5.19.2006

Beginnings of a New (baby) Project

....so I've mentioned that I am a bit ADD with my artwork, which is strange to me because in all other aspects of life I am pretty much one of the most laid-back people you will ever meet, but I have a tendency to bounce around between projects a lot, which is one of the great things about stop-motion in general....there is just so much to do and learn that I am never bored...one of my goals since Pandora is to continue to pursue and create other shorts, as a learning process, because I am so passionate about Jenny that I basically want to make all of my mistakes on other, shorter shorts...originally I had pegged stopmoshorts as a great outlet for this, and still think it will be, but instead of always having a deadline hanging over my head for these short shorts, I've decided to start working on a new little film that can take time to germinate for a while, something to break the monotony of Jenny as far as puppets and sets go...
This time, instead of having to create a story all my own, I am going to do an adaptation of a Hellboy story called 'Pancakes', a very short but sweet and funny 2-page comic story that appears in the 'Right Hand of Doom' TPB. It presents its own set of challenges, like trying to translate the beautiful work of Mike Mignola into three dimensions (gonna try painting the shadows instead of creating them with actual light). One of the goals here also is to test out my ability to synch voices. The Jenny film will have no voices, only moody music and sound effects, more like a silent film, but synching is something that I will absolutely need experience with in the future.
I've been working here and there on a baby Hellboy puppet for the short, different from both the Jenny and Nola puppets. There is very little animation actually involved in the story, so the puppet does not need to be very elaborate, no tie-downs etc. His head and arm are fully sculpey, hard as a rock and hand-painted, with joints in the back of his jaw and at the wrist of the right hand of doom, very 'Muppet'-like. Also features realistic-like clothing, which is a first for me, and a styrofoam-fill body, also a first. And hey, carrying on the tradition of my test puppets, he has no legs and only one arm :D....not sure what that's about, I'll ask Freud.
Baby HB will also have snap on eyelids, and possibly a replacement mouth or two for those 'oooo' sound lip shapes. The bottom jaw is held in with a small piece of armature wire that fits snugly into a small hole in the back of his mouth. I have some ideas for the rest of the piece, there's a silhouetted panel of demons screaming, for instance, that I want to approach in a similar way to those crazy cool flashback battle sequences in Coppola's Dracula. And you've already seen my pamcake/wax butter test clip. Still have a few puppets to make (an army general and a couple of demons) and some backgrounds and props, I expect the fork to be the most difficult to fashion. I should also state here that I do not plan on making any money off of this short, it is strictly a fan film, a homework assignment if you will (just in case any of Mignola's lawyers are watching ;) Will probably use parts of the score from the Hellboy film, and have already tapped a good friend of mine and former roommate to do the voices. He's a local band guy, has some great recording and sound fx equipment, and has already said he would do the score for Jenny, which has me very excited, but I won't get to bug him about that until the flick is actually done.
I'll only be periodically working on this short, not something I'll claim to have done anytime soon (maybe a few months?)....

8 comments:

herself said...

Hey, Jeffery, you've been busy in Ubertuber land. Sounds like a good plan you have to me. I'm completely unfamiliar with comics but the shirt looks really good! Woo.

Darkstrider said...

Heh...
Dude, you're doing this the same way I am.... all the films I've been working on are just "practice" for the better stuff that's reserved for the future.

Ale said...

Since you mentioned silent films:
Is there any stopmo starring a puppet Chaplin?
I had to do some projects for University, and fell in love with the lil guy, and realized he is a perfect character for stopmo: it's all about acting and body expression=animation!

(also no hard work lip sync to do :P)

Ubatuber said...

Ale, I say take that idea and run with it! I'd love to see a little stop-mo Chaplin...slapstick would make for great animation, like you said, all about body language...now that I think of it, Buster has a sort of Chaplin-esque quality to him, with a little bit of film noir thrown in....if Chaplin were a detective in a Hitchcock film, that'd be Buster...

Ale said...

(running with the idea in his hands)
- You'll never catch me! Mueheheh!

Ok, I'll write it down on the list of stuff to do in July.

I already thinking how weird it'll be to make a black and white character :D

Ubatuber said...

...or you could just convert to black and white afterwards, sometimes you can get more depth in b/w images if you shoot with lots of color/tones, and convert to b/w after filming, but it can be difficult to gauge how the finished product will look...I find that blurring my vision a bit helps me to see things more tonally...

Ale said...

I guess I'll try to mix clay in order to get different shades: black, white and everything in between, and try sculpting Chaplin, which will already be a challenge for me...
(at least he's 3D)

Darkstrider said...

Chaplin is perfect for stopmo! I thought about doing him before I settled on Buster.

I decided for Buster to do everything in full color... I painted the puppet carefully and the brick wall and everything because I figured I could get my tones and delicate shades better that way, and they end up looking more realistic when I reduce to duotone. I also think I'd feel weird animating black and white puppets.

But it could be fun to sculpt him in black and white.