Even though I kept throughout today, I needed a change of scenery. Wound up dragging my Dad out to get coffee at a Coffee Bean in Torrance for a couple of hours.
While we were there I checked my school portal and saw the last two Comm Law assignments we needed to complete over Spring Break were finally uploaded.
I would have preferred to work on them at the beginning of the break… But I can’t force my professors to do things just for my convenience.
Luckily the assignments were quick enough to blow through that I can’t complain.
One of them just happened to come with some bizarre imagery.
For our section on copyright and trademark, a case we went over was Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions. In which Utah artist Tom Forsythe created a number of images using frazzled Barbie dolls in domestic appliances and common food items to comment on the brand’s effect on society’s treatment of women and gender roles.
Everything I talked about is great, and I genuinely learned a lot from Therese. But I write the vast majority in ~30 minutes while sitting in the Main Branch Public Library with less than 20 percent battery.
The ticking clock of my power situation, on top of knowing it’s a topic I will return to, led to silly things like stuffing information into a slideshow.
However, in spite of my reservations about the execution, Therese loved it. So much so that (after I made adjustments to inaccurate dates), she shared the piece with Admin.
Suddenly this interesting, somewhat half-assed look at historical goods in my alma mater made my dinky personal blog blow the hell up.
That’s pretty awesome.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a burst of popularity it comes with baggage. Most notably the desire to follow-up with something significant and not disappoint those newcomers.
I’ve been stressing over what to write for a while now.
My first inclination was to write about my recent purchase of:
There’s a bit of a story behind that purchase.
Yesterday, WayForward announced that they are on the verge of releasing the fifth game in the Shantae series — a collection of games that have been around since the Game Boy.
Today we're thrilled to announce Shantae 5! You're invited to join Shantae in a brand-new adventure later this year on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC… AND the newly announced Apple Arcade! Stay tuned for more details! Learn more about Apple Arcade at https://t.co/KwXqXtb2ftpic.twitter.com/SFc1iOswHT
The important thing is that I’ve continued to make adjustments to my novel’s continent Drocux in the weeks since. Namely adding names to every location, but also adding details like rivers and roads for more realistic topography:
HexTML continues to serve me well, and it has been fun writing out lore to explain outlandish names (such as the Xilbalar Canyon above being named after a prominent Elven activist).
But I’m still adding new ideas almost every day, and if I’m going to deep dive into my EXTENSIVE LORE, I would like to do so with the complete product.
Thus, two ideas have been struck down.
And I couldn’t come up with a decent third.
By the time I combed through possibilities, I was home and had my magical encounter with the InstaPot in my Featured Image.
The rest, as they say, was history.
Hopefully you newcomers don’t feel like this was a waste of time — or get too annoyed at my somewhat blatant attempt to throw a lot of my old posts at you. All I needed to add was something about my journalism awards to give the full flavor of Jason.
Speaking of, tomorrow I’ll probably have a more serious post about the next Society of Professional Journalists meeting.
Assuming I don’t change my mind, I’ll look forward to possibly seeing you there.
One of them was most available today around 12:30 p.m.
Because I was the one who fucked up, I couldn’t try to waive off their best time because it wasn’t convenient for my do-nothing day. So I went to Fullerton to deliver the card.
The whole meeting took literally two seconds. It was ostensibly just a hand-off, and they left immediately after the product was given.
So yay. An hour’s worth of a drive for two seconds of pay-off.
On days such as these I usually try to find things to do so that my time is not wasted. When my attempts to reach out to a couple local friends all ended in failures, I resigned myself to whittling time away in the Honors Center with homework.
By working on homework, I mean working on Comm Law homework. Because that stuff takes hours — and in fact I was working on it all four hours I sat in the Center until it closed at 5:00 p.m.
Then I spent even more time on it after I got home from my ~hour & fifteen minute drive.
As much as I’m enjoying the class, the sheer amount of work is absolutely killer.
Yet, the lectures we had to look over this weekend spoke to me more than usual. Our topic was the one and only:
Now I know what you must be asking yourself. “You don’t have any intellectual property, Jason. Why did this speak to you?”
First off, rude.
Second, given the requirements for copyright (having an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression), I would say I have copyrighted intellectual property in both my journalism and whatever I’ve written on this blog.
Unlike trademarks, which pertain to brands and aim to create an association with product quality so consumers can knowing what they’re buying. Because capitalism.
I don’t have a brand to protect, and trademarks only begin the moment they are put into commercial use. So I can’t claim I own that as easily as I do copyright to an extent.
Now. I’m sure some of you must be asking yourselves a different question. “Jason, why the hell are you spouting Comm Law nonsense at us? This isn’t a lecture.”
