Hi, my name is Ben and I am an artist with a background in psychology; here you can find some of my: articles, comics, animations, portraits etc. for free. If you have suggestions or want to publish or commission something, please send me an email. email: the.opaque@gmail.com

2013/05/24 How to switch back from the new youtube one channel layout

I don't know about you, but I personally hate the new youtube layout! It looks awful! For one, on most people's pages I can only read the first 6 or so letters of the title! For another, most the screen is taken over by subscriptions and channel suggestions, in addition there are no more wall papers! No creativity whatsoever! It is AWFUL!
As such I made this short and extremely simple tutorial on how to switch back from the new youtube one channel layout to the old layout.

2013/05/21 Forever Alone Filmmaker Gets Married!

M dot Strange writes, directs, animates, voices and composes music for his own independent films and also hosts the podcast "Forever Alone Filmmaking". He is an independent filmmaker in the truest sense. His films are  far from mainstream, and include titles like "We Are The Strange", "Heart String Marionette" and his current project " I Am Nightmare".  These titles, often deal with feelings of being lost, confused, alone, and depressed. Some may feel that these films, unlike modern Hollywood films, truly speak to them, and furthermore, help them, perhaps in some way being therapeutic for those who can relate to them.

Now, the forever alone filmmaker has something new to celebrate about, he has found someone.

Congratulations to M dot Strange and Rakel Musicbox!


I M dot StrangE: My Bitcoin Wedding: So I just got married to my longtime girlfriend in Iceland. She @RakelMusicbox and I @ MdotStrange  make up the smallest anima...

2012/12/29 Alien Neko Episode 2: Comiket - musical guest Psydoll

Episode 2 of Alien Neko - Comiket, is now online! Video Footage from Comiket 83, 82, and 81. Featuring music by Psydoll. Comiket is the world's biggest manga convention and also the biggest fan comic event. My longest and best animation yet!


2012/09/16 Alien Neko Episode 1 is now online!!


I am very excited to reveal my latest animation, Alien Neko Episode 1! It's been a long time in the making, but it's finally here, and 11 minutes 30 seconds long, with the second episode soon to follow!


You can also check out the shop here: www.cafepress.com/alienneko

Or our facebook page here: Alien Neko Animated series Facebook page

Or!! Our blog: Alien Neko Blog

It's very different to my usual stuff, but a lot of time and effort went into it, so I hope that somebody 'likes' it! Please forward it on to other people if you know someone who might find it interesting!


Below are some pictures. As you can see the first episode features Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the Japanese idol... and her panties.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu panties


2012/06/17 Lone 3D Animator Releases Weird Feature Film

Lone 3D animator M dot Strange has released his second feature film 'Heart String Marionette'. The film was entirely animated by M dot Strange, without any assistants. Also worth noting is that Mindless Self Indulgence lead singer Jimmy Urine did a voice as one of the characters, as did twisted animator/musician Jimmy Screamerclauz. It took 5 years to make and it is now available as a download for just five dollars. I downloaded the film yesterday and I would recommend it if you are interested.
Click here to go to the Heart String Marionette store/website.

2012/05/19 Update and Yoshitaka Amano Exhibition

Still in Japan and working on my film project and saving up some money. I really should update this site more often, but I don't really want to give too much away about my film - want to keep as many surprises as possible. I am, however, thinking of working on some shorts though. This will be posted online once they are done.

In other news I recently attended an Yoshitaka Amano Exhibition here in Shinjuku, Tokyo and I got to see the man himself - however briefly. Unfortunately I don't have any photography inside the exhibition. Free poster though and some other stuff. Perhaps I'll post the poster soon.


2011/11/20 Shinjuku and the animatic

The Aokigahara project is on hold right now, and I am focusing on my animation project. Progress is being made, though it has been slowed down by my paid job and moving. However, I am now living in Shinjuku, Tokyo and taking it all in, I hope.
As for progress on the film, I have been working on the animatic for some time, but at this stage there is also a great deal of editing the script and storyboard. There have been a lot of new scenes added of late, and the project is improving, though, given recent changes, it is going to take longer than expected to finish the animatic. Better to spend the time making sure the story is solid now. By the way - you can see my workstation below - using it in combination with a bunch of software to make sound effects for the moment - playing around with chords, but as of yet I haven't laid down any of my own music for the animatic. Even when I do, it will just be to the end of having a better idea of how edit the whole thing together or what I need from a musician. Eager to continue the search for musicians, animators, actors etc., but first I think it is a good idea to make some more progress on the animatic.

2011/08/22 Aokigahara and Comiket

There will be an update here eventually, things are getting done, but they are big projects, so they take a lot of time. The search for animators has begun, and on the 14th and 15th I attended Comiket in search of animators. If you are one of the individuals I met there, I will be in touch later this year. In addition to Comiket I also visited Aokigahara Jukai (suicide forest) for the first time on Saturday.
We recorded a lot of footage of both Comiket and Aokigahara, but as of yet I have not had a chance to edit them.
More info and videos soon!

2011/04/30 Tokyo, One Month In. The Search Begins!

All is well here in Tokyo. As you may know, I have been working on a feature length animation project for over a year now. It is a dark comedy aimed at young adults and it pulls no punches. A fairly international project, its influences are far and wide and too many to list here. We have the screenplay in both English and German (currently at its 140th version), the storyboard, some great actors signed up (more to come), and some 5 minutes of animation done.


However, I came to Tokyo to both help finance the project and also to get more people involved. Currently I am looking to find:


  • Musician(s) - at a minimum must have a keyboard - some audio recording equipment can be provided if needed (good quality mixer, condenser microphone etc).
  • An assistant animator
  • An assistant producer
  • Miscellaneous help

    At a later stage I will also be looking for a Japanese translator with a talent for writing/film work. I may also be looking for Japanese voice actors, but again, not right now.


    We will also be recording several short films - including one in Aokigahara forest.


    This is not my first animation project, four years ago I completed an animated short with the band Noise Machine and actors from Ireland, Germany and Japan. We made a DVD of the film and several other shorts of mine, and we sold it at conventions in Ireland, England and Germany.


