Friday, December 11, 2015

Katrina

It was 2005. I was 13 years old and had been living by the bay my whole life, so hurricanes never meant too much to me. “It’s just rain,” I would always say, “but it gets me out of school for a few days.” Anything that kept me outside, playing in the summer air, wet with possibilities, could never be that bad. We lived too close to the water to ever stay at home during the storm, even though nothing ever happened to it, so we would go inland and stay with family or one of my dad’s bandmates or friends. 

Growing up on the beach was never a con for me. It was a crackhead version of a beach, the island was tiny and full of old people, and it was 45 minutes from everything, but it was always an adventure. All the houses were stained with salt water, all the ponds were thick with swamp grass, and there weren’t any chain businesses for a few miles. There was just open road, old shacks by the shoreline, and mom and pop stores every mile or so. It wasn’t a sight you would see in films or magazines, but it was mine. I couldn’t ever imagining it hurting me.

On August 29th, my father and I took our two dogs and set out for a friend of my dad’s named Captain Jerry. My father’s dog, Little Girl, was a black lab and always excitable by the opportunity to ride in the truck. My dog Jojo, a dachshund-chihuahua mix, was very nervous to make journeys outside of our little yard and would frequently crawl under a seat during car rides. So we set out away from the shoreline, windows boarded and sandwiches packed. There was, of course, some beer packed for my dad but I wasn’t part of that cooler decision.

Morning became late afternoon and the skies became dark as if it was already evening. As the winds started to blow harder, I stepped out into the middle of the empty street and lay myself against the wind, prevented only from falling over by the quickly changing air pressure. My father didn’t seem to mind that I was literally playing in the street in the middle of a storm. In fact, I think he found it quite amusing. 

Eventually the weather became too severe and I was made to come inside and sit by the candle light, away from the windows. Something my father and I would always do in power outages during storms was play Rummy. He always won. That never kept me from fervently insisting that we play again. After the card games came my father playing guitar and singing his favorite tunes from days long passed. Into the night, I would sit with my dad and his friends, watching them play music and drinking cans of beer, until finally it was too late for a kid to be awake. In the pitch black dark, rain hitting the roof like drums, I fell asleep.

The next morning, the first thing I did was open the front door to see what the storm had done. I had never seen the street so full of trees. I was the only soul on the entire block, as if the rain had stolen everyone else away in the night and left me completely alone with only the howl of the wind for conversation. Finally my father and Captain Jerry woke up, so my dad started getting things ready to go home and thanked The Captain for letting us stay with him during the storm. The radio wasn’t saying good things about our area. 

As I turned the corner to explore one last nook of the house before leaving, I saw Jojo on the backside of a couch, licking something on the floor. My immediate reaction was disgust and I ran to tell my dad that Jojo had done something gross on the carpet. I didn’t look closer until he came back with me to the spot behind the couch. Jojo was still there, licking what she had left on the floor. It was a puppy. Apparently in the night, she had gone into premature labor and gave birth to a stillborn baby which she was still trying to wake. I didn’t even know she was pregnant. My heart filled up with something sad and wet and it came out of my eyes in a frenzy.

Captain Jerry helped me bury the puppy in the backyard. It was so hard for me to get back in the truck and go home after that...


Upon rounding the corner back to my house, I saw that many of our pine trees had fallen down. None of them hit the house, thankfully. As I went into my room I saw that the rain had knocked my ceiling fan to the ground. Glass was everywhere and my carpet was wet. I was numb and for the first time as an adolescent, I could not find comfort by hiding in my room. So my father told me to leave the pieces of the overhead on the ground and not to try cleaning it up. Carefully, and with shoes on, I stepped through my room to grab something to write and draw in and I came back out into the living room. Dad and I sat in the living room for quite awhile before one of us spoke. Finally, as it started to grow dark again, we lit a candle and started to play card games together. We didn’t talk about the birth. We didn’t talk about the storm. We just sat with each other, like a normal Tuesday night at home, only he let me win one game of Rummy.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

You Are Not A Stone

Trying to create in a bout of depression is different for everyone. Sometimes you can let your emotions fuel you. Sometimes you can write what you swear to god is the Moby Dick of your time. But all artists suffering from mental illness know the cruel sting of being caught in the cross hairs of depression and a complete lack of motivation. How do you overcome that? How do you find cathartic release when every stroke of the brush feels like bullshit? 

