12.29.2008

Unearthed - The New Herbie


Herbie 2.0 is all dressed up in OtherHerbie's clothes! He's ready for his close-up, too. All-in-all I'm happier with the new version, the Sculpey picked up more of the detail in his face than the foam latex did. I probably would've made him this way if I hadn't changed gameplans halfway through development of this short (originally "Unearthed" was to be an adaptation of an old Tales from the Crypt tale, "Only Skin Deep", which I had to ditch due to legal reasons--in the original, Herbie spent much of the story topless, so I figured foam would work out better)...anyways, the likeness between the two pups is slightly off-kilter but I dont think it'll be all that noticeable on screen considering the only real close-up of Herbie we've had so far was when he was wiping off the mime make-up....


So I'm all set to start filming the cemetery scene....I hope I can keep that same sort of melancholy/whimsy/creepiness that I think I acheived with my test months & months ago....

12.21.2008

Unearthed - Herbie 2.0

After the snow, the Lady and I took turns being extremely flu-ridden, completely miserable...I'm finally feeling better today, about 85%, and ate solid food for the first time in nearly a week (been livin on noodle soup/broth)...I did have plenty of time to watch my new DVD of Jim Henson's "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas", which has always been my favorite "Muppet" special, and holds a very dear place in my heart...this new release has great documentary featurettes on the making-of, including segments with puppet fabbers, puppeteers, and the like....
Couple that with a special puppet project I'm working on for the Lady's X-mas gift, and I haven't had a lot of time to work on Herbie 2.0, but he is coming along...slowly but surely....
I layered his neck with lots of rubber latex for thickness to match the foam pup, and coated most of his upper chest and shoulders with latex since some of those spots show through the collar of his shirt....I'm especially happy with the hands....once I paint him, and dress him in Herbie 1.0's costume, he'll be ready for a test run on the cemetery set, probably soon after X-mas...


12.11.2008

Snow...

For only the second time in my life, snow fell this morning in New Orleans. A good 5-6 inches in some areas. Unfortunately, I was at work and mostly unable to enjoy it, but the Lady was up early before her shift and had time to snap a few pics....

12.07.2008

Disney Brings 2-D to Nola


Disney is resurrecting its 2-D animation with a feature called "The Princess & the Frog", scheduled for release in 2009.....and set in 1920's New Orleans! Looks decent, I'll see it just for its setting, of course :)
Another film getting great buzz, David Fincher's "Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons", starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchet (one of my favorite actresses). It tells the story of a man who ages backwards, and the woman he loves, based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, and filmed here in Nola last year. Judging from what Ive seen, this looks to be the first film to truly capture the beauty of the city. It opens on Christmas Day, we'll be there that night to see it...

12.05.2008

Unearthed - Herbie's Head

I can't go on with Herbie's arm the way it is, I've tried repairing with no luck. He definitely needs a new armature, which means new casting. I don't really have the time (or patience) or money for foam latex right now, and I'm anxious to get him fixed, so I decided to try and pull a sculpey head out of the mold. Slapping clay into both sides of the ultracal mold and squashing it together didn't work, but I wasn't expecting it to, both halves were sticking, so I had to pull them out separately, smoosh them together and resculpt a bit at the seam. I haven't baked him yet, haven't made the new armature, but I think he'll work out just fine for now.....though I will need a new foam version in a few months, because Herbie spends the last few minutes of the short in his "PJs", shirtless and boxers. (When this all started, "Unearthed" was actually supposed to be a Tales From the Crypt story adaptation, and in that story, Herbie spent some time in bed with a "beautiful" woman ;) Since I had already sculpted him shirtless, and made the bed prop, I decided to work those elements into the new story when I came up with it, so at the end of Unearthed, Herbie will be woken from a deep sleep by the sound of pounding, getting louder, until the stone giantess' arm crashes through his bedroom window......



In other news, I'm finally devoting myself to SMA (StopMotionAnimation.com)....I'm always overwhelmed when I try to throw myself into the forums there, I never know where to start, but I've got to start somewhere...I'm going to make a concerted effort to pop in regularly to share with and support my fellow stop-moes. Call it an early New Years resolution :) Plus, there's a special little Christmas project that I'm working on for a special Lady, and I don't want to post about it here in case she pops in ;) So I've decided to make this Sunday "SMA Day"...

