I saw this posted on Drawn.ca and thought I would share it with everyone as well. I particularly like the use of the camera in this piece. It really uses camera movement and framing to create an nice sense of mood and depth. The use of the “final gather” lighting style is strong here as well. The whole piece is all about color so using this style forces us to look at the colors and not get too lost in an overly textured or modeled background while still maintaining our attention on the performance of the characters driving the story.
Its got a lot of potential. Way to got Sean and Ben, great work. Hope we get to see more from you guys at the Irish School of Animation.
Here’s Blip -
We all don’t get to go places that we dream of as a child very often. I remember as a child hearing about Pompeii and the amazing story of its destruction. I became fascinated by it. I remember going to the library and reading books and looking for pictures of it. I remember seeing National Geographic specials on it and being spell bound. Here was a place that was frozen in time for us to see – it was the closest thing to time travel yet.
As tired as I was – I was still eager and excited about this days journey. I got up wicked early, and hopped a train to Pompeii – about a 2 hour ride or so. When I got to the tiny station I grabbed a taxi to the ruins to begin my exploration. It was hot in the sun about 93 degrees, but there was a slight breeze and the shade was inviting and cool. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of shade in the ruins of Pompeii-but I managed to find spots here and there. The water from the fountains there was clean, clear and cool and while I was used to drinking from it-there were several people who looked at me like I was about to consume the plague-silly Americans and their chi chi water.
As I walked through the ruins -they were so well preserved that it felt like I was strolling down the street of some small village. I say small but the ruins of Pompeii are anything but small. It is a vast network of buildings and streets that cover an area of 1 or 2 miles, if not more. The conservation of the place is very well tended. They are constantly fixing, repairing and opening new areas for public view. For me the greatest moment was when I was standing in front of a 2000 year old fresco and I forgot that it was that old. It looked like someone had just painted last year. I started thinking about the people of Pompeii, who lived in these places, who painted the frescos, who chipped in the graffiti in the stone, what drunken roman pissed off the sidewalk I was walking on, what pair of lovers embraced in that alley way.
While Rome has age to it, Pompeii is age. You walk its streets, stroll through the buildings and you feel its age. It creeps into your soul as you walk through it. You begin to feel the ghosts of the place, too see the ancient people laughing, crying, screaming, fighting, dying and you shudder. It is a quiet place, not spooky, but it is a vast graveyard dedicated to an ancient people who obviously loved life and lived it fully. We are lucky to have such a window into the past and to be able to reflect on it.
It is interesting how much and how little we have changed in 2000 years.
Here’s the phot0s-
Rome was a grand disappointment for me. I was expecting so much and got only a little. I had built up the ancientness of this city to such great heights in my mind that it paled in comparison to my imagination. My initial impressions were not favorable in the least – dirty, foul, hot, crusty, rude, smelly, expensive…
My opinions change slightly as my time spent there increased but the feelings of dirty and rude never went away. Rome simply did not hold a candle to Paris. Like any big city I expected lots of people and a certain amount of debris, clutter, etc. I’ve been to New York, Chicago, L.A., Paris and Tokyo (the cleanest I’ve ever seen a city) but Rome was a bloody cesspool. Maybe I just was there on a bad week… ha… maybe.
As for my activities while staying in the ancient city well. Then first two days I was dead broke, so I just walked around and saw the “free” monuments and buildings. I trekked through the heat in pants, sat at the coliseum which was really cool, was unimpressed at the ancient center ruins and walked through the tomb of the unknown soldier simply to get out of the heat. This was a pleasant surprise actually as it was free and it had a lot of Italian war history all through it. Really what was the most impressive was the churches. I must have walked through 10 to 15 or so amazingly beautiful churches, basilicas, etc. while in Rome. While I was in awe of the skill of craftsmanship and artistry I was in utter disgust at the avarice of the catholic church and the need of the popes to “preserve their memory”.
While some of the most beautiful and amazing works of art -the Pieta or the Sistine chapel to mention just two – were commissioned by the popes I wonder how many people starved while the cardinals sat on gold leafed chairs awaiting their dinners or how many people went homeless because cardinals had to sleep in extreme elegance. It was a real re-affirmation to me of the horrors of organized religion and how specifically the Catholic church has used its followers for its own betterment. That being said I am a true fan of the francsican order and of all the catholics these guys are really following their beliefs… Just one of the many reasons I’m a shamanist and not a catholic.
My tour of the Vatican museum concluded with a walk in the Sistine chapel. Now they say no photography, no cameras, no flash and no talking while in the chapel. I know what your probably thinking this is Jason we are talking about here, for sure he’ll sneak a photo and chatter away… right… Hey I’m not catholic but I’m also not a rude, disrespectful ass monkey-like 80% of the other people who were in the chapel that day. I was utterly amazed at the shear audacity of the people around me – most of which I might add were NOT Americans, but Germans and Italians. Clicking away, flashes slowly destroying their own national treasure. I stood there appalled wanting to take pictures of the people taking pictures just to make some statement – instead I refrained and choose to write about it instead.
What I do not understand is how people can be so truly clueless, insensitive and utterly moronic about viewing art. I watched numerous people walk into a room holding video cameras scan the room with the camera and walk out. As if the reproduction on their camera was going to be enough to absorb the fine brush work of a mannerist painting or the subtle details of the cracks in a statues fingernails. Then there was the use of flash – are they thinking that oh one little flash couldn’t possibly hurt that painting… its not just one you dolt… but hundreds of thousands. Here the Americans were as guilty as the rest of the tourists. It infuriated me so much once I actually said something to a woman.
Jason – Um ma’am you know that your flash is destroying that painting?
Lady – Really? Oh my… I didn’t know.
Jason – Well they post signs. Do you know how to turn your flash off?
Lady (slightly embarrassed) – uh… well no not really…
Jason - here let me show you…
Then I proceeded to show her how to use her bloody camera, after which she promptly thanked me and left the room. What else was I too do? I had had it with all these camera drones and their insensate clicking and flashing. Why couldn’t they just sit and look at the art?
And then it hit me… because they didn’t know how, they didn’t understand the process, they saw it just like they saw the rest of the “stops” on their tour… just one more thing to get on the check list, just one more digital photo to put up on their blog or facebook. Just like the Mona Lisa in France. I was just as guilty – I had had an agenda as well. I had made a list, I ignored things in favor of other “better” things, I had taken tons of photos. I had forgotten to just be – to as we say enjoy the tree.
Well I vowed that the remaining 2 days I had left I was going to just be and absorb and sure enough the last two days were great. One of the high lights of Rome for me was a really amazing street artist whom painted pictures in spray paint in like 2 to 3 minutes. Her process was very impressive and while not very healthy definitely amazing to watch. I was so impressed by it that I went back the next day and bought one of her pieces to remind me to always explore process, which ironically was one of the reasons I was in Europe to begin with. How appropriate.
The last stop on my journey in Europe was to be Pompeii – and it was on my last full day of travel. I was determined to not let the speed tourist take over. I was going to live and breathe Pompeii. It turned out to be one of the most moving experiences of my life…
Here’s the photos…
What types of images do the words hungry and poor conjure up in your mind? For me it is Florence, which is ironic as the city is usually associated with good food and wealth. Well this tourist was broke, stone cold busted broke. So broke in fact I almost broke out my harmonica and started to play for money-when I saw the local policia take another American/Canadian away for doing the same thing but with a guitar. While other people – whom were obviously Italian – were playing right along nearby. Good ole corruption at work…
Florence was beautiful, the Ufitizi museum was stunning – from the outside. Yeah I couldn’t afford to go inside, not if I wanted to eat my meager meal of pasta and hard bread. I’ll tell you this much – the french can make some wicked good bread, but the Italians… not so much. I was not impressed with any of the bread I had in Italy – not one loaf. Now their cheese, pasta and meats different story, but their bread flat out stank.
So I did what I could – I took pictures. I watched people. I strolled through the town and watched the rich tourists eating their overpriced meals. I drooled over gellato that I couldn’t afford to eat, as I took another mouthful of trail mix. I stared in gastronomical wonderment as a chef slowly shaved off slices of a beautiful ham in a window kitchen. It was a real exercise in what it meant to be hungry. I was trapped. All I could do was stare, watch and imagine. I had no credit cards. I had no reserve moneys. I was truly stuck. It was soul crushing.
This very minor little taste of being destitute or homeless has given me a totally new appreciation for homeless people and what they go through every day. No one deserves to experience even a tenth of what I went through and what I went through was trival in comparision to what the homeless of the world go through. To be denied the joy of food, the pleasure of a good meal – hell even just clean basic food is a right unjust and terrible thing.
Next time you are walking back from a restaurant with a dogie bag and you see a homeless person – don’t wait for him or her to ask for money – just give them the food and walk away. Or start carrying cliff bars with you or an apple and when a homeless guy asks you for money – give them the food…. cuz man I can tell you I would have taken just such a hand out in Florence had someone offered it…
Here’s your photos…
Ok so I just got the pulse pen from www.livescribe.com and I’m totally stoked. I’m trying out a few tests over the next week or so… here is a small goofy test from my pocket book…
Well leaving France was a bit sad actually. I knew that I was now at the halfway mark, I was gonna be low on cash thanks to good ole Eurail-but I was optimistic about the journey ahead. I had never taken a sleeper car on a train before and I was excited. Due to the previous nights indulgences I was a bit slow to rise and missed breakfast and ran out of the b&b with my pack barely on as Steve hustled me to the station.
Nothing like sitting in a train station hung over in France… HA. I napped a bit, a drew a little but mostly I waited and reflected on the trip so far. Italy was next, France was behind me now. I hoped that all my photos were intact and that I would be able to find a computer while in Italy.
The train ride to Paris was sleepy and rainy and the switch to the train for Milan was a piece of cake – a bit of stop hopping but nothing that a seasoned traveler such as myself couldn’t handle. Thank you Tokyo metro for teaching me the ins and outs of insane subway systems.
My bunk mate for the journey was an elderly British Gentlemen who was very nice and well traveled. We had a brief discussion and then he left for dinner and I passed out hard. I woke up promptly at 5:30 for my stop and got off the train and stepped into Italy for the first time. My very first impression was hot, smelly, humid, dirty and dis-organized – and come to find out I was going to be in for more of the same impression in every big city I visited. I was shocked at the utter disregard for cleanliness – man New York and Paris are dirty but Milan, Florence and Rome were disgusting but more on that later…
My train ride to Cinque Terre – more specifically Riomaggiore was comfortable. I got there hiked up the bloody hill thinking I was going the right way, which I wasn’t. I say hill I mean 30 degree slope 1/2 mile before turning around and finding out I went the wrong way. Nice. After I got me the proper directions I found my hostel, got checked in and went set up my day pack for exploring. Always being the eager little hiker that I am I managed to hike the entire route on my first day…. and man… let me tell you what. It was one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done. I swear I must have climbed 5000 stairs of winding trail that were at times at like a 45 degree to 65 degree incline with my 25 lb day pack on.
After my ardeous hike I managed to meet up with some of my roomates and we all went and had drinks and dinner on the rocks by the sea wall. We formed a really tight group of people (whom you will see pictured below on a bridge) and over the next 2 days really got to know each other and had just a blast. My experience in Cinque Terre would not have been the same without these guys! So we all decided to do the full trail tomorrow – for me it was AGAIN, but hey I’m a glutton for punishment, and punishment it was. I pushed it too hard and managed to blow my knee out. Luckily not too bad and I managed to stroll my way back.
The rest of the time there was spent, relaxing, swimming at the beach and the last night was a down right wicked party. Wine being super cheap we all managed to have blow out that last night. I ended up dancing samba with a bunch of crazy drunk Germans on someones private terrace till like 4am…
In the end Cinque Terre and the people I met there changed my initial opinion of Italy. It was beautiful, idealic and the local people were friendly, warm and cared about their town. It was old, but not dirty-inviting but not overbearing-cozy but not cramped.
From here it was on to Florence for a day and then Rome with a day trip to Pompeii. The crazy thing was – I was going to have to survive in Florence and 2 days of Rome on something like 30 euros…
Here’s the shots form Cinque Terre, hope ya like ‘em!
Well I made it to St. Marcan to stay at the nicest most comfy bed breakfast ever! My host and hostess,Steve and Liz, were simply wonderful and actually picked me up at the train station and brought me to the inn! Before I get into my day and evening I just want to mention that this little village of St. Marcan is an undiscovered spot. The bed and breakfast which can be found here is simply a slice of heaven. The two days I spent with them were restful and delightful. I would HIGHLY recommend this place should you be traveling to france. In the village there is an amazing pub owned by a older british gent named Kevin – who is a right funny bastard- called the Oystercatcher, which is quaint, fun, lively, and just to die for. He serves a wicked curry chicken that I still have a dreams about in the states.
Rural people are the same everywhere – warm, inviting, genuine. There must be something about living in large confined spaces that makes people turn into raving assholes. I experienced a really great inviting time from all the locals of St. Marcan – there was Nick the chef his girlfriend Melissa, and Michael the farmer, whom got me plastered on a drink called Richard – which is poured into a small glass and then water is added to cut the taste. It takes alot like licorice, and packs a serious whollop! You have been warned. Maybe those two bottles or Bordeaux didn’t help either. : )
Mont Saint-Michel was all I could have hoped for and so much more. Since a child I have dreamed of seeing this place. It has been in and out of my dreams for years. It was a real magical experience for me to be there – I count myself lucky because it rained three times while I was there and it even hailed! It was so amazing to see the storms and rain roll in across the marsh and the bay. The wind was constantly tearing through the trees as if to welcome me to the mont. It wasn’t too crowded overall and I climbed all over the place. I spent probably a full eight hours exploring the abbey and the town. I got to see a mass at the abbey – not that I’m christian but it was still cool to hear the choir and the french and latin being spoken in such an ancient space.
Well enough talk heres what you’ve been waiting for… the pictures!
Today I was to leave Paris and in a show of emotion response the city cried. Yep tears of unbridaled saddness poured down on my as I humped my pack to the train station. Good thing I brought my rain gear -cuz man I needed it. It started off soft – turned into a downpour and went back to drizzle. As I made my way to the train station I realized that the catacombs were right next to the station I needed to leave from and that I was going to have about 3 hours to kill before my train… someone was looking out for me that is for sure!
So I put my backpack in a storage locker and grabbed my photo gear and went to tour the catacombs! Even in the rain there was a cue(line) out the doorway about 2oo yards long, but it went pretty fast all in all. I probably stood in line about 1/2 hour tops before I got inside. And it was totally worth the wait.
I’d heard stories about this place and was very anxious about seeing it. I decended a ton of steps something like one hundred or so… so it was pretty deep underground. The space was dark, lit by the occasional lamp and pretty cramped for me. Good thing I’m not freaked out by tight spaces. I didn’t really see the bones until I had hiked a good quarter of the way in – but when they showed up there was no denying them their impact.
Thousands upon thousands of people. It was simply haunting. The thought kept running through my head – this was once a person, and this one and this one. I was walking through a tunnel full of the remains of thousands of beings whom had once breathed the same air I do, enjoyed the same wine, laughed at a friends jokes, kissed a beautiful woman… it became overwhelming the longer I walked. It last for almost a full mile or two. Row upon row. Wall upon wall. Skulls and bones… the remains of a vast buried army. It was extremely intense and vastly humbling.
I came through that tunnel as if being birthed – screaming and terrified of the new air. Cold in this new, bright world -changed by that simple mile. Altered by those empty bones-I know now how fragile and utterly similar we all are in life as in death. It would be an understatement to say that this walk did not shift something in my core and affect me to this day. You’d have to be an utter simpleton or a soulless bastard to not have it affect you.
After this rainy, damp encounter with the dead I spent the next few hours on a train to Dol – where my kind bed and breakfast owners picked me up at the station and took me to a little slice of heaven. More on that next post…
For now here are some photos of my catacomb journey…
Delgo will be out August 4th on DVD!!! Yeah that’s right… those of you who missed it in the theater can now see it on DVD. So here are some links for you to pre-order it!!! Anyone who brings me a copy I will sign it for you.
heres a new article on the film, with a good base perspective on the outcome
Stay tuned more to come… and Europe posts will continue shortly.