You’ve been there. Every attempt at creating something ends in you hating it and telling yourself that you should just quit altogether because you fucking suck so much. And even though you know you’ll just end up hating yourself and drinking a six pack alone, you still try to start a new piece because it’s all you know how to do to deal with your own inadequacy. Like a lemming into the sea, you dive into that project that you swear will take your mind off of existing and it ends up throwing a brick through your window. 

Know this: IT’S OKAY. The best part about art, which as our own worst critic we often forget, is that it doesn’t matter if it’s good. It just matters that it’s yours. No one said that because you’ve got 8 years of painting experience that everything you do has to be gallery material. No where is it written that if you’ve got a degree in writing that everything you put on paper should go up for a Pulitzer.

The honest to god best thing for you to do when you feel that way, just to have something to build, is to get silly. Grab your expensive sketch pencils and draw a stick figure family. Finger paint a house and a dog for them. Hot glue sequins where light bulbs would go. 

Record a doo wop song on your shitty phone recording app, written entirely about corn flakes. Drag it into Logic and add a beat made of sleigh bells. Make the cover art in Microsoft Paint; don’t forget to create your own custom color swatches in shades of puke green.

Draw smiling spiders all over your legs with Crayola markers. When they start to make your skin crawl, give them top hats so they seem non-threatening again. Take a bath when you get tired of the spiders and watch the colors swirl around in the water. Take pictures of the water and keep an album of the photos on your high school photo bucket account.

Lay on your back in the dining room and read a book of poems. When you feel bored of your chosen wordsmith, take a red ink pen and start making revisions. Sing loudly to whatever music you’ve decided soothes you while you make reckless cuts and additions.


Even if you don’t “feel like it,” you need to step back and laugh at yourself. We are such tiny creatures in this vast, shit show of a universe. Who cares that on Tuesday when you sat down to make a grandiose and haughty piece of art, you decided to get silly and love yourself like a child instead? I’ll tell you who cares. You. Nobody else. Take your time when things don’t happen naturally. Take time to massage your creative muscles instead of flexing them 24/7. You are a creative. You are not a stone.

Monday, May 18, 2015

300 Films

Each year I do a project called 300 Films, in which I watch 300 films I have never seen before in 365 days. I count television seasons as one movie, because well, I watch a lot of TV and I think that's a more than fair system. My first year of the project is lost. Stolen bookbag. However, I thought I would share with you the list of films I have watched for years 2 and 3. I am currently in year 4.

