Marty McFly, Guitar Hero

Hello, and welcome back to my blog! This assignment is called “The Forest Gump Project” by Bill Genereux. It is worth 3.5 stars and contains the description: “Good ole’ Forrest Gump. He always manages to find himself at the center of history, and using photo editing software, so can you. Find a historic photograph and place yourself into the scene, just like Forrest Gump.”

I decided to slip myself into the Enchantment Under the Sea prom in Back to the Future (1985). I play guitar with Marty McFly and the band, though as you can see, I play an instrument of the future: a Guitar Hero/Rock Band guitar for the Wii. It would be pretty great to ‘play’ with them, and to make a cameo representing the future. I will walk my audience through my process, which was done on Pixlr Editor.

Here is the original picture of me playing Rock Band in December 2018!
I cropped away the area around the original picture. I also resized myself, and then erased where my body intersected with the students at the dance.
Then, I added a shadow to match the lighting of the students in the foreground. I also decreased the saturation of my body since the lighting in the image is less warm and older films were not quite as vibrant as they are today.
Lastly, I used the unsharpen mask tool and add some ‘noise,’ or graininess, to my body to match the quality of the film. I also had to re-construct my knee since I had accidentally edited it too short.

Macbeth Episode IV: A New Hope (1606)

Hello! This assignment is called “Create A Silly Movie Poster” by Richard Barnes. It is worth 3.5 stars and has the following description: “Take an existing movie poster and make it look silly. My final project involved an Ewok who wanted to be in a movie with Arnold Schwarzengger. This is his idea of a poster.”

Therefore, I decided to work on something I started in my junior year of high school: what I affectionately call Macbeth Episode IV: A New Hope (1606). It has been a long time since I have read Macbeth or watched Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), but they seem to share vague similarities. I decided to take most of my images from Justin Kurzel’s film adaptation of Macbeth (2015). As the protagonist with a grand destiny, Macbeth is Luke Skywalker, of course. Lady Macbeth is Leia as his lover (nothing else). The Three Witches are odd and I almost could consider them comic relief, much like R2-D2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca. Banquo, the friend, is Han Solo. King Duncan, who was killed by Macbeth, is the ghost of Moff Tarkin – they are both killed by their respective protagonists.

Of course, this was done with my favored image editor Pixlr Editor (I sure hope this doesn’t end with Flash!) It was difficult to size the proportions of the characters’ heads, for some either had hair that needed to be covered up or their heads were in angles that I could not match a picture to. To replicate the colorfulness of the original poster, the saturation had to be tinkered with quite a lot. Shadows had to be added in large quantities to mask lighting differences and match skin tones. As for the logo, I used the Star Wars font generator on Fontmeme. A paintbrush tool with a slight smear was used in various sizes to speckle the logo with stars. I am not quite sure why I used a more vignette-type of filter on the border of the image, as that is one of the things I did back in high school, but I enjoy how it looks instead of being blindingly white.

One thing I would consider doing if I decide to keep editing this is to reduce the saturation and eliminate the vignette to reach a more ‘vintage’ image. To unify these elements into a favored aesthetic would help reduce evidence of my status as an amateur. This activity fit into the 80s theme, for while Star Wars was first released in 1977, its sequels and the popularity of its characters flourished in the 80s. Overall, this assignment grew my experience as an editor and to just have fun. This image isn’t supposed to be taken seriously, although I am proud to reflect on what I did in the past (2017) and see how far I’ve come today. It is worth 3.5 stars and then some!

They Live; I Lived

Greetings! I’m back with something fun for my first assignment. I followed the theme of the 80s by targeting the movie my blog is currently themed around: They Live (1988), by John Carpenter starring Roddy Piper and Meg Foster. The assignment I chose is called “Before and After The End” by Martha. Here is its synopsis: “Take a before/after photo of a person, place, or thing that has survived the apocalpyse. Then use Juxtapose to share a comparison of your two photos. Try not to rely too heavily on Photoshop or other photo editors to show the changes.”

First, let me tell you about my inspiration: They Live. They Live is a science-fiction and action film based in dystopian Los Angeles. Roddy Piper plays the wanderer “Nada,” who overhears someone ‘getting soapbox’ and talking about powerful people and beings that are controlling humanity. Eventually, he recovers a pair of sunglasses that turn his world black-and-white and replace advertisements with words displaying their true intent. Some people are revealed to actually be aliens, and it is up to Nada to survive and reveal the truth as it was shown to him. So while this doesn’t exactly target the zombie-filled apocalypse we know, it targets a dystopia that may as well be an apocalypse to those who discover it. In a way, the fact that it is right under our noses makes it worse, and draws many parallels to the heartless intent of messages in modern society.

If you’re curious, here is the trailer. You can watch it on Hulu if you have an account. (Warning: guns, a muttering Roddy Piper, and repetition of the word ‘THEY’):

This assignment was rated 3 stars, but I spent a solid few hours working on this one to make the ‘alien’ overlay look natural. The assignment made it seem like one should show the difference more subtly in expression, though it is ‘subtle’ in the movie in that no one can see them. After all, I enjoy image editing, and it was cool to put myself in this dystopian society. First, I took two pictures of myself. Then, I selected this screenshot from the movie to overlay over my face using Pixlr Editor:

It was a little difficult to position correctly over my face, though it was still much easier to match human proportions to each other than that of a cat to a person (check out my attempt at that from today’s daily create!). Since the man’s bangs and clothes made his exposed forehead and neck much shorter, respectively, I had to duplicate them and stretch them out to fit my own. I used a spot-blending tool to cover some of the edges. I also had to color part of my face in black since the lighting on the skeleton face is much different than the room I was in, and it was more effective for me to make the edges of my face into shadows. This black color was also used in my hair, since it was too light compared to the shadows on my face.

Here is a colored GIF of my work, just for kicks: