the Sandman

This is a very personal story that gets to some of my roots. If you're interested in reading more of this story, I would turn to the internet. There's enough clues... I don't think we hear about the side of prison life from children going to prisons. I've watched in shock as the media and hollywood fell into the pit of prison life infatuation, romanticization or whatever you want to call it. I realize that people are trying to shed light on concerns that incarcerated people are treated unfairly and something should be done about it. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the intention. But I grew up seeing the world quite the opposite. I grew up going to prisons every weekend to visit someone. Life seemed better for them on the inside. It was bad for us when they were gone. My grandma would cry daily and work herself to the bone to send them money for "necessities." I was never allowed to join the school band even though I was obsessed with music. Instruments were too expensive. Holidays were sad and uncelebrated.

It was even worse when they returned. They would come home to large neighborhood parties with more stuff than I ever had -- tv's, fans, posters, music collections...and after only a short time they would have sold their stuff off for drugs or cash and turned to taking what little I had. My walkmans were turned into tattoo guns. My nintendos pawned for drugs.

They came back looking healthy, well rested and more muscled and bulkier than ever. Their release days were the darkness of my childhood.

This is just one of those "release days" that I wanted to tell. It was a way to get it off my chest, but as a result I really learned a lot about my mom during the making of this animation. I realize that I would have fallen right into this trap. He was like her Stevie Nicks -- shining up there on stage. A dream come to life, for her. And I realize that her life has just been absolute shit. None of it was my fault, but I'm sorry. I will always love her and always feel that it is my job to protect her. This is where that feeling started.

 

----------------------------------- Technical stuff: I wanted to make an animation project using my ipad and photoshop for a change, so I did. It started as an audio podcast, but I felt that it needed some visuals. It was meant to be quick and fast, but turned into months of work. Limited free time, moved to San Francisco and kind of a long piece to animate.

Animation, Sound and Design: Farrin N. Abbott

----------------------------------

Strange Times

The point of this - the whole reason I’m writing this is just to tell you to get high and go see Dr. Strange.

 

After the most atrocious thing ever to happen to America, getting baked and watching a trippy film just sounds like a good solid idea, doesn't it? Really cuts through the “what did we do wrong, who’s to blame?, things are going to be the worst, what is he DOING?, maybe he’s alright, let’s give him a chance" soundbite journalism that has taken over our wretched lives.
We'll be raided again!

"A mean nasty republican town."

 

Instead of listening to any more junk journalism, just go to the movies. You’re much better off.

 

After this fiasco, LinkedIn really started a daily news feature and bogus stories are already getting shared. This is the current state of affairs: Headlines for you, courtesy of a job board-business card-networking in a box social site. It’s bad. So just ignore it.
[Cool news jobs in your area - just share this story!]

 

I haven’t gone on the big one since the election, shhhh. In the interest of full disclosure I did share some Michael Moore from another site and I think I shared a petition (but I might not have). So it’s officially been almost two weeks since I’ve been in the bubble. Feels good. On a similar note I’m on juice cleanse and everything is starting to feel better there too.
 juice-taste-warm

 

I needed the cleanse because we poisoned ourselves with gin on Tuesday. Everyone in America drank on Election night didn’t they? I don’t even drink (other than margaritas with food and the occasional fancy cocktail with ‘sour’ in the name) and I tried to keep up with F on Gin & Tonics as the states were called. Neither of us had eaten and things were looking grim on TV. Our only food was salad I had picked up earlier so I tried to eat it. Not great but I powered through. Things got bad in our house as they got worse on TV. F mysteriously disappeared during my prayers for Michigan.

She came back much later, but still before Michigan was called and she said she needed a shower, but she couldn’t use my shower? No, definitely not come upsairswithmeIneedaquickshower. So I did and Michigan and Pennsylvania still hadn’t been called and there was still hope for this country but there was no hope for my shower. My toilet was untouched and my shower looked like a salad shooter riot of dark pieces of kale and carrot sticks stuck to every surface. I started feeling sick from the gin and puked in the toilet. Before I flushed I looked at the scene - completely disgusting.

 Vom everywhere: a foreshadowing.

 

what have we done???

 

We passed out, woke up abruptly at 1am, learned the awful truth, bitched, went upstairs and left my shower until morning.

The only good thing that came out of the election was legalization of recreational marijuana.

And what better way to celebrate than to go on a little visual escape. F doesn’t generally do movies, but this was IMAX 3D and I basically spent $47 dollars on tickets a week before, so we had to go. I gathered up all of our weed: smokable, vapable, and edible and met her in the city. We ate cannabis cotton candy (see my secret weed tumblr where I review this awesome stuff) and cannabis chocolate espresso beans and I vaped Pax but F is still too paranoid to vape in the city because “it’s still illegal to do on the street."  No, I am not kidding you.

 

It’s still out. It’s still playing in 3D right now and if I had any friends that liked to do that sort of thing, I would go again and again and pay ridiculously high prices for seats that vibrate and compare the 3D to 2D and catch all the little easter eggs. But I don’t. So you should go see Dr. Strange and get really high. You’ll thank yourself.

 

3d-trip

especially if you can't emigrate right now.

 

Settling In-PR Dreams

Well life is once again a whirlwind and half the time I think I'm still dreaming, but then I wake up on the highway and realize I'm driving one of the most beautiful roads in the country on my way to SAN FRANCISCO...again!!! Yeah, I just finished my first month at...are you ready for this: a TV & Radio station! Don't worry I'm not on TV (yet) but I have an amazing new job doing what I love -- media production. But I'm not writing about my job. I just want to write about the fact that I was told not to chase my dreams in media production. It was never malicious or hurtful, it was real, solid, sound, careful advice that I should pursue something that would enable me to find stable work. The truth is, I wouldn't be here without that stable solid education that I will be literally indebted to until the day I die! But it was never what I wanted to do and that's okay too. It made me have to really work for my media making skills and I'm grateful. I'm grateful that I didn't spend 4 years studying a medium that would change by the time I graduated. I've seen too many "classically trained" filmmakers rest back on their education like it's a card to never have to learn anything new again. Well wake up, this is a digital medium changing faster than software. This isn't the history of the Ming Dynasty...No, I'm actually really glad I studied a whole range of stuff that still interests me. I didn't study one thing.  I spent the longest amount of time in engineering and the skills that I took from that are absolutely invaluable.  The systems and processes thinking and problem solving curiosity never leave. But all along the way I've been trying to tell stories with new mediums and I'm never going to stop.

I spend a lot of Saturday nights working on silly graphics and production workflows but I know that eventually it's going to give me exactly what I want:

  • freedom to work at home in my studio
  • a house with an amazing private pool (think Chelsea Handler's pool)
  • a new black convertible Porsche (911 Carrera, not a Boxster).

I know, it's the little things in life, right... --But wait. Before you go judging me just remember that I grew up an orphan in a cockroach invested shack in a terrible neighborhood. My grandma used to work her hands to the bone for pennies left from your pizza tables. We lived hand-to-mouth every single day. I'm not sorry for wanting more. I work for it. I'll never quit working for it.

By the way, here's the damn puppet that I worked on forever until one day I just decided I was going to write a script and produce something with it and I just did it! So glad I did.

http://vimeo.com/177238092

Stranger Storytelling

I'm sorry but I really don't get the fascination with Stranger Things. I think it was just an algorithmic assessment of what we should all like and find novel from the 80's slapped together in a terribly shoddy storyline with an obnoxiously screaming Winona Ryder...made by a couple of guys that had only just been born at the time it was set. We didn't say douchebag, we didn't chill in cars, we didn't have cordless phones in poor homes in the Midwest just yet, fellas.  Shame on you, Netflix. Do your research and stop marketing this kind of quasi-storytelling. But smooth move using a Stephen King font and almost making it look like its his name in the intro. Clearly it's working. (For some.)

Now go back and pay rights to Stand By Me, E.T., Stephen King, Stephanie Powers (that mom!?)...the list, I'm sure was generated for you before this even began.

Illustrator Storyboard Template Download

I love finding holes in the internet that I can fill. I searched for an Illustrator template after discovering that is precisely what keeps causing me such huge delays in the design process when moving to After Effects.  In my efficient obsessions, I keep trying to skip that step and then my projects immediately become:

  • a tangled web of graphic files that are hard to visualize at one time
  • impossible to create a more cohesive style
  • hard to reuse elements

Sure I create color schemes and burn through post-its like a monster, but I want to be able to see them all together.  I know others do this and quite well I should add, but I've really been researching the workflow of others as well as my own and realized today that I just keep skipping it...

So this is my new workflow plan:

Workflows-storyboard

 

Anyway, I decided to make a 1080p video size animation Storyboard Template for Illustrator to force myself into this habit from now on. Thought I'd share.  Maybe someone will find it instead of spending their Saturday night formatting a grid with script notes!

If anyone finds this helpful, I'll be back with an update on using a variation on this workflow to work with Keynote animation projects...soon.

By the way, I put the scripts on one layer and backgrounds and swatches also on their own layers in the template setup so that the export to After Effects or split to their own files will make it all a little cleaner. That is THE goal in this life, right.

Use the Illustrator export "Save as" feature to split the artboards into individual scene files to make animation within After Effects possible (because the damn dynamic link is still 10 years away from dynamic).

Cheers, F

 

Clatterford

I almost never go to the doctor, preferring to work it out for myself with the sage wisdom of plenty of liquids and letting nature run it's course. When that doesn't do it, I also enjoy practicing medicine on myself and others who will let me until I get it right. Who doesn't? medievalfolk-medicine

This week, though, I finally gave in to the medical industrial complex because I have this thing happening in my ears that won't go away. It feels like voodoo or someone won't shut the fuck up about me - burning like hellfire and itching deeper than anything should itch - so I gave up and went to the doctor.

And wouldn't you know, this doc in her glossy clinic (that also has it's own app) prescribed. folk. medicine.  They had an assistant wash my ears out with a warm spray solution of H2O. I was then instructed to go get some vinegar, mix with water and douche my ears out every day with a syringe you can get from the baby aisle. I got some drops too. They are for your eyes, but you can use them for your ears.  Note: Cannot be prescribed vice-versa.

EnglishVillage1

It is any real surprise that in my old age I just want to move to the English countryside and run a little surgery where I can practice medicine myself? Maybe join a ladies guild or something...

 

Little Red Riding Hound

I came across an old file recently that really made me laugh. It was all of the original photos and page layouts that I created sometime in high school...???  We had a lot of labradors around at the time and decided that we needed to recreate a story with them, for some bizarre and hilarious reason.  So we dressed them up and used real film to take the story photos we needed.  My sister and cousin were instrumental in wrangling and dressing various dogs and struggling through setups.  MD encouraged me and my weird storytelling need, as usual. So since I found all of the originals and I miss my labradors, I decided to whip them together and learn the basics of Adobe Muse at the same time...because I'm a nerd and that's fun for me. Yeah, here she is:

Little Red Riding Hound

 

LittleRed

Molly was not your typical Labrador. She was a plus-sized model. Fact.