Alive April Chase
March 9th, 1999 | View Post
Alive April Chase is the first movie I've ever shot on actual film. The film is being shot for my RTF314 class on a Super-8 reel.

Script

Open with computerized credits.
* three-o-three productions presents (hold and fade)
* a film by: Kevin Ludlow (hold and fade)
* Alive (fade) April (fade) Chase (hold and fade)

SCENE 1
(the printing press)

Opening shot takes place in the Daily Texan newspaper room. A person is sitting at their desk hard a work on a sketch. After a few seconds of shooting, they get up and walk out of the room (cut).

Begin in the hallway outside of the door and follow them from the front down the hallway with the paper in their hand. (cut)

As they walk into the pressroom we are behind them again following along to a table. They reach their hand down to the table.(cut)

Do a close shot of their hand setting down the paper on the desk and zoom out as they walk off and someone else picks it up. The person who picked it up walks it over to the press machine and appears to be laying it for the copying process. (cut)

We follow the press machine along and it should appear that we are following the paper that was just put in. (cut)

Do a close up of two of three of the machine processes.

Finally get a frontal shot of the paper coming out of the machine as it slides down the beltway. (cut)

Somebody walks in from the other angle and picks up the stack of papers and sets them down on a desk. The person leaves the room and the camera “walks” over to the papers and up above them. In this same shot the camera slowly gets closer and closer to the papers from the top until the shot is completely black and out of focus. (cut)

SCENE 2
("April Chase")

We zoom out of the blackened paper and as we do it opens to the comic section. We pan over on top of a comic strip titled “April Chase”

The "April Chase" scene is animated in single frame 12fps mode. There will be 360 frames shot or 30 seconds of 12fps animation. When played back at 18fps this will appear to be a faster 20 second shot of “April Chase” moving about. (cut)

The paper quickly closes itself up and we see yet another person tying up the papers with rope or twine. As they do this a light blinds the camera (slowly pan a flashlight at the lens). (cut)

This shot is the hardest to film because it is so time consuming. The camera sits atop the roof for one hour before sunset. Every 20 seconds one frame should be shot. After one hour of this, 180 frames will have been shot, or 10 seconds of a time lapsed sunset. (the flashlight in the previous shot is necessary to make a smooth cut from the dark shot to the sun shot)

SCENE 3
(delivering)

We see the paper trucks driving out on their way delivering papers to the boxes. (cut)

There is a shot of the driver getting into his truck and backing out. (cut)

We are in the street as he pulls into the street as well. (cut)
We see him at a Daily Texan box dropping off a stack of papers. (cut) and then at another one (cut) and then at one more. (scene fades to black) (to do this, completely underexpose the frame one F-Stop at a time).

SCENE 4
(reading the comic)
(scene 4 is subject to change)

We follow one more person as they make their way in the morning.

Shoot them walking down the street and picking up a Daily Texan from the stack. (cut)

As they open the box door of it, the camera appears to be inside of the box but is really behind it. We see them reach towards us to pick up the paper. (cut)

The camera moves out of the way as the person walks over to a bench and opens the paper. The camera is steady in front of them as they chuckle just a bit. They throw the newspaper down on the bench, get up, and leave. The newspaper is sitting stuck to the side of the bench due to the wind. (use a fan and a piece of tape on the back of the newspaper for this shot). We zoom into the newspaper once more and again see "April Chase". (cut)

We go back to single frame animation but this seen will only appear to be 5-10 seconds long at 18fps. "April Chase" turns and looks at the camera and shrugs her shoulders at us. (fade to black). (cut)

'No Mas' fades into the screen.

THE END.