    Find more at my youtube channel.

    Please, if you are interested, drop me a line.

    the.opaque@gmail.com


    Also, some pics below - with regards the Fukushima picture - my German computer has yet to arrive - so I had to make that picture in word 2007. Poor taste, but I always wanted to make a "wish you were here" picture of an atomic bomb explosion, and this seemed like the next best thing.




    2011/03/12 Görlitz, Berlin, Prague, Dublin, Tokyo

    So I am off to Tokyo in the morning - despite the earthquakes, tsunamis, and fears of nuclear meltdown. Interesting and exciting times - I may well shit myself from a mixture of fear and excitement.
    In other news my current animated film project is well under way, but it will be another year till it is finished. However, I shot quite a bit of footage at the bone church in Prague last month and when I get my German computer delivered to Japan I will try my hand at editing it back together.
    I will also try and post some content on learning Japanese at some stage too, including free resources etc.
    Wow, such timing.
    This is absolute madness.
    Maybe I should try documenting it?!

    2010/11/22 Robotic Arena Wroclaw 2010


    Nothing much to say, working away on my current film - just organising getting the final draft proofread. Search for actors will begin asap!
    You can also find me on smart.fm and lang-8.com
    http://smart.fm/users/mathewsb
    http://lang-8.com/203265
    I'm working on my Japanese and German. Hopefully I will be heading to Japan at some stage next year - while there I aim to find a Japanese translator and a musician to work on this film project! perhaps even Japanese voice actors, depending on how things go.
    Pretty excited about the project in general, its been difficult and frustrating at times, but we are getting closer every day! Looking forward to posting some more progress!

    2010/10/28 Halloween urban exploration - return to the hospital

    Well, it's been over a year now since I worked in the derelict hospital in Germany... And since then I finally pieced together video footage of my stay - including quite a few things that you haven't seen before - but also the room covered in blood etc. No narrative, because it was mostly just random footage that had been sporadically recorded - no real order to it... but it should give you a better sense of what the hospital was like:
    However, for the most part I have been working on my new film. More on this to come soon... perhaps even in the next few days.

    2010/06/09 Resident-Doom and Wasted-Life

    Hi! updates, updates, updates. I am always working on new projects, though they are not always relevant to this website... but now I have a rather large project underway that IS relevant, in fact, I have TWO rather large projects underway relevant to this website. The first is a half hour animated film, the second is a computer game. Both are comedies, and you can find a demo of both in the following youtube video (I made a retro version of the game for the film:D).
    Moral of the demo:
    You're not allowed shoot zombies if they are just people with a virus!
    How would you like it if someone shot you, just because you had a cold.
    You: "achoo!!
    Other person: "DIE SCUM!! DIE!!!"
    BANG BANG BANG
    Other person: "that will teach ya' for getting sick"

    2010/05/02 Hexenfeuer 2010

    Friday I went to a "Hexenfeuer" (translated as witch fire). These celebrations are popular in East Germany and take place on the 30th of April. They feature large bonfires, at top of which they place effigies of witches. The festival is supposed to represent saying goodbye to winter, but in reality they are just events that supplant and subvert the pagan traditions that took place on the same day. They function as a way of saying goodbye to the old religions and they send a strong message to children that "it's OK to burn people who belong to different religions". Up until 1901 pagans used to spend this day dancing, this tradition was made illegal, however, somehow burning their effigies is acceptable. The event suggests religions of the past represent a cold winter, and Christian religions were to welcome an age that was like the warmth of summer. Yeah right. Down with this sort of thing! Next time I see one of these situations I'll either save the witch before they light the fire or I'll put a figure of Jesus beside her.

    2010/04/25 Wiemaikai 2010 Video

    Ok, so this was really posted on the 02 of may... a week later, but I think it suits to date this as the date I uploaded the video. Quite a successful con for me - Got to show some of my film, did a workshop (in German), and met a lot of interesting people. Also, thanks to Strawbellymusic who has featured this video for a whole week now! :D The soundtrack of the video is sung by strawberrymusic and paperblossom

    2010/04/16 Wiemaikai workshop tomorrow and new trailer


    2010/03/18 Wiemaikai

    Forget my birthday, forget paddy's day, forget my new computer and progress with loads of different projects. What I really got to say today is: wiemaikai. I going to be there, and I'll be doing a workshop. Check it here for more info.

    2010/02/16 Stop Uganda's Gay Death Penalty

    Hi all,
    Uganda wants to be able to execute people and send them to jail for life for being gay, essentially for being different to something some political/religious subgroup decided was perfect. I hope you will agree with me when I say this needs to be stopped.
    Do you think people should face life imprisonment or execution for being gay? Do you think people should face life imprisonment or execution for being different to some absurd status quo created a some political/religious subgroup?
    If not, please sign the online petition:
    Sign the petition
    An on-line petition helps state your commitment and concern. Forwarding on this information to friends, co-workers and family helps raise awareness. Please do both.

    2010/02/14 I hate valentine's

    AHHH!! screw this 'holiday'! It has made this day so much more frustrating than it otherwise would have been. I have had to delete a LOT of curse words from this entry, and yes, I am alone. Thank you for reminding me with your holiday of togetherness and mutual love...
    The only scoring in my life of late is creepy musical scores and the zombies screwing people in the script that I am working on for a computer game project. Also, yes, hopefully the zombies sex scenes will reach such a point of absurdity that they will actually be funny rather than just disturbing. Hopefully. I can make no promises. Oh well, I'm sure someone will have a fetish for it anyway...
    I redid the cover of division in order to try and win the heart of someone. FAIL. but here you go anyway:


    Hearts, ain't that cute, no wait! that heart has f*$king teeth and s#1t! Opps, so much for trying not to curse. Will continue working on these- the DVD cover was actually finished, but I want to work on these images some more and improve it before I post it here.
    the last DVD cover, for those of you that missed it:

    Anyway, let's get away from this commercial and religious holiday. Let's promote Singles Awareness Day. I am single, and perfectly happy about it till someone shoves their romantic holiday in my face. Let us unite in agitation! Let us celebrate SAD (despite its unfortunate acronym!)
    END
    b

    2009/10/01 Watcher's log: hospital of horrors and hauntings


    I am currently working as a security guard in an abandoned hospital located in a run-down urban area in Germany. Some of the buildings here date back as far as the time of the First World War (1913) while other buildings were built as recently as the 1970s. The hospital lived for almost a century, surviving two world wars. It closed in 2005 after a series of corpses were discovered in suspicious circumstances. The complex is now owned by a billionaire, and rumour has it that he wants to tear it down and convert it into luxury apartments. However it might not be that simple. This log documents my time here from October 1st 2009.

