Creative Habit Final

2015-12-10 01:57:45

(Above image is from last week’s post, but is one of top five strongest I’ve created. It represents an Average American’s Work Week.)

The last week of this project has come and the results have arrived with five strong pieces. I found it more important to highlight which images were more successful at conveying an idea and had gotten more reaction from my audience. This creative habits focussed on showing subjects through a new perspective of abstract art surrounding my beloved character, TurtleCat.

News pours in and endless references are found to inspire this project day by day. Most recently before this final we had a visit at the museum, where the first few rooms we entered happened to have a vast amount of expressionistic and abstract art. I hadn’t collected names, but remembered the shapes, and which of the pieces attracted more of an audience. Each picture either contains a majority of it’s colors being red or green, or even both. After Art History lessons and the study of color theory, I wanted green hues to represent sickness and red to resemble violence. Though there is much good to be found in studies, I focussed on negative subjects because that was what came first to mind, and therefore was more practical for my timing.

In all I am happy to have brought back an old character, yet have grown a new love for ink and water-colored art, as well as coming up with new abstract visions. Each piece says a certain stance on social or political issues that apply to many other’s views, yet I’ve had the pleasure of making them my own.

Please enjoy the selected few below!


Planned-Parenthood Shooting

2015-12-10 01:55:19

There’s no need for any name different than how I see the situation for what it is, gruesome terrorism. Inspired by disgusting comments made on Twitter about the issue of the Planned Parenthood Shooting done by an extreme anti-abortionist Robert Dear. The man claims to be a “warrior for the babies” charged with first degree murder, having killed three people and injuring nine others.

Speaking of Terrorism

2015-12-10 01:54:06

The world is full of rich culture and religions, feeding great values to live by. On the other hand the world is very full of those who cause violence or fatalities in order to comply with these beliefs; this is terrifying because it’s called “extremism”. No form of extremism is ethical or excusable, but our nation continues to let weapons fall much too easily into the hands of those people. All of Those Who Count are taking steps and action to make it hard or even impossible for those undeserving of firearms.


 

Foundations Crumble

2015-12-10 01:56:39

In plain view on any news or talk shows like John Oliver, one can see our  nation beating down the walls of our foundation. Our beliefs of aiding others in need such as the Refugees suddenly go down the drain in fear of further terrorism, though none of those who attacked in Paris were Refugees. Though the Refugees’ process to enter our country is very strict, and mainly applies to those in need such and families that had to leave everything behind for their own safety.


Social Poison

2015-12-10 01:52:43

Finally, there was the thought of how electronic media has effected every aspect of our work and personal lives. In our classes last discussion with Lexie, we talked about whether we needed or should feel obligated to reach out to our vast audience through the electronics. Having have to maintain over seven blogs at least monthly, I’d say I have a bit of a problem. It’s amazing to see who will recognize you but is it true that like the Wold of Wallstreet had mentioned, “Any publicity is good publicity.” I question that, and if one gains great amounts of publicity but for negative reasons, is that quote even true for artists and other’s trying to be known?


 

 

Creative Habit Proposal

“We become what we repeatedly do.”
~Sean Covey

 



turtlecat1

A few years ago I passed notes with drawings to my friends, boyfriends, and drew the same character on the back of tests once I was finished with them. In anticipation for college I constantly asked permission to animate this same character who could present my projects instead of doing power points. Nearing the end of high school countless classmates and faculty supported and my passion and goals in life just by seeing my cherished, simple character TurtleCat.

Thus I propose bringing back this old friend, in honor of him pushing me to be creative, social, and quirky in those very awkward teenage years. I will create sticky-note animations, with 24-48 drawings done per session. The only thing developed about this character is his love for theater. Every here and then I’d sketch him but have yet to animate him during these college years. This idea will challenge myself with fluid-timing and movement I’ll have him do actions such as dancing, acting and singing.

A small reference for this is this short Michael Jackson Flipbook Animation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n2YF7mfP5s


expressing

My plan B for the Creative Habit would be more based on social movements I stand for with abstract qualities. It’s not often that I reject traditional ideas of beauty and harmony having it’s creation based on topics such as global warming, banning nuclear weapons, LGBT, Feminism, and so on.
Each image will be four inch squares, each image will pertain to a different subject. They will be lightly sketched, drawn in with ink, painted with water color, and traced over with any ink where it needs applied. That same process was done to the image above, but much of the symbolism will be changed based on what movement inspires me.

