Between Films

Movies are very entertaining. They’ve been around since around 1900. From action to comedy, documentary to romance, most people find a bit of joy in sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching a good flick. However, what many people may not think about is, what happened before the movie was released? It’s not the same for every film. There are traditional animation, digital animation, and live-action productions. Something less people may think about is, which kind of film is the hardest to produce?

Traditional animation has plenty of supporting points to argue its case for being the most difficult. Traditional animation has been around since 1906. Back then, we did not have much technology. Traditional animation does not involve a great amount of technology, but that is why it is something to marvel at. Traditional or drawn animation is completely hand-drawn on paper. Each drawing is slightly different than the one before it, giving the illusion of movement, like stop-motion. Once a picture is drawn, it is redrawn, or in later years, photocopied, onto celluloid transparent paper called ‘cels’. Then paint is applied with a colour chart predetermined for each character or element. This type of animation is usually run at 24 frames per second. Frames are the slides or pictures that were mentioned before. With 24 frames shown a second, there would be hundreds of thousands of frames, about 129, 600, in a typical movie. This means that 129, 600 pictures or slides must be drawn and prepped in order to produce a typical traditional animation movie.

One astonishing example of drawn animation is the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This blockbuster was the first feature-length full-colour cartoon ever made. It used over 1 500 000 individual pen-and-ink drawings and water-colour paintings. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought a new sense of perspective and distance into animated motion pictures with a special camera used to capture the cels that took Walt Disney three years to build. This camera was able to photograph the background and foreground of the scenes accurately. It used separate pictures coloured red, green, and blue that were layered on top of each other to create a full-colour spectacle.

Digital animation is a more recent form of filming. It got big when Toy Story came out in 1995, a technological wonder. In order to play apart in developing a digital animation movie, you need a great deal of technological training. With digital animation it is possible to do two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation, while with drawn animation you can only create 2D films. One type of digital animation is cut-out animation, where characters are created using separate drawing for each part of the body, including the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs. Then these drawings are digitally rigged together, like a puppet, using a computer. Another form of digital animation is paperless animation, where you hand-draw characters, frames, backgrounds, and layouts on a computer with an electronic pressure-sensitive drawing tablet. This is similar to traditional animation, but digital instead. That doesn’t mean it’s easier: skilled artistry is still needed. A third kind of digital animation is 3D animation, where characters are built and modeled with a three-dimensional software. The characters are rigged with a virtual skeleton. When you produce a 3D production, you need a fair amount of programming to make fully formed backgrounds and characters that move. The last type of digital animation I will mention is motion capture, in which the movement of a person, often the performance of an actor, is recorded, and using the recorded information, animating a 2D or 3D character.

Live-action movies are a worthy contestant for this competition. For live-action movies, you need to find actors to play each part, including the ‘extras’ for gatherings of people in stores or streets. Casting can take a long time, because the producers have to find the perfect actor or actress for each role. Make-up artists are also needed to define each character’s appearance. You also need to film in actual locations, which means that elaborate sets need to be constructed, and there may be quite a bit of worldwide travel, which can make live=action budgets quite a bit larger. While you’re filming, you need the cameras positioned correctly, and no other equipment can be visible in the recordings. Proper technology is required, and many takes, up to several hundred, may be acted to get each scene perfect. Live-action productions require a great deal of editing. Each scene needs proper light and audio, as well as impeccable acting. Visual effects may also have to be added digitally if the movie is fantasy or science fiction or action.

All movies, regardless of how they’re created, must capture emotion, produce audio effects such as soundtracks and scores, have elaborate character planning, a theme at its core, scripts for the dialogue, and a large crew for production. No matter what kind of film it is, it requires a great deal of work.

Yet which requires the most? Hand-drawn traditional animation, techy digital animation, and elaborate live-action films all have their difficulties. Hopefully by now you can develop an opinion of your own…

Bibliography

Traditional Animation: Toon Boom Learn. learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/traditional-animation.

The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Popular Science (Jan, 1938). blog.modernmechanix.com/the-making-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/.

“Digital Animation: Toon Boom Learn.” Digital Animation | Toon Boom Learn, learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/digital-animation.

Page, Travis, and wikiHow. “How to Make a Movie.” WikiHow, WikiHow, 3 Mar. 2021, www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Movie.

If you want more information on movies and are interested in making one of your own, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

The Wonders of my Cat

 

My cat’s name is Bedhead.

When he wakes up in the morning,

All he wants is to be fed.

Yet I can’t help adoring

His squinty eyes and messy coat

And how he wishes still to be snoring.