My 300 Films April 2013-April 2014

  1. Running From Crazy
  2. Sinister
  3. A Story for the Modlins
  4. Ash + Wolf Mountain
  5. Evil Dead (2013)
  6. Paranorman
  7. End of Watch
  8. Devil’s Rejects
  9. Dracula
  10. Purple Rain
  11. House on Haunted Hill
  12. Zombies vs. Strippers
  13. Punk’s Not Dead
  14. Faust
  15. Killer Clowns from Outer Space
  16. Dawn of the Dead
  17. Nightmare on Elm Street 2
  18. Nightmare on Elm Street 3
  19. Nightmare on Elm Street 4
  20. Iron Man 3
  21. Return of the Living Dead
  22. Exorcism of Emily Rose
  23. An American Werewolf in London
  24. Doctor Who Series 7
  25. Game of Thrones Season 3
  26. Phantom of the Paradise
  27. Friends Season 1
  28. Friends Season 2
  29. Friends Season 3
  30. Lost Girl Season 1
  31. Frankenweenie
  32. Friends Season 4
  33. White Zombie
  34. Barbarella
  35. Food Inc
  36. Castaway
  37. Friends Season 5
  38. Lost Girl Season 2
  39. Friends Season 6
  40. Phantasm
  41. Friday the 31st
  42. Jaws
  43. Prom Night
  44. Lost Girl Season 3
  45. New Girl Season 1
  46. New Girl Season 2
  47. Breaking Bad Season 1
  48. Breaking Bad Season 2
  49. Breaking Bad Season 3
  50. Breaking Bad Season 4
  51. VHS
  52. Sailor Moon
  53. Sailor Moon R
  54. Re-Animator
  55. This is the End
  56. Hellraiser
  57. The Mummys Curse
  58. My Immortal
  59. Bride of Frankenstein
  60. Hellraiser 2
  61. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  62. The Awful Dr. Olaf
  63. Mars Attacks
  64. The Lost Boys
  65. The Conjuring
  66. The Purge
  67. Friends Season 7
  68. Friends Season 8
  69. Friends Season 9
  70. Friends Season 10
  71. Sailor Moon S
  72. Johnny English
  73. Breaking Bad Season 5
  74. Walking Dead Season 1
  75. Texas Chainsaw
  76. Summer of Raw
  77. Summer of SD
  78. SYTYCD
  79. SLC Punk
  80. VOID
  81. I Walked With a Zombie
  82. Walking Dead Season 2
  83. Death by Fire
  84. Face Off Season 5
  85. This American Life
  86. True Meaning of Pictures
  87. The Thin Blue Line
  88. Always Sunny Season 5
  89. The Walking Dead Season 3
  90. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
  91. Hearts and Minds
  92. Walking Dead Season 4
  93. Fido
  94. NOFX: Backstage Passport
  95. Salesman
  96. Attack on Titan
  97. Blackfish
  98. Batman Animated Series Volume 1
  99. AHS: Coven
  100. Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
  101. Sailor Moon Super S
  102. Twin Peaks Season 1
  103. Children of the Corn
  104. Silent House
  105. VHS 2
  106. The Stuff
  107. Trigun
  108. Black Sunday
  109. Twin Peaks Season 2
  110. Halloween (Rob Zombie)
  111. Room 237
  112. The Cabin in the Woods
  113. Hellraiser 3
  114. Hellraiser 4
  115. Return of the Killer Tomatoes
  116. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  117. Jack Frost
  118. Star Trek Season 1
  119. Battlestar Galactica Season 1
  120. BSG Season 2
  121. BSG Season 3
  122. BSG Season 4
  123. House at the end of the Street
  124. Stargate
  125. Suspiria
  126. Madhouse
  127. Transylvania 6-5000
  128. Star Trek Season 2
  129. The Human Centipede
  130. Kill, Baby... Kill!
  131. Slither
  132. The Toxic Avenger
  133. Resident Evil
  134. Best Worst Movie
  135. Troll
  136. Dr. Horrible
  137. The Wolf Man
  138. There Will Be Blood
  139. The Frighteners
  140. Star Trek Season 3
  141. Black Sabbath
  142. Movie 43
  143. The Exterminating Angel
  144. Corridors of Blood
  145. ABCs of Death
  146. Hit so Hard
  147. Tokyo Gore School
  148. Human Centipede 2