The point I’m aiming toward is that I’ve taken the opportunity to think about copyright further than just my journalistic writings. I’ve been thinking about a copyright that, at least to me, feels a bit more important in the moment.
I’m working on having a copyrighted work in the completely original intellectual property of my Senior Honors Project novel.
Though it’s obviously a pipe dream for a product I haven’t finished yet, something about learning the bundle of rights that come with a copyrighted work made me kind of giddy.
Five rights come with copyright that pertain to how one wants to divide up and license out their work:
I’m not going to say I expect my novel to hit the same heights as, say, the Harry Potter series (which we used as an example).
But I found a whole host of other things from the oughts and early twenty-tens, including elementary/middle school assignments, the first chapter draft of some fantasy novel I tried to write as well as memes or projects that provide a very distinct look at the kind of trash I loved growing up.
Oh, and when I say memes, I mean trashy memes all saved up on my desktop.
Sifting through the garbage brought me to something that I ultimately came to refer to as my magnum opus. A project with so much love and passion put into a creative route I’ve since abandoned that it was actually astounding.
In my “fun stuff” folder, I found these three files partitioned off:
My immediate reaction was a hell of a cringe. Flashbacks to a true period of weeaboo sensibilities that left me doing things like watching all of Dragonball, Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT over the course of a few months in middle school.
Back in the day I used the program religiously, and even made some animations that went into official school broadcasts at Adams Middle School.
Also a true story, but for another day.
I couldn’t imagine anything good coming out of this animation from 2012 Jason… Yet I was blown away by just how great of a product I pulled together. So much so that I went through a lot of trouble to get the final (though unfinished) animation into a format where you all can see it today.
For your viewing pleasure, here it is:
First off, the fact that I didn’t remember spending a single second working on this until I found it again is such a travesty.
This was from that same era when I went to sprite animation camp like I talked about in the Smash Bros. wallpaper post, with all the sprites pulled from The Spriters Resource.
They were taken from a game called “Naruto: Ninja Council 3,” which to this day has some of my favorite sprite work in an old-school DS game.
I can say I confidently knew that because Ninja Council 3 is still a treasured part of my games collection:
Now for those of you who don’t know, the video is based off the fifth anime opening to the original Naruto series. Crunchyroll has it uploaded here for you to see, and I’d recommend doing so to understand how much I tried to replicate.
It’s incredible to me how I actually grasped the concept of timing scenes to the music so well (mostly). I even went so far as to put the little floating heads in the sky to represent Sasuke thinking about his past!
I adore every second of it.
The journey to get this to you here today was far more complicated than it may appear, however.
It all began that night when I opened up the old Mac and watched this animation in Scratch for the first time.
As it turns out, the only way to pull projects off of Scratch was to go to the program’s website. Unfortunately…
That wasn’t much of a possibility for a computer that hasn’t been updated since 2012.
Thus the true quest to save my magnum opus began. At first I attempted to record it externally with my iPhone:
Needless to say I was not able to get the kind of quality I wanted out of this.
After a few more attempts, the best solution wound up being a QuickTime screen recording. That got the video in its purest quality!
However it wasn’t possible to do screen and audio recording at once through the older tech.
So… it’s a good thing I had the song file in that original folder!
Don’t ask me where I got it because I don’t know and it was probably illegal.
When I pulled everything onto my laptop, it became a 2 a.m. adventure to Frankenstein the video together with its original audio timing:
Mind you, it happened at 2 a.m. during Finals week. Big tests coming up and here I was laughing like a maniacal idiot, cutting together an old Scratch animation from 2012.
I’m glad I took a few weeks to get to this blog post because now that I’ve marinated on it, the whole situation is hilariously ridiculous.
But all worth it to finally get that finished project up on YouTube so I can show it off!
Except the process of getting it uploaded actually made the whole story even more ridiculous. Just thirty seconds after the video went up, I got this:
Sony Music actually blocked my video in Japan and demonetized it.
Which is such a shame, I was really looking forward to the ad revenue out of that video… On my one subscriber storage channel.
It was interesting to be on this end of the YouTube algorithm for once. Gives me a bit more of an understanding of how terrible this must be for creators who have their livelihoods contingent on the site.
For me, it just means any of my readers in Japan won’t see my magnum opus. Sorry!
All this being said, I’m really proud of 2012 me. He’s the kind of man I wish I was now.
I’ll never not smile looking back at this, because no matter how many awards and scholarships I get for my writing as a journalist, none of it will truly be as personal as the actual fan animation I made surprisingly well back when I was 15.