I haven’t done a political blog post in awhile; I’ve been trying to be more open minded, less reactionary, and more open to ambiguity- but I’m seeing this argument come up more and more online and I want to put in my two cents. I’m seeing people say “If only more of the people in the club had guns, none of this would have happened”. Bullshit.
I live in Orlando, I've been to Pulse before. There were at least 320 people in the small building that night, probably more but 320 is the reported capacity. 320 people in a small bar with a small dance floor, a little karaoke room, and a little patio. When scientists are studying roads, and moshes, and clubs to understand how human traffic reacts as a group, they tend to simulate using fluid dynamics, using individuals as particles. A "sea of people" is almost literally that, an ocean of individuals getting buffeted around and carried with the currents that are available to them. There's some individual bias as people have minds, they have intentions and places they want to be, but they still have to do so by going with the flow, and overall the crowd acts much like a liquid. This is why in a club when a fire breaks out the worst immediate danger to you isn't the smoke or flames, it's the people around you, surges and crushes which can literally squeeze the life out of people. In a small bar, when guns start going off, the panic, hysteria, and pandemonium is not an ideal place to try and play hero and introduce more weapons into the mix. That tide, that flood of people fleeing makes it almost impossible to figure out where the danger is, and to make a clear shot. And worse, the confusion is going to lead to more killing. One guy starts shooting, another guy starts shooting back, another guy hears this and pulls his gun... is the man standing over the body the original shooter or the guy who killed the original shooter? In your terror with only a split second to judge are you going to be able to make that rational decision or are you going to shoot to protect yourself, potentially killing an innocent. A slaughter with more weapons only becomes a greater slaughter.
Over the last few months I've been working to push my modelling and texturing skills. I've been practising on assorted projects in Blender 3D and Unity 5 (using Blender models). While searching for better tools to improve one of my weakest skills, texturing, I came across Allegorithmic's Substance Painter. It has quickly become an essential part of my workflow. I love the toolset; It's quick, it's well laid out, it has some robust generators and effects, and it feels familiar to anyone who has used Photoshop in the past. My biggest problem has been converting Substance Painter's PBR Metal/Roughness maps into materials within Blender's shader nodes. For every project I was basically creating a new node tree, playing with it until I got something that looked relatively pretty in Cycles, but was often inconsistent to what I was seeing in Substance Painter. This week, I finally made a single simple nodegroup which takes Substance Painter's PBR maps and turns them into Blender Shaders. All you have to do is append the nodegroup into your project, plug in your maps, and that's it! Let's take a look at its construction!
As someone who spends much of their time online, I've seen a lot of discussion going around recently on the subject of "Trigger Warnings" for media content. For the most part, there seems to be a capricious disdain for this idea of having a warning preceding a piece of published content. The very mention of the phrase seems to send some people into a dizzying tantrum of vitriolic opposition, in which they seem to see the very idea of a "Trigger Warning" as the infantilisation of society along the lines of extremist college liberalism and overt political correctness. There's a primal disgust with the entire concept; as if its simply the emotional frailty of the kind of youthful hipsters who inordinately avoid gluten... Personally, I've never understood this backlash.
WARNING: Mild language and intellectual discourse contained within!
Just a quick shoutout video about a project I'm working on with some friends and local filmmakers. If you want to check out the project, you can find us here:
Not much to say here, just thought I'd give a quick update on where I am at the moment in terms of projects and ideas.
The other day I released another poetic short called 'An Echo' in the same vein as 'Creative Curse' from years back, and using the smoke effect from my 'Harry Potter FX Experiment'. I said in that description that I'd be trying to release more regular content, and I'm still committed to that, though writer's block has hit me harder than I expected. I'm planning on releasing a short character piece this weekend, with an old monologue I found lying around from a story idea I scrapped years ago called 'Cold Blood'. It should be a slightly darker piece than even I've usually done before, with a much more brooding and nihilistic character. I've enjoyed the opportunity to grow not just as an editor and cinematographer, but as an actor and pieces like this have been great practice.
The other big piece of news is I've been brought on by a friend as sort of the Visual Effects Creative Director for a small indie project called Conjurors of Composition (You can check it out on Facebook here, or Twitter here). It's an interesting idea, the tagline is "Magic meets Poetry", and I'll definitely be putting out updates as we make progress with that. I'm really excited, there's a lot of potential here, and the nature of the project gives a lot of creative flexibility for myself as an artist.
