"The air is my enemy
the sun comes up without me
the minutes pollute my lungs
and dull my mind and tie my tongue
pit of my stomach churning coal
my soul is old
my soul is cold
the ravens use me as their perch
call off the search
I'm in the earth
the mud is up to my chest
I only want to rest
my heavy eyelids turn me blind
I can't unwind the binds
Here comes the deluge
there goes my shortlived refuge
home is the dark days
I am the knot that frays"
A little Elysium fields tribute I filmed earlier today. This edit contains shortened versions of each clip, with transitions, so I'll upload each clip individually later on.
A shot of the nation of Australia from above zooms/cuts to a view of a cutaway shot revealing the interior that is the ground burrow, which consists of an extremely long and elaborate tunnel leading to a tiny, hollowed out space filled with leaves and reeds as nesting material, where the platypus lay huddled with her her eggs.
Narrator: Deep within the confines of a cozy burrow in eastern Australia, the platypus mother lovingly curls herself around her eggs, waiting for them to hatch ---
Mom (annoyed, interrupts): Actually, cozy is not the right word. Cramped is more like it.
Narrator (taken aback): I see. (Resumes) In ten days time, her platypus young hatch out, hairless, helpless, and hungry ---
Mom (interrupts): Yep! A right bunch of blind, naked, hungry babies they are! But they're MY blind, naked, hungry babies!
Narrator: Um...where was I in the script? Oh, yes. (Clears throat) . The mother platypus feeds her young by secreting milk through mammary glands in her skin, which pools in the abdomen so that her offspring may lick ---
Mom (interrupts): I'm going to stop you right there and summarize. Basically, you know how when you're sweating, and it fills up your belly button? Well, I sweat BREAST MILK! And my kids? They eat it up! Yep, saves on having to cook AND having to shower! Right?
i was thinking we could explore two sides of a story for the episode re: the number two.
one of my favorite collabs is kouralilly's backwards/forwards poetry project where you can read a poem either top to bottom or bottom to top, and both tell a different story.
i think the most effective contributions are ones that show two distinct stories when read one way or the other.
these could make excellent typographies or animations played back-to-back to emphasize differences.
oh you want examples? well i got your examples right here, buddy:
The Truth by xanlee
Would I by Iluminar
tiny by Mottelz
You and I by Ines Reis
Can't Buy Love by the Shuttersmith
Respectively Speaking by MadisenMusic
i'm certain there are dozens more that could work for this project. but i just wanted to throw this out there :)
You still write? That's admirable.
Looks like everyone else moved on though.
The very earliest years of my life are indelibly marked by the impression of my parents' divorce.
I was born in 1993.
They were split up by 1995.
My father slept with my mum's friend. Repeatedly.
(Was she my mum's best friend? I can't remember. If she once was, she certainly never was again.)
And even if he hadn't broken that particular commandment, the marriage was doomed from the start anyway.
She never wanted to marry him, but he proposed anyway; she already had one kid and didn't want another, but he got her pregnant anyway; his family hated her, and when she gave birth to me, they congratulated him instead of her, and didn't give her a second thought; he hated my mum's first-born daughter - my sister - and was prone to verbally abusing her, if not actually picking her up and pinning her to the wall by her neck; he didn't really care about me that much - he spent most of his time working on his computer, often asking for me to be taken out of the room so he could concentrate.
Really, the affair was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
And so he left to live elsewhere with the Other Woman, and in the ensuing years, I became a pint-sized pawn, shuttled back and forth from camp to camp as part of the settlement's "visitation rights" for him to see me.
My memories of my time with him actually don't involve him that much, but rather other members of his family.
I remember those weekend-long - and then later, week-long - visits to his parents' house in Letchworth, where he would have his mother and father look after me in the mornings and nights, while he would come to see me in the rest of the day.
Actually, did he stay in the house as well? Did he even have a house of his own during those years?
