Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 


I watched this series of videos on YouTube yesterday, prompted by “The Film Theorists”, and didn’t even know what to think. It was the weirdest adventure. They start off like educational videos and then go into a creepy sequence of disturbing images and shock moments. “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” has got to be the most beautiful and artistic creation I’ve seen so far. Unlike some viral videos, this one makes you think. It’s deep and layered with a message that is not so easy to understand. The unpredictability witnessed by someone who has never watched these is amazing – it was especially for me.

Now, this sixth and final one (though fans have tried to make their own theorized 7th) is obviously dealing with death. The three puppet friends are in some kind of purgatory. Scenes, characters, and dialogue from the previous episodes are featured. The Yellow Guy lies in bed thinking about his friends that have gone missing, reflecting with an old photo album. The talking lamp tells him how he can dream about the most morbid and nightmarish things and then characters from the previous episodes, such as the steak and clock, randomly appear and disappear in the room one by one, faster and faster until Yellow Guy is going insane.

Oh, and the songs in these videos are catchy as ever, especially in the first video that sings about creativity. “Green is not a creative color”. Why? The first one was probably supposed to be a one time thing done for kicks, but after people started talking about it and theorizing, a Kickstarter program was initiated to fund the second and subsequent ones. I must have watched the sixth one numerous times. It’s such a timeless creation. The whole series, while rather short, is unique. It’s time to fund a “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” feature length film.

Night At the Movies

Drinking beer with the guys

A starcross night, chilly air over the city skies

I’ve wrote about this already but I might has well revisit it to freshen up the details in my mind.

Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the first night it premiered in my sleepy little town was definitely an experience I will never forget. I can’t believe how much of a fanboy I felt like sitting in that theater, watching one of the biggest films, perhaps the biggest, of 2015 unfold. I chuckled inside when the iconic words seen in every Star Wars film popped on the screen, and then let out a sigh of relief when “Star Wars” zoomed onto the screen and the iconic scroll commenced. A mysterious fog was cleared in my head when I finally realized the masked person seen in the trailer was Rey as she uncovered her face.

Afterward, standing on the curb of the theater in the chilly December air, waiting for my ride, I reflected on my awesome experience. I had waited years to see this film, first hearing it announced in 2012, and had bought tickets months ahead, so to finally live out my dream and be one of the early goers to these insanely hyped up parties, was very satisfactory. There was never a movie I went to where I felt such a connection that I had to where a matching t-shirt. Not even Harry Potter could do that.

Tell us about the most exciting big night out you had recently.

The Decision of 2007

There will always be a memory in my life that might forever redefine my judgement in the quality of cinematic films. My tendency to get sucked into the hype of a movie just by looking at the trailer changed after a tandem lesson during the late naughts.

Late December 2007 I believe. The snow was falling heavily outside. At the local theater that has ten screens each showing one film. The higher up on the list, the more important the film is. Me, my sisters, mom, and uncle. Right from the start, I could tell there would be a split in interests. They all were interested in one film while I had slightly different tastes.

It was a decision between two dark movies, both of them featuring lead actors with sharply contrasting talents and backgrounds. It was Will Smith in I Am Legend and Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The latter was obviously the more popular choice among the movie-going family and was watched multiple times later on when it came out on home video, while ‘Legend’ was largely forgotten and ridiculed by the uncle who saw it with me in a separate theater. He still complains about that to this day, asking why I chose the Will Smith film over Johnny Depp’s cult classic, why we dished out six dollars each for this forgettable, mediocre film. I was simply interested in the post-apocalyptic piece about the last man on Earth, based on Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name. The movie, especially the ending, however, turned out to be a disappointment to most people. I don’t know if it was Will Smith’s acting or the lack of characters in a film about a lack of people but all of my excitement and anticipation in seeing this film was over before the credits rolled. That last scene with the infected people ruined what I thought was a perfectly believable and entertaining movie.

Sweeney Todd, while having some pretty gory and bloody killing scenes, is one movie that is very memorable and full of wonderful actors. And the dance numbers and singing – “JoAnna” always is referenced once or twice. One of the best scenes from that movie is the barbershop contest between Sweeney Todd, AKA Benjamin Barker, and the guy played by Sasha Baron Cohen. Oh, and the scene about describing what is actually in the Miracle of Elixir to growing hair (hint: it’s not apple juice).

How many scenes from I Am Legend can I vividly recall and call my favorite? Virtually none. All I remember is the lone man having a dog and something about a virus. Not much to go on, humor wise.

