Tag Archives: animatedGIF

A Katamit’s Private Thoughts

With all that capacity up there in the braincase, the Katamit is able to both communicate telepathically with the earthlings, but also reserve some bandwidth for his own secure and private thoughts.

Would that our intrepid hero Cryptographer Michael Chambers had spent more time trying to decipher the Katamit text before getting on that ship.

"A Katamit's Private Thoughts," animated GIF, by aforgrave, from "To Serve Man"

“A Katamit’s Private Thoughts,” animated GIF, by aforgrave, extended from “To Serve Man

Of course, once our intrepid hero’s colleague, Patty, spilled the beans, it caused a bit of a kerfuffle on Earth.

"Oops, My Bad!" animated GIF, by aforgrave, from "To Serve Men"

“Oops, My Bad!” animated GIF, by aforgrave, extended from To Serve Man

However, by that time, our intrepid hero was en route to the Katamit homeworld, with only a simple redeeming thought for solace. Perhaps he is able to decipher THIS simple code? Can you?

"Some Solace for the Codebreaker..." animated GIF by aforgrave, extended from "To Serve Man"

“Some Solace for the Codebreaker…” animated GIF by aforgrave, extended from To Serve Man

My GIF-eye-tis must really be acting up. I’m finding it difficult to do any ds106 assignment that doesn’t wind up a GIF.

I guess there are worse afflictions.


Brian Short’s eagle eyes managed to pick out an also-altered sub-heading in the newspaper, “Scandal: It’s a Cookbook.”  Given that I had also altered some other headlines in the paper that became illegible with the motion and the blur effects I applied during the newspaper animation, I am posting a still of the newspaper here.

“Oops, My Bad” Newspaper (still) by aforgrave, on Flickr

This Week on ds106zone: The Invaders


“This Week on ds106zone: The Invaders” animatedGIF promo, by aforgrave

So Jim is calling for 10 Stars worth of Visual and Design Assignments for “The Invaders” and a total of 30 stars altogether.  Hmmmm. That’s a lotta stars.

"Laser Beam Hole" animatedGIF from The Twilight Zone Episode 2.7, "The Invaders"

“Laser Beam Hole” animatedGIF from The Twilight Zone Episode 2.15, “The Invaders”

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?

You Best Clear Offa My Roof!

Just not in so many words.

"You Best Get Offa My Roof!" animated GIF, by aforgrave, from The Twilight Zone, Season 2, Episode 15, "The Intruders"

“You Best Clear Offa My Roof!” animated GIF, by aforgrave, The Twilight Zone, Season 2, Episode 15, “The Invaders”

Some Thoughts:

  1. The actress in this role is none other than Agnes Moorehead, whom I remember from Bewitched where she played Endora, Samantha’s overbearing mother. (Poor Darren!)
  2. The Rod Serling walk-into-frame opening is classic. Right out of the theatre.
  3. Moorehead’s movements are very stage-like, larger than life — and as the (play) episode moved along, I gradually came to realize that she had been carrying the role without speaking. (There’s a nice vignette in The Twilight Zone Companion which describes Moorehead questioning the director Douglas Heyes, “I’ve been reading the script and I’ve been trying to find my part …”) In fact, she speaks not a single word throughout — saving the voice/english for the “aliens” so we can realize that she, in hindsight, is the non-human, and that “The Invaders” are the ones from Earth.
  4. The music in the piece just before The Invaders’ spacecraft engine is heard is really haunting. Thanks, Jerry Goldsmith! (Yeah, the same.)
  5. For someone who lives alone, that’s one heck of a pot of stew she’s cooking up. It’s huge! 
  6. Yeah, I thought I recognized the spaceship from Forbidden Planet!
  7. When she was trying to get The Invaders out of her house, it felt as if she was fending off mice or rats. Either that, or some neighbourhood kids who were teasing the crazy old lady with remote controlled robots. Except when they were clearly being “walked” by an unseen hand. They didn’t look remote control then.
  8. As she inspected her hand and arm after the first attack, I was thinking about radiation burns. That was still a big unknown (and therefore scary) thing in the early sixties.

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.

My copy of "The Twilight Zone Companion, 1982 edition."  circa 1982.

My copy of “The Twilight Zone Companion, 1982 edition.” circa 1982.

So far, I’ve watch the following:

  • Episode 1.1:  Where is Everybody?  (Earl Hollman, alone and isolated for pretty much the whole episode)
  • Episode 1.9 Perchance to Dream (one lead, who refuses to sleep for fear of a recurring dream, and 5 supporting characters)
  • Episode 1.16 The Hitch Hiker (one character driving alone across the country, with first-person internal dialogue, and 6 supporting characters)
  • Episode 2.1 King 9 Will Not Return (one character, alone and isolated for pretty much the whole episode)
  • Episode 2.7 Nick of Time (two main characters, plus supporting characters)
  • Episode 2.15 The Invaders (one character, alone and isolated)
  • Episode 2.21 The Prime Mover (ensemble)
  • Episode 2.26 Shadow Play (Dennis Weaver, on Death Row, with several other characters, plus a jury! But man, he’s isolated, for sure!)
  • Episode 2.27 The Mind and the Matter (mostly one lead, once he wishes the rest of the world away!)
  • Episode 3.8 It’s a Good Life  (ensemble)

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.



Gilliamizing the Bava

The opening scenes of Mario Bava‘s 1966 film, “Kill, Baby, Kill” feature several cuts of some pallbearers making their way to the cemetery.

First, they work their way through the streets ….

"The Pallbearers in the Streets" animated GIF, by aforgrave

“The Pallbearers in the Streets” animated GIF, by aforgrave from Mario Bava’s “Kill, Baby, Kill!”

Then around a building …

"The Pallbearers Around the Building" animated GIF by aforgrave, from Mario Bava's "Kill Baby, Kill!"

“The Pallbearers Around the Building” animated GIF by aforgrave, from Mario Bava’s “Kill, Baby, Kill!”

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.

Caption here

“The Pallbearers” animatedGIF, by aforgrave from Mario Bava’s “Kill, Baby, Kill!” (600x 376, 256 colours, 38 frames, 323 KB)

Somehow, the shots evoked memories of Terry Gilliam‘s wonderful animations from his Monty Python days. Which, of course, thus suggested the introduction of an element of play.

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 …

"The Pallbearers in the Streets" - Gilliamzied

“The Pallbearers in the Street – Gilliamzied” animated GIF, by aforgrave from Mario Bava’s “Kill, Baby, Kill!”

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.


“The Pallbearers Around the Building – Gilliamized” animated GIF by aforgrave, from Mario Bava’s “Kill, Baby, Kill!”

By the time the Gilliam’s Pallbearers reached the flats, I bet they would be making odd mouth noises and grumbling as they went.


“The Pallbearers” animatedGIF, by aforgrave from Mario Bava’s “Kill, Baby, Kill!” – but faster!

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.

"The Gravediggers" animated GIF, by aforgrave

“The Gravediggers” animated GIF, by aforgrave

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.

Who’s That Out the Train Window?

So @cogdog is on a train, and he posts a cinegram movie from out his window. I wonder if he saw everything that was captured on the camera? He didn’t mention Fred.

"Fred in the Desert" animatedGIF by aforgrave, a 64 colours (533 KB)

“Fred in the Desert” animatedGIF by aforgrave,  64 colours (533 KB)

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.

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