Speed Racer Revisted

Well I went to Speed Racer again. This time with my parents, and this time to the Imax version.

As this movie has spectacular visuals it was a treat to see it in Imax quality.

I was surprised how well the movie held up even for the second viewing. Though it was held up most highly since I realized why it was so great the first time through.

This movie has a fantastic climax. A climax in a film is when there is the final most definitive and important shift in the value of the story. It will end up always being the revelatory moment. In watching Speed Racer the second time through I realized one of the biggest difficulties and mistakes film makers are faced with. I suspect that most film makers view films as a time line of the story they are trying to tell.

Stories are taught to us to be formed in time lines. I think generally when making films, we try to a make a film simply by knowing the entire time line of the events being presented, and then editing it down to about two hours. This means the story will be told sequentially and pretty much as expect. Some film makers try to get around this with flash backs and flash forwards, but I don't think they really try to break from this mold very much.

What I realized in speed racer was that the climax in this film was not created simply because it was on the time line of the story, it was the focal point. And instead of being presented as another scene from the film, it was the integral part of the film. Everything in the movie was designed to help in strengthening the climax. I saw the climax of this film as more of a collage then a regular film. It was hundreds of things coming together all at once that suddenly made the whole things work. The reason the rest of the film was neccesary was that the climax can't exist without the rest of the film.

I have doubts that I have explained my ideas well enough. Maybe I'll be able to explain it better later.



Well I just finished a video game called Bioshock. Not really coincidentally, it is actually heavily influenced by Ayn Rand, unfortunately it doesn't live up to the source material. The reasons for this I hope to explain.

To begin with, I will explain what makes Bioshock a good game. It is fundamentally a first person shooter. The underlying structure is that of a FPS such as Halo, Half-Life or Portals. The structure that underlies these games is always the same, go from A to B, don't get killed on the way. Generally these games feel as though they are a tunnel down which you are running. Portals made the tunnel very clear as it was delineated into actual rooms. Games such as Halo and Bioshocks have tunnels that expand into larger spaces, but you will always be force back into a bottle neck (I don't mean always physically, but sometimes through objectives etc, you will always reach a certain point which allows you to continue). The best first person shooters have a tunnel design that you never get lost in, yet never notice.

In terms of being a tunnel Bioshock did a very good job. I rarely had to backtrack, almost never got lost, and generally wasn't distracted by the tunnel. The reasons for this was a few things. Firstly the game was well enough designed to prevent the player from getting lost. There are hundreds of ways that designers achieve this, I won't even start to get into them, but the makers of Bioshock did a good job.

What they did especially good was hiding the tunnel. They did so by deeply developing a new and interesting premise and world for the entire game to take place in. The brief descriptions is a utopic 1920-30 underwater New York/Antlantis that has fallen into civil war and decay. This setting and world is fleshed out to an amazing depth (pun intended). The time that went into figuring out this world overcame most cliches of videogames and is the reason this game got a very good rating from all critics.

In the middle of the game they even were developping the story and plot well enough that I thought they really understood the concepts of Ayn Rand and were using the "tunnel" context of the video game to really drive home a very important point about freedom.

However, the ending of the game was a sad disappointment. The plot that was being well developed in the middle, fell on it's face. No good point was made. Ayn Rand was ignored.

And I think the biggest flaw in the game was right at the very end. For some reason the developper thought it would be a good idea to remove the player from their "tunnel" after the entire game for the first time. A game where this didn't happen was Half-Life 2. I wish they could rework the last 2 minutes of the game into a longer 10 minute finale.

The game community needs to start understanding their media. They believe they are making video game "movie" things, but they really aren't, and it is a detriment to any attempt to be taken seriously as an art form.


Animal Skeletons

I've started looking through my animal anatomy book and learning animal skeletal structure. Here are some sketches of that process. More sketches if you click through to the full album.


Books - Why read them?

Why read books when you can see the movie? Or watch the TV show. Or why read them at all. They simply take too much of your time and could arguably be not very entertaining. What are books going to do that you that can't be taught in schools or from other source.