  149. Black Rat
  150. DMT: The Spirit Molecule
  151. House of Voices
  152. Surf Nazis Must Die
  153. The Invisible Man
  154. Castle of Blood
  155. Insidious
  156. The Hills Have Eyes
  157. Beyond the Boundary
  158. The Act of Killing
  159. Rubber
  160. Hit
  161. Soul Eater Part 1
  162. Danganropa
  163. Doctor Who 50th
  164. Soul Eater Part 2
  165. Star Trek T.A.S. Season 1
  166. Star Trek T.A.S. Season 2
  167. Horror Business
  168. Silent Night, Bloody Night
  169. Evangelion
  170. Warm Bodies
  171. The End of Evangelion
  172. Elfen Lied
  173. Firefly
  174. Serenity
  175. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  176. Trekkies
  177. The Wrath of Khan
  178. The Search for Spock
  179. American Mary
  180. Burnt Offerings
  181. Before I Hang
  182. Blood on Satan’s Claw
  183. The Voyage Home
  184. TNG Season 1
  185. Madoka Magicka
  186. Desolation of Smaug
  187. The Punk Singer
  188. Alice Sweet Alice
  189. Teen Titans Season 1
  190. Butch Cassidy
  191. Casino
  192. Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
  193. The Thing
  194. Carnival of Souls
  195. Batman Animated Series Volume 2
  196. Strangers on a Train
  197. Daughters of Darkness
  198. Borderland
  199. Blue Exorcist
  200. Teen Titans Season 2
  201. TT Season 3
  202. TT Season 4
  203. TT Season 5
  204. Warrior
  205. Network
  206. Dial M for Murder
  207. Touch of Evil
  208. Young Justice Season 1
  209. Gone with the Wind
  210. The Big Sleep
  211. The Grapes of Wrath
  212. The IP Man
  213. TNG Season 2
  214. Only God Forgives
  215. The Man who Shot Liberty Vance
  216. One Nation Under Dog
  217. Soul Eater Part 3
  218. TNG Season 3
  219. Macbeth
  220. Brooklyn Castle
  221. TNG Season 4
  222. Filmage
  223. The Final Frontier
  224. Are All Men Pedophiles
  225. Sexy Baby
  226. TNG Season 5
  227. Small Town Gay Bar
  228. Trek Nation
  229. Buried Alive
  230. Words Words Words
  231. TNG Season 6
  232. Her
  233. Flag Wars
  234. Wolf of Wall Street
  235. Frozen
  236. American Hustle
  237. Trading Places
  238. The Iceman Cometh
  239. Gravity
  240. Da Vinci
  241. Pablo’s Winter
  242. Catching Fire
  243. Dallas Buyer’s Club
  244. Despicable Me 2
  245. 12 Years a Slave
  246. TNG Season 7
  247. Eyes Wide Shut
  248. Blue Velvet
  249. Fire Walk With Me
  250. World War Z
  251. Leviathan
  252. X Files Season 1
  253. X Files Season 2
  254. Ocean’s 11
  255. Ocean’s 12
  256. Ocean’2 13
  257. Blue Jasmine
  258. Mama
  259. Inside Llewyn Davis
  260. Oleanna
  261. Visions of Light
  262. Game of Thrones Season 4
  263. Cinematographer’s Style
  264. Speciesism
  265. Eating Alabama
  266. Hannibal Season 1
  267. Doc Justice Screening
  268. Hannibal Season 2
  269. X Files Season 3
  270. X Files Season 4
  271. House of Cards Season 1
  272. House of Cards Season 2
  273. Orange is the New Black Season 1
  274. Blood + Part 1
  275. Blood + Part 2
  276. The Bling Ring
  277. Spring Breakers
  278. Amahl and the Night Visitors
  279. Days of Heaven
  280. Into the Wild
  281. Dragonball Saga 1
  282. DB Saga 2
  283. DB Saga 3
  284. DB Saga 4
  285. DB Saga 5
  286. Shameless Season 1
  287. DB Saga 6
  288. DB Saga 7
  289. DB Saga 8
  290. DB Saga 9
  291. Parks and Rec Season 1
  292. Parks and Rec Season 2
  293. Parks and Rec Season 3
  294. Cash Back
  295. Parks and Rec Season 4
  296. Parks and Rec Season 5
  297. Kill la Kill
  298. Doctor Who Season 1
  299. Doctor Who Season 2
  300. Doctor Who Season 3