Corn on the Macabre
December 4th, 1998 | View Post
I think that Corn on the Macabre is a great intro level film. It needs some editing work but the storyline is great. Excellent acting skills in the commercial. Hope to see many more flicks like this in the future.
RTF 316 - Early Times
December 2nd, 1998 | View Post
Kevin Ludlow
Extra Credit Paper III – “Early Times”
RTF 316 – History of Radio and Television
Amanda Lotz
December 3, 1998

It is not often that I get the chance to talk to my 74-year-old grandmother about anything that interests her, so she was delighted to be asked about the radio. She was born sometime in 1925 and has a recalled listening to radio broadcasts ever since she was a young girl. I first asked her simply what it was like listening to the radio and her responses were certainly much more positive then mind towards radio. My grandmother explained to me how although they were listening to the radio, it was so similar to watching television, but at the same time better. She told me how the front of the radio had a large fuzzy screen on it that was often stared at like a picture was inside of it. The best part, of course, was that it was all in the imagination. She and her brothers would sit in front of the radio and stare at the blank screen imagining that there were really actors there to watch. No matter what kind of show they were listening to, they were always able to come up with a visual story to follow along with in their heads. At times, certain stories could stretch the images in their mind much more elaborately then today’s greatest special effects can. One of the biggest problems that they had was being allowed to listen to the shows that they wanted to. She explained to me how the content of many programs restricted them from listening in on the radio. Although we would probably view such content now as children’s programming, back in the 30’s, she explained, such content was much more regarded by parents.

Amongst her favorite programs was “Tom Mix” who was a movie star back then. He played the role of a cowboy on the radio and was apparently quite popular. “The Lone Ranger” was also a program that was broadcast in her household during that time period. One of both my grandmother and grandfather’s favorite programs was “Jack Armstrong, The American Boy” which at that time which was sponsored by Wheaties. I asked her if she recalled any comic shows that she may have watched during the time period and she told me about Eddie Couter. He was a comic on the radio around the middle 1930’s to early 1940’s. He was a household favorite as well. On the weekends, the radio was used more as what we understand today. It simply broadcast musical programs during the peak hours of the day. She recalled listening to the “Metropolitan Opera” every Saturday afternoon from 1:00 in the afternoon to about 4:00 in the afternoon. They would broadcast whatever was being played that day at the Metropolitan Opera House. On Sunday’s she would tune into the “Firestone Hour” which was a musical broadcast sponsored by Firestone tires. In order to gain a common point with my grandmother, I asked her if she ever listened to the Orson Welles show. She jumped into stories of him very quickly of how her and her brothers used to listen to his show weekly. I proceeded to ask her about the infamous “War of the Worlds”; she of course had heard it. She explained to me that she remembered that October day very well. Growing up in New Jersey, the show was focused right around town. She explained to me that she understood that it was only a show and that aliens were not really taking over the planet. However, at the same time she remembers being very frightened because of the incredible realism that Orson Welles used for that time. My grandmother also recalled how the radio station got hundreds of calls the next day and how the newspapers made such an incredible ordeal over it because of the panic that it had caused.

Although the radio had always been a part of my grandmother’s life, she remembers when those days started to slow down. In the early 50’s, her father went out and bought a Muntz television set from the popular salesman Mad Man Muntz. It was a simple black and white television and best of all it was brand new. After that, the radio started transforming into what it is today. Radio shows slowly began to cease, and musical broadcasts became more common.
RTF 316 - Lucky Me
November 23rd, 1998 | View Post
Kevin Ludlow
Paper II – “Lucky Me”
RTF 316 – History of Radio and Television
Amanda Lotz
November 24, 1998

As television moved into American homes in the early 50’s, racism certainly came with it. Although racism was something that was clearly evident in America around that time, television had a unique way of presenting it to look like it was not a problem of the time. From shows with white stars like The Rifleman, to shows that had African American stars such as Amos ‘n’ Andy, racism was always evident in the script.