I don't know. I was the unquestioning child, incurious of the details that had accumulated to lead me to these moments in time.
(It is worth pointing out that, ironically, his parents would later divorce too, and I would then become shuttled back and forth between his parents as well. (Would it surprise you that they split up because my father's father cheated on his wife with another woman? Nope, didn't think so.) In those times, I would only stay with my father's parents for little periods of time, with no involvement from him. I even met my father's father's Other Woman a few times. (She was rather dopey.))
I remember the times I met my father's brother. He was memorable for having a sort of Tom Hardy resemblance (which is probably far too kind to my father's brother, and far too insulting to Tom Hardy), and for having a scooter which he once let me sit on while he drove up and down the street outside his parents' house.
I remember the times I met my father's grandparents. They were memorable for their old people smell, their flickering electronic fire, their portrait of Winston Churchill on the wall above the fireplace, and their eternal penchant for plying me with a whole table's worth of buttered pancakes, caramel wafers, and other overtly sugary things that surely helped me on my way to obesity.
I remember the times I stayed with my father at his house in Scotland, where he lived with the Other Woman and, eventually, their two children.
I remember the time he taught me to tie shoelaces by having me tie and re-tie and re-re-tie the shoelaces on his kid's tiny baby shoe 100 times in a row.
I remember the times he strove to curb the weight I had gained - (weight I only gained by his and his family's hand, but which he blamed on my mother) - by having me walk up a steep hill to the memorial castle built around William "Braveheart" Wallce, or having me walk up and down a steep mountain with him and the Other Woman, or having me take a 10 mile trek through a route in the Scottish countryside, regardless of dehydration or the fact that obesity was the least of my medical concerns.
I remember the time he made me beans on toast with a glass of milk, and when I went to eat it with my hands, he shouted at me to use a knife and fork, and he sat and watched me eat it his way, and when I finished the dish and went to go up the terrifying metal spiral staircase, he ordered me to come back and finish the milk, and once I did that, I went to my allocated bed on the upper level and cried myself to sleep, trying not to let the Other Woman hear me weep as she came upstairs and picked up dirty laundry.
I remember returning home days after these visits, waving goodbye to him as he drove away, walking up to the front door with my pent up sobs threatening to erupt, and walking inside into my mother's arms, releasing all the tears and stories and everything, until I was drained and just needed to sleep.
I remember telling stories about each parent to the other - telling him about my mother because we had nothing else to talk about; telling her about my father because there was nothing else I wanted to talk about.
I remember the regularly scheduled phone calls to him and his Woman, where I would read to them the books and comics I had recently aquired; I remember reading the Lilo & Stitch comic novelisation to them, trying in vain to describe what the pictures showed, and how they tied in with the speech bubbles.
I remember that, just before one particular Christmas visit, I was watching the special features of The Fifth Element, and when the doorbell rang, I paused the DVD, and for some reason decided to leave the DVD player running while I was gone for those two days.
I remember returning home and finding my room undisturbed, the player still running, the film still on pause.
Nothing had changed.
But things began to.
The phone calls became too boring. Too false. Too much of an effort to keep up the pretense that everything was fine.
Eventually, I decided to turn down the phone calls.
Eventually, I stopped visiting him altogether.
We still kept in touch via letters.
He would send birthday cards, postcards, pictures of his new family.
But I got tired of it. Tired of it all.
This was bullshit, the lot of it, and I was too tired to swallow any more of it.
So I wrote him a letter one day, telling him...something. I can't remember what. It must've said something about me not wanting him to do a certain something anymore.
Whatever it was, though, it resulted in him sending two letters the next time.
One was to me. The other to my mother.
In my letter, he told me that he had started a bank account for me, which he would regularly add money to every month, and then when I was 18 years old, I would be able to access all that money he had stockpiled for me.