I'm also getting a lot more active over on Twitter, so if you want to see some more of myself, things I like, content updates, or whatever else, you can find me over there as @BlackhartFilms.
Thanks to everyone who's been supportive over the years, and have a great day.
I've been struggling to convey a lot of emotions recently, trying to articulate everything I feel. This is just a little something I wrote last night just before sleep because my mind wouldn't stop turning.
Here closes another vigil,
Knelt cowed before the silence.
Echochamber of requiem-
Hollow whispers clouded in solace.
Bask in the bemoaned,
Belie the façade,
Vindicate passive victims,
Pour your blood across the veil.
Tattoos like battle-scars,
Play the wicked soul his hymns.
Lounge in purgatory,
Self-crucifixion: Such tantalizing sin.
Burn the husk and bury the core,
Consume the flesh and lick the bones,
Bathe in the pallor of night…
Should it be but for the sake of Pariahs,
We'd make martyrs of us all.
Queer looks in their eyes,
Undaunted by the oncoming storm-
Though perhaps just too empty to see,
Their windows open to vacancy.
Revolution of voyeur reverie,
Dreaming vicarious fantasies-
With eyes wide open but mind tight shut.
Drowning out the void,
Lest parapraxis make weak our defences.
Shadows skulking in the periphery,
Lusting to join the flame.
Giving way to desire,
With no reciprocation-
Oft the line between sadism and masochism blurred.
Seek now no retribution,
For the shattering of another mind,
Routinely they do snare innocence,
And leave it hung out to dry,
Now just so mundane.
Crumbling walls of an existential nightmare,
Burning down with mortal coil,
Like cascading turpentine.
Naught brought but swings-and-roundabouts,
To beg another life.
Heed nothing but your own dull pulsing,
Of a heartbeats’ metronome.
There’s nothing to them any more,
Your mirror’s now but glass.
This has been one of the biggest weeks for Civil Rights the United States has seen in a long time. Confederate flags are being pulled down with even orders from governors to remove them from State Capitols, and are getting banned from NASCAR and removed from major retailers, the Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and more importantly, so has same-sex marriage!
This is a great week for America, and one that gives me a shred of hope in a country who from Ferguson to Baltimore, Charleston and New York, hasn't given me much. That said, this is not a clean victory, and the Conservative right and dissenting Justices haven't been quiet about their discontent, and that's something I wish to address, here and now.
Did some recording work for Chianti's Pizza & Pasta down in Sanford, FL the other night, and put together this little piece. Just a typical Friday night at Chianti's Pizza & Pasta, where old world taste and good friends meet.
I've started reading the book "Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python" just for some fun inspiration, and the introduction is about Caesar Cipher's caught my attention. Basically, the old school 'encryption' you'd do in elementary school where A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc... but then you could shift it so that A = 5, B = 6, C= 7, etc... Here's the basic code I've implemented in Python so far. Haven't touched Python in at least a year, except to rewrite a basic Fibonacci Sequence formula for laughs occasionally (set it to go to 10,000 and watch the numbers print out looking like the screens from The Matrix...), so I'm quite chuffed with the results. Enjoy!
Hope… what is hope?
Hope is sitting in an empty room and dreaming your life is through the window.
Hope is living in a prison cell and imagining yourself outside the bars.
Hope is a lie, but without it the lonely have nothing.
You spend your whole life trying to find yourself.
That metronome of a heartbeat, pulsing cold blood through your veins…
Isolation is an asylum.
Insanity; the dreams of those without.
Those people marching through time, such purpose for the inattentive.
So much cruelty bestowed upon those who only seek to love.
They’ll try to make you see their world,
But won’t take the time to see yours.
Onlooker… outcast… dreamer of forbidden dreams.
You pity them as they pity you,
A lost soul in a sea of ash.
What is romance, when no one will take the time to look at you?
Survival is hardly living, your mind more a tomb than a welkin.
But can you blame the sorrow for seeking blithe?
What starving man has not sought food?
What broken heart has not sought to be mended?
My name is Jeffrey Hepburn, and I'm a young writer, graphic design artist, and aspiring filmmaker.