    9:00am
    This is my first day on the job after my arrival here last night. This morning my boss brought myself and my colleague into the building to show us a room that had been shown to him by the previous security guard contractor. The hospital no longer has any electricity or water, so all the rooms are pitch dark; and since many of the rooms including this one don't have windows, you have to rely on the light from a torch even during the day. The previous contractor had said that a man had been tortured and killed in this room. At the centre of the room was something that appeared to be an old fashioned surgeons table; it was soaked in a thick dark red substance, the same substance was splattered across the floor below. This has to be a prank, right? There was after all some bad blood between us and the previous security guards, given that we were replacing them. Or perhaps this was the leftovers of some kids that broke in to do a photo-shoot? The previous security guard was dead serious however, and said they had found two bodies in this building. He probably can't be trusted however; the reason he was been replaced was because they had been accused of stealing from the buildings. Whatever the case, this place gives me the chills. I am not looking forward to the night shift.


    02/10/2009
    2:00 pm
    Today some surveyors came to have a look at the complex so they can see what was needed for a new alarm system. While here one of the surveyors noted the security tape on one of the doors, this was the work of the police, he said, and he pointed to the unique security code of the tape. He was pale, as he then went on to ask “this was the hospital they discovered the bodies in, wasn’t it?” Later on he would disappear again while the rest of us continued our usual walk, eventually he caught up with us looking even more concerned, he had found something… Amongst the undergrowth and behind tightly packed trees were huge metal gratings which had been ripped off a massive concrete entrance to an underground tunnel. “Old German hospitals often had such tunnels”, he said. Apparently they connect up each of the hospital buildings from underground. The surveyor thought that whoever had ripped these gratings from the tunnel entrance could be using it on a daily or weekly basis. We had no idea what we might find down there, but no one looked willing to go down. Is someone using this, and if so, who and why? I can’t imagine homeless people ripping these steel gratings of the tunnel entrance. Who has the capability to do this, and what is there intent? Once we go down there we may be able to get a better sense of the situation. What on earth has been going on in this hospital?

    4:00 pm
    Two people came to deliver a heater for the security room; while they were here I asked them to come down into the tunnel with me to help look for doors. We went down into the basement – huge metal doors had been thrown around like nothing at all. The concrete and tiled areas of the floor had been ripped apart by demolition hammers, there were gigantic gaping holes that led to the building above – holes that seemed to indicate that machinery and metal shafts had once been here. This could NOT have been done without anyone noticing, there is no doubt that the security guards knew this was going on. The underground floors were immense – and seemed to go on forever – like some unending cave. I took a few photos with the flash on in order to see what it looked like. No sign of any doors, we had a quick look and left. No one wanted to stay down there, but we have found evidence of serious criminal activity, someone had been making BIG money from this, but at least there were no signs of any corpses.

    2009/10/03
    Today I did some drawings of the place.
    10:00pm
    I just did a search of online newspaper contents for stuff about this hospital and have finally confirmed that several corpses have been found here under mysterious circumstances.

    2009/10/05
    11:00 pm
    We have just discovered a ‘new building’ across the road that we also have to watch, and the first thing my boss says is “our employer tells us this is where the bodies were found”, I replied “there have been several found all over the complex – I did a search of newspapers online”. A quick look reveals almost all the windows are broken, graffiti can be found on what is left of the building. Where the other buildings are concerned, I have been looking out for the areas described in the newspaper articles with regards where the bodies were found – and I think I found one of them. The technical rooms are close to the main entrance of the hospital – self contained and external to the main buildings, the doors are made of steel and are unlocked.



    2009/10/06
    3:00pm
    I found two intruders on the property today, easy enough to get rid off. They wanted to contact the owner about arranging a techno event here. Cool idea, but I don’t see it happening.
    9:00pm
    Brian had a ghost story related to his previous night’s shift, so I recorded it.


    2009/10/07
    1:00 pm
    We still have to see just how far the rabbit hole goes. Today we went back underground into the labyrinth and we discovered the tunnels go much further than we realised. Last time we had been down there we all hoped we would not find a tunnel, and as a result we didn’t look as thoroughly as we could have. However today my boss was present, and furthermore his boss was present, and they needed to know for certain that it did not go any further. I had brought my camera with me- the flash in the camera would give me a much better view of the room, and also promise to make some excellent reference pictures. Early on in the basement there is a vast room filled only with columns supporting the ground above us, this room is so big that even with a high powered torch it is difficult to see the other side of the room. It is obvious that one cannot explore such a room too quickly and conclude there are no doors and there are no tunnels, but perhaps that is what we had previously done, for today we found a tunnel, along with several doors that we did not try. The tunnel led even further down but also went in the direction of the other buildings in the complex. This in turn led to huge rooms filled with stainless steel pipes and machines, again the room was massive and one would have to take ones time exploring it to see just how far the room went, a torch was not sufficient. Beyond this there were other winding tunnels and rooms, and finally there was another tunnel that ended in a T shaped corridor leading to more doors. On reflection now I can’t help but think that if the torch had of run out of battery we would have been completely lost in the darkness, and it would have been no easy feat to find our way out in this gigantic labyrinth. While we were down there it was quite evident that I was nervous, afraid of what we might find, and finding it difficult to make sure I did not fall down into the gaps and holes created by thieves excavating the machines that were once present. I wanted out as soon as possible, and the only thing that gave me any comfort was the fact that I was taking a lot of photographs. However, once we were out and I was alone again I checked my photographs – they were all pure black… The lens cap had been on.
    Even though I wanted to get out so badly while safe in the company of others, I can’t help but hope that I will get another chance to go down there again, explore it further, take some more photos. That could be a useful experience if it was uneventful; or it could be a terrifying one, especially if the torch battery did not hold out…