 

When I pick him up, soon a sound comes from his throat,

A wondrous purring, soft and warm.

I hold him in many different ways,

He clings and snuggles, I cuddle and hug.

Other times his paws are crossed

And he gazes as we walk along

At birds perched on white leaves of frost.

When I put him down, he thinks it’s wrong,

And sits, waiting for me to come

He lets out accusing, demanding meows;

As I walk, my pity drums

And turning back, through snow I plough,

To scoop him up again.

When he eats his softened food,

I smile and laugh to hear

A wet, gurgling sound as he chews.

 

I love it when he rubs my legs;

A gentle nudge or tiny paw,

He doesn’t even need to beg

To be snuggled close and hugged.

His pale green eyes

And light-orange fur,

His larger size

And vibrating purr

Make him utterly irresistible.

He loves his home,

His wooden house;

Whenever he roams

To hunt his mouse,

With stealth and silence

No other can match,

He’ll suddenly pounce

And make his catch,

With quite a smug face

And very full belly,

Yet he always comes back

To the home he adores,

The little shack,

With its musty scent

And fluffy cat-bed.

I love my cat,

And he loves me,

From his pink, wet nose

To his bean-shaped toes.

 

If you want more poems about cats, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Cats are Wonderful

 

I believe that cats are the best pets anyone could ask for. They are smart and affectionate, making them intelligent beings with a personality.  Other pets are nice, too, and each fulfills a different need, but cast are simply dreamy. I love my cat, Bedhead, because of his intelligence, caution, enormous appetite, love, affection, and laziness. While he can be a bother when he is screaming for food, there is nearly nothing better than to hold him in my arms and listen to his calm, content purr.

One reason I find cats wonderful is how affectionate they are. Rubbing their lips on you is them saying “you are mine” and shows how they love you and understand your bond with them. Have you ever been holding your cat, and it suddenly starts digging its claws into you rhythmically? This is called kneading. Kneading shows pure contentedness, and while is may hurt, take it as a compliment. If you have a cat that lives outdoors, you may notice that it leaves deceased small animals lying around, or even drop one at your feet. Even these small ‘gifts’ are brought to you out of love. Every time your cat brings you a dead bird or rodent, they are showing you their hard work and seem to say, “aren’t you proud of me?” Cats’ soft fur, rumbling purr, and crazy flexibility (a cat’s spine has extra rotation and elastic cushioning on the spine’s disk, making them more flexible than most animals) make them the ultimate teddy bears which lets you express your love for them when you snuggle them in your arms.

Another reason I think cats are great is their intelligence. Cats are extremely smart, which is one reason they are such excellent hunters, and also makes their companionship more believable. When I take my cat for walks in my backyard trails, he often takes shortcuts. When he does this, he makes careful calculations and plans precisely when and where he wants to meet up with me. I will walk down my trails and suddenly stumble upon him, with a smug look on his face, knowing that I would come there and that he would be there to meet me. Another outcome of cats’ intelligence is that they are cautious. They have incredible instincts. In order to befriend a cat, you must earn its trust, Cats won’t suddenly decide to trust you; you must prove to them that you care for them before they will decide you worthy of their friendship.

Yet other pets can be enjoyable, as well. Dogs, the second most popular pet in Canada, are loyal to a fault, and you can be sure that they will always support you. Hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small mammals are tiny enough to be held in your hand or keep in a pocket, which makes them incredibly adorable. Some pets, like fish, are nice for a simple companionship, too, if all you want is another living presence nearby. Others, such as parrots and other tropical birds, can add some change to your day with squawks and a few English words. Some people who want robust or loyal pet might not want a cat, because cats, unlike dogs, want you to please them, not the other way around.

However, I believe cats are the best. Each feline has its own voice and its own personality. They beat all for being the cuddliest. They are very smart, and if you treat them right, you will receive from them a quality companionship that lasts a lifetime.

REFERENCES

Works Cited

Inn, The Cats. Why Are Cats So Flexible?: The Cats Inn. 15 Jan. 2019, www.catsinn.com/why-are-cats-so-flexible/.

“Facts about Pet Ownership in Canada.” PetBacker Blog, 1 Jan. 1967, www.petbacker.com/blog/facts/facts-about-pet-ownership-in-canada.

Newman, Aline Alexander, and Gary Weitzman. How to Speak Cat: a Guide to Decoding Cat Language. Collins, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2018.

If you are interested in learning more about cats, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Muggles Mixed with Magic

         

            Hermione Granger broke the Horcrux. It hissed angrily. The golden cup had belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, one of the four founders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hermione and her friend Ron Weasley were kneeling in the Chamber of Secrets while a ferocious battle raged above them. They had needed a Basilisk fang to destroy the goblet Lord Voldemort had turned into a horrible Horcrux.