11.26.2008

Unearthed - Lafayette Cemetery

I've dressed the cemetery set with the finishing touches....All I have left to do is rig the gate with a bit of wire, so Herbie can knock it over and step on and over it, and also rig the statue's severed head with a bit of wire so Herbie can roll it over (it will be lying face-down)...
Ive also decided to simplify the storyboards to save myself some time....not that Ive actually storyboarded, heh.....only in my head....but Ive changed my vision of the scene, shall we say? Originally I planned to have a handful of ghosts appear all at once....Herbie would walk through a couple of them, oblivious...(he's not very sensitive, sort of thugish, a trait I've tried to enforce with the character, his destructive nature, ie knocking the gate over or later, breaking the finger off of the statue....and....well....with the murder and all, ha)....anyways, the original plan wouldve been a nightmare to greenscreen and I need to get moving on this short so Ive re-edited in me head...now the ghosts will appear after Herbie passes their respective tombs, on the way to the path between the angels (which will have been revealed to him in the 2-D sequence which plays itself out in the book during the cafe scene)...

I sculpted a couple of name plates for the tombs, Wilcox and Legrasse, both from Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu", also a nod to my Monster Month characters...

The walls are recycled from the gate sequence, ditto the tree....the first ghost will appear from around this corner after Herbie has passed...

...and another will appear down this little grave's alcove....the tombstone here is a repainted action figure accessory, I think from a Buffy toy....

The path between the angel's tombs is littered with bits of the broken statue, including its missing arm....the missing wing is behind the statue in the underbrush that Herbie will pass through at the end of the shot...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

11.08.2008

Unearthed - The Cemetery Gates


Well , I'm back to plugging away at Unearthed.....just before Monster Month started, I had filmed and slightly edited the gate sequence...I'll be finishing that up and then going full-steam-ahead with the rest of the cemetery shoot...
Working on the pumpkin/mossman clip, I learned a little trick to help me with my greenscreening....I dont really have enough space to do greenscreening proper, my table/set is too close to the screen, my lighting is not consistent enough, etc. But I've discovered that I can manipulate video effects in Sony Vegas to help it out a bit....see, Vegas renders effects in the order that you stack them....so what I can do is, lay down an extremely saturated version of the clip, amp that green up as high-chroma as I can stand.....then remove the green with the chromakeyer.....then tack on another saturation effect, this time to desaturate the clip back to its original coloring....this helps me to get a more consistent "green" going, which reduces the halo and flicker on my set, yay...

11.04.2008

British Invasion 2 - The Catherine Tate Show

Let me start by explaining a bit about the viewing habits of the Lady and I....we have a tendency to latch onto certain actors/writers/directors who truly speak to us, usually by making us laugh or by enthralling us with beautiful characters, well performed or well written. Once we are under the spell of said artist, we then seek out everything we can find on that person, gorge ourselves on their work :) We are nothing if not loyal...

Months ago, I worte about Torchwood and Doctor Who....the doctors companion in the fourth series was played fabulously by Catherine Tate....the Lady and I both fell in love with the ginger actress, so when we found out she had a comedic background, in fact had her own sketch comedy show, we were very excited.....in the show, she plays a plethora of zany characters, spewing catchphrases with impeccable timing....of course Netflix has the first 2 series', and we've just seen them....and they are excellent....this woman makes me laugh like a buffoon....I don't know what it is, she just cracks me up....her comedic timing is nothing short of genius....go check her out....


Am I bovvered?

11.01.2008

Happy Halloween from the Ghost with the Most!


Happy Halloween everyone! We had a fantastic time at last night's first annual Krewe of Boo parade, there were stilt walkers, vampires on horseback, undead dance troupes (very Thriller!)....more on that later....for now though, the Mossman clip is finally posted over on "Lurline's" blog....her hunt for the Tree Beast will resume next year, Monster Month 2009 (aw, c'mon, it'll be here before you know it :::)

10.29.2008

Mossman & Tree Beast?