    3:00pm
    Today I met two more intruders while on patrol. Shielded by trees and surrounding buildings, we were out of visible and auditory range of those on the street. We stood between the building with the rooms covered in blood and the building beside the entrance to the tunnel area. I called over to them and passively announced that they were on private property, and would have to leave. They weren’t leaving… Instead they began to approach me and reversed the roles. Suddenly I was the one being interrogated and threatened.
    The two were dressed in casually – without any uniform – they demanded I drop the stick I was carrying, I asked who they were and what they were doing there; they asked who I was and what I was doing there. The one speaking wore a black hoodie and had closely shaved black hair – he looked like a stereotypical thug. Moments later, after I had explained myself, he claimed to be a police officer and flashed an identification card too briefly to convince me. He demanded I drop the stick once more, but I was not convinced; if they were not really police officers and I dropped the stick, then maybe I would end up as just another corpse hidden on the hospital grounds? “Who are you?” I asked again, once again they demanded I drop the stick. Finally I gave in, placing the stick on the ground beside me. The other began to search my bag, and the guy with the shaved head demanded I empty my pockets. As I empty my pockets he demanded I give him the contents, including my phone. I held onto my phone, thinking to myself that I have the right to make a phone call, and quickly I dialled my boss’s number. The two were now starring at me, demanding an explanation ‘I want to call my boss I said’. However, it was not that easy, the phone was engaged. I tried again, but there was no answer. I had few options open to me. There was no space to run and even if there was running would not accomplish much – if you run from the police you’re presumed guilty of a crime against the state, if you run from criminals you’re presumed guilty of a crime against their rules. Giving him the phone now would leave me completely defenceless – outnumbered, without a weapon and without the ability to call for help. Luckily my hesitation paid off, a moment later the phone rang. I told my boss there were two people there claiming to be police and to get there straight away, then, to confirm my identity I put one of them onto the phone with my boss, who verified my identity. For now I was safe, they left one direction, and I went the other. However, they have seen my passport, they now know my identity, furthermore they know I have the keys. I can’t help but feel that this puts me at risk… I can’t help but wonder if I will see them again in a more threatening situation.

    10.10.2009
    5:00pm
    Today a police truck and a few cars pulled up to the main gate of the building, and immediately I wondered if they were here to look for a corpse. There were roughly 5 officers wearing heavy duty armour, two dressed down officers and a guard dog. After talking to one of them for a brief moment I discovered that they were here to see the rooms covered in blood. When I asked who had reported it but the name was unfamiliar. Puzzled but excited, I got my keys, torch, stick and cameras and led them into the building. We arrived at the room and they took several photographs and had the dog sniff the blood. They allowed me to photograph them and the room and afterward they brought me into another room which had evidence that alcoholic drinks had recently been consumed. I got the email address of one of the casually dressed officers – and she asked me email them the photos of us together. From talking to her she said they did not believe it was actual blood, perhaps just a party of some sort, but she wanted to know if anyone else had been in the building recently. Upon leaving I couldn’t help but wonder about the rest of the building. This is just one room on the ground floor of the building near the entrance- but the hospital itself is gigantic and I have no reason to believe that it has been fully explored in recent times. I still can’t help but wonder if there is anything else still hidden in the building, or who was using those underground tunnels and why. For now though it seems that much like in Scooby doo, a dog and his friends had helped solve at least part of the mystery... although in this instance Scooby doo was a member of the police forces and his companions are probably more likely to be clamping down on narcotics than indulging in Scooby snacks. Things still seem uncertain however: having sent the pictures onto others they find it hard to believe it is not blood, perhaps this is not the end of the mystery of the room? Only time will tell. Whatever the case though, I am taking some time off from the hospital, in the short term I will be returning only to do another video interview. However, it is likely that I will be working here again all too soon…




    2009/10/05 Site went down, watcher's log 1 (temporarily?) lost

    As you may or may not know, I am currently working in an abandoned hospital in Germany. I had been keeping a blog of my experiences here in this terrifying but also very interesting situation, but unfortunately it disappeared yesterday (not the hospital, but rather the Watcher's log and the michaelmathewsart homepage). I have since managed to find an old version of the page - so it's back up now, but (temporarily?) without watcher's log 1. I will try to rewrite that log soon, though it may not be easy.

    2009/08/11 Whoooaaa!! It's been awhile! Berlin, Rosie Ellis and Ayacon prep

    Sincerely sorry for the lack of updates, it's been a busy time- still in the midst of the transition from college to work- I was at the last "dark summer market" in Dunckerstrasse in Berlin- sold a few copies of Division- new DVD with new DVD cover (in German AND with a new look-Pics coming soon), extended and retouched feature (including German subtitles!!) and massively improved extras. I have also uploaded Parts I and II of my new "how to make a short animated film" tutorial. No its not yet replacing the version of the me practically naked with my left arm and chest covered in black lipstick paintings... Apart from this, most of my time has gone into doing some more short courses. Art has had to be curtailed for a bit- or diverted to being relevant to the challenges at hand (have done a few things- but they are more directed towards education rather than being content relevant to this site).


    What might interest you though is the the below video of Rosie Ellis. I recorded her all those months ago at sugar club- originally I was shooting just to get warmed up, remember the night and to get extra shots of John (aka Panister fatheroy)... but actually I was really really impressed! She's amazing! As such I wanted to try and make something of the few fragments of film I had. At the time I was still under some heavy deadline pressure so its not as finely edited as I would like- but she is still in it. Here ya go :D :



    I'd like to add a simple sound track to the above but wont have my mixer near a keyboard for awhile. If you think you could make one, please email me at: the.opaque@gmail.com
    :)
    more videos coming soon.