When looking at a particular text such as The Rifleman, it is generally easy to pick out bits of racism throughout the show. The reason it is so easy for us to pick it out is simply because we live in a period where racism, although it exists, is generally seen as wrong. Although many civil rights movements occurred within the 50’s and 60’s, African Americans were still segregated and viewed as an inferior race to many. In the show, The Rifleman, Chuck Connors stars the show as the character Lucas McCain. He lives with his boy, Mark, on a ranch somewhere in New Mexico. Within the five years that it was on the air, there were many shows that dealt with issues of racism towards not only African Americans, but also Native Indians. African Americans were commonly shown to be thieves and cheap laborers. They were not stars of the show by any means and if they were to appear, chances are they would be rebels of the town and Lucas would have to hunt them down. Many shows also had Indian characters that were generally threats to the community. Uniquely enough, if they honestly were non-hostile Indians who meant no harm to the community, Lucas would side with them. On the flip side, the town would turn against them no matter what the situation was. Native Indians were viewed as the lowest class of people in the area. They were disrespected, mocked, and distrusted even when they did nothing wrong. The townspeople in New Mexico often wanted to gun them down “clean” their town even though the Indians caused little havoc. Chuck Connors was the dominant white male character that the society of that time viewed to be in control of everything. He was on the side of the sheriff and of the townspeople, and wanted justice to always be served. He was a single father and did an excellent job raising Mark, which made him the type of character that people wanted to be. Perhaps it was because of this heroic character that the show became so popular. Of course, with so many people watching shows that constantly portrayed minorities as having unacceptable qualities, it is no wonder racism was so out of hand. Maybe if networks had shows that stared African Americans people would have viewed them differently – on the other hand, maybe it would make it worse.

Although a predecessor of The Rifleman, Amos ‘n’ Andy was a show that not only stared African Americans, was centered on them as well. Staring Alan Childress as Amos and Spencer Williams as Andy, their show was a relatively popular sitcom derived from the even more popular radio show. The shows were often focused on Kingfish, played by Tim Moore. He usually had some sort of idea or scheme to make his lifestyle better or more particularly to become wealthy. Although the show was focused on the African American community, it portrayed blacks in a terrible sort of way. The general character on the show was a poor porch sitter who barely made enough money to get by on a regular basis. The characters did not stand up for things that they believed in especially to white folk. They were uneducated, loud, obnoxious, and worst of all were portrayed to have the worst English grammar in society. The women of the show were portrayed to be just as loud and obnoxious but also very demanding and general nuisances to their husbands. In the episode of “The Happy Stevens”, we are able to see exactly how a typical wife acted on the show. Sapphire (Ernestine Wade) is constantly nagging at the Kingfish to act more like their favorite radio show, “The Happy Couple”. We see how Kingfish miserably tried to mimic the show the best that he can by using cheap imitations of “The Happy Couple’s” ideas. Such disregard for the Kingfish’s taste would never have been shown had he been white. The show was watched by millions of people across America from children to elderly people. More importantly African Americans watched it too. Although blacks were being represented on the television, they would have probably been better off without being so. Not only did people of the time get to see white folk make fun of African Americans, they got to see African Americans make fun of themselves.

Although we are now able to look back at how racism was portrayed on television, we must ask ourselves – has it gotten any better? I think that the answer is no. Directors and producers have simply done a much better job of incorporating racism into shows without us realizing it. Even in much more recent shows, African Americans are still portrayed to be more deviant characters in society. Take for example the popular seven-year show of Designing Women. One of the main characters of the show is Anthony Bouvier, played by Meshach Taylor. Anthony is portrayed to be a hard working and educated friend and employee of the Sugarbaker firm. He was on the show from the beginning until the end, and even though he was such a hard worker, his past always seemed to come up. He had served time in prison for a crime he had committed some time ago and many episodes incorporate racist humor on him. Suzanne Sugarbaker, played by Delta Burke, often makes comments about Anthony that are shots against the African American community. Of course, she does them in a way that seems so natural and innocent that we can not help but realize that she is joking. Although she is his friend and she means no harm upon him, her views towards African Americans are openly expressed in a humorous way to him throughout her five years on the show.

