Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I've been trying my best to do something that will make me happy each day. So recently, I've turned to modeling and rendering. Unfortunately, each day has been punctuated with something shitty, for lack of a better word, happening. I'm trying to stay on the path of the self-improving, but it's getting harder and harder to stand up after being knocked down so many times. Whether it's something personal or business related, petty or deathly serious, nothing is easy to bounce back from.
I guess this is the true test of how strong I'll have to be.
Seddus Rhodes, by the way.
Monday, October 22, 2007
For many different reasons, at many different times, I couldn't bring myself to model anything. Pushing a poly was like pulling teeth, and I kinda just sat there, wishing I was as good as those in the field that I idolize for their incredible skills.
On Saturday morning, I had a conversation online with a peer who lives in Singapore and has taught me a lot over the past few years. He'll be teaching a CG class over there, and wanted to try his act on me a bit, covering different things. After his impromptu lesson, I was newly invigorated, and started modeling.
besides the picture to the right of this entry, I did some other cool stuff having to do with terrains and a major set for my story.
Once I can break out my laptop here at work, I'll transfer some pictures over to show.
It's been a while, and I'm glad I'm back.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I have to throw a shoutout out there.
Dear ShinyKaro, thank you for introducing me to one of the most vile, disturbed, grotesque, bone-chilling, blood-curdling, depraved and absolutely brilliant shows that I have seen in a long time.
Showtime's Dexter, the show about your friendly neighborhood serial killer, is my newest guilty pleasure. I don' t mean guilty pleasure as one would consider something like, I dunno, say Rock of Love (wink). I mean it in the sense that despite the fact that the protagonist is a serial killer, and we, the viewers, love watching him stalk his prey, dispose of them through his special brand of justice, don the mask of normalcy and slither his way through dangerous situations that might expose him for the monster that he is. We love it all. From the disturbingly gruesome way that the introduction is shot, to the unnerving way that Dexter throws up veil of false emotions and then butchers criminals, abusers, mafia and other undesirables that he feels deserve the business end of his power tools.
I just finished the first season, thanks to iTunes, and I don't think that I was able to breathe for a good minute and a half after it had finished. In the spirit of not spoiling anything, I won't go into any sort of detail. That being said, I have to thank the writers for veering away from the habit of many prime-time writers to keep the story going trans-season, while answering one question only to ask three more and keep people hooked.
I believe that the story is in the characters. That is to say, one story can end, but because the characters are so fantastically written, the writer can put them into another situation and they would entertain us just as well. That is not to say that the story that progressed during the first season wasn't great, it was! It was enthralling, actually. But I'm glad that the characters are dynamic and multi-layered enough that we don't have to have a static villain (aside from our hero, of course) that we have to contend with year after year.
I like to call that the Inspector-Gadget effect. For those of you who remember, we never saw Dr. Claw, the antagonist of that particular cartoon, and he was never apprehended. We knew that each time a villian came by, he was sent by Dr. Claw, or at least the good ol' Doc had something to do with it, but we also knew that he would -always- be there, and that was that. No greater push, longer and harder journey to put this evil bastard away for good. Nada. It's alright to have a foil, but not for the sake of being a foil. Dexter doesn't suffer this, thankfully.
I'm also glad that this show is on Showtime. Somehow, I don't think that NBC or ABC could hack it (yeah, I went there). Because of the fact that Dexter is on a premium channel, they can get away with showing a lot of things you wouldn't see on basic cable. I'm not a fan of gore for gore's sake, but for being a show about a serial killer, there is surprisingly little gore. We see Dex working the tools, and then disposing of the trash, if you will. Most of the gore that we do see is the work of the Ice-Truck Killer, Dexter's adversary and playmate of season 1.
As far as my thoughts on the finale of Season 1, I applaud the writers for being able to time up everything so neatly. Questions about the hows and whys of the season are addressed in a believable way. Who does what and where is clearly laid out for us to see. I really appreciate that, because again, so many shows try to put a band-aid onto questions that either they didn't have the time to properly answer.
One last thing that I love about the show was the ending to the last episode. We see Dexter and his sister walking back into their police station after doing their justice, but I believe there is a seamless transition between reality, and what Dexter sees in his head. His fellow policemen and Miami residents cheering him on for doing away with the killer. Pats on the back for him doing his dirty deed. A sick appreciation for Dexter's after-work activities. As the monologue cuts out, and Dexter smiles and walks towards the camera, the images freezes with his face blurred but in an extreme close up, and in that one single frame, he really looks like the serial killer that we know him to be.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
September 26 marked the first episode of NBC's 'reimagination' (more on this later) of 1976's "The Bionic Woman". In the new series, a 24 year-old Jaime Sommers, (played by Michelle Ryan), a young bartender, suffers a near-fatal car accident along with her college professor/secret agent boyfriend Will Anthros. Jaime only survives the crash because Will brings her to his place of employ for a quick tune up, saving her life, and simultaneously making her the most expensive bartender ever. After the initial shock and realization of what has happened to her, Jaime eventually understands what she has become, and starts way on a path to a more exciting life of technobabble, espionage and intrigue.(Look ma, no legs.)
The series is co written by David Eick, of recent Battlestar Galactica fame. Interestingly enough, Eick's screen writing experience wasn't the only thing that he brought over from Galactica. Aaron Douglas, the loveable deck chief of questionable parentage in Galactica makes an appearance in the second episode. Katie Sackoff, (better known as Starbuck, to most) plays Sarah Corvus, the first Bionic Woman. That's right, I said first. Sommers comes into the game a little late. A Version 2.0 if you will. Obviously, this raises the question, "What happened to the first Bionic Woman that would warrant making a civilian into the second?". I'm glad you asked!
(Note: You can also tell that Sackoff is the bad one because of the cigarette and excessive use of eye-liner, if you couldn't tell before.)
Corvus does what Sackoff playes well. She goes bat-shit crazy, some people die and the token asian hand-to-hand combat instructor/operative/love interest played by Will Yun Lee (who, coincidently, plays many similar roles) puts a bullet in her head. Business as usual, right? Not for Corvus. Somehow, she's back, sans bullet-in-the-head, and she's working for the enemy as well as taking the time to antagonize our fair yet somewhat clueless heroine, Sommers. I must admit however, that the idea of one good and one bad bionic woman, while cliche at times (Star Trek and Knight Rider, I'm looking at you...) but I'm getting the feeling that Eick and Co are going to write this one in a more interesting way.
Reimagination is a funny word. Honestly, spellcheck doesn't even recognize it. (Interestingly enough, spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "spellcheck" either, so take that for what you will). Can you really Re-Imagine something? If the first imagination isn't yours, are you really re-imagining anything, or playing off someone else's work and creativity? It's kinda like regifting, now that I think about it. The only reason that I bring this up, is that Eick so far has been attached to reimagining two series now; the aforementioned Galactica, and now Bionic Woman. Eick and Ron Moore took a campy and at sometimes damned silly series, and made it relevant for the 21st century. They cut out the capes and robotic dogs (thanks guys) and added the interesting and at some times uncomfortable questions that no one ever likes having to ask themselves, as well as updated visuals, and revitalized a good amount of television's sci-fi scene. Can this be done with Bionic Woman? We'll have to wait and find out. But so far, it's on the right track to becoming a fan favorite, as well as another notch in NBC's belt along with Heroes, Chuck, a slew of Law and Order and of course, Deal or No Deal.
The Bionic woman airs Wednesday night's at 9PM EST. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some kite-flying to do.