Floating City Cut Scenes

Dermott showed us this really cool Eric Prydz music video which led us to look at more videos of the sorts. This inspired us to have some form of cut scenes in our animation, the visuals were also very inspiring.


Creating our artefact

TEAMMATES: Holly Cardwell, Matthew Duddy, Jack Ellison

After doing extensive research we decided on an artefact, we had some unsuccessful ideas such as a short artistic film but due to the time restraints we did not do this.

I suggested to the team the idea of some kind of surrealist photo album, everyone seemed to like the idea so we went with that. I suggested that we could possibly base it off this quote from louis in the movie;


We decided that we wanted the album to be open ended like the movie, to leave the viewer guessing which world was reality. We decided to keep the first section of the album like a normal photo album, showcasing childhood memories;


Following the plot of the movie we decided to have a scene which would represent Jacob’s death in Vietnam, so we left blank pages and Holly splattered them with various liquids to create blood stains.


We decided that the end of our album should be surreal and repetitive to show how Jacob is trapped in a purgatory type place with images of him becoming progressively more distorted, it would also include demons and characters such as Jezz who were heavily featured in his life at this time.

Continuing with the idea of making it open ended we decided to place some government documents in the album to allude to the chance that Jacob did not die in Vietnam and this album was actually a log of Michael’s in which he recorded the deterioration of Jacob Singer, this was a great idea by Jack who later created the Government Documents. Jack goes into more detail on this here; https://jackjellison.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/jacobs-ladder-schematic-and-artefact/

We wanted the album to feel aged so we used photo manipulation and we also physically damaged the album, Holly took it home at the weekend and did a great job stylising the front inscribing it with ‘J.S’ Holly goes more into depth on this here; https://hollycdesigns.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/artefact-concepts-for-jacobs-ladder/

We also decided it could be a nice touch to add some scribbled drawings of demons by Jacob and also hand written notes by Michael. i created these and they were slipped into the album.

Here some shots of our Final artefact which myself and team were happy with

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Schematic Restyling

We wanted our schematic to be stylised, we discussed styles emphasising the the idea of a ladder which we believed could represent Jacobs journey to heaven or his decent into madness with his ever intensifying hallucinations. We thought we could possibly create some Jacob illustrations to place at different sections going down the ladder however this idea was too time consuming so we did not take it further.

Rose opted to restyle the schematic as the previous version was technical and was for the purpose of laying out clearly where all the new designs would go.

Rose was inspired by artist Emily Carroll for redesigning the schematic. Here’s a couple pf designs. Rose shares more on her blog https://roseconnollysite.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/assignment-2-jacobs-ladder-further-research/



Here is the final redesigned schematic, I think rose did a really nice job with the textures, style and typograpgy;


I took the redesigned schematic and created a quick pan from top to bottom. It lasts 20 seconds which is possibly too quick but was for the purpose of the PechaKucha style of our presentation.



Movie Artistic Inspiration

The movie was inspired by such influences as (more artist images shared on ( https://roseconnollysite.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/assignment-2-jacobs-ladder-further-research/ );

Francis Bacon


H.R Giger


Photographer Diane Arbus


Photographer Joel-Peter Witkin


According to director Adrian Lyne, the drug aspect of the story was inspired by the Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain book, Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and Sixties Rebellion.  Lyne also says that many of the film’s ‘demons’ were intended to resemble thalidomide victims. https://roseconnollysite.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/assignment-2-jacobs-ladder-further-research/