Most of my inspiration will come from reading articles, I’m sure the Huffington Post will always have something in store for me!

streetart

Final Week for “Poe”

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Creating a Finished Product

I’ve had the pleasure of working with twelve talented artists for five weeks on this pipeline project. It was hard work for everyone on the team and I’m happy to say that each of us had put our time into it.


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Live Action Team
The last couple weeks of the project we got the wonderful help of our actor, Jay Elizondo. He made himself very ready and available for late nights, early mornings, and long long evenings to shoot. In all our Live-Action team took over 22 hours for our footage. Unfortunately much of our footage had to be discarded for the sake of working the short film down to a few minutes. Though it may seem that we have wasted hours doing some of them, such as our intro sequence, it was worth the learning experience and having credit for our collaboration!
Matt and Annie did the shooting, and made sure to review with each other after every take that we had good composition. Matt taught me how to use lighting and sound recorders. There’s countless other things I’ve learned as well thanks to this experience.
I’d say my favorite part was being in my small bathroom with Jay, Matt, and Annie. I let the shower run for a good ten minutes on at it’s hottest, Annie and I stood in the bathtub. She was timing calling Jay, I was recording with the Zoom and Matt was trying to fit himself into a corner with the camera.


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Animation Crew

Our animators created a work with fitting movement and models for characters, yet had unfortunately gone through some difficulties with the overall composition and technicalities of stop-motion animation.  I wasn’t able to view all of their work and find how fitting it was to the live-action sequences until the last couple weeks of working.
During the final weeks I spoke to Dustin about how well their footage would work in Post-Production, and quite a few things could not be fixed. Ryan and Dustin suggested that we redo everything quickly on a 2D surface. 3D was what we were aiming for mainly, but for time’s sake and for the sake of creating a finished and consistently aesthetic project, I made the decision to cut out their original footage as long as we finished a 2D animation sequence.
It’s very understandable that the animators are upset that the final video of “Poe” does not include their work. Just as it was a disappointment to the Live Action team, including myself, that we hadn’t used all the hours of work we put in to the introduction sequence. What’s so important to remember is that the animators put their time and effort into writing story boards, into creating characters, and doing the animation. The best things to take from their work is their experience building such unique characters and journey to create this animation.


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Editorial Group

Having had critiqued the editorial group based on my thoughts and those of the Executive Producers, I’ve learned a bit more about blog posts and what an audience wants to see in them. Rachel and Eleni have grown in their ability to market the project and it’s process. I enjoyed how easy it was to discuss with each of them what needed done in the project and what suggestions could bring everything together.

I would hope to help this group and our overall group by creating my own documentary while I had the time to. Thus, I have


Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.15.27 AM

Sound & Audio FX/ Editor

(Animator)

Concluding the project couldn’t have been possible without Dustin. He went through many trials and I highly respected his determination to find original sounds to create a unique final piece. He refused to take an “easy” way out with anything, and went ahead working in Kinney with me till it closed. I made it a point to work with him, stop him, and direct him to add in, cut, or edit the video and sound effects. I was amazed what we pulled off in the end, and I can confidently say that he worked consistently hard throughout the entire project and made sure that we finished strong.


Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.30.48 AMPoe Ads

Illustrator

Though my words may have been the beginning of Poe’s story, his image would not have been made so successfully without Ryan as our Illustrator. Off to the side you can see what he started off with, pitching his idea of the ads which I just kind of handed that job off to him if he wanted it. Their finished result is gorgeous and creepy. Ryan was like the kick-start to the overall look of the project and I’m happy that we can tie both ends from the beginning to now and say that we’ve finished this!


In conclusion, the process was worth it. I know now how to be a better director for future instances and my mistakes didn’t discourage me so much as they’ve built me up to be the person my teammates need me to be. I’ve learned much about each section, and I’d like to think of all people that perhaps I’ve gained the most knowledge out of this project overall.
I’m happy with each group member and hope that we can all respect one another as hard-working artists and move on from any bumps along the road of the five-week journey. This project was worth it’s time, it’s effort, skill, and worth learning and being proud of.

Rough Cut Week!

