The Ten Plagues of Egypt

Here they are, in order, in time for Passover: all Ten Plagues I animated for Seder-Masochism, my feature-film-in-progress. Yes, they will be joined together by a unifying narrative device in the final film, but for now they exist as separate clips. Click on each one for more information and higher resolution. Like this work? Donate here.

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The Eighth Plague: Locusts (rough)

“4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:

“5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:” –Exodus 10, KJV

Wrapping up here with the final stanzas of Oingo Boingo’s 1982 “Insects,” which I also used in “Lice” and “Flies.” Lyrics:

Insects make me scream and shout!
They don’t know what life’s about
They don’t have blood
They’ve got too many legs
They don’t have brains in their heads

They know they’ll rule the world someday
They bite and sting me anyway
They bite and sting and SUCK
They bite and sting and SUCK SUCK SUCK
They bite and sting and SUCK SUCK SUCK

Dance (Dance)
Those insects make me –

 

Locusts “eat every tree which groweth out of the field”

locust eat tree3

The Locusts are coming…

Locust4

Yes, I know locusts hop. But I also want mine to march.

The Seventh Plague: Hail (rough)

The Seventh Plague: Hail (rough) from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

“23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
“24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
“25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
“26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. –Exodus 9


Music: Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here by Nat Shilkret, which you can download for free here.


This has many little hailstones and cloud spirals and fiddly little things that get out of alignment easily and slow down Flash with their numerousity*. It’s under 30 seconds. It’s not perfect but I’m tired so I’m just putting it online now so I can move on. I may go back and fix some things before I put it in the final movie.


*I just made up the word “numerousity”. I prefer it to the more dictionarily** acceptable word “volume” because it’s more specific, and I prefer it to “numerousness” because it feels less awkward, in spite of not actually being a word. Update: it is a word, I was just misspelling it! Thanks commenter Joe.


** I just made up “dictionarily” too.

Run like an Egyptian

EgyptRuns24gif

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!

Passover Satyr shirts available again!

Passover Satyr shirts are again available! You have until March 16 to order, and they’ll be delivered in time for Passover. Everyone (including me) seemed happy with the last run – the screen print quality was high, and the shirt stock was soft and well made, at least the women’s styles I got. I need 32 more orders to get a better profit margin, all of which supports my Seder-Masochism feature film project.

PassoverSatyr_white

 

teespring1You have until November 3 to order one.

 

The Sixth Plague: Boils (rough)

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.

The Fifth Plague: Murrain (rough)

“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.

A Very Grievous Murrain

Murrain02.1GIF

The Plague of Murrain comes after the Plague of Flies, which is good because I have animated flies on hand already.
I love making endless loops in Flash, especially when they involve “perspective.”

The Fourth Plague: Flies (rough)

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:
Flying insects everywhere!
Flying insects buzzing, buzzing, buzzing through the air
Just like little diamonds in the sky
Insects buzzing in my eye!
Buzzing insects make me want to dance!
(Dance, dance, etc.)

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.

Fly

Fly_gif

There’s gonna be a whole plague of these.

The Second Plague (Frogs) – rough

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:
youtube.com/watch?v=dfGWQnj6RNA
and here:
blog.ninapaley.com/2013/12/07/make-art-not-law-2/

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

The closest I come to “storyboards”

Frogs-'storyboard'

The First Plague (Blood) – rough

“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.