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Criminal Minds

Spend Some Time With Vincent (Before the Wheel)

With a great deal of trepidation I post this little project. Not only did the video’s background music get pegged with a copyright infringement claim (results pending!) but I’ve never before attempted to “animate” a stick figure drawing and this is also the introduction of a rather… problematic stick figure character.

Vincent’s not the good guy. Or funny or amusing. Or a cute character by any stretch. His actions (as I depict here) are a result of his serious mental illness and intent to commit kidnapping and murder. However, inspired as I am, as we all have been, by Alex O’Loughlin’s amazing portrayal of this incredibly broken and tragic man, Vincent Rowlings, I present my little contribution:

The musical composition “Tears & Rain” is owned by EMI Music Publishing and presented here under Fair Use only, no profit made by me, and presented here non-competitively with the original work.

Special thanks to Ess for hosting the episode discussion on her blog that inspired me to try this. I enjoyed the conversation & everyone’s contributions immensely.

If you suspect that you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental illness, anything from depression to OCD to social anxiety, please refer to your physician or to trusted resources like the National Institute of Mental Health for guidance.

Also, please watch the video right away, because in a month it might be gone (and my YouTube account suspended) but we’ll cross these bridges when we get to them. In a completely sane manner, of course.

About SJ2

I am good with: Details, Bad Ideas, Hilarity, Sarcasm and Overthinking! I kid because I care!


52 thoughts on “Spend Some Time With Vincent (Before the Wheel)

  1. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me, Steph. Lol!

    The clicking!! And the fridge shutting! Lmao! The rest…appropriately depressing. 😉

    Honored, babe!

    Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | December 30, 2012, 5:04 pm
  2. Wow. Just wow. Achingly poignant. I really hope the music stays, Steph. It is perfect with this.

    Posted by westy | December 30, 2012, 5:08 pm
  3. Seal clapping!!!! Love the “clicks” and opening and closing the fridge 3 times……and the knife…..and the soap. Poor Vincent. Love the uber depressing score!

    Posted by LaHagela (The Tinkler) | December 30, 2012, 5:08 pm
  4. You did great job with stick Vincent 🙂 and I loved the music (James Blunt one of my favorite musicians). Beautiful Steph 🙂

    Posted by paula | December 30, 2012, 5:10 pm
  5. I cant properly express how amazingly depressingly perfect this video is!!!! I’m in awe of you creativity. Absolute awe.

    Posted by Kimphin1 | December 30, 2012, 5:59 pm
  6. This was fantastic in it’s depressing way. I suffer from a mental illness, so thanks for the shout out about getting help for you or someone you know. Hope the youtube mess goes in your favor!!

    Posted by Luna (@lunaterra12) | December 30, 2012, 6:16 pm
  7. I never thought a stick figure video be emotional and yet this one was. Amazing job!

    Posted by JDD | December 30, 2012, 7:38 pm
  8. Steph, this is beyond brilliant. The stick figure drawings and the music work perfectly to represent the tragedy that is Vincent. You are amazingly creative. I am really impressed by the way you have so thoughtfully and poignantly captured Vincent’s mental illness and how something so simple can be so powerful.

    I am so glad we’ve had the chance to celebrate Alex’s brilliant performance as Vincent (thanks Ess and Steph!). My one wish is that the writers of The Big Wheel and Alex himself are able to see this, to realise how much we appreciate what they delivered to the audience in an exceptional hour of television drama.

    Posted by Andrea_Briz | December 30, 2012, 8:51 pm
    • My one wish is that the writers of The Big Wheel and Alex himself are able to see this, to realise how much we appreciate what they delivered to the audience in an exceptional hour of television drama.

      So true! When it comes time to give out awards to one-time guest stars on TV, the cop procedurals on network television are not the first place the critics look. As I said on Ess’ blog, so often (as we’ve seen on H50) the actors who play victims/suspects/criminals as a one-time performance on a procedural show sometimes phone in their performances, making them unsympathetic, unbelievable or otherwise not worth caring about. This was not one of those times!