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We’re approaching the final week and despite the small and large setbacks here and there we continue to run through with everything!

Over this last week and this week, our new actor has been chosen. Jay Elizondo, a talented Fine Arts student of CCAD, quickly took up the role as Elijah in our video. Seeing as how no time would work with our original actor as much as we had planned, I’m proud to have made completely different arrangements with Jay and our Live-Action team. Working under this deadline has caused our team to do crazy amount of work at a time, we’ve filmed for four to six hours straight for each of our meetings already.

The meeting Tuesday was turning in what we could to Dustin and the Editorial Team. Despite some absences we still communicated to the best of our ability and reviewed what had and hadn’t been finished. Our Editor is under a lot of pressure as well as our Editorial Duo to finish up what they can.

On a final note, a review on the week and our project is that this is by far one of the most developed and largest collaborative projects I’ve had the privilege of doing. I’m proud of what talented, eccentric individuals I’m surrounded by. I’m surprised by the amount of valuable time they’ve put toward this project, as they should. It’s been over twelve hours of live-action filming, not counting our individual work as well. The animators had met and improvised many many times, but never let our team down. Our Illustrator has manifested a number of fine pieces for our backgrounds and now ads. Our Video & Sound FX/Editor has a whole load of work pressured on him tonight for the rough cut, as well as our Editorial Group!

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Video Project Poe: Great Progression

Hello All,
Taking the lead in this project has been quite a surprising and rather pleasant experience. Thanks to the executive producers, Anna and I have been steering this group from some messy uncertainty to a much more organized collaborative work.

Our group’s only current setback is our Actor’s schedule. I am very determined, as well as DeShawn (our actor) is to have someone outside of CCAD be part of this project. We are scheduled for filming late on Sunday, perhaps min-day on Saturday if my Live Action Team and Actor will be up for it. The latest footage has been shot wonderfully by Matt and Annie. I’m excited to see their progress on the exterior. I must give a lot of credit to Matt and Dustin for their work and revisions on the title sequence, I’d love to show you but that may just be a bit of a spoiler. Dustin’s abilities to create mood with sound and color correction is currently and will be highly appreciated. Thus far, progress in green screening all of the footage is going well, some spots may seem sketchy but can be masked and mixed with overlays that Matt and Annie filmed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.54.51 AM

Our Illustrator Ryan has taken on a second task along with his assigned backgrounds, I’m sure he’s manifested an idea to capture everyone’s attention for our Ad.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 12.42.48 AM

Animators all need to pat themselves on the back for what tremendous progress they’ve been making. I couldn’t have this as under control if it weren’t for Jake as the head of the animation team. We couldn’t accomplish these unique and beautiful characters and movement without the team, Joe, John, Dillon, and La Vier.

Finally, we have our strong duo leading the Head of Editorial tasks! Though filming was cancelled due to our actor not being able to schedule that day, they’ve been teaming together on the many other tasks listed from Tuesday! They’ve already gotten a large part out of the way, small interviews, some progress shots, and footage of techniques! I’m hoping to see some video of every individual’s process. I can’t wait to get back to them in the morning to see what they’ve done.

Joseph_Canzani_from_1960_Yearbook

A final note for my crew and anyone who thinks that having struggled with this project is only negative; remember that a great man who’s known to make this school what it is today once said…
“You want to be good? There’s no such thing as Easy.”

~Joseph Canzani

Video Project “Poe” (Week: 2)

Hello All,

It’s the second week and the pace has picked up quickly. Despite adjustments being made, absence, and new assignments being discovered, we’re not too far off schedule. In fact some things we have we’ve gotten quite ahead on, especially in the sound and video section of our project. Our Animation group has made great progress in character development and storyboarding, I’ll need to check in tomorrow morning for what’s officially done!