    In other news I can now be found on twitter under the alias AtsushiCrowley and I will be at Ayacon in England this weekend :D. Keeping myself busy trying to finish my course and also prepare for the con- printing some copies of Division (was too late to register as a dealer so I'm leaving them at the bring and buy this time :/). Good news though, the new DVD cover is now translated back into English- hurray!! :D.


    ANYWAY I must go now, but I shall be back and there will be new content. I am still in the early stages of preproduction for my new film- which will be roughly 30 mins long, but I should be uploading other work once I get settled down again. Moving back to Berlin after the con and have to find a new apartment and some employment to help pay for it!


    2009/05/08 Trinity ball battle of the bands vids: Noise machine and she's the fastest

    Just over a week ago was the trinity ball battle of the bands - I went along to record noise machine and interview them - ended up recording some of the funky after party stuff too. Wanted to just give a small sample of the band and what they are about, the sex party starts here:
    There were some other really great bands there that night too, including Rosie Ellis, Octane theory, Jooles King, and of course 'she's the fastest' who I also have uploaded the video of- as they had the guts to jump of the stage and rock with audience- wicked!

    Perhaps more to come - there is some more odd stuff from the noise machine after party that I would upload- but definitely shouldnt without getting the ok- its pretty damn funny. Might see about uploading more after exams. Will be selling division at the dark summer market dunckerclub july 12th, and ayacon, england this august. Sexy.

    2009/04/19 Placebo without deception research poster and results

    Yesterday was the '31st annual congress of psychology students in ireland' at which I presented the poster to my dissertation 'open-label and deceptive use of placebos: the impact of language and framing on expectations'. Seems like the time to make the poster available to view by all those who took part in the study, so here ya go: Click here to view a PDF of the poster. The poster did not get the overall prize for best poster, but it did get second place (aka 'the award for highly commended poster'/honourable mention, which I am quite happy with. A summary (abstract) of the study is to be published in the 'Irish Psychologist' and will be put in the articles section of this site shortly :D - its around 140 words long- where as the poster is closer to 400 words I think.

    2009/04/08 Division part 1 extended and "The Satanism Confessions" Uploaded

    Last week I was over at a friends apartment talking when I remembered something from my past. In religion class in secondary school our religion teacher used to play audio tapes of American teenagers confessing to praying to Satan, taking drugs and killing children... before converting to Christianity (of course!). Perhaps I was feeling that I am no less astray now than I was then, but I wanted to hear them again... so I searched the internet- to no avail. Disappointed I decided to attempt to remake one of them. Of course I have exams to study for so its not so fancy as I would like, but here it is:

    click here to go to the michaelmathewsart youtube page

    A few weeks before that, I had wanted to make the storytelling of Division a little clearer, so I added a new start and a few special effects. Its not the last of the changes I intend to make (more coming after exams hopefully) but I have uploaded it anyway. You might want to make this full view to read the text:


    Feel free to go to youtube and rate/comment on the above. News on my plans for the next year coming after exams finish (June 5th :D). From that point of time I will be free from the deadlines of college- my undergraduate degree finished- Expect much bigger art projects of MUCH higher quality.

    New Short film "Journey" and new Division DVD on the way

    Check out my new film here. Will put up some images later, but for now your just going to have to follow the link and hope. Its just under two minutes long and relates to division (and what happened before it) in some conceptual way, but also general life stuff. The film has been called "really intense. But in a good way" :). The film is for a film event called 'Pretentious' that should be on during the trinity arts festival- more info on that when I get it.
    With regards to Division I have finally ran out of my original materials and so need to print more. Before I do this however, I have decided to make a few changes- I have remastered the sound, extended some of the extras, completely remade others, I am hoping to add new ones (including "journey" and "metaphors and meaning in Division"), and adding some awesome starts to the extras. I have scanned up one of the last DVDs for version 1.0 made- just so you can get a look of what they looked like. Not sure what I will do for the new look just yet... if I will change much or not... quite low on time.
    p.s. if you havent done my survey yet... please do it now :(

    2009/01/01 Happy New Year - Review of last year, survey, and update

    Firstly, if you could do my survey I would greatly appreciate it, it is for my undergraduate degree and could potentially lead to real life implications, so please click the link and give it a go Click here or on the picture to do the survey.

    This year has been an interesting year, and probably what I will remember most fondly is the making of Division, and selling it at eirtakon. Over 50 copies of the DVD have been distributed now, 30 sold at eirtakon, many given away free to people involved, many many more people have watched the film online on either my deviantart page or youtube. Things I regret most are probably the sugarclub screening.

    As for this new year, I am storyboarding the sequel to Division, and working on some new film scripts and ideas- some crazy things on the way and looking forward to working with some familiar faces and some new faces. This year is also my final year of college, and finishing college will mean much more freedom to put more time into making art and potentially spending more money on it. Looking forward to it all and hope you are too!


    2008/11/15 Eirtakon Day 1

    Eirtakon is amazing... a whole lot of laughing, a whole lot of talking, a whole lot of smiling and a whole lot of new faces. Delighted to meet you all and see those of you that were there last year again. This year I have been selling my animated short "Division" as well as doing the usual browsing and socialising- and it was really great- I traded 18, all I had made, for either money or (on some occassions) other peoples art. So tonight I think I will print and cut out some more DVD covers and have some there in case anyone else is interested in checking it out. By the way, if you bought the DVD, thank you so much- it was my first time animating and my first time writing for a narrative based film- but I hope you enjoyed it.
    Ok, so its been awhile since I posted anything here... I didnt even write up about the sugar club event- sorry about that- just VERY VERY busy with college and extra curricular stuff I should really give up for awhile. The sugar club event went well but also not so well. 55 people showed up, Division was very well received and got a round of applause- I gave the opening speech- and also a short speech after the film- and the rest of the night went really smoothly - DU filmmakers played their stuff and there had some really interesting films, the band was great and it was really nice to socialise for the short while I was there... I left as soon as the films were over as I was stressed out though- I had been organising the night and doing all the liasing with sugar club. Before I left I had to talk to the manager and one of the owners as we hadn't gotten enough people in to pay the rent and staff. As the organiser of the event, I took it on the chin. I had to pay 130 euro to make up for the people that didnt show. As such this film has been an expensive project- not only to make, but also to shart. However, I may well make back that 130 at eirtakon if I sell a few more copies- that would make me very happy indeed. Hopefully this will give me the energy to make sure I finish the other films I am working on, in which: the story will be communicated better, be animated better and be much more enjoyable... (also hopefully all I have read on dramatic writing will ensure they rise to a climax in an accessible way)
    Other stuff- it was awesome to meet everyone at eirtakon with deviantart IDs- I will be checking out your profiles NEXT WEEKEND- as I will have to work on a college assignment till then. If I didnt get your DA ID (whether we spoke or not) please email me, I use the email address the.opaque@gmail.com

