Since I’ll be on the road alot soon, I’m doubtful I will get to play on the next Dr. Oblivion round of ds106, but while I have time, I wanted to dip my paws again into animated GIF creations.

Now having done a few, I am trying to think more ahead of time what might work, or what actions might be isolated, or what seends have that cycle of motion that might work. I’m really keen for looking at eye motion or expression changes that can be lifted out.

For tonight’s experiment, in this pair if animated GIFS (“jiffs”) I am aiming to put two characters in parallel, two that are trying to out con the others. This is from the poker scene early in The Sting (1973). Harry Gondorff, played by Paul Newman, is working to hook Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) into a much larger con. Gondorff knows that Lonnegan cheats by stacking decks, but he puts up mis-directions by his early fumbling around, so he looks like a goof.

This is the last game, where the stakes have gone high; Gondorff has been outplaying Lonnegan, who is frustrated, and urges his henchman to plant a fixed deck where Gondorff is dealt four threes while Lonnegan has four nines. The money gets piled on the table, and it is time to show his cards. Lonnegan smugly puts his 4 nines down; Gondorff then shows–

Four Jacks!

I love how Shaw plays Lonnegan so rigidly. He cannot get mad and call Gondorff for cheating since he cheated first! He is furiousm but also reeling, out conned….He is stung!

This series is actually from 12 frames where there are quick cuts in between (showing the observers), but I’ve isolated Lonnegan. There is one frame where the only motion is his upraised eyebrow, so I held the sequence longer here, then flipped frames quicker for the part where he is fumbling to find his wallet (which Gondorff had slyly lifted earlier).

I love the game within a game within a game play of this movie. Here is the whole scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfB-ZG_nvbo

I used the beta version MPEG Streamclip which lets you grab video directly form YouTube. There is something squirrely in how it saves frames, after one save, it acts like you want to do another of the same frame. This one was assembled in Photoshop CS5.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. I love the focus on the eyes, particularly the “hollywood gaze.” It’s has a long history based in silent film where actors that had no voice and limited movement did everything they could to express emotion through their eyes.

    I have a couple of shots of Lee Marvin from Point Blank that I was working on last night that evokes some of the same ideas. Let you know when they’re up.

    These are great, and The Sting is a favorite.

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