Jacob’s ladder notably inspired the Silent hill

  • Jacob’s Ladder — The film has many settings in common with Silent Hill, such as the hospital and subway. In the first game, Harry Mason dies and everything was just a hallucination in the “bad ending”. In the second game, James Sunderland shares the initials of Jacob Singer and his jacket is very similar to Jacob’s U.S. Army jacket. There is also a “Lyne House Key” which refers to Adrian Lyne, director of Jacob’s Ladder. In the third game, Heather Mason must find the Bergen Street platform. There is a scene of Jacob, strapped to a gurney, going down a nightmarish hospital hall that is reminiscent of the scene in which James is wheeled through a hall on a gurney in Brookhaven Hospital. In the texture files, the same poster Jacob Singer sees in the subway can be found. Among other things, the “twitch” that many monsters do with their heads, one example being Valtiel, was inspired by the film. The hospital scene in the movie depicts a bicycle’s wheel turning by itself, similar to a wheelchair seen in Brookhaven’s basement by Heather or the wheelchair Harry sees in the alley in the first game. A few moments later, a humanoid is seen in a sort of frame/box, which has also been seen in the series, such as the corpses in Pyramid Head’s lair in the Labyrinth, and around bosses such as Mary and Abstract Daddy.


BZ Hallucinogenic Drug

Jacob fought in the Vietnam, in short the war (1954 – 1975) was between theAmerican and French Colonial Government in South Vietnam against the communist Vietminh, here is a link to further information on the war war http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history

Many accusations have been made against the US Government about experimental drug testing American soldiers who participated in the war which allegedly left them suffering with long term neurological effects. At the end of the movie it explicitly mentions the BZ drug and that the Pentagon denies the claims of soldiers;

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A chart claiming duration the BZ drug will effect a person per small amount of the drug. ‘Erowid’s effects information is a summary of data gathered from users, research, and other resources’ https://erowid.org/chemicals/bz/bz_effects.shtml



It seems that in 2012 and possibly still today that there are men out there that are still facing health problems of what they believe is from military drug testing of the Vietnam war.


In July 1975, the Washington Post reported that a top civilian drug researcher for the Army said a total of 6,940 servicemen had been involved in chemical and drug experiments. In a May 2004 report, however, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) stated that there were even more victims of the experimental program, a number that may never be completely known.

A few stories of Soldiers who believe the drug testing from Vietnam resulted in their poor health.

Lives ruined

Each of the cases is heart wrenching. Take 63-year-old Tim Josephs, who spent two months at Edgewod. Just before his duty there ended, he was hospitalised for days with Parkinson’s-like symptoms that continued to follow him for years. In his mid-50s, he was diagnosed with the disease and forced to retire early.

“I really felt a duty to my country to go and serve,” he said in a recent interview.  “You believed in your government. And you just wouldn’t think they would give you something that would harm you intentionally.”

Bruce Price began having troubles with his memory within weeks of leaving Edgewood and has been completely disabled for years. Franklin Rochelle suffers from memory loss, anxiety, vision problems, difficulty breathing and sleep apnea, while William Blazinski has been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and ulcerative colitis. And the list goes on.


Other Links discussing the BZ Drug




Jacobs Ladder religious affiliation


TEAMMATES: Holly Cardwell, Matthew Duddy, Jack Ellison

What is Jacob’s Ladder in the Bible?

In the movie Jacob’s ladder is the name of the drug testing on American soldiers in the Vietnam war. The biblical reference to Jacob’s ladder is the story of Jacob son of Isaac fleeing from his brother Esue who was furious with him as Jacob had stolen Esue’s birthright to inheritance  and blessing. ‘On his way to his relative’s house at Haran, Jacob lay down for the night near Luz. As he was dreaming, he had a vision of a ladder, or stairway, between heaven and earth. God’s angels were on it, ascending and descending.’ This article goes on to explain in more detail the story and interesting points from the story; http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/a/Jacobs-Ladder.htm


This is William Blake’s painting 1805 named ‘Jacob’s Dream’. Jacob lies at the the bottom of the staircase as angels ascend and descend from heaven.


This video that rose shared with us explains religious themes as well as others such as in Ancient Greece it was tradition to to put coins on a dead persons eyes so that they could pay the ferry man, and in every scene connected with death in the movie there is coins, ‘even coins feel magical drawn to people who are about to die.’



