I think I've got a title for the new short.

I couldn't decide whether to keep the 'ed' at the end, 'Unearth' or 'Unearthed'? I'm exploring the idea of an opening crawl for the short, threw one together even, I'll post the video later.....for now here's a pic....

...but I don't know if I'll use it or not. The text might be used during the 'manuscript reading/cafe' scene if I drop the crawl. Most of the text is inspired by/borrowed from Lord Dunsany's 'Gods of Pegana' (c1905), from the section titled 'The Eye in the Waste', which tells of the living hill 'Ranorada', a carved homage to Hoodrazai, the god who knows, the only god to have seen 'The End'. Dunsany inspired the likes of Lovecraft and Tolkien, and with his Pegana writings creates an entire universe brimming with fantastic and cosmic horror. I considered naming the short Pegana, but that would be like calling a film about a perch, 'Cthulhu', IMO...

One leg down on the Seaclops, one leg to go, then arms need texture and hands need to be sculpted.


INT - Cave

I decided to just go ahead and fabricate the interior of the cave behind the 'entrance wall', even though Herbie will actually crawl through a tunnel to get there. The entrance, in the story, will be situated atop a hill, and he will actually descend into the belly :) of the hill from the entrance at the top, discovering this tiny cavern and pool (the pool in the pic was digitally added).
Stalagmites made of mesh, drizzled with a few layers of rubber latex. The cave itself is plaster, bandages wrapped around an old bowl to get the shape, then I spackled the inside for more texture, primed it black, and cut it in half. Spackled/mossy floor & paint job next, and naked Herbie needs a costume. I'm thinking Darth Indiana Jones.


The Cave

I added a layer of wire mesh to the styrofoam, hot glued the plaster face to the mesh, and started layering plaster bandages, similar to how I made my trees. Here's a pic...


Seaclops Details and Cave Beginnings

I used a woodcarving tool to go back over the scales in places, and started detailing the chest...arms and legs next, hands last.....
I also started laying out parts for the cave entrance in the new short...I'm going to mold the Lady's arms, one for the hand-gate and the other to be sculpted into the plaster covering the styrofoam cave (above the head, halfway in the wall, the fingers of which may twitch when the eyes open)......the styrofoam is a piece I pulled out of my new monitors box a few months ago....the whole thing will be meshed over and plastered, then carved or painted to look like rock and hair, and overgrown with moss....Herbie stands about as tall as the face....


The New Su

Spent time this weekend dressing up Su for her roll as the opening kill :) in the as-yet-untitled-short-formerly-known-as-the-EC-short..... She's still in costume as a witch, but has more of a Mardi Gras feel, with the colors and the ballgown....her cloak has wire mesh latexed onto the flaps that go around her arms, the 'bell' of the dress is wire-meshed also, as is the hat (coated in latex)....I used latex to fill in some of the crevices in her face too, since the original Su was to be wearing a hag mask....and I had to boost her bust a bit with rubber latex armor (a piece cast from the mold) so that I could secure the clothing properly....the foam latex chest was too squishy (I originally went with foam latex becasue the pups were going to be mostly nude in parts)...in the background you can see some of the plaster cobblestone sheets I'll be using for the alley set....


Herbie & Su's New Short - Storyboards

I've got the first half of the new short worked out, and the last half is somewhat materialized (I know the broad strokes but not the little details). Here we go :)

A puddle on a cobblestone street reflects colored lights. The sound of a crowd cheering echoes, a festival, Mardi Gras. A foot splashes through the puddle.
Suzanne is running through an alley. She slutches a sachel to her chest, looking behind, apparently persued. At the end of the alley in front of her, a parade rolls by, a crowd gathered. She turns to look behind again, and runs smack into a man in shadow. Herbert. She stumbles, hugs the satchel, and turns to run the other way. Herbie is fast. He grabs her around the waist and drags her into the dark shadows of the alley. She struggles in the darkness. We know that she is dead when the satchel drops to the ground. Followed by her body. Herbie picks up the satchel and
Rifles through it in a cafe nearby, the parade still rolling. From the bag he removes an old manuscript, strange texts, diagrams, maps. He studies them, drinking, smoking. One sketch in particular takes his interest, one half of a torn drawing showing what appears to be a cave, an eye, and a jewel. From his pocket he removes a folded scrap of paper. The other half of the sketch. Together they form a sort of map. Herbie sets out on a quest. Using landmarks from the map (a stone pillar, a gnarled tree....think Goonies, lighthouse rock and restaurant), Herbie comes to a colossal stone sculpture in the swamp.....
Right now, I'm thinking he removes a skull, encrusted with jewels, with a keyhole in the back of the head. He'll return to his apartment, insert the key, awaken the stone woman, who will come to get what he has stolen. There's a strong Jiri Trnka influence in the last act, if you catch my drift :)