    2008/10/09 Division Screening at the sugar club

    Next Wednesday (October 15th) there will be a screening of my animated short "Division" in the sugar club (located on lower leeson street, Co.Dublin, Ireland). There will also be live music and many other short films by DU Filmmakers and I will be giving a short foreword to show. Should be a great night so I hope to see you there!
    Story synopsis of Division:
    Atsushi Crowley has left the country of his birth, forgotten his past, changed his name and assumed a new identity. However this way of life is complicated when he encounters a figure from his past and a strange figure from the country's corrupt church/goverment begins to stalk them.
    I'll also have a few DVDs there if anyone is interested- the DVDs also contain loads of extras such as behind the scenes, a half hour featurette on how to make a short animated film, director commentary and a second version of the feature with an alternate musical soundtrack.

    2008/09/23 New website look and Division complete and available on DVD

    The film is complete and you can watch it online now :D. It's a short animated film with a variety of actors in it and 2 original soundtracks- now on DVD with a variety of extras. The DVD contains the 6 minute feature with two alternative soundtracks, Director commentary, DVD menus, behind the scenes, a 30 minute tutorial on how to make a short animated film, chapter selection and cut scenes. Each DVD is signed and numbered for the first 100 DVDs. I've also uploaded it to youtube so you can enjoy it with this soundtrack- though there are plenty of stuff that are only available on the DVD. DVDs are available from me for 8 euro / 12 United state dollars-
    Just post me an email and we will sort it out- email me at the.opaque@gmail.com
    I'd like to make more films, including an already written sequel, so any support you can offer in terms of buying the DVD and telling your friends would be much appreciated.

    Click here to go to the youtube page for this video.

    Or watch it here below:

    Also- changed the homepage look- gave it a proper header and new navigation menu at the side. Hope you like it- it may be awhile till I have updated the entire site however.



    02/08/2008 update on division- my animated short film

    No social life outside art, I've been busy photographing, writing, painting backgrounds, learning keyboard, listening to the Noise Machine, and in the last week I have also started to animate some of my film... so its about time I show you some of the progress. You can view a short segment of the work so far- without the music on my youtube page here.
    Even at this late stage there is alot of change occuring, in the scene I am working on I'm constantly trying to rework shots before animating in order to make them more fitting or just easier to animate, I'm even considering cutting the first scene, or reorganising and adding to it if I do keep it.
    Its a friday night I am trapped in the middle of nowhere, and I have no graphics tablet here. Insanity!! BOREDOM!!! I think I can find some paper to go try reconfigure some shots though. I'll update this post in a few days with some shots of the preview I uploaded, but for now you'll just have to enjoy the sense of the unknown as you click on the pic above.
    p.s. I think I managed to get all the content back online, but let me know if you think otherwise.

    31/07/2008 site is undergoing change of hosting- so most content down

    however! you can check out the progress of my short animated film on youtube here, and you can check out my deviantart page, which has even more film related content, here.

    23/06/2008 The Placebo, Zeitgeist and We are the strange

    I've uploaded a new video for you to laugh at! Please check it out on youtube and leave a few comments! It is titled the placebo and it documents an 'ancient' quest and real yet mystical powers- it was created from a couple of sections from the lord of the rings movie redubbed and with some new footage thrown in. The dubbing was recorded with my dictaphone... Enjoy!

    On other matters I came across 2 feature length movies available for free online: Zeitgeist (which can be found on google video) and We are the strange (which can be found on Youtube). Zeitgeist is a documentary about power, control, religion, and politics; it presents you with information that may call into question your current view of the world and reality in general; I found this film quite interesting. We are the strange is an animated film with amazing visuals that goes against the norm of film in many ways. The author, MdotStrange, also has many interesting videos uploaded about the making of process and other videos created to help those with an interest in making independent film.

    As far as news with myself and my film is concerned, I created a storyboard- a fairly elaborate one at that, and I will have hopefully completed an animatic before the week is out. The soundtrack had been put on hold, but I will be trying to get that sorted soon. I had tried to upload the storyboard last week but my hosting wasnt having any of it, it's not friendly with large files... all the better though- the film will be more of a mystery when it's done- though if all goes well I might consider uploading a scene of the animatic onto youtube at a later date. On another matter however, the Trinity Undergraduate Placebo Research Group was interviewed after a debate, and you can find a video of us here under the raw reaction section on the science gallery page. That's everything for now! Lots still to come in the near future- There has been talk of start about starting a collaboration with a new but very simple animated short film soon- with the early stages of a draft down, lots more articles yet to be uploaded, placebo related stuff, and lots of stuff from my current animated short film project; but for now I will leave you with some more stills from the placebo video.



    01/06/2008 Music, human rights, exams, and animation

    Ha, this is such a blog... D: Exams are still in progress but I have some time and material to make an update. Firstly, after an exam on monday, I recorded a song while trying to figure out some of the audio software were using for the animation sound and soundtrack, you can download the song here . Although the song may sound depressing... I'm fairly sure the exam went fine... :p

    As for human rights, I realized that there was something I mentioned of great importance on my deviantart journal that I forgot to mention here, and that is that the UN is no longer protecting the right to freedom of expression, rather it is policing it's "abuse". This comes after a vote passing a new amendment to the function of the Special Rapporteur, a majority vote came via the collective strength of several governments; apparently these governments do not value expression quite as much as their own religious and political beliefs, in fact this change simply means that people within these countries will not be able to voice their concern about them. I have not named these countries as I do not want my site blocked in them, which is a serious possibility. See an article written about the human rights issue here .