Tasks right now look like this:

Olivia: Going over Script and Call sheet with actor, reviewing tasks of each person’s role in the group, critiquing progress, refining ideas of the entire project. Working out schedule with each section and helping pan out time blocking.
Anna: Adjusting to new role as Production Manager she will be working out a schedule for the overall group, propose how some parts of the group can split up and work, and review with Director and Executive Producers
Dustin: Has read the script multiple times and is preparing Sound & Video effects. He will take any progress from the “Dream State” animation and live-action scenes and begin placing it together. He will also start preparing a credit sequence for the ending.
Rachel & Eleni: will be taking on the tasks as directed in Rachel’s email such as pairing up and working on the documentary.
Ryan: Will be working on backgrounds and helping animators with storyboarding. Sketching out certain useful poses that could be used in animation.
Matt: Will be working on Dream State moving overlays for topping off Ryan’s backgrounds. He will also send his work on the title to Dustin for further editing. He will work out a schedule with the director and actor about filming this week. Annie, Olivia, and you will start story boarding according to the script.
Jake’s Team 
Dillon, La Vier, John, Joe: Jake has been sent an email with a number of tasks he should have shared and reviewed with all of you. You are expected to have all materials for your meeting and have characters finished by the end of the meeting. I will discuss with you all the possibility of working individually on the project.
 Annie: Will be working as our second camera position, creating more overlays for the backgrounds in the Dream State and will be storyboarding with Matt according to the script.


Rough Schedules Each Group needs to Plan Accordingly to Their Personal Schedule

Our Live Action: Rough Schedule
(I will Direct the actor, I’ve been involved with theater for over five years)
Shoot 1: Introduction scene, Well Composed Still Shots or Shots of Still Objects
Shoot 2: As much work as POSSIBLE
Shoot 3: (if needed) Finishing touches of Anything missing

Below: Pictures of my Apartment, lighting can be changed!
(Also we can move things and I will be sure to clean more of course)

IMG_3831IMG_3832IMG_3833IMG_3834IMG_3835IMG_3836IMG_3837IMG_3838

Our Animation Group:
Part 1: About 15 Seconds of Animation
Part 2: About 10 Seconds of Animation
Part 3: About 10 Seconds of Animation

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 12.48.27 AM
(https://www.nfb.ca/film/sand_castle)
Thanks to our Executive Producers and their great suggestions, our animation group has all the references they need to create what this film needs!

Editorial Group:

Task 1:Shortly Interview each Crew member
(create a script for questions: what’s your position, you major, why this is a challenging project and what efforts in their contribution will help make this project successful.)
Task 2: Interview our Actor
(create a script for questions, review with me what you’re asking)
Create Blog Posts
Task 3: Record Illustrator’s Process
Task 4: Record Animator’s Process
Task 5: Record Live Action Group’s Process
Task 6: Record Sound & Video FX/ Editor Process

Our Illustrator Should be helping Animators with key poses in the story boards if he feels finished with his work

A Special Note: According to the Lecture
The Sound & Video FX/ Editor should constantly be finding sounds outside of the video such as Concrete Sounds, Musical Sounds, Music, and Voice.
Finding strange sound effects for the Dream State is essential for the mood of our project, thus I’ve made a rough chart for it according to the lecture. It may need adjusting.

the CHART SOUND

I’d say that the higher the line goes on the chart, the spookier it gets. Seeing that the ending isn’t very positive, perhaps it’d be placed more near the middle line. I I believe Dustin is positive and knows what he’s doing!
There are going to be many nondiegetic sounds in this short film to create mood. The only noise diegetic may be the few lines our Actor has.


For a final and very happy note I’d like to add that we could have some extra’s in our film besides our wonderful main Actor Gary DeShawn Marshall (He goes by DeShawn). DeShawn has great experience in dance and theater, attending the Ballet Met Academy here in Columbus.

Below is a Picture of those “extras” as well
unwillingactorsbrinleybetter
Ginger Cat: Oliver
Split Face Kitten: Mary
Corgi-Lab Puppy: Brinley

We can put these guys in a room while we shoot if we don’t want them in the way!

Video Project “Poe”

Beginning my unexpected and challenging role as a Director of this new Video Project “Poe” I’ve presented will be both as strenuous and as it is rewarding from process to ending. 

 
From our last class session we have concluded the roles of each person 
(And if anyone wishes to join or add on at this point, I suggest they either become an assistant in Video & Sound FX/Video Editor or an Illustrator!)
 
Olivia-director
Dustin -video effects
rachel- editorial (process documentary)
Ryan- illustration
Matt- live action camera
Dylan-camera dream
anna-head of art direction
lavier- animator
jake-animation director
john-animator
Joe- 3D animator
eleni- production manager
Due to catching some “bug” on Wednesday I wasn’t able to do on campus research for materials because I had to take care of myself from being so sick.
Thus I have to see about helping the animators find a Green Screen.
While writing the script I’ve been tracking a number of props/people we could possibly need.
-Mother’s Voice for talking over the phone
-agenda
-sketchbook
-canvas (to rip apart)
-finished or colored canvas
-microphone/sound recorder for phone scene
-stool to stand on for higher camera views
-acrylic (I have this)
-Easel (I have this)
-phone, any phone
-greenscreen to fit mirror scene

Last but not least, the rough script! This will be read out loud to my group, where we can storyboard our ideas and rough out scenes, character design, and propose how this should be shot and possibly add onto our list of props.

POE D4M

Be One of My Team!

Come with me and dive into the season of crimson leaves, sweater weather, and dark amusement. Imagine a project that will pull in a vast audience ready and willing to be thrilled. Manifest a character, a victim, a setting, and capture it’s image like no other. Become one of my team and unleash a new nightmare, bewilder the crowd, and test your capabilities.
Everyone will have a part, and each person’s skills will play a significant role. Join me if you wish to challenge yourself, be innovative, and establish work worth placing in your portfolio.


Before I tell you how this project will be done, it may help to read this excerpt:
Alone a person struggles with their conscious, huddled, and nearly surrendered to their aching thoughts- the camera pans over their unfinished and destroyed work. In another moment they lie in a bath and hear a streaking noise as if someone’s rubbing their fingers across glass. The person lifts themselves and dries, frighteningly seeing the name “Poe” written in the mirror’s condensation. The empty hallways are dizzying, and the dim light gives a haunting presence. Time passes and the person falls into aberrant nightmares, where Poe offers to assist the compliant artist with their work. The creature gradually dominates materials, and possesses objects. Not before long, reality is maddeningly tied in tangles to their hellish dreams; and the person’s work is no longer theirs but the demon’s.


Our talented crew will shape an antagonist, and give it life with stop-motion techniques. Inspired by the making of the horror film “Babadook” and short stop-motion animation “Vincent”, we can produce a story similar to that of “The Legend of Faust”. We will also choose an actor, a setting, and compose his/her story through film. The actor is an artist, who’s fallen into the belief that this “Poe” character will assist them. At first Poe only communicates through the main character’s dreams, where the stop-motion and strange backgrounds emerge. Eventually the demon dominates the person’s life, and is shown visually by mixing this dream state with the live action portions of the film.

Ps. This will be voted on by the crew but seeing an adult male take the leading role of the character would be interesting, whereas normally horrific events normally fall onto children or females.


Please check out these references of inspiration below!

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babadook shot2
babadookshot1
[These are shots taken from the movie Babadook, beautifully textured to capture the character’s expression, their interactions with the paranormal, and the overall desaturated setting. This gives an idea of how the live action will be shot and edited]

Here’s a link, careful it is spooky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVxOrUjX-bc

tim_burton_vincent_021

Tim-Burton-s-Vincent-tim-burton-29555746-1360-768

[These are screenshots from Vincent, by Tim Burton. The twisted up, distorted backgrounds and dark vs. light values is inspiration for the “Dream State” where the team will use stop-motion techniques.]

Here’s the less spooky link for “Vincent”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxQcBKUPm8o

The “Dream State”
This is where the person is haunted and eventually this mixes with the live action scenes.
Getting creative with backgrounds is encouraged, like taking drawings and overlaying them with a bath-bomb closeup. It gets trippy stretched, and horrific. I thought the creature could be made out of black wire, but I do not know how well that will work with green-screen.

Also for helping manifest Poe, the demon character, our professor suggested my story had relation to that of “The Legend of Faust”.

Here’s a very intriguing and informative link: http://www.faust.com

images3cfbe58ae9ccb18a9a2b6560b3a30a6bsadman
[This may be subject to change, but what if we illustrated backgrounds and had a twisted, moving overlay of a dissolved bath bomb? What if we had the monster made out of black wire used with green-screen?]