Monster Month '08 is winding down and I'm still trying to edit together my Mossman clip, it should be posted later today....which leaves me with 2 days to shoot and edit the Tree Beast clip.....can I do it? Maaaaaayyybe.....or maybe we'll leave Lurline vs. the Tree Beast for next year....we'll see....
I've also got a little work to do on my costume, we haven't costumed in years and I've been looking forward to it (this year I'm Beetlejuice :) We're plannig on attending a new Nola tradition, the Krewe of Boo, a parade put together by the legendary Mr. Mardi Gras, Blaine Kern, who hopes to make Nola THE place to be for Halloween.....sounds awesome to me, lets hope things work out....I'll be there in the crowd showing my support!

10.20.2008

Smoky Mountain Mossman


We are back from a beautiful week spent in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We stayed in a cabin near Gatlinburg, explored Smoky Mountain National Park, visited the town of Cherokee, N.C., attended the Pumpkin Festival, and saw beautiful fall colors everywhere.


This week I shoot the Mossman footage, probably on Wednesday. I have the set ready, designed to resemble the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot video, which you can watch here if you are unfamiliar.

10.13.2008

Pumpkin Patch - MM2008

My punkin patch clip is posted over on the MMSouth blog, click the Monster Month banner above to head over there and check it out!

I'll be out of town for the next few days, but when I get back, watch for my second MM clip featuring the Mossman!

10.08.2008

Big Easy Shorts Festival

I got an email today informing me that "Widow" has been accepted into the Big Easy Shorts Festival and will "premier" at a local theatre in November. This news is exciting for me, my first success amidst a small sea of submissions of art and film that I have deposited into the world over the last year or so.
The official lineup will be announced tomorrow, I'll update as more info becomes available....

In production news, I'm just about done setting up the pumpkin patch, plan to shoot that clip for MM on the 10th....I am positively itching to edit and add fx to my newest "Unearthed" scene, the cemetery gates, but alas I'll have to wait until October is over if I want to get my three MM clips done :::)

10.04.2008

MM2008 - The Mossman Cometh


Meet the Mossman! He towers over Herbie and the cemetery set, my largest pup yet, approx 13". He's got a basic wire armature, covered in upholstry foam, wrapped in athletic bandages for shape, then coated in hot glue and mossed up. The hot glue made him stiffer than I'd like, but I think once it cracks (or I cut it) near the bends and crooks of his body, he'll be loosier goosier. I'm not done with his head yet...

In Unearthed news, I got about 10 seconds into the gate sequnce and Herbies one-wired arm broke completely....I opened up the foam, tried to reapply the epoxy putty bones with a new piece of twisted wire between, from bicep to forearm, but it didn't hold....so now I've rigged a quick fix, jammed a piece of larger armature wire up his sleeve to act as a splint for the last 5-6 seconds of the shot....

Then I strike the set and set up the MM Pumpkin Patch...
---edit---
Splint successful! Sequence shot! Set stricken! :::)

10.01.2008

Monster Month 2008

Its officially Monster Month!! Most of my posting this month will be done over on the MM blog, which you can link to from the groovy new banner up yonder. I will, however, pop in here occasionally to share behind-the-scenes bits on the three video clips I plan to shoot this month in honor of the occasion.
Cheers and Happy October!!

:::) Spider Smilies

9.29.2008

Monster Month 2008

Hard to believe its (nearly) October again, already.....my favorite month, the weather, the holiday, and best of all, Monster Month!! Starting on Wednesday, Oct 1, I'll be revisiting the Monster Month blog and continuing the tale of Lurline Legrasse. There will be regular posts about her hunt for the beast that murdered her husband, and also a few video clips as she takes out some of the other....flora...in the bayou, including the killer Pumpkin Patch.
Over the weekend I started working on my punkin pups....

9.24.2008

New Painting - Lafayette Cemetery Ghoul


Got the bug and started on a new painting yesterday, the next in my "magical realism" series (see "City Park Bridge Troll")....thissuns big, 30" x 48".....the ghoul'll be munchin on a semi fresh corpse that he's pulling through the bars there, yum! :P I'm going to try to give him an Arabian look without getting too "Nightcrawler"ey....
Re: Unearthed, I'll be filming the cemetery gate sequence sometime in the coming week, so that I can strike the set and get ready for a special Monster Month short featuring the return of the Tree Beast....


