Yes, I know locusts hop. But I also want mine to march.
Egyptians running from a plague. Finally got a song with beats every 12 frames, which makes the easiest and most versatile cycles. This animated GIF is only 12 frames long!
This one’s only 10 seconds long! Shortest plague ever.
“10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” –Exodus 9, King James Version
Music by the Beatles.
“3 Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field….there shall be a very grievous murrain.” –Exodus 9, King James Version
The fabulous music here is “Dead Animals” by Mental Decay. You should really hear the whole song. I have no idea why this band isn’t more famous.
Shofar, sho good:
“21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.” –Exodus 8, King James Version
Like Lice before it (and Locusts to follow) this Plague has Oingo Boingo’s “Insects” (1982) as a soundtrack. Lyrics:
This is still rough. Things will change before it goes into the final Seder-Masochism movie, not least by the addition of sound effects. Notice Aharon is in this scene, blowing a shofar with Moses. I might retroactively stick him in a few other scenes too, since he seems OK.
Music is from “Frogs” by DJ Zeph featuring Azeem, from the album “Sunset Scavenger.” It’s from 2004, making it the most contemporary song in the film. I almost used Taylor Swift’s 2014 “Bad Blood” for Blood, but I ended up deciding Josh White’s 1933 “Blood Red River Blues” was simply a better song. It wasn’t due to fear of lawsuits; I decided long ago not to allow copyright to determine my artistic choices. If you don’t know my stance on Intellectual Disobedience, you can learn about it here:
I’m curious what frogs DJ Zeph and Azeem were originally referring to. Here, of course, the frogs are these:
“3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs:
“4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.” -Exodus 8, King James Version
“17 Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
“18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
“19 And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.” — Exodus 7, King James Version
Like many storytellers, I use Moses alone to represent both Moses and Aharon. When I deviate from the texts, it’s on purpose.
Music: “Blood Red River Blues” by Josh White (1933), severely edited by me. With great effort I bought a CD with this song, but the quality was terrible – it sounded like a tape player under a mattress – so I ended up copying audio from this YouTube video.
The second stanza depicts Anuket, goddess of the Nile. I hope there are no Ancient Egyptian Religious fundamentalists out there, because they might not like the implication She’s menstruating. Then again, the whole Book of Exodus is anti-Ancient-Egypt propaganda. If there were an Ancient-Egyptian-Anti-Defamation League, Exodus would be banned.
“16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
“17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.”
Like many filmmakers, I use Moses to represent both Moses and Aharon.
The music is “Insects” by Oingo Boingo (1982). The lyrics, which are hard to understand here (but will get a bit easier when we get to flies and locusts) are:
Having found suitable song snippets for all Ten Plagues, I am now animating them. This frog is adapted from one in Sita Sings the Blues, where it appeared in “Am I Blue.” In Seder-Masochism it stars in the Second Plague, “Frogs.” Above, a nice messy mass o’ frogs (on a beat of 13.5 frames – the song itself is 13.3 frames per beat, but close enough). Below: same frogs marching in a 27-frame lock-hop.
This is a ROUGH. It will probably change before the final film. I’m just happy I found the perfect song for the Ninth Plague (Darkness): “Who Turned The Light Out In My Life” by Daniel Boone, from the early 1970’s. There aren’t a lot of songs about lice, flies, and locusts (other than Death Metal, which I can’t use because the words are indecipherable) but I managed to find one, plus songs for murrain, boils, and the rest. All will be used well out of their original context.
Moses is shown way bigger than Pharaoh here because he’s about to win. In an earlier scene (which I’m working on right now) Moses is much smaller than Pharaoh, a la planar Egyptian wall art which scales characters according to their power.
From Exodus 10:
22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.
25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God.
26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither.
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go.
28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.
29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.
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“3 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
Written Designed Directed Animated Produced etc. by Nina Paley. ninapaley.com