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Saturday, October 17, 2009


Here's two of the parts from the 15 second sequence i'm animating for the Star Wars Uncut fan-sourced video project. It's based around the Vimeo video sharing website. The movie SW: A New Hope has been split into hundreds of 15 second segments, with three people making separate reinterpretations of each of those segments. The best ones will be used into a mashup of the movie.

I've split the scene into five segments which will be animated with simple shadow puppet techniques and filmed in real time. Colour will be added by the use of cellophane panels. Obviously the difficult part is transferring the 3D depth into the 2D shadow format, without losing visual interest.

I've never tried this technique before, but it seems fairly simple. Fingers crossed
I wouldn't say I'm a star wars fan, I slept through some of the movies, but I like the fan-sourced aspect, and I respect the place the movie holds in pop culture so i thought it would be fun to be involved.
Hopefully my segment is better then the other two submitted and is selected for the final cut.

I also assembled a quick and cheerful zine of some sketches I had, and some images run through the Poladroid program. It's kind of a physical Tumblr blog I guess.
Here's some sample pages. I have a properly working colour printer cartridge for the first time in probably a year.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Fix Up-Look Sharp, an alleycat odyssey

Sunday Oct the 4th went perfectly, here's some kind of inadequate rundown.

Ryan and I had a couple of aims with the Look Sharp event.
I wanted to make the checkpoints feel like an exploration, so some of them were in quite strange places.
We wanted to make the event a friendly one, where anyone could turn up and have fun. We wanted it to be memorable and adventurous and the best we could make it.
On the Saturday we knew the weather was going to be great, and we knew that 90 people had said they would turn up on the facebook page. We did the run through on the day, set up the unmanned checkpoints with stamps tied in visible spots, were running late to get to the start. Got there, and were amazed to find a mass of riders waiting for us. About 100, and even some girls amongst em

The course we'd laid out was 22km via the shortest route, and challenging, (we didn't realise how challenging till we ran out of time to ride it all before the start!) with a great combination of straight streets and city grids, hills and difficult checks.
some of the checkpoints required
-entering a storm water drain on the banks of the yarra,
-climbing 5 storeys of stairs to an abandoned store room in the GPO
-finding a fire hydrant in the middle of the melbourne uni underground car park
-riding to the top of a 7 storey car park and having a team photo taken
-riding down a laneway so narrow people are unable to pass

I could write up who won, and how the race went, but i didn't ride it so it wouldn't be very interesting. I spent the whole time riding round the city checking the checkpoints, gathering prizes, getting beer and generally making sure everything was going ok. for once it all turned out great.

We got much positive feedback, but in particular I liked this one, it seems to indicate we succeeded in just making a fun day.

Laura said:
As this was my first allycat, actually the first time I have done a group sporting activity (if it's ok to call it that) that didn't involve one parent driving me to I'd have to say nothing has made me more happy with myself. I can't believe how much fun it was and the massive disregard to all road rules everyone had.
Thanks for organising it all and the to the guy at knog who actually convinced my housemate and I to do it. We'll be there again and again. I just need to find a friend for the halloween ride now..

Thanks to all the sponsors who supported us:
Bianchi, San Marco, Carhartt, Knog, Shifter Bikes, Brisbane Outdoor Gear, Human Powered Cycles, Genovese Coffee n' Cranky Sundays/hans dc

Also thanks to the checkpoint volunteers, photographers, people who helped out, lent advice, spread the word and most of all, just showed up!

Where and Why
Sometime in mid 2006 a bike activism related uni project encouraged me to research urban cycling.
At the time 'fixie' culture hadn't hit its straps anywhere yet, but it was well on the way. The internet was my portal to this underground obsession, in particular
I was enchanted and captured by the helmet-cam videos of one NY'er Lucas Brunelle. It opened me up to a world where traffic and city streets became a sports field where incredible feats of skill and athleticism played out.
Alleycat races are traditionally the distillation of the day of a messenger/cycle courier into a fast paced race between many checkpoints simulating the pick ups of deliveries where a manifest is marked instead of a parcel.
The races generally last for 40 minutes for the fastest riders, who tend to be experienced messengers exhibiting disregard for traffic laws, manners and normal rider ethics :).
For most participants the chase is its own reward.
The pure animal thrill of entering an intersection at top speed, against the flow of traffic, and threading through moving cars with 3 other riders on your tail is not something to be lightly enjoyed, yet not easily forgotten.
If you do it right it takes till you reach the other side of the intersection for the drivers to react, an unstartled driver is a predictable one.
Brendan sums it up best with his observations.
At its very best "weaving impossible lines and creating space from nothing" is what it's about, and never has the chestnut "it's about the journey, not the destination" been more accurate, (particularly in my case seeing as I never seem to win anything..)

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