9.19.2008

British Invasion - More Telly....

Ive mentioned that the Lady and I are all about Dr. Who, but last week made another UK telly discovery....We've been fans of Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright for years now, since seeing "Shaun of the Dead" when it was released....."Hot Fuzz", another of our favorites ("If we dont come down hard on these clowns, we're going to be up to our balls in jugglers!" - one of the best lines of 2007)....for all these long years I've been hearing about a show called "Spaced", which featured the trio's debut together (as far as I know)...the series, spanning only 14, 1/2 hour episodes, was released here in July, and I immediately put it at the top of my Netfliz queue, where it sat with a "very long wait" until last week....and wow, was it ever worth the wait....perfectly pop cultural, especially for a child of the eighties like myself, it combines quirky characters with oft-times surreal situations, excellent acting & writing, as expected from the group....throw in wonderful actress Jessica Stevenson (aka Jessica Hynes), who gets top billing with Pegg as writer, and you've got yourself a must-own set.....Go check it out....

9.17.2008

Unearthed - Herbies Broken Arm

Well, it was inevitable, sooner or later it had to happen....the other day, while handling Herbie, I noticed his right arm was loose. A peek inside revealed a broken wire. He's got two wires twisted in there, and only one is snapped at the elbow, so I think I can get away with the cemetery shots with a slightly limp arm, but sooner or later he'll have to be re-armatured, possibly even recast (I'm not sure how difficult it will be to slip the old Herbie-skin onto a new armature, I imagine he may end up unusually lumpy in places he wasn't before, we'll see)......


9.07.2008

My Gustav Experience

*Phew* :)

We are finally home, with power and water. The city appears to have dodged the bullet with this one. All-in-all, hands down, the best evacuation vacation either me or the Lady has ever had...


Since you and I last spoke....After posting that I was signing off, I packed up the 'puter....we were up late that night trying to remember everything we needed to bring, trying to strategically stack everything in the truck to fit, while still leaving enough space for the 3 beasts (Biggie, Bunny, and Salvie, our cats)...we decided to leave in the morning, after very little sleep...the Lady's mother was coming with us so we headed over to her house, unpacked everything, repacked it all back into her Honda CRV (more space, yay!), and headed off...the initial plan was to go about 40 miles away, north to my sisters house "across the lake"....by then we were hearing horror stories about Contra-Flow, a plan used by the state to turn all interstate highways away from the city, even the incoming ones.....it can be VERY confusing, you are diverted to different highways, you have to know exactly where you need to go, because once you're on, there are very few chances to get off or turn around....we only needed to take the Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain to get out, so we didnt have to deal with the interstates or the mess of Contra Flow, but people spent ungodly amount of hours stranded in non-moving traffic trying to evacuate (18 hours from here to Alabama!!)....


We arrive at my sisters and discover they have become anxious and booked 3 hotel rooms, one for their family, one for us, and one for my grandparents. Turns out, something we hadnt considered, because the storm was headed just west of us, it was expected to force storm surge into the lake, flooding areas north of the lake, where we were going to be....Katrina headed east of us, which forced the surge south, flooding the southshore of the lake....so we no longer felt safe where we were, packed up the cars, and headed for Panama City FL, the closest hotel rooms we could find on short notice, and also a city to the east that would allow us to avoid Contra Flow (I'm not interested in having to keep a piss bottle in my car....plus, the thought of a million people suffering road rage on a non moving highway, and the fear of being stuck on the road when the storm hit, no thanks....) We managed to get there in 8 hours (wouldve been 6 except for the two hours in stopped traffic outside Pascagoula MS waiting for a trailer that had flipped to be removed from the highway)...


Our hotel was not the nicest of places, but we had cable and were less than a mile from the beach...I should mention that the Lady and I havent had a vacation since our honeymoon in '02, so we decided to make the most of it, and we absolutely did....we watched very little of the storm coverage, the media was mostly pissing me off, all hoping for something horrible to happen and seemingly disappointed when it looked like the levees were holding and everything would be (relatively) fine...the storm hit as a category 2, moderately weak, so I'm not completely convinced that the Army Corps of Engineers knows what they are doing with the levees, but I'm a little more at ease...