Finally, Don’t Forget

chart1 D4M

Pipeline Proposal Schedule

Organizational Chart: (Depending on group size a person may take single or multiple roles)

Director: This person must be skilled in directing the film, animation, character design, setting, and actor(s). This person will most likely spend much of their time with the live-action portion of the project. The Director is in charge of finding an actor.
Head of Art Direction: This person must be innovative with what materials the executive producer/production manager proposes with materials and programs. This person will overlook all elements of the visual and movement. They will assist editor as much as possible.
Executive Producer/Production Manager:
 This person will manage material expenses, schedule production, time limits and location.
Writer/ Head of Editorial: This person will be documenting the progress being made by photographing and editing each crew member’s contribution and process. If anyone asks this person to take notes on meaning or inspiration, make sure to.
Animation Director: This person must manage the overall work of the animator(s) and Illustrator(s) with approval of the Director’s and Art Director’s word. The head Director is expected to be busy with the live-action portion of this project. This person will be expected to help with animating.
Illustrator: This person will create concept designs of the character and background. Then will create a finished product of the backgrounds with the assistance of the Art Director. They will also assist the animators while creating a 3D model. They will help story board with the animators.
Animator 1: This person is skilled in moving 3D characters using stop-motion techniques. At first they will story board with the other animator and illustrators.

Animator 2: This person will work side by side with the other animator, skilled in stop-motion movement animation. At first they will story board with the other animator and illustrators.
Camera 1: This person will be responsible for filming the Live-Action scenes, standing along side with the director and giving pointers on composition.
Camera 2: This person will be responsible for filming the “Dream State”, which will be working along side all the animators, and animation director.
Visual & Sound Effects/ Video Editor: This person must have skills in Premier Pro and After Effects. They will edit video and review results with the entire crew, especially the directors. This person is also in charge of sound. (finding music, sound effects, and reviewing tutorials based on the project will be necessary while the crew works.)

Here’s a Hypothetical List
[ I chose certain people and placed them in particular roles as a employer would based on the above requirements]

Director: Stevonna (encouraging, also great coaching and critiquing skills)
Head of Art Direction: Ashley (very kind intelligent advisor and easy to work with and understand)
Executive Producer/ Production Manager: Eleni (Great at finding unique places for creating an image, also well organized)
Writer/ Head of Editorial: Anna Booth (great at captions and line-ups along with explanation while documenting work)
Animation Director: Olivia Dillon (Animator who has idea roots to create overall image and review)
Illustrator: Sebastian (great concept art background skills along with creating organic, haunting characters)
Animator 1: La Vier (Animation skills are very unique and innovative)
Animator 2: Joseph (has great skills in 3D animation thus would be wonderful help)
Camera 1: Heather (Good experience in filming and is willingly inventive)
Camera 2: Shyanna (Great at creating composition with eerie feeling)
Editor/ Visual & Sound Effects: Caitlin (shows vast, skilled, and creative capabilities in after effects and premier pro with effects and sound, along with great abilities to work under pressure)


Good day to you all, talented students and remember; Everyone will have a part, and each person’s skills will play a significant role. Join me if you wish to challenge yourself, be innovative, and establish work worth placing in your portfolio!
If you want this idea to succeed I need your Vote!

~Olivia Dillon

Pipeline Proposal Visuals

Please, See the Post Below this FIRST!

chart1  D4M

Pipeline Proposal Schedule

Specific Image Expectations Examples:

“Dream State”
This is where the person is haunted and eventually this mixes with the live action scenes.
Getting creative with backgrounds is encouraged, like taking drawings and overlaying them with a bath-bomb closeup. It gets trippy stretched, and horrific. I thought the creature could be made out of black wire, but I do not know how well that will work with green-screen.
3cfbe58ae9ccb18a9a2b6560b3a30a6bimagesTim-Burton-s-Vincent-tim-burton-29555746-1360-768tim_burton_vincent_021
Animation Movement
http://giphy.com/gifs/babadook-IPrVMrucgZAsg

Live Action:
Focus on character fragility, and slowly close in the space with ominous lighting and changes to setting. I prefer a male role to contrast common places children and women take in horror films. He will be an artist, who’s work is clearly effected by his possession or fall in the end of the film.
Here’s ideas for lighting, placement, and character expression.
babadookshot1babadook shot211549_1
sadman

This final Sketch shows my brainstorming of the character and the creature. The young man is frustrated, and overwhelmed with sorrow. In his weak moments, something sinister promises to “help” him with his work.