Both movies having an average rating of 7.5 stars on IMDb so I guess the decision between the two wasn’t so bad after all. I’m shocked that ‘Legend’ is rated that high. I guess I’ll have to see it again to get a different perspective.

I don’t regret anything from that theater day, even if I left my screening feeling cheated out of my money and popcorn and soda feeling more indulging than the film itself. I took a chance to see a film of my choice, not one that everyone else went with. I guess I wanted to feel like a rebel. It would have been too easy to go with the eventual popular choice and I wasn’t a big fan of Johnny Depp back then, seeing him as more of a theatrical actor who only starred in novelty films. The other half of the family seemed a lot more excited after getting out of their screening, with me and uncle subdued and more interested in what the other film was about.

Thankfully, I paid him back a favor by seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens last December so that all visions of that disappointing zombie people flick were evaporated. There is a sequel or prequel to I Am Legend slated to come out this year. Maybe I should repeat history and go against a more sensible choice? Or have I learned my lesson to invest my money in a film that will be worthwhile and easily remembered for years to come? If it were Johnny Depp vs. Will Smith again I think the decision would be very easy. To the left, to the left, as Beyoncé would say.

Daily Prompt: Unpopular 

Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice.

The Impossible Dream

“Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

Day 83

I’ve been waiting for something for a very long time, but like this farm land, reaching it is a vast and far away reality. One of my biggest and most relentless dreams is to become a filmmaker or have any job in the film business, whether it be a cameraman, editor, special effects guy, heck, even a stunt man maybe, but even getting started on the right track has been a struggle. There always seems to be a demon in my head saying, “No, man, you’ll never be able to do it,” and the fact that I am stuck at home with no way to do anything drives home the point even more. I’ve tried scratching the surface a couple of times, making short videos that have no plot or direction to them, creating amateur animations, trying to create basic special effects in videos that really weren’t that special, putting together simple montage videos of pictures and home movies.

“Just give up, you’ve got no chance”

“Does anybody even what you’re doing? No”

“There isn’t anyone around to help you so this is pointless”

“Why would anybody care what you do? No one is even going to look at your videos”

“You’re going to create something good with that trash? Hmm…”

The point is, if I keep on waiting to become what I want to be, nothing is going to happen. I’m not just going to be handed a job as a filmmaker or any position in the production of a movie. Becoming an editor is more of my style since I don’t have to be in front of people and can be comfortable in front of a computer as I already am. I love editing videos on the computer and having better equipment and more knowledge to work with would benefit me much. But I’m never going to get anywhere by just sitting here and thinking about it. Right now the dream seems very impossible, even more now that my interest in even attempting to get into movie making has faded greatly, but pops up ever so often when inspiration strikes.

My attempts to become a YouTube star have always been met with great disappointment simply because I couldn’t keep up with the changing tastes of viewers or put together anything that is exciting or appealing enough to hold anyone’s attention. Since it was mainly me in every video and not really having any idea of what to say or do, things started to tank very quickly. I still try every now and then to start a successful series of videos that everyone will watch but getting noticed and out there has proven to be difficult. Four or five channels later of trying to go in a certain direction with the videos and getting as high as 33 subscribers on one channel has made me start to question if this is what I really want to do with my life. There is so much more I could do though, but I don’t ever attempt to step outside my comfort zone and try to do something that I have never done before that might just push me over the top. I think I’m just too afraid to go out and chase my dreams for real, instead of sitting here and letting them slip away from me day by day. I’ve never had the tenacity to stick with anything and work really hard to become successful because once I reach my peak, where I couldn’t possibly do any better with what I’ve got and I’m not grabbing anyone’s attention anymore, I tend to give up. After one dream subsides, another one enters, and as of right now I’m dreaming of becoming a successful photographer and on the side a renown writer. But I know these are just by the moment kinds of things and once I stop practicing in those fields, reality will set in again and I will be left wondering once more.

I think I’m on the right track to figuring out what I really want to be in life, way better than when I was in high school and just living by the moment and doing everything because I was told to. Following the impossible dream should not be impossible. I feel like I’m always writing and erasing things from a large whiteboard, scrapping ideas that don’t work and putting up new ones that, for at least a while, seem to hit the right notes. I can’t possibly keep on waiting for my dreams to come true. It is time to accomplish something. I am 23 and have a whole untarnished life ahead of me. There is so much opportunity and bound to be something I can be good at for once that will make me and lot of others happy.

DP #58