All Creative Work Is Derivative

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Flooding with Love for the Kid

Sita Sings the Blues isn’t the only feature film made by one person in a small Manhattan apartment. Zachary Oberzan‘s Flooding With Love For the Kid was made in an even smaller apartment (220 square feet) and far lower budget ($95.51). (This budget doesn’t include any copyright clearances of course – don’t tell First Blood author David Morrell.)

It suspenseful and watchable from beginning to end. It has life and soul. It’s interactive – the audience knows they’re looking through the film’s surface when they engage with the story. I laughed a lot, but it’s not a comedy.

Zack did a post-screening Q and A, and sounded uncannily like myself (“I didn’t choose the book; the book chose me”). Like Sita, Flooding With Love was not storyboarded or carefully planned; it relied on the source text for structure. The contrasts between the films are notable too: Sita is a “feminine” story, from a woman’s point of view, made almost entirely by one woman; Flooding With Love is a masculine, one-man action story. If you miss all the battle scenes I omitted from Sita, all the warrior issues and male bonding that take up most Ramayana texts, you may find satisfaction in Flooding With Love. There are many other reasons to watch it; it’s a singular achievement, I can almost guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it before.

Hopefully it will screen again soon. It’s not yet available online, but it should be.

The Cult of Originality

Creation of Adam

A lil’ illustrated essay by Nina Paley – keep reading

Continue reading The Cult of Originality

Bill Cheswick’s New Way to See Movies

Bill Cheswick prints entire films – I’m talkin’ every single frame of the film – on giant rolls of paper. Because Sita is open licensed, he was able to make cool new art with it without my permission, but he gave me this 30-foot-long print anyway!

Ceswick_Levis_SitaPrintout

From Cheswick’s site:

Of course, I would like to try this on many other movies. The problem is one of copyright violation. While some argue this is fair use, it is clearly debatable, and I am not trying to blaze new legal ground here.

I’m glad Sita’s open license removes that obstacle. I wouldn’t want to be left out of this party!

Sita_Cheswick5

Sita_Cheswick 2

Evelien Lohbeck

More of this artist’s really cool short films here. Via Ken Shan.

I <3 Dan Bull

Via Techdirt:

and

Singing ‘n’ Signing

This is cool.

More examples: TMI?

OK my peeps, your feedback on the preceding post has been excellent. Here are 3 more images to compare and contrast:

talking heads no flowers.flaWhat’s happening here? Do we even need to put it into words?

talking heads 2

How about this? Does the addition of the flowers help, or hurt, or just make it different?

MemesInHistorySame idea, different rendering. This one has still more information – which might be confusing the point. It’s cuter, but it might be Too Much Information. Or maybe it’s Just Enough.

What do you think? The more I understand how you “read” these images, the better I’ll be able to “write” them. Big thanks to you.

How much hand?

I’m working on a new project – a book, or comic book, or illustrated book, or graphic something about free culture/free content. I’ll probably use a mix of styles and techniques, since that’s how I roll. But I’m trying to figure out the dominant one.  And the question is: hand drawing with ink on paper, or drawing directly into the ‘pooter using a vector drawing program (Flash)? Behold two approaches saying basically the same thing:

“HOW MEMES REPRODUCE”

How Memes Reproduce

The image above was “drawn” with the Cintiq, directly into Flash. I like it because it keeps the focus on the idea and not on the humans.

EarlyMemeFlower

Same idea, different technique. It’s much “warmer” and friendlier. But it draws you into the humans, more than the meme they’re sharing. Drawing humans like this, they each need genders, clothes, and other identifiers which are mostly irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. On the other hand, warmer drawings may attract more viewers, which is desirable, and may be sufficient for the idea anyway.

What do you think?

Update: per Richard O’Connor’s suggestion, a hybrid:

MixedMediaMeme2

The problem with this is that the meme looks sterile, while the people look warm and alive. I’m trying to express that it’s the memes that are alive; that we humans are just their humble servants.

Thoughts?

Weezer gets it right

Content is Free, Containers are not; the commerce in mass art is all in the packaging. Hats off to band Weezer for devising the most brilliant CD packaging ever:

It would be even better without the copy restrictions on the content, but they seem to comprehend that those are irrelevant to making money. It’s all in the packaging, people.

Copying n’est pas Theft

Because I’m in France:

Merci, Daphne!

Quote of the Day

“The Internet means there’s no one to kill your dream. You can just do it. You don’t have to persuade anyone or get credentialed or even think about what others think of your idea.”

Pamela Jones

The Battle of Lanka in 02:30

Thanks, Cousin Phil!

Coming Soon to a Bicycle Wheel Near You!

jazz5.jpg

Thanks to her open license, Sita is gracing Star Simpson’s amazing bike wheel LED display:

“…one of the things I’ve been doing is trying to find good Creative Commons-licensed/free use images for MonkeyLectric’s POV bike wheel demos, so that we can make and publish videos showing what our bike wheel display can do, without fear of litigation, and it’s been a bit tough to find good images that work really well on our wheel. UNTIL! I learned of the animated movie Sita Sings the Blues…”

Yes, she will be animated. Free Culture: on the cutting edge of awesome.

An online “Sita” picture book

sita_everytales.jpg

Storybook by Paola van Turennout (not me!) of everytales.com.