewing. (Or not.)
However, looking to start at the beginning (so says Inigo, quoting Vizzini), I dialed up the very first episode from October 2, 1959, entitled “Where is Everybody?” Starring the instantly recognized Earl Holliman, the episode was released about two and half years before I was born, and focuses on the effects of isolation on the mind of an air force pilot who (as we discover at the end) is training for a mission to the moon. Kennedy’s Moon speech took place on May 25, 1961, and I was born just nine months later. Coincidence? (Ya, probably!)
Anway, it’s nice to see that the first episode was pretty much based on a topical and very realistic question for the time. And a nice complement to emphasize how far we have come, given that today marks the day that @Cmdr_Hadfield returns to earth after five months aboard the International Space Station. Yes, he had a couple of other astronauts there to keep him company, but then again, he had most of the known Twitter universe in touch with him, too. Did you see his cover of Bowie’s Space Oddity? (Maybe you have, it’s had over 1.8 million views since I saw it last night.) But I digress.
Let the GIFfing begin!
I watched this episode with an eye out for GIFfable moments — the stoplights above was a natural, and easily done.
This shot from the movie theatre was nice to try ….
… as the mirror makes for a very interesting shock to the viewers. I would have thought he would have seen the other guy running right at him though. But I guess he was spooked.
This one is a bit larger than I’d like (at 2.5 MB), but those glittery lights on the marquee are reminiscent of those early under construction GIFs, and I didn’t want to leave them out. I used some masking, but the camera man was successful with his pull focus on this shot, and it made masking the whole scene difficult. As it is, it makes for a slight jump when the GIF loops. Oh well, better that he got it right for his art, I guess.
And with that, I release my first submission for the #ds106zone — just a little to whet the appetite. Apparently things don’t officially start until May 20th, but Jim said something about Donkey Kong, so I think that means we can start.
Also, submitted to @iamTalkyTina‘s AnimatedGIF Assignment 920: From the Twilight Zone and Beyond.
Awesome GIFs Andy. Little wonder who’s gonna be head of the class.
I’m just glad to be IN the class, Scott! Would you believe I probably have just as many unfinished GIFs as I have finished ones? I counted at one point back in late January or February that I had upwards of 20 leftover and unfinished GIF projects from GIFestivas2012. And I have only added to that number since then. I need to take stock and finish and post some of them, too! However, the #ds106zone focus will be fun.
I posted about watching the Twilight Zone with my dad when I was a kid, and this one freaked me out, too. I love the GIF you made with the mirror scene. This is my first time officially taking the course, so I’ll definitely be looking for some pointers as I work on my GIFing skills.
I trust you will truly enjoy delving deep into the ds106 Assignment Bank. It was only six short months ago that I decided I needed to really get into the techniques of GIFfing, and I’ve been having a blast since, always learning, working at honing the skills, and having great fun making choices to create something that is art out of something that inspires.
As usual, these GIFs are gorgeous, but mroe than that you place Twilight Zone in a context that truly speaks to its genius. it was a series that was propelled by a thinker/writer/creator that was tapping into the psyche of the US in the late 50s, early 60s, and the idea of possibility and isolation that represents the first episode, and foreshadows one of the greatest achievements of a culture, is right in line with this. Serling understood his moment, both its technology and the human capacity of longing and possibility through it, to such a degree that it was never a simple championing, but rather a foreshadowing of what was to come in all its complexity. If ds06zone is anything, it is an occasion to think back and study a master such as Serling (and Matheson and others) so that we can ask similar questions about the cultural frame that will produce stories of as much depth, beauty, and relevance in a form native to our moment. You nailed it.
The sci-fi premise of The Twilight Zone and the fact that it was infused with the language of questions and possibilities resulted in it being a natural platform to explore virtually anything related to society, people, and ideas. Just as with Alfred Hitchcock Presents, having a narrator as the face of the show who was also a creative force behind the production really provided an over-arching presence and continuity of focus. In that sense, Hitchcock and Serling were both “actors” helping to sell the concept of their programs and provide a thematic continuity on a weekly basis.
Interestingly enough, listening to the first part of The twilight Zone Companion book on #ds106radio last night it turns out they were trying to get Orson Welles amongst other luminaries to present the show, Serling basically made a plea for his place within it, and I think that changed the whole tenor of the series for the better. What’s more, speaking of Hitchcock, this first episode had a score by the inimitable Bernard Hermann as well as Hitchcock’s director of photography for Marnie and other films. It is interesting to think just how much Hitchcock’s groundbreaking films for decades at this point influenced this breakthrough moment in TV. That is connection I hadn’t made until hearing the companion, very, very cool.
Man! I fell asleep last night after starting on a new #ds106zone Twilight Zone GIF set, and I awake to encounter this extension than now has me re-thinking the GIF set with Hitchcock in mind. Specifically, the Video Assignment 732 “Do the Hitch Cut” video assignment from (I’m thinking) last summer’s Camp Magic Macguffin. But as an animated GIF set. So now I’m in hold mode while I ponder.
In the meantime, Alan’s on a train, and I’ve been doing a little GIF on that. Plus I still need to post GIFs from this past week’s Bava film.