What ever happened to Stringer Bell?

For my first DS106 assignment for The Wire this week, I chose to tell the story of who Stringer Bell became after The Wire using a GIF animation. The assignment can be found here.

Although we have just worked with creating GIF images, I was interested in this assignment because you are not only making a GIF that is not of The Wire, but you are using it to tell a different story about the character. As soon as I started watching The Wire, I spotted an actor that has appeared in many movies I have seen. Idris Elba, who plays Stringer Bell, has appeared in The Losers (2010), Takers (2010), Prometheus (2012), and the more recent Pacific Rim (2013). I remembered his character in Takers as the sort of leader/coordinator of the team’s large scale robberies, which I felt was a perfect depiction of what Stringer Bell might be up to after The Wire.

Using YouTube’s search, I found several scenes in Takers captured and uploaded by MovieClip.com. I decided to choose a scene where Idris Elba’s character, Gordon Jennings, gives the signal for John Rahway, played by Paul Walker, to “take him out.” Using Google, I found an online YouTube to MP4 converter. You simply insert the video link and choose the output format and the download is ready immediately. After downloading the video, I used MPEG Streamclip to trim the portion of the video I wanted to turn into a GIF image and exported the image sequence to GIMP. Having previously worked with GIFs, I wanted to try adding something extra to my animation. I decided to add text to the first portion of the animation using a bold font I downloaded from DaFont called “Bebas Neue.” In addition, I added a transparent sniper target image to the second part of the animation to simulate a video game effect. Unfortunately, after exporting my GIF animation and playing it back, I noticed that my text “blinks” towards the middle of the animation. I realized I probably forgot to merge the text to a layer, but then decided that I liked the “blinking” effect that was created. Below is my GIF animation and description of what became of Stringer Bell after The Wire.

After The Wire, Stringer Bell parted ways with the Barksdale crew to pursue bigger and better opportunities. With his keen skill for organization, security, and planning, he recruited a team of the most superior robbers and began coordinating large scale robberies. He was unhappy with how many precautions were needed to be a contender in the drug game. Stringer Bell dreamt of bigger things, and the only way to get those things was to take it himself.