You could say they are good exercise for your brain, but I'm sure video games could do just as good job.

What makes books such an integral medium to humanity? What makes them special?

It's because they can change you. They can seep right into your mind and change how you think. It took me roughly a year and a half to get through two thousand pages of Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. That is a really long time to figure out what the author really meant, and to take things out of the work and see how they relate to your life and everything around you.

As it was described in Fahrenheit 451, very slowly as you do things like reading books, or going to school, or doing whatever you do, change will build slowly, drop by drop. The change happens so slowly you never notice until you look back and your different than you were before. A mixture of the old you and the new, but the mixture is even better than it's parts.

You won't get change by watching a movie, or an hour special, or going to a single talk, or having one fantastic conversation with a friend. You won't get better at drawing by filling one sketch book, it might take 50 or a 100.

Books change us because we give them a chance to. Books are perfectly designed to change us. They are long, and a little boring so it is difficult to get through them really quickly. They take our full concentration since you can't continue with a blank stare. And they give you a chance to think because they are simply composed of thoughts.

Just for contrast sake, I'll bring up Speed Racer again. I can't classify it in the same realm as a book as a work of art or teaching. Books exist in a first generation realm of knowledge and existence (I am making up this vocabulary and wording). I say this because they can exist on their own. You can read Ayn Rand and get new ideas and concepts out of it. Speed Racer I would have to put in a second generation of knowledge and existence. For it to be truly appreciated by the audience, the audience needs to already know the underlying ideas and concepts. The movie than became an example to be experienced.

I guess what I have realized is that there might be a way to classify art etc into two main fields: the teachings and the examples. I would rudimentary separate books into one column and movies into the next. This is no where near an exact separation, but it helps in understanding.


Self portraiture

Over the past 2 years I can see change. What do you guys see. Ordered oldest to most recent.



It deserves all caps and much much more.

I don't have to argue with anyone that this is a good movie. If you get this movie you will get it and love it. If you don't get this movie, you might not love it, and give it horrible reviews like most of the movie critic community.

I don't blame them for giving it bad reviews, they simply do not have the capacity or the prior knowledge needed to correctly experience it.

This is a movie about racing. Not nascar racing or formula 1 racing. This is actually a movie about video game racing. The car physics and dynamics are designed for those who understand what it means to race in a video game. If you are experience in playing games like Burnout (any version) or Rally Sport Racing or various science ficition based racing games, or even Mario Kart, you will understand this movie better. Even from the very beginning this is plainly obvious by their inclusion of a "ghost" car race, something that most video game racers know well.

It is also a movie that is designed for those with experience with fast paced visual perception (mostly video gamers again). I would also include people who play fast paced sports and any one who is just really good at absorbing visual stimulus very quickly. Otherwise this film will simply move to quickly. It will not be as enjoyable if you are falling behind the action because your eyes simply can't keep up.

Also, the visual effects of this film are best understood by those with experience with 3d computer generated imagery and most 2d video effects. It requires a deeper understanding that graphics are not about what technically looks good, but what looks good artistically. For example, there is a scene where everything is composited horribly in the technical sense. It is pretty much just video overlaid over more video. To someone who understands how it was done on a computer, this is similar to a sketch done by an artist, details are dropped out because they are simply not important. Why composite characters that are unimportant in an important way?

For photographers, this films plays with concepts of photography by messing with how effects are generated by computers. Animated long exposures create excessively dynamic imagery. Even the bokeh takes meaningful shape (i'm not giving this one away, you have to figure it out yourself).

And why dull any colors you don't have to. This film is a marvel of color. Color theorist would love this film.

On a story front, the film is not entirely innovative, but it is exceptionally strong. It is such a solid foundation for the rest of the film that no fault can be found in it. And if you can actually figure out the meaning of this film by the climax, I found it to be euphoric. This film is not about winning or losing. The message is clearly expressed in a way with no shortfalls or exceptions. I would suspect it is my reading of Ayn Rand and Eckart Tolle which let me figure out the real meaning behind this film. And I am not going to give it away.