300 Films May 2014-May2015


  1. Doctor Who Season 4
  2. Aziz: Dangerously Delicious
  3. New in Town
  4. Doctor Who Season 4
  5. Orange is the New Black Season 2
  6. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  7. Submarine
  8. Audition
  9. Rigor Mortis
  10. Captain America Winter Soldier
  11. Don Peyote
  12. Dogtooth
  13. Days of Future Past
  14. Doctor Who Season 5
  15. Joe
  16. Doctor Who Season 6
  17. Grand Budapest Hotel
  18. Doctor Who Season 7
  19. Leverage Season 1
  20. DBZ Season 1
  21. Louis CK: Hilarious
  22. First Contact
  23. Doctor Who Season 8
  24. Leverage Season 2
  25. Leverage Season 3
  26. Leverage Season 4
  27. Purge: Anarchy
  28. Alan Partridge
  29. Leverage Season 5
  30. Noah
  31. Out of the Furnace
  32. SX Tape
  33. Nebraska
  34. 2001 Maniacs Field of Screams
  35. Fooly Cooly
  36. Elephant
  37. Captain Phillips
  38. Only Lovers Left Alive
  39. Moon
  40. Drag me to Hell
  41. Misery
  42. Noragami
  43. Rebel without a Cause
  44. Agents of SHIELD Season 1
  45. The Fountain
  46. Under the Skin
  47. Zombie ASS
  48. Guardians of the Galaxy
  49. Lucy
  50. True Detective Season 1
  51. Excision
  52. Boyhood
  53. Buffalo 66
  54. Enter the Void
  55. Oculus
  56. Escape from Tomorrow
  57. Anchorman 2
  58. Nymphomaniac Vol 1
  59. Nymphomaniac Vol 2
  60. The Loved Ones
  61. Doctor Who Season 9
  62. Antichrist
  63. DBZ Season 2
  64. The 400 Blows
  65. Watchmen
  66. Sunshine Cleaning
  67. Doctor Who Series 8
  68. Doctor Who Season 10
  69. Doctor Who Season 11
  70. Alabama Detours
  71. DBZ Season 3
  72. Tenebre
  73. Gia
  74. Very Good Girls
  75. Ed Wood
  76. Versus
  77. Gangs of New York
  78. Home Alone 2
  79. Suicide Club
  80. Glengarry, Glen Ross
  81. Dagon
  82. Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum
  83. Cabaret
  84. Lost Girl Season 4
  85. As Above So Below
  86. Phone
  87. The Doom Generation
  88. Meet the Robinsons
  89. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  90. After Sex
  91. Anonymous
  92. 1984
  93. The Thick of It Season 1
  94. TTOI Season 2
  95. TTOI Season 3
  96. TTOI Season 4
  97. Weirdo
  98. TTOI: Rise of the Nutter
  99. TTOI: Spinners and Losers
  100. DBZ Season 4
  101. Vanilla Sky
  102. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
  103. Russian Ark
  104. Blue Valentine
  105. Necronomicon
  106. The World’s End
  107. A Walk Among the Tombstones
  108. DBZ Season 5
  109. Tusk
  110. Ben Hur
  111. UK Office Season 1
  112. UK Office Season 2
  113. Earthlings
  114. Belle de Jour
  115. UK Office Christmas Special
  116. Doctor Who Season 12
  117. Doctor Who Season 13
  118. The Crazies
  119. Tokyo Gor Police
  120. DBZ Season 6
  121. Gattaca
  122. Opera
  123. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  124. Angels in America
  125. If Felt Like Love
  126. Mystery Train
  127. The Poughkeepsie Tapes
  128. Dead of Night
  129. Call of Cthulu
  130. Anna Karenina
  131. Child’s Play
  132. Horns
  133. DBZ Season 7
  134. Life After Beth
  135. Trick R Treat
  136. Philomena
  137. Mamma Mia
  138. The Dark Knight Returns Part 1
  139. The Dark Knight Returns Part 2
  140. Ginger Snaps
  141. Monsters University
  142. Repo! The Genetic Opera
  143. Maleficent
  144. Mirai Nikki
  145. The Birds
  146. Kill Your Darlings
  147. Night of the Iguana
  148. Plan 9 from Outer Space
  149. They Live
  150. Lords of Salem
  151. The Comedy of Terrors
  152. Doctor Who Season 14
  153. Bay of Blood
  154. Girls Season 1
  155. Girls Season 2
  156. Community Season 1
  157. Community Season 2
  158. Akira
  159. One Piece Season 1