Suddenly Harry Potter burst into the Chamber, wrapped in a bathrobe, wet with colourful bubbles clinging to him, like he had just come out of the Prefect’s bathroom. He was clutching a large, golden false egg.

“I can’t figure it out,” he said, frustrated. “I don’t understand what the egg means.”

Harry had gotten the egg from the Dursleys as a present for leaving their house. When he had brought it to Hogwarts, it had turned into a Portkey and led him to the merpeople.

Suddenly the egg burst open and let out a bout of ‘Weasley is Our King’:

Weasley is our king,

            He cannot block a single thing,

            That is why the Slytherins all sing,

            Weasley is our King.

            Soon Professor Slughorn walked up to Harry.

“I just love knitting,” he said.

Harry nodded and handed the professor the Elder Wand.

“Here, knit with this,” he said.

Slughorn took the wand, popped a Pepper Imp into his mouth, and walked away.

            Harry got up and stood among a crowd of Hogwarts students. They were looking at a crude sign painted in what looked like blood on the stone wall of the corridor. The words read:

DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY

Suddenly Hagrid jostled through the crowd and made his way to Harry.

“Yer a wizard, Harry!” he exclaimed, beaming cheerfully.

“Er … I know,” said Harry, quite confused.

He looked down and saw Scabbers the rat.

“Why, Scabbers!” he exclaimed.

Soon Scabbers transformed, his snout shortening and his tail thickening, into Crookshanks, Hermione’s cat. The cat hissed.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live,” it said, and ran away.

Then Harry dipped his head into the Pensieve in front of him. The silvery liquid rippled as he entered a memory.

Harry gasped in astonishment. He saw himself and Ron’s sister Ginny riding together on a hippogriff. The hippogriff was flying through the starry night, with an hourglass attached to a chain around its feathery neck.

The memory-Harry and Ginny leaned toward each other, and kissed.

Suddenly memory-Ginny turned into Draco Malfoy, Harry’s archenemy. They were flying on broomsticks through the Quidditch field.

“Hey, Potter, bet you can’t catch that Hungarian Horntail,” he said.

Harry lifted his head out of the Pensieve and turned to Ron.

“Ready?” he asked.

Ron nodded.

They shifted their trolleys. Harry’s pet phoenix, Fawkes, squawked in his cage and sang a long, sorrowful song.

“One … two … three!” Ron shouted, counting down.

They ran into the wall between platforms nine and ten, and disappeared.

 

            And the moral of this story is: do not read a book series out of order, or you will find yourself hopelessly confused.

If you want more creative Harry Potter ideas, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Evolution by Natural & Artificial Selection

 

Only the best survive. This is true in evolution. 

This essay will discuss and teach the theroy of evolution. Evolution is adapting and changing to better suit your environment. All of life is constantly doing this – animals evolve to live easier in their environment; predators may develop sharper teeth, or prey better-camouflaging coats. Plants might evolve to suit a new climate – that species may develop water cavities if they are in drier countries or produce more fruit if animals start consuming it more often. Even humans evolve. 

There are two types of evolution that will be covered in this document: natural and artificial selection. Evolution by natural selection is when life evolves independently. In the wilderness, only the best survive – you must be strong, healthy and attractive to get by. 

Scientific theory states that we all evolved from a single organism, DNA. As DNA multiplies, it mutates and deforms, thus creating multitudes of different species of life. This life further changes as it adapts to its new world. In evolution by natural selection, the most healthy, attractive and strong are the most likely to produce young, thus the species is always evolving and improving. Some examples of natural selection are giraffes and frogs. 

Giraffes used to have short necks. Over time, they evolved to have longer necks so they were able to access more food and nutrients, becoming healthier and better suited to reproduce. Therefore the giraffes with longer necks had more young and passed on their genes, continuing to change, and to lengthen their necks, thus becoming the animals we see in savannahs today. 

Frogs lay many eggs, hundreds at a time. But out of these many eggs, only a very small fraction survive. Many get eaten by carnivores or fail to develop properly. Only the strongest live to hatch, and only a few tadpoles finally morph into frogs. 

This, in full, is natural selection. 

Evolution by artificial selection is when humans breed animals to create a desired variety. Another term for artificial selection is breeding. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, and many other animals are bred by humans to create different variations. Artificial selection can happen for many reasons. 

Dogs are often bred for hunting. They may be bred to have sharper teeth or a keener sense of smell or hearing. The beagle has been bred to have a white-tipped tail so that the owner can track it through the forest easier. Horses are bred for appearance or ability. Cats are usually bred for looks, if the owner wants a long- or short-haired cat, or flat ears or short legs. 

