There are many people who have no clue what a mogwai is, yet if you mention the word “gremlin,” almost anyone can tell you what that is and that it’s in reference to the 1980s classic, Gremlins. Whether someone has seen the movie or not, they know exactly what a gremlin creature is. Why is it that the horrible destructive monsters get all the fame and poor, sweet, innocent Gizmo gets no recognition in this present time? He’s the best part of this dark humored movie! Perhaps it is because the movie portrays the evil gremlins in a way that makes you almost want to root for them? Or maybe no one was paying attention to the first part of the movie when they say mogwai three or four times. It’s a toss-up.
This GIF was made as my first digital storytelling assignment, which you can find the prompt here, as well as other users’ projects. Essentially we were asked to make an animiated gif of our favorite or least favorite movie. Gremlins is by far my favorite movie of all time. There is comedy mixed with tragedy, it can be almost terrifying at some points, there’s a love interest, and an adorable little animal. What more could a girl ask for in a movie? Not to mention it has that 80s movie cheesiness, that today’s generation seems to love so much (Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing, Pretty in Pink, etc).
In this particular scene, Billy’s dad has just arrived home after leaving for a business trip. It’s right around Christmas time so Mr. Peltzer tells Billy that he got him a present that he needs to open right now. Then out pops a precious little mogwai who Mr. Peltzer already named Gizmo. This is a favorite scene of mine because when I first watched this movie, I had no idea what was going to pop out of that box, but when Gizmo popped out I thought he was so cute and I started to want a mogwai myself! After Gizmo makes his initial appearance, Billy’s dad proceeds to tell him the three rules about mogwais and then Billy proceeds to successfully break EVERY. SINGLE. RULE.
In theory, this process seemed like it would be fairly easy. Download a few programs, download a YouTube clip, then cut out the part you want, turn it into a few image frames, animate it, and voila, you have your very own gif. However, I forgot my life likes to make things complicated for me, so the process took a lot longer than I had anticipated. Following the directions from the ds106 handbook, I downloaded the beta version of Streamclip because supposedly you can copy a YouTube URL right into the program and edit the clip from there. Well that never happened for me. No matter how many times I tried, no matter how many different video clips I used, no matter how many times I researched the issue, copying and pasting a URL into Streamclip was not working for me.
So I moved on to option number 2, downloading another application that would download a YouTube clip. Once I downloaded Free YouTube Downloader, I downloaded the clip I wanted to use but after every time I downloaded the YouTube clip, the video would disappear! I searched everywhere on my laptop for it and could never find it…until I realized that the program was saving the videos to a different user on my computer. Problem solved! Once that issue was resolved, I followed the video tutorial found on the ds106 handbook page, and trimmed the clip, saved it as tiff files, then opened up Gimp. Still following the instructions from the tutorial, I resized the image frames, then exported them as a gif. Now you see Gizmo poking his head out of the box.