  160. How to Train your Dragon 2
  161. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  162. Community Season 3
  163. Community Season 4
  164. Child’s Play 2
  165. Noises Off
  166. Community Season 5
  167. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  168. Ginger Snaps 2
  169. Galaxy Quest
  170. Bojack Horseman
  171. Farscape Season 1
  172. One Piece Season 2
  173. One Piece Season 3
  174. On Piece Season 4
  175. Mighty Boosh Season 1
  176. Haute Tension
  177. Inland Empire
  178. Mighty Boosh Season 2
  179. Mulholland Drive
  180. DBZ Season 8
  181. One Piece Season 5
  182. One Piece Season 6
  183. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  184. Zyzzyx Road
  185. Interstellar
  186. Walking Dead Season 5
  187. One Piece Season 7
  188. Hysteria
  189. Secretary
  190. Mojave Moon
  191. Cloud Atlas
  192. The Babadook
  193. Mighty Boosh Season 3
  194. American Ham
  195. Seinfeld Season 1
  196. Seinfeld Season 2
  197. Seinfeld Season 3
  198. Seinfeld Season 4
  199. Masters of Horror Season 1
  200. He Man and the Masters of the Universe Season 1
  201. Doctor Who Season 15
  202. Sherlock Series 1
  203. Sherlock Series 2
  204. Sherlock Series 3
  205. Sherlock Uncovered
  206. Bojack Horseman Christmas Special
  207. IT Crowd Season 2
  208. Full Metal Alchemist
  209. The Interview
  210. DB GT Saga 1
  211. Seinfeld Season 5
  212. The Wild Bunch
  213. Saw VI
  214. Saw 3D
  215. Cutie and the Boxer
  216. Seinfeld Season 6
  217. Doctor Who Season 16
  218. Gone Girl
  219. Lost Highway
  220. Seinfeld Season 7
  221. Why Don’t you Play in Hell
  222. Inland Empire: More Things that Happened
  223. Stories we Tell
  224. Dracula Dead and Loving It
  225. Seinfeld Season 8
  226. Maniac (1980)
  227. Maniac (2012)
  228. Ghost in the Shell
  229. Seinfeld Season 9
  230. Contracted
  231. Dead Snow
  232. You’re Next
  233. Airheads
  234. Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex
  235. Miss Julie
  236. Hotel Transylvania
  237. The Boxtrolls
  238. Tokyo Ghoul
  239. Masters of Horror Season 2
  240. Mad Max
  241. He Took his Skin Off for Mw
  242. Aeon Flux Season 1
  243. Aeon Flux Season 2
  244. Aeon Flux Season 3
  245. Coneheads
  246. Jackie Brown
  247. La Femme Nikita
  248. X Files Season 5
  249. Doctor Who Season 17
  250. X Files: The Movie
  251. X Files: Season 6
  252. Project Almanac
  253. Babes in Toyland
  254. The Theory of Everything
  255. Big Hero 6
  256. X Files Season 7
  257. Doctor Who Season 18
  258. X Files Season 8
  259. Batman Animated Series Vol 3
  260. Aziz Ansari Live at Madison Square Gardens
  261. X Files Season 9
  262. Russell Brand: Messiah Complex
  263. IT Crowd Season 3
  264. IT Crowd Season 4
  265. Soul Eater Part 4
  266. Venus in Fur
  267. Videodrome
  268. Dead Snow 2
  269. Life Itself
  270. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
  271. The Imposter
  272. Deep Space 9 Season 1
  273. Belle
  274. Deep Space 9 Season 2
  275. Batman Animated Series Vol 4
  276. Eden Lake
  277. Frankenhooker
  278. La Jatee
  279. Rebuild of Evangelion
  280. Unfriended
  281. Game of Thrones Season 5
  282. Deep Space 9 Season 3
  283. The Young Marrieds (Ed Wood’s Dirty Movies)
  284. Nympho Cycler (Ed Wood’s Dirty Movies)
  285. Spaced Season 2
  286. The House by the Cemetery
  287. House of Wax
  288. Death of a Salesman
  289. Selma
  290. DB GT Saga 2
  291. Peaky Blinders Season 1
  292. Kevin Hart: Let me Explain
  293. Seriously Funny
  294. Mr. Marmalade
  295. I’m a Grown Little Man
  296. Laugh at my Pain
  297. Filth
  298. Deep Space 9 Season 4
  299. Incorrigable
  300. Winnebago Man

