Jason Porath

has a website, i guess

Date: September 15, 2005

This unnatural life

As I sat there, staring at the one-inch tall disembodied human head repeatedly asking “What’s up?”, I began to think that, perhaps, my job is a bit unnatural.

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Katrina: The Gathering

The Saga of the Delicious Chicken

Gather round, lend me an open ear, that I may impart to you the Saga of the Delicious Chicken.

Currently at work, I’ve become defacto digital prop master for this movie. It requires me to build a hideous amount of 3D objects based on reference from the set, so we can create set extensions, and thus make the set appear to go on much longer than it actually does. This scene is set in a ship’s galley (kitchen), so there’s tons of cooking equipment and ingredients laying about.

And then there is The Chicken.

When one first peruses the catalog of reference photos, one usually does so as if one were playing a movie, quickly playing through all the pictures at a brisk 24 frames per second. Doing this gives one a very instinctual understanding of what is in the galley, as well as what has the most reference, because they have more pictures and thus appear onscreen longer.

The Chicken stayed onscreen for over a second. That’s almost twice as much as any other object. This roast chicken, well garnished and expertly cooked, had captured the imagination of the photographer, coercing him or her to capture somewhere around 10 million pixels worth of poultrine posterity.

The construction of The Delicious Chicken has proven a thorny issue, and has been the subject of an inordinate number of debates among the prop team. Currently it is on version 5. Everything else is on version 2, if that.

Staring at The Chicken, as I am wont to do when creating a geometrical representation of it, I noticed myself salivating. My stomach contracted in upon itself. Lo, the hunger took hold. My stomach was enchanted by the unearthly charms of The Chicken. To take my mind off of It, I began to chat with one of my friends via instant messenger. I told her of my predicament, described Its glazed exterior. A foolish move, for all too soon, The Fowl reached through the vast reaches of the internet and caught hold of her as well — yes, my friend, too, was a victim of the hunger.

But Its Poultrine Power was not yet exhausted. Yea, upon my friend’s homecoming that very night, she saw that The Chicken had found its way even to her household: her family had made roast chicken for dinner.

The mystery deepened (some would say “collapsed”) earlier today upon my recounting of the Saga to my co-worker, John. John, being well-versed in the world of moldmaking and prosthetic makeup, instantly surmised, with 95% certainty, that The Chicken was, in actuality, made out of foam. I suspect that it was forged in the fires of Mount Doom. Even now, its very representation holds sway over the minds of men. Through electronic conveyances, we are found in our sanctum santoriums. In the darkness, we are bound to the Savory Sabor.

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