Seaclops Progress

I drew a little pupilage on the wooden eyeball, helped me get a better impression of the face as I worked on it.....added little nubs in the 'ear' area, for inserting fins, which will be added using material and wire, after casting.....ditto the arm webbing....
Tomorrow.....some storyboards for 'the short formerly known as the EC short.'


Alginate & My Crazy Theory

Alginate is used to make molds, most commonly in lifecasting, on people's parts. I get it in powder form, and mix with water until its a bit like peanut butter. Its applied to the area to be molded, lets say, my wifes face, and it slides. Droops down, has to constantly be monitored, and finagled, and reapplied, until its set, about 20 minutes or so. Its a racing game, like with foam latex, to get it where you want it before it sets. About halfway through, when it just begins to set up, I apply strips of terrycloth, which provide grab-on points for the plaster bandage mother mold. The plaster shell will keep the alginate in position, because it sets up sort of floppy, like rubber latex without the tensile strength. Once it sets its ready to be used. Now here's the cool thing......you can pour in plaster or melted clay.....hard cast (plaster) would result in a soft mold (latex), or soft cast(clay) to hard mold (ultracal), then to foam latex, for example.
The alginate will start to dry out quickly, but you can store it in a bucket of water and it will be fine. I had my wife's face in a bucket for almost two months, took it out this week, stuck it back onto the plaster shell, and pulled a new clay copy out of it, which looks virtually the same as the original.
Then I got curious, and here's where the fun begins. I left the alginate mold out, didnt put it back in the water. Over the next day I watched it harden and SHRINK....it started to curl badly, so I stuck a little piece of dowel inside, from cheek to cheek, to keep it in shape, and now I have a miniature mold of the face. About half-size.
The clay mini-copy doesn't look great, because I wasn't thinking about what I was doing, and I poured the melted clay directly into the hardened alginate mold with no release agent, so it distorted some when pulling out. And you can see where I had to resculpt the nose a bit, around the nostrils, because I didn't put enough alginate in that area.
But here's the kicker....I take this clay mini-copy, make an alginate mold of it, and let that shrink.....should end up, oh I don't know.......about puppet size.......!!! Makes me think about a little 'self-puppet' idea I had, many moons ago....
Let me take it a step further.....suppose I need a smaller version of Jenny for a long shot in the 'Greenteeth' short....I could pull a rubber latex version from the Jenny mold (whenever the sculpt is done :D, then alginate-mold that, let it shrink, and pull a new teeny Jenny from the dried mold...possible? We'll just have to wait and see.....Requires further study.......


What About Herbie and Su??

I'm officially moving on, away from the EC story and its copyright issues. Over the past couple of weeks I've been developing an idea, using the Herbie and Su puppets, the three sets, and a couple of additional props. A month ago or so I did some lifecasting tests using alginate, made a clay cast of my wife's face. I've decided to use this cast in the new film, as the entrance to a 'cave'....I'm still working out the possibilities, story-wise, but I am drawing much inspiration from some classic gothic tales, all highly recommended reading, most available online (try Project Gutenberg for free ebooks)...

'The Great God Pan' by Arthur Machen
'The Willows' and 'Running Wolf' by Algernon Blackwood
'The Weed Men' by William Hope Hodgson
'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Stetson
'Carmilla' by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu
'The Castle of Otranto' by Horace Walpole

Filming should take place throughout October (Monster Month!!), maybe late September. 'Til then I'll be hammering out the story in my head (while continuing work on Seaclops and Trolio)...right now I'm trying to figure out exactly what is in the 'cave' (treasure!)...I know that Herbie will sit in a cafe, rifling through an old manuscript......then he will steal something from the 'cave', awakening the giant(ess) face at the entrance, a la Hera's statue in Clash of the Titans, who in turn awakens.....something else.....to retrieve the stolen item..........I'm not being mysterious, I really haven't figured it out yet :) I also might try compositing my wife's real eyes onto the cave entrance when it awakens, like Madame Tutli-Putli.....