3.28.2007

Bacchus God of the Vine


Paraphrased from Edith Hamilton's Mythology, on Bacchus/Dionysus:

The God of the Vine could be kind and beneficient, cheering and warming men's hearts, or he could be cruel, driving men to horrible deeds, ugly, degrading, savage & brutal. Women frenzied by Bacchus' powerful wine rushed through woods and over mountains, uttering sharp cries, swept away in a fierce ecstasy, they would tear to pieces the wild creatures they met and devour the shreds of flesh.

Wilderness was their temple.


3.27.2007

Puppet Pantheon

So yesterday was my day off from the evil bill-paying job, the first day off in a few weeks that I've had completely to myself, no errands, no chores. April 1 (Aprolympics!) begins my next big push on Jenny production (goals: finish the Jenny sculpt and a section of the pier), so I didnt want to work on anything Jenny. Need a breather :) I've had some thoughts lately on a live-action/stop-motion short, using a puppet idea I've had for months and months, a wood-carved and -burned tribal hunter. I want him to start off as a marionette, so I dug up a toot, hacked a couple of pieces of wood, and decided this guy was going to take me entirely too long. I want to finish a puppet before Jenny Aprolympics....
So I picked up my copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology, and got to work on a member of the Greek Pantheon.

Guess who :).....

He's a 12-incher! Wire armature, upholstry foam buildup, wrapped in stretchy athletic tape (nice!)...while wrapping the tape, if an area got flattened or needed more buildup, I'd just stick more foam in as I wrapped.....great for musculature....I'm not completely happy with the form here, particularly the upper legs and arms, but I'm going quick and dirty, and he won't be opening his cloak much anyway......more soon....

3.22.2007

Aprolympics

Sorry about the lack of posts, I've been working early morning shifts and its taken a lot out of me....fatigue here I come....
I have been working on Jenny bits, carving away here and there on the pier, hammering out the final script, and most importantly, cleaning and organizing my work space, which hasnt been done since before Widow and the Tree Beast, yikes....I'm clearing off my tabletop, putting away the forest, and getting ready for my pier set....March has been a bust I have to say, so I'm looking forward to making April highly productive.......anyone up for Aprolympics?

3.09.2007

Pier Beginnings


Yesterday I started building the pier, or a two foot section of it anyway (there will be one other 2 footer, and a triangular section between them to create an angle, a corner).....and, ok , its just the top part of that 2ft section.....no posts or supports yet.....each plank is 1' x 1.5" x .25"...

After the nailing, I went at one of the boards with my woodcarving tools to weather it.....theyre old tools and at first I thought I should wait to get new, sharp ones.....


....but then I saw the nice little splinters that sprouted up when I gouged at the wood with the old dull blade, and decided to keep going....


...one board took about an hour to carve and about 3 minutes to paint....I used a light acrylic wash of brown, painted on thick over small areas and then wiped away with a towel, so it stained the recesses more......afterwards I went back with a darker brown to accentuate some of those recesses.....it still needs something, but I suspect I'll figure out what once the rest of it is textured and painted.....I'm thinking less texture around the middle of the boards, where the foot traffic has buffed them a bit.....

3.06.2007

Ready....Set.....


Here are some inspirational images for the next phase of building, the pier and 'shore'....very swampy, very mossy, very bayou....

My pier will be a little closer to the water, the gazebo (tho different from this one) will be gone, cracked off and sunken, part of the underwater set, and there won't be much of a railing, but the shape is right, sort of a wide 'L', maybe a 135 degree angle....

These little doodads are called Cypress knees....this particular breed of Cypress grows in areas that flood or retain water, swampy regions....the knees grow up out of the water as part of the root system, to allow the tree to 'breathe'......removing a Cypress tree's knees is illegal, though it wouldn't actually kill the tree....there will be a few big'uns sprouting up at the entrance of my pier, like spindly hands, forming a sort of gate on either side...

3.03.2007

She Brings the Tide...

I've been struggling with storyboards for 'Jenny' over the last couple of months, trying to get it all down sequentially but always ending up frustrated....I found it unusually difficult to translate my brain-images into physical sketches, even rough ones...I'd end up trying to cram too much info into one thumbnail....I started thinking, this has to be easier when you're working from someone else's direction, ie storyboarding someone else's vision.....and I realized, since this is my vision, what do I really need storyboards for?
So I picked up a pen and one of my notebooks and started writing, and its flowing like it never has before (lets hope I dont jinx it :) When I'm done writing out the story, I'm thinking of setting up a separate page and posting the tale with pics, etc, like a storybook....
It feels good to finally know how events transpire in the story......I can start building the pier, I know what props I need (rusty anchor, anyone?), etc....I've added a few major sequences that will require an extra few months of fabrication, including the interior of the bait shop and a sunken gazebo.....once everythings fabricated I'll start setting up shots using the puppets, trying out different ways of lighting etc, taking stills with my digicam to do storyboards......my plan is to set up a scene, get the right camera angle, arrange the lights in different ways, then take a snapshot of the set-up to pin up next to the storyboard, so when I go to film I know how to place everything.....I may start doing this and find its too time-consuming, but we'll see....