Racism will most likely be a problem that occurs long past our lifetimes, but is it really necessary for television shows to take advantage of it. Most everyone is guilty of finding a great deal of humor in the racist jokes that we hear on television. Many of us do not even view it as racism because it seems so naturalized on television. It will be hard for the world to be completely non-racist as long as television is part of our lives, and racism is part of television. I would like to think that I know how it feels to have an entire viewing audience laughing at me, but unfortunately I will never know. I am a white male who is supposed to find humor in it – lucky me.
TD301 - Capital City Comedy
November 21st, 1998 | View Post
Theater Dance 301
Jane Barnette (MWF 12-1)
Capital City Comedy

After visiting the Capital City Comedy Club on Sunday November the fifteenth, I realized that doing stand up comedy in front of only twenty people changes the skit drastically. As I sat in my seat I looked around at the many empty seats and then proceeded to see what the headlining entertainment looked like. Having already sat through about 45 minutes of comedy, I was starting to get into. However, I just could not figure out how comedian Jeff Jena was going to make it through his entire set with such a weak audience. I soon learned how he would do that - audience interaction. Previous acts J.C. Shakespeare and Chad Dubril used this technique to an extent, but the majority of Jeff Jena’s skit was solely based on improved audience heckling. I sat in the room with a friend for only a few minutes when suddenly her and I were part of the act. He asked us some questions and made fun of us for awhile and then made us get up and move closer or he would not go on. We joked with him as well and moved closer to the stage as he asked. I think that the both of us felt somewhat embarrassed as the temporary “stars” of the show. There could not have been more then twenty-five people in the audience so he had plenty of time to talk with everyone’s little group. I found it to be very entertaining as did the entire audience, at least it seemed that way from the roars of laughter in the crowd. Jeff joked quite a bit about marriage with the audience, which for many couples there obviously leaves a sense of discomfort. That seemed quite funny for the rest of the audience. His simple punch line jokes were excellent as well and I had never heard any of them. All in all I would say that for a few mere dollars, Jeff Jena gives you much more then your moneys worth for a stand-up comedian.
The Zoso Pumpkin
October 31st, 1998 | View Post
While living at the Duval Street apartment, my roommates and I had quite an elaborate display of crap in front of our apartment door. Most of this was designed / put in place by none other than me. We had a park bench, an assortment of fruits and vegetables, plants, a 400 pound wooden Shiner Beer bottle, and for Halloween of 1998, a cool pumpkin.

Seeing on how our apartment was a common ground of music lovers and such (we had the full band setup in the apartment), I guess classic rock was always something that everyone could agree upon, regardless of their specific music tastes. And of course somewhere atop everyone's classic rock stack is a collection of Led Zeppelin. I wanted to make a cool looking pumpkin that everyone would find some interest in and so I looked to Led Zeppelin. Perhaps one of the most known symbols (at least to the LedHeads) is Jimmy Page's "Zoso".

Making the Pumpkin

The process of making a "Zoso" pumpkin is actually pretty simple.
1. Go to your local pumpkin patch
2. Pick out a nice looking 8 pounder
3. Pull out all of those tasty pumpkin guts
4. Surf the web for a picture of the Zoso logo
5. Print the picture and tape it to the pumpkin
6. Use a tack to outline the picture
7. Remove the picture and cut away on the tack holes

That's about it. For anyone who is mildly curious as to what in the hell Zofo means, I couldn't tell you. I've read far too many accounts to really speculate where it came from but the simplest one is that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were looking at calligraphy-like symbols. Jimmy Page found one that he liked and apparently the symbol 'sounded' like "Zofo" (apparently pronounced Zo-So). From that point on, it was sort of a trademark of his. For any of those now curious as to who the hell Jimmy Page is, he is/was the guitarist of Led Zeppelin and is credited with being one of the more (if not most) famous classic rock guitarists.


The pumpkin glowing on my front porch



Another picture of the same thing



A closeup of the 'Zoso' logo

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