#prisoner106: Once More, with Feeling!

Each episode of The Prisoner begins with the story of the arrival. I think that it is important because it is the central myth that informs what ever happens next. No matter how wild or ludicrous what might happen next, it is informed by the intensity of the arrival and nothing speaks more to that for me than this moment captured in an animated GIF:


For me, this mood of focused intensity and purpose are captured in these few seconds that are in each episode. I think I once disliked the repetition of the opening but I now see it as a central informing myth or ritual that must accompany each episode much like the Eucharist in the mass. I have been using GifGrabber to make animated GIFs is this course. I like the program: it captures GIFs easily and allows one to fine tune exactly which frame one wishes to start or end with. It also has a great window that allows the user to center the frame on the subject which has been very effective with the GIFs that I have submitted to this course. I really don’t know why I would use commercial video software to do this – some of the participants seem to go through a lot of steps to make an animated GIF. I would love to hear in the comments what programs you use and why.

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3 Responses to #prisoner106: Once More, with Feeling!

  1. Paul says:

    I hadn’t heard of GifGrabber before, but it looks like it’s limited to capturing snippets of video. I use MPEG Streamclip and Photoshop because they let me capture and manipulate. An example is here: http://blog.raptnrent.me/2013/05/26/the-colorized-zone/ With Photoshop I am also able to make GIFs out of static images, like this: http://blog.raptnrent.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/joker2.gif But if all you need is the snippet, then the tool that does that most efficiently and easily is the one to use.

  2. John says:

    Your gifs have been really great in this round of #prisoner106 due to great choices and crops I think.

    When I started learning about gifs I made a sort of crude gifgrabber, movie2gif. I’ve moved on to Fireworks, because it gives more flexibility. I occasionally use photoshop for the selection tools, but I prefer FW.
    I’ve not used GifGrabber but I guess I use FW because I can mess around more, add layers, adjust things a bit or freeze parts of the image by adding a layer. This reduces file size among other things. I can create images from other images and still ones. FW is involved in most of these gifs:
    I don’t make great claims for them, I lack attention to detail. But I do find the process pretty relaxing.

  3. I, too, love the repetitive nature of the opening sequence. I find it really intriguing. Why did they choose to write it such that every episode starts off as if he has just arrived? This doesn’t carry all the way through, of course; it’s pretty clear in some episodes that he’s new, and in others that he has been there awhile. But to have every one of them start as if he has just woken up in the Village makes it seem like no matter what he does he will always wake up in the Village. To me, it makes it feel like there’s no escape.

    As for gifs, I agree with Paul and John that I use other software for control. I can, for example, combine sequences from different videos or different parts of the same video into a gif, or change the colours, or make one some frames last longer than others. Andrew Forgrave <a href="http://aforgrave.ca/detritus/2015/07/31/a-pretty-penny-furthering-christinas-gif/"has a good post about masking that allows one to make part of the gif remain still while others parts move; he used it to reduce the file size of a gif, but you can also use it if you want to focus in on some parts of a scene but not others b/c the movement of others is just distracting or jerky. So you can do a lot more if you use another software tool.

    What I use is GIMP–it’s open source and free. It doesn’t do quite as much as Photoshop but it does a lot and the price is right!

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