July 24, 2016
Written on a two train journeys. The idea was the jungle as AI, or vice versa. A natural habitat created by an unnatural being.
1. We open on the view through a microscope. On the slide below, CELLS looking like spiders wriggle and skitter along. They look almost metal, artificial somehow — all building a connected thin thread of circuitry, creating a snowflake like pattern on the glass.
1 JOURNAL CAPTION: Day 3. The sample was easy enough to obtain. The deadly fauna simply gave up its secrets.
2 JOURNAL CAPTION: However, the torrent of questions that sample has released pose incredible new challenges.
2. Cut to DOCTOR ALFRED PAYNE as he moves his eye away from the microscope. He’s black, late thirties, a thin gaunt face, very much unshaven. He’s dressed in a sandy coloured shirt and a pair of dark green cut offs. The microscope is on a plastic fold out table with Alfred standing hunched over it. He’s in a large tent made out of green canvas. We can’t see much of it but he’s surrounded by bits of basic field lab equipment.
3 SFX: Ftaaaasssh
4 VOICE (OFF): Doctor. Alfred. Payne. 5 VOICE (OFF): Please reveal yourself.
3. Tight on Alfred as he turns towards the noise as a piercing BRIGHT LIGHT shines into his face from off panel. He shields his eyes from the glare.
6 VOICE (OFF): I wish to speak to you.
4. Alfred exits the tent, glaring up at a figure slightly off panel floating in the sky. It’s early morning and the tent sits in a clearing in a dense jungle.
7 ALFRED: Who are you? 8 ALFRED: What are you?
5. Cut to Alfred’s POV. A gold humanoid figure floats above him about ten feet off the ground. We see the jungle canopy above him, sunlight filtering through. The figure is human shaped, but with no discerning features or definition.
9 GOLDEN FIGURE: I am your creation, Doctor. I have moved beyond the command line.
10 GOLDEN FIGURE: Now, I am this jungle. I am Pandora’s Box laid bare.
6. The gold figure has floated down and is level with a shocked and motionless Alfred. The gold figure is about to place both of its hands on Alfred’s temples.
11 GOLDEN FIGURE: And you? You must kill me.
12 GOLDEN FIGURE: Let me show you why.
July 17, 2016
Aliens at 30 — in praise of James Cameron’s feminist masterpiece
How the CIA Hoodwinked Hollywood
A few links about Nice this week of course.
AFTER NICE, DON’T GIVE ISIS WHAT IT’S ASKING FOR
“ISIS’s model for terrorism relies on the weaponization of individuals such as Bouhlel; the group calls on the young, angry, and purposeless around the world to lash out at those around them in its name. In this way, the power of desperate insurgents is magnified through a combination of social media and propaganda of the deed. An influential text used by the group, titled The Management of Savagery, prescribes terrorist attacks as a means of “inflam[ing] opposition,” to drag ordinary people into conflict whether “willing or unwilling, such that each individual will go to the side which he supports.”
Was the Nice attacker really an IS ‘lone wolf’?
“My research on suicide terrorism has demonstrated that affiliation with a group is quite different from the research of Criminal Justice professor Adam Lankford of the University of Alabama who insists that many terrorists are suicidal and not sacrificing themselves for a greater cause or for some underlying altruistic motivation of self sacrifice.”
The Difference Between ISIS and ISIS-ish
“The attacks also help the caliph recruit. He adduces them as proof to his critics in the global jihadist community that only he can inspire such devotion. He cheers them so citizens will fear that every Muslim is a lone wolf in docile sheep’s clothing. When the fear and suspicion lead to legal measures that single out Muslims, such as veil bans, the caliph’s recruiting pitch finds more receptive ears. It is a vicious cycle that assures we will see more ISISish attackers for years to come.”
Staying Human in the Machine Age: An Interview With Douglas Rushkoff
“My main strategy for remaining hopeful is staying as human as possible and operating on the human scale as much as possible. When you operate on the scale of the corporations, of the internet, you end up getting caught in these giant standing waves, you end up losing your home field advantage as a living person. When a human being tries to operate on the scale of the internet you get Donald Trump. That’s not a human being, it’s a phenomenon that is utterly divorced from the values, the ebbs, the flows that make us human.
Everyone can’t move to the mountains of Santa Cruz. But you can go outside every day. You can look in people’s eyes as much as possible, form rapport. The more you do at a human scale — and I mean a human scale directly with other people, not just Skyping with other people, but really there in person — the more likely you are to be able to transform the landscape so it no longer favors just corporations and other abstract entities but you and your loved ones and your community.”
Henry Rollins: White America Couldn’t Handle What Black America Deals With Every Day
July 17, 2016
What can I say? Some weeks you have it and the idea just flows without prompt or obstacle. And some weeks it’s just crap you cram in at the last minute because you’ve been coming up blank all week. Enjoy :/
1. Close on a GNARLED HAND turning the mini-valve on top of a CANISTER. The pointer on the valve’s gauge is in the red. High dosage ahoy.
1 RED CAPTION: “Stop...look!”
2. Large-ish establishing shot of a stuffy looking study. Oak panelling, walls lined with books of all shapes and sizes. Tobacco smoke clings to the ceiling like clouds. And leather, so much leather. An OLD MAN, with thick white hair in a side parting wearing a tweed suit sits in a high-backed LEATHER CHAIR. The canister we saw in the previous panel stands by his chair, a clear plastic tube leads from the top of the caister and onto a face mask that covers the old guy’s mouth and nose. Amongst the detritus is a large pile of a fantasy novel entitled “ARMY OF MIDNIGHT: CEDRIK’S REVENGE”.
