During the open online drop-in office hours that Professor Groom held on Google Hangouts, the topic of Twilight came up. Not The Twilight Zone, but Twilight the vampire and werewolf movies. This led to an interesting discussion of cultural references and generational differences. Usually, teachers are older than their students, often by decades. The cultural influences of the last decade or two may be missing from the minds of the older generation. And those of a few decades past may be missing in the younger folk. But that isn’t 100%. Virtually all older culture is still available, and some of it widely known (think of Led Zeppelin), or continue to be produced in a new context (think Star Trek and Star Wars, or Goldfinger). We see the interesting phenomenon of “rebooting” old movie series, old tv shows, old comic books, changing the origins story line, perhaps making the story more relevent to a new audience. And most older folk actually do keep up with at least a few aspects of modern culture (believe it or not!).
Anyway, back to Twilight. In the conversation, the idea of a Twilight/Twilight Zone mashup was brought up. I had a few minutes to spare later that evening, so I made a quick animated gif:
The basic process was easier than I thought it would be, but unexpected steps were certainly needed. I found a pre-existing (ie, someone else made it) gif of the hunter vampires emerging from the fog. And I had my flying saucer alien-coming-down-the-ramp gif. I imported them into Gimp using “import as layers”. This gave me all the frames available to work with. I trashed many layers from the Twilight clip since it was longer than I wanted, and the action changed past the emerging from the fog. But now the problem was that the two gifs were different sizes. I tried playing around with making the Twilight canvas size bigger, which didn’t really work. I was ultimately able to make the ramp scene smaller. (Apparently, “canvas size” refers to the entire gif, but you can also resize individual layers. That will be for future exploration…)
So, in the context of this open course, the free-form discussion and sharing of ideas and techniques helped lead me to create this mashup. Isn’t that how creativity works? New ways to mix things, new ideas emerging from the open exchange of ideas.