It’s Chinatown GIFs, Jack

I spent some time making Chinatown GIFs this morning, and I think the shot of Mulwray’s dead body might be one of my better attempts in a long while. GIFs are not only fun to make, they are awesome for slowing down a film and really looking at what’s happening in a shot.

chinatwon_camera 01

I particularly like Mulwray’s dead body GIF because the camera pauses on the face for just a fraction of a second before pulling him up through the shot (one of the most memorable in the film for me). The GIF freezes that moment, and allows you to examine the body that sets the beautifully convoluted plot into second gear.

mulwray_dead 072

I also used a mask in the following GIF of the men pulling Mulwray’s body up the conduit to brush up on some of those skills, but I know I could have done a better job. Can you find the mask?

chinatwon_body1 01

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3 Responses to It’s Chinatown GIFs, Jack

  1. iamTalkyTina says:

    Well, hello there UNCLE Jim.

    Yes, that middle GIF that you made is a really nice one. It is the nicest one I have seen you make in a long time, too.

    It is always a fun time to watch films and look for a part that will just make a perfect GIF. If things are moving too much then it is difficult (especially if the camera is moving, that is really difficult to deal with) but if the camera stops for a little bit but other stuff still moves, then it is a lot easier to see that it will be a nice GIF in your eye before you make it into one.

    But once you do, then you and other people can see it over and over.

    I did not ever see Chinatown yet, but I think it is a homework for me, now that I have read that one about the mailman ringing the doorbell. Plus, there wasn’t even a mailman in it. But I will save that little talk for my own post that I have already made my own GIF for.

    Well, by for now, UNCLE Jim.

    Your True Friend,
    Chief Agent and Operative,
    TT Investigations and Missions.

  2. I gotta agree with the friendly talking doll, these are advanced form. The camera one reminds me of the ones Michael Branson-Smith did for Rear Window.

    The dead body one is sublime, the inverted angle, and a really smooth point of cycling so it is continuous. They way of course his eyes do not blink is haunting. So artful. One thing I have tried on getting a smooth cycle is to copy the sequence, and reverse it (removing the repeated end frames) this way it loops back on itself perfectly. Does not always work, and I am not quite sure how you do it in GIMP.

    Masking is the bomb. The way you have the pulling motion on left, the rippling water, and the blowing grass in contrast to the masked figure on the left is riveting. It even might make some statement about which side of the water / spillway / issue you are on.

    I’ve also found that masking greatly reduces the file size, which sometimes means you can get more frames of motion in there.

    You are a GIFartiste.

    • Reverend says:


      It’s been way too long without making GIFs like this, and after doing it I felt go all day. Strange how that works.

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