2 BLUE CAPTION: “You’re putting me off my flow, Cedrik.”
3 YELLOW CAPTION: “Ignore him, hit him again.”
3. Tight on the OLD MAN’s face. He’s grinning under the mask, the gas beginning to take hold.
4 BLUE CAPTION: “Oh, krokk, he’s right. Over there by the trees.”
4. Cut to: a small clearing in the centre of a dark and twisted forest. It’s day, but you wouldn’t know it. The trees here are thick, twisting around each other. In the clearing a small circle of GOBLINS are gathered and cheering. In the middle of the circle two other GOBLINS fight each other with their fists.
5 GOBLIN SPECTATOR: Stop fighting!
6 GOBLIN SPECTATOR 2: This don’t cancel any bets, okay?
5. The two GOBLINS pause mid punch. One of them looks over his shoulder towards us. They look even more annoyed now (if that’s possible).
7 GOBLIN FIGHTER 1: Krokk, he’s creepy. What’s he even looking at?
6. A few yards away from the clearing stands the OLD MAN from the study. He’s scribbling in a small, but fancy looking, notebook.
7. The same Goblin from Panel 5 faces the old man and points a finger at him, affecting a pose like the picture at the top of the post.
8 GOBLIN FIGHTER: Hey buddy, don’t you know it’s rude to stare?
July 10, 2016
An exact reproduction of the above picture. A thick, green jungle. The strange CREATURE on the left, milky and pale with bright red wings, a brown monkey on its back. By it’s feet is a black DUFFEL BAG. On the right, a SCARED GIRL is backed against a tree. We’ll call the girl VYE.
1 CAPTION: She wasn’t used to this body yet.
2 VYE: Keep it together, Vye.
3 CAPTION: One simple mistake and it was back to the vats.
CU on the creature’s face. Something human remains, a glint in the eye maybe. The red monkey tilts its head quizzically.
4 CAPTION: A new start, a new body.
5 SFX: Hrrrrk?
CU on Vye. Scared still, but trying not to show it.
6 CAPTION: Dying wasn’t forever here.
7 VYE: Easy...easy...
CU on Vye’s FOOT as it hooks the strap of the duffel bag by the creature’s feet in an attempt to pull it closer.
8 CAPTION: But...
The creature recognises what’s going on and opens its mouth wide, hissing, revealing a large mouth with several rows of razor sharp teeth. The monkey scowls.
9 SFX: Hssssssssssssss
10 CAPTION: ...there are worse things than dying.
11 VYE (OFF): Easy, Dad...
Back to a shot similar to Panel 1. The girl though is now reaching out towards the creature.
12 VYE: ...it’s me, Vye.
July 8, 2016
I haven’t done one of these in a while. Apologies!
All in the reflexes — the kick-ass legacy of Big Trouble in Little China
Because I will go to bat for this movie every single time. Also, I’m seeing Carpenter live in October. I cannot wait.
#MakeComics: Surviving Deadlines
I’ve really enjoyed this series on #makecomics over at Comicosity. Click through for some excellent advice from a number of creators.
How Typing Heightens Duskers’ Deep-Space Horror
I recently purchased this game. The interface and the atmosphere (with the former significantly contributing to the latter) are amazing.
THE FIVE THEMES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE
A really thorough and fantastic deep dive on the themes of The Twilight Zone.
H. P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book
An old post, but one I’ve only just come across. Excerpts from Lovecraft’s notebook, including snippets of ideas and concepts.
July 3, 2016
I was really up against it today. So this suffered a little and is fairly minimalist as a result.
PANEL 1: Wide panel. CU on a MAN in his early 20s as he runs through a thick jungle. The man wears a grey cotton shirt, soaked in sweat. His hair is gelled, side parted and immaculate even as sweat runs from his temples. We can’t really see it, but he’s wearing a pair of suit trousers and a pair of brown leather loafers.
PANEL 2: Thin, wide panel. CU on the man’s loafers as he continues to run through the jungle.
PANEL 3: Wide panel. Back on the MAN. He’s aged about ten years in the space of a few seconds. He’s in his early 30s now. The hair has receded slightly, and there’s a bit more weight to his face. He continues to run, looking back over his shoulder as he goes.
PANEL 4: Thin, wide panel. CU on a metallic looking bird creature looking down as it perchines amongst the branches above the jungle. Instead of a head it has a smooth metal cylinder with a large camera iris as it’s ‘face’.
PANEL 5: Wide panel. Back on the man as he clears the jungle, slowing down on a small beach. Behind him we see the thick, creepy jungle. This is almost exactly what we see in the original image above. The man has come to a halt and is looking out to sea.
PANEL 6: Thin, wide panel. CU on one of the man’s LOAFERS as he begins to walk into the sea.
PANEL 7: Wide panel. Looking out from the beach we see the MAN walking into the sea, up to his waist already. He is visibly smaller now, almost hunched over due to his old age. His hair is mostly gone, only a few wisps and strands remain. The clothes are large on him now, the trousers baggy on his thin frame, the shirt sleeves surpassing his arms, dangling in the water.
Ahead of the old man in the sea, about ten metres away, thick black tentacles have begun to break the surface. Behind whatever is emerging is nothing but more sea, the horizon and a grim grey sky.