      This is probably the only time I would wish that a performance of Alex’s was on cable as opposed to network tv. If this performance had been on one of the critical darlings of HBO or AMC or whathaveyou, it may have been more recognized for its quality.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | December 31, 2012, 10:10 am
      • Wholeheartedly agree. This was not a ‘phoned in’ performance at all. Regular cast members who do their jobs well should be applauded for their ability to make a character their own and develop it over time. But of course there IS time to form a ‘bond’ with the audience, to make us care. However, in many ways, it’s a tougher task for a one-time performer, to connect with the audience and tell their character’s story in just one episode. That we are still talking about Vincent and how moved we all were by The Big Wheel is testament to Alex’s brilliant performance. He definitely deserves recognition for this role 🙂

        Posted by Andrea_Briz | December 31, 2012, 9:07 pm
  9. Steph, it’s so amazing how you can create so much emotion with moving lines. The music was perfect. I still have a knot in my stomach from watching this. Loved the open/closed fridge door.

    Posted by karin@notmcnerd | December 30, 2012, 8:55 pm
    • Thanks Karen. I just watched it again this morning for the first time since I uploaded it to youtube a few days ago… I think Vincent is just such an emotional character, even without ever moving his stick-figure face, with his frown & glasses, it all just conveys his distressed & anxious mental state. I wasn’t ever planning on Stick Vincent & can’t say he’ll be around a lot in the future, but I’m glad I did this.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | December 31, 2012, 10:34 am
  10. Steph, this is brilliant, wonderful, sad, and poignant…which is exactly how I feel about Alex’s portrayal of Vincent. The music is also perfect…perfectly heart-breaking. I hope it gets to stay.

    Posted by canadagirl66 | December 30, 2012, 10:33 pm
  11. LOl, such a great video… I wouldn’t be worried about You tube if I were you… I do Alex videos from screencaps and promo pics for a 1,5 year now – only once they really closed music in my video, and for like every video I get notification that music is from some company, but that never lead me to YT closing my account…

    Posted by Andrea | December 30, 2012, 10:38 pm
  12. Agree, the way Andrea Briz worded it – the stick figure drawings and music work so well together. It was so sad! At first I wanted to laugh, which is my natural response to just about everything, but in really thinking about someone living a life like this, I really wanted to cry. Although, the carrying a knife around all the time made me laugh a little, and the ”Must clean’ tendency. He would not want to come to my house where my mantra is more like, ‘Someone else must clean’. Soap was good, door shutting over and over was good, I believe he was sweeping to the beat which was probably not an accident. The way you ended it, with wheel changing to end, just sad and inspired. You did good girl, glad I didn’t miss this post. I did not re-watch for the official rewatch, but now I might have to.

    Posted by cvc-eve | December 31, 2012, 9:44 am
    • Aww, thank you Carol. You & I definitely share the “tendency to laugh” characteristic. And yeah, the knife-as-security-blanket, that was something of mine that it pleased me to do, like the cabinet of soap & the sweeping to the beat which was HARDER THAN IT SEEMED to get aligned so I’m not 100% sure it was worth it but for some reason I really wanted to… anyway, yes, I think though, it’s more sad to live this way, not able to eat without the plate being “just so” on the table — not to mention all the murderous impulses — not a great life.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 1, 2013, 7:04 pm
      • I’ve only seen this ep once, over a year ago, I was so impressed.
        I started off laughing, just in anticipation of your wonderful stick figures and the knife bit was funny (Mr Stabby) then my feelings started to change. Powerful stuff, Steph. I keep looking out for this ep on TV.