For me, this film is the first master piece of a new era of film making that most likely started with 2001 A space Odyssey.

I don't expect everyone to understand or enjoy this film right off the bat. But this is where film is going. I am so excited. This is what I can build off of. This is the type of innovation I love.

As my painting teacher always drove us to do in class, this is something NEW!!!



After working at my new job for nine days I have thought of a few things.

The first thing is how job descriptions correlate to what you actually do in your job. Technically, I am a CNC operator at my current job. However, at least on our current project, my job is actually styrofoam mover and breaker. It is not because those are the most interesting or technical advanced parts of the job, but because they are actually the most important since they are really the determining factor in how well I can do my job. The faster I move foam, and the faster I can break up the excess foam, the better I am at my job. All the computer stuff is really mindless and static.

I think I actually made my job more interesting and fulfilling since I started trying to figure out the best way to break foam. Maybe once I figure it out, I will share it.

This same idea of a true job description was apparent last year when I was security at the stampede. My job there was actually to walk in the sun all day and drink water. It was more of an endurance test than anything else.

At Futureshop, as a merchandiser, I was simply a force to move things. Myself, carts, products. That jobs was simply about movement, and getting things where they were supposed to be.

I think when I student-taught at the computer camp last year, my job matched it's description very well. There was little discrepencacy between what I thought I was getting into, and what I did.

I guess I could theorize that the closer what you do and what you think you are doing match up, the happier you can be in your job.


More piano

Instead of losing momentum with this piano thing since the music isn't great, I will continue any ways with a bad video...


New Job

Well, as has happened every summer for the last few years, I struggle through the first few weeks of summer looking for a good summer job. I always find job searching exceedingly stressful. Though this year I had great success.

I applied to a company called Studio Y Creations. The company makes things that are used for display purposes. For example, if you needed a dinosaur for a museum, they do that. Or if you needed to make a building look like a castle, they do that. Alot of there work is shown on the website http://www.studioycreations.com. I sent in my resume with a portfolio and really no idea what job I would do there.

With a few persistent phone call, I got a tour, a little interview and a job. However the job I got was going to be spraying a hard rubber coating onto the initial styrofoam carvings that make whatever object they are making. This would have been fairly messy, and pretty much a good fit for the Dirty Jobs show. This had a bit of appeal for me and I would get my foot in the door at least.

Luckily, on my very first day, before even attempting this job of spraying things with a rubber coating, I got assigned to help with the CNC department. This department is the one that uses to control robotic machines that cut and sculpt different materials. This was the job I had a little bit of training for from my 3d modelling for Rapid Prototyping class. I very quickly learned how to do this job and now have a full time job as a CNC operator.

This job might seem sort of boring at first since almost all of the sculpture done at SYC is finished by hand. However I was became more excited as I figure out how important the CNC departements role is to the overall projects. It is really our job to get the initial construction started on all of the projects. We have to figure out how 30 blocks of styrofoam or going to turn into a dinosaur, or whatever we might be charged with making.

It is also a good job since I am always switching between working with computers and real material, switching between making things and breaking things. For everything we make, we make roughly the same amount of scrap which needs to be broken down for the recycling process.

Hope everyone else is having a good summer.


Zoo Sketch Trip

Well I went to the zoo to sketch, and it was probably my best sketching excursion ever.
I brought 3 things to sketch on ( 2 sketch books and printmaking paper) and tons of pens and pencils.

The zoo is alot different when sketching. The animals that are normally boring suddenly become immensely interesting since you can actually sketch them since they don't move. Otters are really hard to sketch they are much too excited, especially around mating season.

Here are some of my favorites and a link to the full gallery.


Sketch Books

I have taken the time to digitize all of the sketch books I could find in my room.
This is a recent favorite.

Here is a whole bunch I thought were good enough for the web.
Sketchs From 2006-2008

Kyler Kelly

Printed 3d

Here are pictures of my final project for my 3d class, printed out.