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lower Thirds Framing

It's not often that filmmakers successfully frame something in the lower third of the frame, especially centered there. For that reason, I thought this would be an interesting composition choice to explore. Why isn't it used often, and when it is used, why was the choice made? Let's look at some examples. The first two are a double whammy of lower third and center and the last one is just fun.


The above is a still from Tokyo Gore Police. If you're even mildly a regular reader of Brain Fog, you'll know that I am a huge horror fan, and particularly a sucker for J Horror. This still is from about 45 minutes or so into the blood soaked flick and pictures "Key Man" who is the film's biologically altered villain. The run down of his scheme is that he inserts key shaped tumors into wounded humans that transform them into living killing machines called "Engineers." In this still, he is holding his ultimate weapon, the tumor he has been inserting to transform wounded civilians into mass murderers. The shot preceding this one is a close up of his face whilst holding the jar containing the tumor. He begins to laugh maniacally and then a jump cut brings us to this shot.

What this signifies to me is his view of his own importance and righteousness versus his actual standing on the moral scale. He goes from filling the frame to inhabiting only the very bottom of the frame and in silhouette. The red moon behind him? Well there are a great deal of red objects that fill various frames in the film, in all likelihood signifying the blood that has been spilled due to the evil that unfolds over the course of the 110 minute film. Although he feels powerful, his symbol of power is above his head level and still completely bottom framed, which says to me that his power will eventually subvert him. I highly recommend this  (also the production designer of Suicide Club and director of "Z" in The ABC's of Death) film to Japanese gore fans.


This next screencap if from the 2000 John Fawcett flick, Ginger Snaps. This movie stars Katherine Isabelle, the babe from American Mary (2012), as a pubescent teenager bitten by a werewolf. She and her sister, Brigitte, cope with Ginger's transformation until ultimately, SPOILER ALERT- Ginger dies. The above shot is the last shot before the credits roll at the end of the film and pictures Brigitte lying on her dead wolf sister's body in between their two beds. Earlier in the film, the shots are filmed at eye level in this room and the two sisters interact with joy and equality. This last shot gets down to a lower angle and frames the girls at the bottom of the frame while lying on the floor. This signifies their fall from happiness and grace, if that's what you can call what they had before. Brigitte is still higher in the frame than her dead wolf sister, but not by much, showing us that she has been brought down just as low as her sister with the exception that she is still living.

There's also a great sense of isolation in this framing. The beds where they so often talked and played are now lit behind them as they sit on the floor in darkness. The picture frames above their beds are also mimicking a cross shape, which display their earlier lives as innocent and pure. Their naive nature is, in all senses of the word, murdered by the end of the film. They may technically still be children, but there is nothing childlike of how they now view the world.






The next film comes with a double take. The 2009 Tommy Wirkola film, Dead Snow, gives us some good fat to chew on. This film actually utilizes the lower thirds frame a few times, but this one was the one that was the most extreme, and maybe the most effective. The Norwegian film takes place in a snowy mountain cabin and the surrounding, desolate region where crazed natives claim that Nazi zombies are alive and well. The whole nazi zombie thing is kind of played out at this point, but Wirkola seems to have written and directed this script before Call of Duty: World at War made a craze of it. On top of that, the humor, cinematography, and ADORABLE accents make this the one above others to see for yourself. The played out tropes of yesteryear's shitty horror movies are either abandoned or used to their advantage in this film. Wirkola also gives you a little creature feature background with his lovable movie geek "Erlend" who sports a Braindead t-shirt for most of the movie. (You Braindead fans will get a cheeky surprise for that one).

So let's talk about these stills. The top one takes place during a zombie killing the night before the second still. (Oh no, I ruined the fact that zombies are going to kill someone, I'm so horrible.) The nazi attack starts off up close and personal, and then pulls back to this shot. All you can see now is the tiny bit of light coming off the tent and then GAPING darkness from the mountain. I love this classic cut, telling us that no matter how loud you scream, nobody can here you. *winky face* The setting for this film is really very daunting; all the mountains are high, all the chase scenes make the characters dodge trees, and the sound design over the intimidating landscape makes you shiver like a badge on a nazi.

The next still doesn't come until a scene or two later after the night has passed. One of the characters out on the snow mobile sees a bright orange tent around a hedge. This causes the character to investigate and, well, find the corpse. (Again, I ruined the fact that a dead body was in the tent, I must be Satan, go cry to your mom.) Now the interesting thing about this that made me include the second still is that not only is it framed in the lower third of the screen, but it has also changed sides. The tent has shifted to the LEFT side of the screen now to signify something has changed. Well first off, the poor bastard's pulse has probably changed. I'll let you form a list for yourself since I gave you the first one. Interesting, also, that the two shots are almost negatives of each other. You trash zombie movies all you want, that shit is brilliant.

That about wraps it up, THANKS FOR STOPPING BY. I spent a few months on this post since, as I stated, lower thirds framing isn't your go to shot. Hope you enjoyed it, come back later for more if you dare.