Psycho collage

Following on from the book covers arranged by hue/lightness, I’ve been playing around with the 1000 Frames of Hitchcock thumbnails.
Here’s the result of 15 minutes of coding and 2 hours of rendering using a single frame from the famous shower scene in Psycho…
To see the individual frames, you really need to view the full sized image (9526 x 5475 pixels).
The code works by sampling a pixel and then randomly selecting a frame that has a similar hue and lightness value. As before, a little bit of randomess (position, rotation and size) is thrown in to make it visually more interesting.

Hey up — I’m in a national newspaper!

Wow… that was kinda surreal — I was catching up with the Google News RSS feed for Alfred Hitchcock (who was born on August 13th) and there was this headline from today’s Telegraph and an article that mentions me (well, mentions my nickname, anyway):
Did Alfred Hitchcock make a secret cameo appearance in drag?

Now, I’ll ‘fess up straight away — the answer is “no”, but the devil in me likes to say “maybe he did”. Anyway, you can find further details and the background to the story on the wiki.
I have to admit that it’s been fun to spread the rumour, especially when it really does look like Hitchcock, but I guess now might be the time to reveal who it really is… if you really, really, really do want to know, then click here.

Calling all Librarians, Calling all Librarians!

Okay — I have a reference question that might just need the awesome combined power of the biblioblogosphere to answer!
A few minutes into the 1960 film “Psycho“, we get to see the following painting hung on the wall of George Lowery’s office…
(click to view larger version)
Firstly, is it a Picasso? If not, is it by a known artist? Can you put a name to the painting?
Other paintings in the film appear to have been chosen for their symbolism, so perhaps this one was too.
If you can answer any of the those questions, please put Joel or myself out of our misery!!!

Book covers, revisited

Just spotted that Tim is busy working on something that I dabbled with last February:
I’m actually in the midst of revisiting my code, as I want to automate a way of locating visually similar images from the “1000 Frames of Hitchcock” project, e.g.:
Blackmail (1929) Easy Virtue (1928) The Pleasure Garden (1925) Downhill (1927) Jamaica Inn (1939) Rebecca (1940) Number Seventeen (1932) Jamaica Inn (1939)
Anyway, today seemed like a good opportunity to return to Ed Vielmetti‘s original question about sorting books into the colour of a rainbow

“North by Northwest” squished

After reading Brendan Dawes’ “Analog In, Digital Out“, I’ve revisited the colours of “North by Northwest” (see earlier blog post).
Rather than squish every frame to a single horizontal line, this time each frame is squished vertically — see if you can spot the “crop duster” sequence:

( full sized version on Flickr )

Hitchcock blog

When I started this blog in 2005, it was primarily to support the Hitchcock site, which started up in 2003. The title of the blog (“Self-plagiarism is style”) being a quote from Hitchcock.
Two years on, the most popular posts seem to be those about libraries so I’ve decided to fork the blog — this one will continue to be library and personal posts, and a new blog will concentrate on the Hitchcock stuff: “It’s Only a Movie…”

52,000 frames of Hitchcock

Back in January, I set myself the task of reducing every one of the available major Hitchcock films down to 1000 frames of film.
Today, nearly 7 months later, I’ve finally finished šŸ™‚

I’m guessing this is probably the largest online collection of images from Hitchcock’s films, with a total of 52,000 images covering a creative period of over 50 years, and taking up 3.76GB of disk space.
However, there’s still more work to be done! With the help of some fellow fans, I’m starting to catalogue the images — in particular, which actors are in each frame and what’s happening or what objects appear. It’s still early days, but here are some examples from the films that have been catalogued so far:

The images are also starting to be integrated into the actor/actress pages in the site (e.g. Tippi Hedren).
Also, inspired by a comment in Charles Barr’s “English Hitchcock“, I’ve begun documenting film credits as well intertitles from the silent films (e.g. Champagne).
The final thing I’ve been adding in the last week or so is content from YouTube. The aim is to have videos for each of Hitchcock’s cameo appearances (e.g. Vertigo), interviews (e.g. Picture Parade), and film trailers (e.g. Frenzy).
So, now you know why I’ve not been blogging much recently šŸ˜‰

William Morris Gallery

Just spotted that the Waltham Forest Council is cutting back funding to the William Morris Gallery in London. I’m sure many of you will already be familiar with his work but, if not, check out the Wikipedia article.
If you are an aficionado of Morris’ work, then you might want to head over to the Save William Morris Gallery & Vestry House Museum website, where there’s a link to an online petition.
The architectural critic and writer Jonathan Glancey wrote an article in The Guardian this week:

The London borough of Waltham Forest says it needs to cut costs. …The aim, say many local people together with defenders of the gallery – including Tony Benn, and Morris’s biographer, Fiona McCarthy – is to prepare the way for complete closure.

Fans of Alfred Hitchcock might be interested to know that his birthplace of Leytonstone is part of the Waltham Forest borough, and is only about 3 miles from the museum.