In my mother's letter, he told her - in the most polite, teeth-grittingly, passive-aggressive way that the written word can convey - that he knew she had told me to say those things I had said to him. That she had put words in my mouth, and how dare her for putting me through that.
With the one hand, my father had said that I was stupid.
And with the other, he tried to buy my love.
Enough was enough.
And so one morning, whilst my mother slept downstairs, I sat in my bedroom with a notebook and a pencil, and I wrote out a speech.
I scribbled and sharpened and erased and perfected it until it said everything I wanted to say.
And then I called my father.
He was at work at the time.
I caught him during a break. Or maybe I didn't. Who cares?
I said hello, and called him by his first name.
I told him to shut up, and just listen.
I told him I hated what he said to my mother,
I told him I hated that he thought I was stupid enough not to know that the two letters were by him.
I told him I hated that he thought me stupid.
I told him I hated him.
And at the last moment, when my written-out speech instructed me to tell him to "fuck off", I chickened out and - in the only moment I regret out of this whole thing - said "piss off" instead.
I said goodbye.
I hung up.
And that was the last time I ever spoke to my father.
- What is the status on hitRECord's Untitled Pattern Book?
- Is it still on track to be released this fall? Any specific release date set?
- Does the book have a title, yet or is that something that is known but being kept hush-hush leading up closer to the time of its release?
So, the home page with all the featured stuff is one of my favorite places to visit whenever I logon to Hitrecord. But it seems increasingly, the stuff getting featured by curators and staff is getting pushed aside for all the request videos coming out (at least 3 a day!!!) and it's to the detriment of the art that should be on display there.
I understand that the request vids need to be visable, but could we perhaps have a seperate tab on the home page for that stuff? It's sad to see so much great art get bumped off at 5pm (UK time) every day because the request vids get pushed to the top. If I was a curator, I wouldn't dream of featuring something around that time, because it would immediatly be bumped off the top of the list for all the request videos. It just doesn't feel quite right to me that that should happen.
Obviously, I know featured stuff is now on the dashboard, and that's a big help, but the Home Page is a proper hub that people use to get a glance of the recently featured stuff, and I really think it should be showcasing the very best art on the site at that moment, rather than a bunch of request videos that one can easily keep up to date with via other means (youtube, facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc...)
p.s would love to hear from some of the curators on this, and wether this issue affects when and how they feature stuff. Maybe it's just me that finds this irritating?
**NOTE: I realize that I said 'culture' a few times when I also meant people of colour. Hopefully it's clear where that is. Apologies!
I've been thinking a lot about representation and diversity on the site, and how we can become more diverse and representative.
It starts with questioning why we tell stories the way we do.
A lot of what we do is mythic or storybook in nature that relies on archetypes and shorthand to make a short piece read. Unfortunately, that means we often default to white and straight for our characters. We have a huge opportunity here to break that default. We don't have a gun-shy network that wants to play it safe (Pivot doesn't strike me as a conservative station.) We can approach a project however we like! That is very exciting.
My aim here is to start a conversation and to create some awareness of the tendency to default characters to white and straight that happens across western culture. This is not in response to any specific collaboration(s). I don't mean to stir up controversy and I'm certainly not pointing any fingers. As I say in the video, I've noticed the tendency in myself.
The big questions to ask as we create: do these characters have to be white to make the story work? Do they have to be straight? Does the hero need to be the man? Can this family used in a quick few second animation as part of the larger story be mixed-race? I would guess that the vast majority of the time, the answer is no, it wouldn't make a difference in the story, except to improve it.
I welcome everyone's thoughts on this topic. I am not a minority - I am a straight, white, cisgendered woman from a first world country. I recognize that I come from a place of privilege.
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An animated version of my Macabre Story. It could do with some sound effects and a voice over, maybe even some music. There's a lot here i'd like to fix, but it wouldn't be worth the time it would take. Over all i'm pretty happy how it turned out, but i'm glad to be done with it. Big thanks to andyramone for animating the character.