    Nothing much to report as far as my psychology exams are concerned, only one more to go, after which I will be recording the soundtrack of the film with a friend.

    As far as the film is concerned however, I have been trying to work on making a storyboard and animatic- and even been adding a new initial scene to start it off on a good note. Some experimental ideas are also being tested out as far as the main character, Atsushi's voice is concerned- I have recordings of two actors for him and I am trying to merge them in such a way that it creates one voice that reflects his divided personality. Although more time is needed before I can upload an animatic or storyboard, I will end this entry with some of the images I have drawn up for the current story board.


    11/05/2008 an update

    Well... It's been awhile since I have posted here. Since my last post several things have happened: Two magazines which I contributed to have been published: Goldfish, and the ultimate comment; We finished recording the Audio for my animated film "division"; we finished recording the live action scene and did a photo shoot for the artwork for the film; myself and the rest of the Trinity Undergraduate Placebo Research Group handed in our report and gave our presentation- the report was some 200 pages long and scored 77%, the presentation included a short and humorous video, and received 73%, both of these scores are amazingly high given the the marking system here- 72% was the highest mark achieved by the group projects in the year previous.
    Most of the progress above is not ready to be put online however, but the updates that can be found here include: The article for Goldfish magazine, the article is titled "the bunny delusion" has been uploaded to the wisdom section; Several old fragmented style pictures and photographs of the pianist Paul Smyth have also been added to the other worlds section.
    I'm currently studying for exams but you can expect updates soon enough. Right after the exams are finished I will start editing: the placebo report, the presentation video, the sound for the animation "division", the art work for the animation, and I will be composing the soundtrack for division with the help of a more talented friend. I may even upload the screenplay with some of the prototype animations and concept art after my exams. After all of this is done, then it will be onto the animating :D... This project is a huge leap for me, I bought some great equipment, spent a lot of time on preproduction and script, and we had some great actors, so who knows how it will turn out or what the next step will be. Got to get through these exams first though.
    Finished exams June 5th, talk to you soon.
    b

    24/03/2008 Animated film prototype preview images

    This project started of as what was by far my biggest project yet, an impossibly large manga. Now after almost a year of revisions to the script it has become a very nice short animated film script. Finally I have made enough progress to show you some demo prototype images from a few of my current prototype animations for it. I am soon to be auditioning for voice actors, so watch this spot or email me to ask for a copy of the script/screenplay. the.opaque@gmail.com
    Go to the videos section for more pics and information. This section maybe updated from time to time.



    09/03/2008 I'm now 21, but there are no goldfish in lobbies yet. Despite the lack of goldfish, the new comic is here!

    click here to go to the comic section The editor has informed me that Goldfish has been delayed. However, I like to think that many people grow impatient, murderous; they want to see some new work by me NOW!! This comic should help keep these imaginary but violent people quiet until goldfish is distributed and my new article along with it.
    On another note, I have received my new software and I have been messing around with some of it- animating some scenes similar to what you can expect in my first short animated film, and in the next week I'm going to try and make a rough version. The video on my group project study of the past, present and future of the placebo effect is not going smoothly presently. Filmmakers will be having another film screening in the last week of april- so they have to be ready by then.

    24/o2/20o8 Exploring embodiment and extreme states of mind

    If your wondering where I have been, I have been watching a case study, of a schizophrenic young woman, on loop. I had linked to the case study, but I have removed it because I didn't want you to get depressed :D.
    Instead I bring you things to make you smile! A new essay about embodiment (click to go to WISDOM section).
    On the topic of embodiment, it was pointed out to me that I look exactly like this individual. Anyone willing to help me recreate this photograph let me know.
    More to come on the slow progress... goldfish will be printed and distributed with my new article and comic in the next two weeks, and I may make a new section about my plans for this film in progress. Also a small documentary type film on the placebo effect is on the way. Not very consistent some may think, posting bizarre art and preaching about mental health... but I am not sane, I have just seen so much insanity in "sanity" to believe I am beyond it.


    01/o2/20o8 slow progress

    Ok, so I am working on a few new things Including a new animated film that I am looking for a writer to help me with at this early stage (if your interested in co-authoring or another aspect of this project contact me at the.opaque@gmail.com). Also I have 4 serious articles written and ready to be uploaded; In the works I also have a new one page "funny" comic for the new magazine Goldfish; I'm rewriting "the santa delusion" and calling it "the bunny delusion" putting a more humorous slant on it for the same comedy magazine; I'm going to be working on amazingly long comic Division and MANY more psychology essays.

    On another note I have 999 page views on www.michaelmathews.deviantART.com, and have uploaded the work in progress of my comic for goldfish there.

    For now I have uploaded here is an article on the ceasation of international adoptions in Guatemala and my thoughts on how adoptions proceed during this difficult transistion. Click here to go to the articles section and I have uploaded some of my old portraits click here to go to the art section. What is going on in guatemala and why is it important? Essentially international adoptions are stopping because there was no regulation and the biological families were given money after the adoptions. This is an issue for some as it can be seen to be buying the children. It is however important that these children are taken out of these harsh environments which are not adequate for development- leaving them there will worsen the situation and developmental problems that cannot be fixed will develop. A long term solution is needed whereby the country can support its children and these children are not left to develop cognitive, physical and attachment disorders.


    18/o1/2o08 monthly update

    New illustration for an old article. I think I might rewrite this and publish it. 3 new articles, originally written for college courses, soon to be posted here. I am also working on the final draft of the forth page of my comic and I'm beginning to get the hang of it. I will post the first 3 scenes (10 pages) here when they are done... So the next update is looking to be pretty huge. But for now, you can check out my deviantART page if you want more new stuff. click Here to go to my DA gallery .

