1.24.2006

Test Video


Watch the video
Heres a little test video, I'd say about 12 frames per second (I hear 24 is the way to go)...I wasn't too concerned with technical stuff, so lighting is abit weird in places and the tweezers even make it into a frame or two :P...camera movement is a problem also, as I was using a digital camera with no remote...for the real deal I plan on connecting the camera to my PC and capturing witha click of the mouse button, so that I don't have to touch the camera...unless its moving, panning, or zooming...which it will be...a lot.......I have this whole elaborate plan worked out involving a miniature track system for my camcorder...but more on that later, go watch the vid...

1.20.2006


Cabin clips

Backlit cabin

Cabin clips

Influenced by Music...

Hans Zimmer's Ring score
Alan Silvestri's What Lies Beneath score
Danny Elfman's Catwoman theme (the Pfeiffer one)

These mp3s get heavy rotation while I am working, to the point now that I can put one of these tracks on and almost instantly my creative juices flow. This music sounds like Jenny. Hopefully I will be able to score something similar when the time comes, or have someone do it for me.

The sets for the project will be constructed in three large segments, probably 6'x3' each, one for land, one for shore, and one for underwater. The 'land' set will contain trees set against a greenscreen, and a little cabin in the woods. The 'shore' set includes the rocky shoreline and the pier, and the 'underwater' set features the lake bed, lots of seaweed, and the exterior of Jenny's cave. I am going to attempt to make them modular, because I want to start with a grand sweeping stop-mo shot from the background cabin in the woods, down the pier, and underwater to Jenny's cave. Ambitious, I know.
I have built the cabin and started painting and dressing it up. Its actually only a facade, about 8" x 12", because it is going to be surrounded and hidden partially by trees. I intend on making the finished film black and white (I'm going for a Hitchcocky feel), so I decided at the last minute to paint the cabin a bright royal blue, just to give the greys a bit more depth in the end. It is a little strange tho, and will probably be distracting when I am filming the set (I know I'll be anxious to see the finished black and white clips).

Jenny Rises

A little bit more of the story came to me, visually, specifically Jenny climbing out of the lake onto the pier. I haven't been able to decide on her finished look but I know that when she surfaces I want her entangled in seaweed, like a giant cloak sliding out of the water as she crawls across the pier.

I seem to be making more and more work for myself, but I decided early on that I would do what I had to do to tell the story visually the way that I imagine it...that means no cutting corners because something seems too difficult to pull off...

heres a little sketch....

1.19.2006

Animated storyboard for section of Jenny Greenteeth project


Watch the video
short storyboarded segment of my stop-mo project

Jenny Greenteeth, Muse & Monster

I am constantly plagued with new ideas, for artwork, short films, screenplays, you name it, and I often have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, but every now and then an idea sticks...and won't go away.
Haunting, I guess.
That's how this Jenny project is for me right now. I originally came up with the idea just before Hurricane Katrina hit, and it sort of gelled in my mind while on evacuation...not surprising that the story involves a lot of water...
Jenny Greenteeth is a witch, a folktale of Central European origin, a water nymph living in the muddy beds of lakes and rivers, feeding on the unwary and responsible for the drowning of countless children, or so they say. Some think that her tale is an allegory, possibly a caution against duckweed, a type of seaweed which can entangle and drag you under, a campfire story to scare the kids, and keep them away from the water's edge.
My version of the tale is inspired by Asian horror, Juon the Grudge and some others, a short film about a doomed little girl who unfortunately has the pleasure of meeting Jenny face-to-face.
I accept the challenge of making silly little clay people scary and intense, though this is my first stop-motion animation project, my first one that has a beginning, middle, and end, anyway. There are a lot of kinks to work out. I haven't figured out yet how I plan to animate the water, for example, but I have started on sets and storyboards, which I will post soon enough.

first animation test with "stand-in" little girl puppet...arms and body unfinished...

Early sculpt of Jenny Greenteeth...face will probably stay the same, haven't decided on hair yet...

1.18.2006

Howdy

This is my first blog, started for several reasons. As an artist, I love the idea of using a blog to share my work in progress. While I do a lot of painting, sculpting, woodburning, and printmaking, my current frontburner project is a stop-motion animation short, a little horror movie based on an old English/Irish folktale about a witch named Jenny Greenteeth. (Thanks to Mike Mignola and Hellboy for introducing me to the character.) I expect this short to take up most of my spare time for 2006, and will use this blog as a way to track its progress, and share it with everyone.