Jacob is a religious prophet in the Bible, the son of Isaac, this link tells the story of Jacob and how he obtained Esue’s original birthright in return for a bowl of food and later the story of his dream previously mentioned; http://biblehub.com/library/marshall/the_wonder_book_of_bible_stories/the_story_of_jacob.htm

Sarah and Sons

Jacob’s ex-wife and sons all have names from the bible

Sarah https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Sarah-Sarai-Sara

Eli https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/Eli

Jed meaning Jedidiah http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/jedidiah/

Of course Gabe who plays a large role in the movie as Jacob feels guilty for his death is of reference to the angel Gabriel who is God’s messenger http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06330a.htm


Jezebel- Meaning -‘This heartless woman with a bloody history belied the name she bore, for Jezebel means, “chaste, free from carnal connection”; but by nature she was a most licentious woman. She was a voluptuary, with all the tawdry arts of a wanton woman. Thus no name could have been more inappropriate for such a despised female.’ Jezebel is a woman who made her husband abandon his God to worship false gods. This link further explains the story of Jezebel; https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Jezebel-No-1

Jezebel represents something pulling Jacob back down to earth and his sinful side of life, she is a sexual character which he gives in to. Jezebel appears as a demon at one point in the movie which  would allude to her being in with the demons. Despite these factors I feel myself feeling sorry for Jezebel as in the movie she would only appear to have as many flaws as any other person and does seem to deeply car for Jacob. From a biblical perspective the plays the part of Jezebel a worshiper of false God’s but to me she seems of no more harm than any other living person maybe besides when she burns his photographs which could be construed as jealousy.


Michael who tells Jacob of his involvement in the creation of the BZ drug also has religious affiliation, it derives from the archangel Michael who is symbolic fro defying and defeating Satan. Michael enlightens Jacob to the truth and in a deleted scene of the movie offers Jacob the symbolic antidote to the effects of the ladder, the chemical agent that makes him see the demonic hallucinations. This information is all in the video previously linked.




I took a brief look at this article on demons as in the movie when Jezze becomes one of Jacob’s demonic hallucinations her eyes go completely black, I researched this and found black eyes in reference to demonology, black eyes would appear to be those of demon henchmen or soldiers. http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Demonology



Jacob’s chiropractor louis would appear as a guardian angel in the movie, Jacob himself refers to him as an angel. Louis removes Jacobs spinal pain and helps him in other situations which may stray from Jacob’s intended path. Louis provides Jacob with advice, on quote which stands out in the movie is this one;

‘The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you, he said. They’re freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you’re frightened of dying and… and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It’s just a matter of how you look at it, that’s all. So don’t worry, okay? Okay?’

This quote was apparently was based off something which Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said

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Other References


Creating our album i think it would be an injustice to allow if to assume a definite stance on the movie. I believe that one of the movies greatest achievements is it’s ability to leave the viewer thinking about it long after the movie is over. Did Jacob die in Vietnam? Was this movie about a man in purgatory refusing to let go of life? Was Jacob and his troop drugged? These are questions we ask of the movie, as a group we need to find a way to present this album so that those who view it ask similar questions.

Here’s an Reddit post which asked some good questions


Make it Digital

The plan was to make our schematic digital. Once each team member had their scene notes completed we decided that myself and Jack would take their handwritten versions and make them digital, he would take holly’s and I would take Rose’s. I began to create a digital version of my scenes but Jack was much faster and had his ready. Jack sent me his layout which allowed me to enter my researched information into his clear layout. The intent of making it digital was so that we could could have a relatively plain basis which we could later stylise.

My failed attempts:


Here’s the more organised version Jack created with the information I input from my scenes.


Myself and Jack review the schematic in the morning and talked over any confusion or adjustments we could make, I was still entering information into my scene and Jack offered to enter the information from Rose’s hard copies as he know the photoshop layers well and could easily organise them and edit the information.


Here’s the final technical schematic which we are giving to Rose. Rose is going to restyle the schematic in a style inspired by artist EMILY CARROL, ‘a Canadian illustrator who works in the genres of mystery and horror.’



Here’s a key I created which will be updated by rose with the restyled designs.