    19/12/2007 Christmas update

    It always seems that it is not enough simply to give you pointless art to entertain but instead I must address some larger issue. And on that note I have just uploaded two articles, one to get you thinking about some of the functions the easter bunny and father christmas serve the church and the other is a positive mental attitude article. see them at the articles section here. For this reason I have not posted my latest comics in progress, I want to wait till they address the issues a little better before I start to upload them here. There will be new articles on the way in the new year sometime around mid january too, so keep an eye out! For now though, enjoy the articles and have a very merry christmas!

    01/11/2007 To wish you a belated deadly halloween

    Last night (halloween) I made two class mates into zombies.
    click here to see more of my work from last night.

    27/10/2007 What happened to the homepage! and where is the new art?

    AWESOME NEWS FIRST! The comic is coming along, though it is going to be a slow process. Right now I'm just thumbing the first few pages, probably draw the first two and then I'll do some more character designs... then I have to draw up enough pages to make it economical to scan professionally- then I will start digitally painting it. New equipment has been bought recently too so it is now physically possible to work on paper large enough to add detail to the comic. Hopefully it will be the start of the journey towards some pretty cool stuff. I have put more time into this piece than I have put into any previous project, and it looks like this is only the tip of the ice berg... College and trying to be active student-to-student is slowing me down too... Never-the-less be patient. It is coming, and it's potential is awesome.

    New advertisements of mine are all over the place and published- and I promised that I would put these up- BUT, the graphic design page is overcrowded already. Right now I don't have the time to create a way of adding new work to it... perhaps later I will add more pages, or a new way of browsing through the images on the page. For those of you who want to see the ads themselves you can always look above the trinity term schedule for trinity college and the posters for S2S in the psychology building (if you dont have access to a trinity student journal or the psychology building, and you would like to see the ads, just let me know and I'll show you).

    I changed the colours of the homepage from that psychotic red with black to a more grounded brown, yellow and white.

    let me know what you think of the new colours.
    contact me: the.opaque@gmail.com


    13/10/2007 New articles, graphic design, anti-fanart and fanart of me!!

    So much is happening that I thought it was best to post this before it mounts up further. Ok so I have just loaded up two new sections articles and graphic design. There is a bit on them now and I have two new advertisements of mine, just published, and an article of mine, just about to be published; I'll put them up too as soon as possible. In the articles section I have a new anti-fanart image and article entitled "dragonball z kicks Naruto's ass". Because lets face it, any author that can get away with putting an innuendo in the title and pitch of a cartoon for teenagers can get away with anything. Click here

    Also, not only have I made anti-fanart of naruto, I now have "fanart" of my own. Thats right! someone made a pic of me! :D. Well actually just a present from a random person. I reminded them that they are doing much better than me on Deviantart and they made me this picture. Present for Mr.Michael Mathews by ~leoslittlebride on deviantART


    09/09/2007 Don't Kill Yourself yet! There is more entertainment coming

    If you have been considering ending your existance due to boredom, keep your hopes up! Someday you may be entertained ON THIS VERY WEBSITE. I'm working on some projects at the moment including a comic which is now about 30 pages long (writing the screenplay at the moment). I also did another illustration for a magazine over these last few days...
    click on the picture to see

    but much better things to come!!
    Onto the bad news now though
    The illustration is boring as hell as usual, I have been slow to add any of my old material to this page, and if any of you attempted to refresh the page over and over again to increase the number on my webcounter- it probably didnt work :(. I just remembered I set the home page up so it wouldnt count refreshed pages until an hour of the original visit- so I could properly gauge how many/few people were visiting this dumb ass page.
    On to the good news
    The Fanny pack video is now up on metacafe and doing reasonably well for the short peroid of time that it's been there. Someone from the website asked me to put it up, and seems to have actually watched it, excellent! Shame about the crappy sound quality of the original recording though... I have been mentioning the fact that I want to get the comic im currently working on published, and I may have found somewhere for it to be published. More on that later though.

    18/08/07 Fanny Pack: crazy bunny

    Click to see The music video is now complete- and the screening of the film took place last night. I will not hype it, just order you to watch it... over and over again... Also, on that note, Leave comments... in fact you better sign up to youtube just to leave comments on this music video! Let us know you exist!

    Also! over a hundred page views to the home page! Satan only knows how many to all the other pages. YOU WILL RELOAD THIS PAGE SEVERAL TIMES AND HELP ME REACH 500 PAGE VIEWS. Also, spread the word of our holy bunny bible (an alternative version of crazy bunny was also recorded- as was the blasphemous shouting that ensued... I may put that up eventually too.


    10/08/07 recounting backward consecutive number day

    Click to see An animation I made for the magazine "the ultimate comment". WARNING: It contains mild, yet natural violence- a strange reversal of nature, and utter nonsense. Last night, on backward consecutive number day (09/08/07) we shot some of the scenes for the fanny pack music video. This involved getting kicked out of the ilac shopping centre in under one minute... then we went to henry street where we did our show there... its was quite odd, and we got alot of people laughing, talking about their penis size, some looking in discust, others shock and others bitter envy... I just hope we have enough of it on film!

    On other news the page is now partially active, hopefully. Before it was just one stupid intro page with none of the links working... now it should be several, with roughly a third of the links working... hopefully.




    This is my first news update, and I'll start by saying that I'm quite busy at the moment doing some of my most exciting projects yet. These projects include a music video with a band called "fanny pack". I have the story board done and some footage shot, but its been delayed by their busy schedule and because one of the three girls is sick. I'm also working on some articles on: the placebo effect and expectations; climate change; and the easter bunny, santa and brainwashing. These articles along with illustrations are for some magazines in ireland.

    For now though, enjoy the video I have put online- and the old comics etc that I have put up. These will be updated daily until all material anywhere near worth putting up is up.

    I must leave you now, but remember: It is right to give him thanks and praise (just as long as you don't forget the donations).
    michael mathews


    email: the.opaque@gmail.com This page and it's contents are © ben mathews

    whats wrong with people nowadays?