        Posted by Mary Jane | January 5, 2013, 1:55 pm
  13. Wow. I’m not sure an ALLCAPS EXPLOSION is appropriate here. I’ll try to be more subdued…
    This is wonderfully depressing Steph. I mean that in a really good way. You conveyed such emotion with Stick!Vincent! Which I shouldn’t be surprised by, because you manage to do that each and every time. This is just super special though. The animation is perfect. It’s subtle, and subdued. The music is perfect. The detail is perfect. The OCD affectations are perfect. I didn’t get a chance to do the rewatch over the holidays, and this video brought me right back to seeing the episode for the first time.
    Bravo Steph!! Ok, one little one… BRAVO STEPH!!

    Posted by heymomo | December 31, 2012, 7:00 pm
    • Thank you! The more I think about it the more I’m convinced Vincent was a good choice to try the quasi-animation with… he moves pretty slowly compared to say, McG or Mick. 😉 As always I really appreciate your support Momo! Glad you liked this, I really am.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 1, 2013, 7:08 pm
  14. This is actually a wonderful portrayal, and I almost started to cry at the end because of “Before The End”. Amazing job. 🙂

    Posted by That VincentRowlings from Twitter | December 31, 2012, 8:06 pm
  15. Steph! This is amazing. AMAZING! You are one super talented lady.

    Very moving too and I appreciated the link you put in for people out there who may need a hand.

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | December 31, 2012, 9:52 pm
    • Absolutely, Infant! I think mental illness is very stigmatized, probably the way this episode conflates Vincent’s OCD with his (completely separate) murderous impulses doesn’t necessarily *help* people with what are normally “mostly harmless” compulsions (like door opening or hand washing) get the understanding they need from the public, generally speaking, but any excuse to learn something new & gain new perspective on other people, is always good, I think…. <— epic run on sentence there, wow!!!

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 1, 2013, 7:58 pm
  16. This is so moving and so sad, Steph. I’m crying real tears. It always amazes me how much you can express just with stick figures, but I think you’ve really outdone yourself here. The music was such a perfect choice. All of it was just perfect.

    ‘The Last Day Before The End’, this breaks my heart. I love your insight, always.

    Posted by Alicia | January 2, 2013, 2:37 am
  17. Wow, Steph. (I’m Sage, by the way.) I am so impressed with this piece of art. It was moving and smart and creative. I think the simple words, with the melancholy score and repetitive motion captured (what I imagine it is like in) Vincent’s mind. It was simple, but haunting; moving and, strangely, because we know he was trying to get out, rather hopeful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Posted by Girlsage | January 2, 2013, 10:12 pm
    • Hi Sage! Thanks for your comments — especially saying what you liked about it, that is very helpful & insightful. I was truly very nervous about posting this but everyone’s overwhelmingly positive response has me very glad I did! I think I will work on something a little more lighthearted for next time though..!

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 4, 2013, 12:52 pm
  18. Check your DVR’s it’s coming on this week, for who ever doesn’t own it.

    Posted by LaHagela (The Tinkler) | January 5, 2013, 2:28 pm
  19. WOW. I think the music is just perfect. I´ve never watched Criminal Minds, ´til the day when ESS posted that discussion thing. I was shocked and catched. Because I don´t watch stuff like that. Uhm, anyway, your video made me kinda sad… Not, cuz I don´t like the video. It´s great!!! it´s cuz of the way he spend the day… 😦

    Great work Steph!!!! Double thumbs up 😀

    Posted by s!zZ | January 6, 2013, 11:23 am
    • Hi sizz!! So great to see you here, thank you for your kind words! Criminal Minds is a very intense show, not for everyone, that is for sure. I watched religiously for the first season and a half but had to stop because I was getting too freaked out every time someone knocked on my door! I have a very poor ability to suspend my disbelief when scary stuff is involved…

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 7, 2013, 9:53 am
  20. Would it be okay, if I ReBlog this???

    Posted by s!zZ | January 16, 2013, 11:33 am
  21. Oh my god. I just found this. So beautiful and heart breaking. Your talent is amazing. Thank you for sharing it.

    Posted by gracenotpark | January 31, 2013, 7:01 pm


  1. Pingback: Spend Some Time With Vincent (Before the Wheel) | s!zz luvz… - January 16, 2013

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