Plants, too, can be bred. Fruit trees are often bred to withstand different climates or produce different tastes. Wild plants may be made into small, delicate shrubs.  

Evolution by artificial selection happens when breeders select a male and female specimen and mate them to produce young. In the case of plants, a botanist would harvest the pollen of a male plant and place it in the female plant to germinate and produce seeds that would be planted to create the new variety. If a horse is bred for competition, the breeder would want parents with certain traits, such as grace and strength, and cross-breed them to produce a mixture of the two. New breeds and species can be developed by artificial selection. 

Thus, this essay is brought to a close. Hopefully it has educated you fully on the topic of evolution. 

GLOSSARY 

Breed – to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation 

Germinate – to cause to sprout or develop 

Evolution – descent with modification from preexisting species: cumulative inherited change in a population of organisms through time leading to the appearance of new forms: the process by which new species or populations of living things develop from preexisting forms through successive generations 

Artificial – caused or produced by a human 

Definitions provided by Merriam Webster 

REFERENCES  

Cosmos: Possible Worlds by Ann Druyan, Chapter 5: The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth 

Dinosaurs: A Visual Encyclopedia, by Dorling Kindersley (DK), Section 1: Prehistoric Life 

Only the best survive. This is true in evolution. 

This essay will discuss and teach the theroy of evolution. Evolution is adapting and changing to better suit your environment. All of life is constantly doing this – animals evolve to live easier in their environment; predators may develop sharper teeth, or prey better-camouflaging coats. Plants might evolve to suit a new climate – that species may develop water cavities if they are in drier countries or produce more fruit if animals start consuming it more often. Even humans evolve. 

There are two types of evolution that will be covered in this document: natural and artificial selection. Evolution by natural selection is when life evolves independently. In the wilderness, only the best survive – you must be strong, healthy and attractive to get by. 

Scientific theory states that we all evolved from a single organism, DNA. As DNA multiplies, it mutates and deforms, thus creating multitudes of different species of life. This life further changes as it adapts to its new world. In evolution by natural selection, the most healthy, attractive and strong are the most likely to produce young, thus the species is always evolving and improving. Some examples of natural selection are giraffes and frogs. 

Giraffes used to have short necks. Over time, they evolved to have longer necks so they were able to access more food and nutrients, becoming healthier and better suited to reproduce. Therefore the giraffes with longer necks had more young and passed on their genes, continuing to change, and to lengthen their necks, thus becoming the animals we see in savannahs today. 

Frogs lay many eggs, hundreds at a time. But out of these many eggs, only a very small fraction survive. Many get eaten by carnivores or fail to develop properly. Only the strongest live to hatch, and only a few tadpoles finally morph into frogs. 

This, in full, is natural selection. 

Evolution by artificial selection is when humans breed animals to create a desired variety. Another term for artificial selection is breeding. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, and many other animals are bred by humans to create different variations. Artificial selection can happen for many reasons. 

Dogs are often bred for hunting. They may be bred to have sharper teeth or a keener sense of smell or hearing. The beagle has been bred to have a white-tipped tail so that the owner can track it through the forest easier. Horses are bred for appearance or ability. Cats are usually bred for looks, if the owner wants a long- or short-haired cat, or flat ears or short legs. 

Plants, too, can be bred. Fruit trees are often bred to withstand different climates or produce different tastes. Wild plants may be made into small, delicate shrubs.  

Evolution by artificial selection happens when breeders select a male and female specimen and mate them to produce young. In the case of plants, a botanist would harvest the pollen of a male plant and place it in the female plant to germinate and produce seeds that would be planted to create the new variety. If a horse is bred for competition, the breeder would want parents with certain traits, such as grace and strength, and cross-breed them to produce a mixture of the two. New breeds and species can be developed by artificial selection. 

Thus, this essay is brought to a close. Hopefully it has educated you fully on the topic of evolution. 

GLOSSARY 

Breed – to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation 

Germinate – to cause to sprout or develop 

Evolution – descent with modification from preexisting species: cumulative inherited change in a population of organisms through time leading to the appearance of new forms: the process by which new species or populations of living things develop from preexisting forms through successive generations 

Artificial – caused or produced by a human 

Definitions provided by Merriam Webster 

REFERENCES  

Cosmos: Possible Worlds by Ann Druyan, Chapter 5: The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth 

Dinosaurs: A Visual Encyclopedia, by Dorling Kindersley (DK), Section 1: Prehistoric Life 

To learn more about evolution, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan