Category Archives: VisualAssignments

I’m smart, and I want respect

I’m already on Season Two of The Wire, but I’ll try not to include too many spoilers for my comrades in #wire106.

Ziggy Sabotka is a fascinating character – a runt, a screw-up, a dreamer. It was Episode Seven when the penny finally dropped how much James Ransone‘s  characterization reminds me of John Cazale‘s work as Fredo Corleone in The Godfather – little shifty guys trying to walk tall. They even bear a physical resemblance, perhaps made stronger by the fact that both characters dress with a colorful (yet unsuccessful) flash which stands out on camera.

Having found the two characters I wanted to compare in a Triple Troll Quote, I started thinking on a third. Now Terry Maloy is nothing like Ziggy or Fredo… but we got a little brother, we got the docks, we got organized crime, and we got one of the greatest monologues in film history…

And so we get my second triple troll quote:

On the Waterfront posterThis was a fun one to make. I knew I needed the shot to include Ziggy’s orange leather coat; fortunately Google returned a high-quality image. The red text seems to fit the image’s color scheme. I picked an italics serif font in an attempt to echo the poster for On the Waterfront; it’s not really successful at that but I think it does evoke some of the helplessness of the 3 characters, at least compared to the block font you get on most memes. (GIMP could give a better font browser – I couldn’t really tell if I had a script font available to me, and I wasn’t prepared to hunt for long.) I did like working with GIMP for positioning and resizing the text block; that was pretty easy.

Ultimately, it reminds me more of a dorm poster than an Internet meme graphic, but I’m happy with it.

Troll Quotes

There Are Four Lights

The Troll Quotes assignment is another reason I signed up for DS106. We see plenty of motivational posters, demotivational posters, and LOLCATS, but I was just tickled by the idea of a three-way culture hack.

The gloss on this one is a little tortured (heh), but –

  1. The screengrab is from The Muppet Movie. I was watching it with my family, and when this shot comes on at the end, I said the quote…
  2. Which is from one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A Cardassian torturer attempts to break Captain Picard’s will by forcing him to say that there are 5 lights in the room, when in fact there are only 4.
    (It’s an amusing coincidence that both the TNG episode and the scene in The Muppet Movie have a lot to do with memories, but it wasn’t intentional.)
  3. So why Mal Reynolds from Firefly? Eh, why not. He’s a captain, like Picard, and he’s kind of Muppety.

As far as the technology, this one is pretty straightforward. I tried doing the screengrab straight from the DVD, but some kind of copy protection got in the way – so I ripped it. I learned that Quicktime will advance roughly a frame at a time with the right and left arrow keys (which iTunes won’t), which helped me sync things up. I used Adobe Photoshop Express to do the video edit; it was a little wonky compared to what I’d expect from local image editing software, but it got the job done, and probably with fewer opportunities to get lost.