When we got home, we had no power or water, but also no trees in our roof or through our windows, so we were lucky...we had to endure the disgusting task of cleaning out our fridge again, and yesterday I braved the local walmart to try to restock some of the essentials, bread, milk, cheese....bad idea....its amazing how many people can fit in a super wal-mart....population of China, come on in!....Got me thinking, how is it fair for these stores to make such a profit at times like this? Shouldnt there be some sort of government issued food stamp to allow us to restock our supplies? Reimbursement for hotel maybe? There were for Katrina but those were extreme circumstances....As it stands, we had to use our rent money to cover expenses and now we are behind on bills....there should be a trade-off system, for every bag of rotten groceries you bring us, we'll give you a bag of fresh foods....


Anyways....I'm glad to be home in one piece....and I am definitely NOT going to mention Hurricane Ike right now.....talkatcha soon....



8.30.2008

Gustav and Hannah, time to run....


Gustav is getting stronger, at this point on the local news they're saying worse than Katrina, and for once I believe them. Couple that with the development of Tropical Storm Hannah, also headed towards the Gulf, and that equals us getting the fuck out of here. We'll spend tonight packing as much as we can take with us, including the three cats, in my pickup, again. We'll stack the rest of our most treasured belongings (Jenny 2 sculpt anyone?) on top of our entertainment center, fridge, anywhere high up. I'll try to control this compressed feeling in my chest, so I dont give myself an early coronary, and we'll probably head out in the wee hours of the morning.

So this may be my last transmission for awhile. I pray that in a few days I'll be back here, wiping my brow *phew* and trudging along on Unearthed....

Peace out, see ya when I see ya....

8.29.2008

Gustav, As of Today

Here're the projected paths for Gustav as of today, looks like now they've got it potentially jogging westward a bit, more towards Texas, which is actually almost worse because (generally) the eastern side of the storm is the strongest, and also brings tornados in its wake....I report to work in the morning but after tomorrow I think we'll be shut down, parts of the city are already starting mandatory evac...if we leave itll probably happen on Sunday....but we don't want to.......we sooooo do not want to leave....but I think we'll have to.....time will tell.....

And here's my Katrina video, posted on the anniversary of Katrina last year...



Katrina Retrospective from Ubatuber on Vimeo.

8.28.2008

Gustav Celebrates Katrina's Anniversary

With the 3-year anniversary of Katrina on everyone's thoughts, Hurricane Gustav barrels through Jamaica today, with a projected path into the Gulf by Saturday and landfall on Tuesday, which means evacuation for us, most likely. I'm trying not to worry for today and tomorrow, things can change quickly with these storms. Tensions are definitely running high in the city though, as panic begins to set in...


Projected paths for Gustav

8.25.2008

Unearthed - Cat Test

Here's a teeny test of my bitty kitty pup....also testing out the background image....I shot some live action footage of my Black Salvie to use for the cat's face, cropped and composited in....with smoother lighting and animation I think this'll be damn groovy.....now if I could just get Sal to hiss for me :)


Unearthed - Cat Test from Ubatuber on Vimeo.

8.19.2008

Unearthed - Angels and Light


Hey y'all, today I tried a quickie lighting set-up, as seen up yonder, slightly too dark....I want the space between the two angels to be the only truly black space, thats the entrance to Herbies path, the spot he disappears into on camera....will require use of mini Christmas village lighting, which I've used to light everything Ive shot for Unearthed so far...also pictured, the (mostly) done, armed angel....I want to go over her with another layer of acrylic, the texture/color is a bit too uniform I think, needs some lighter lights in spots...the hands, I didnt want to spend time sculpting, so I gave her flat little flippers and painted the fingers/knuckles on...shouldnt be a problem for the shots I need...

8.12.2008

Transit Troll Proposal - I Made the Deadline!


I painted my buttocks off this past weekend and finished the Bridge Troll proposal! While I can't technically say I'm finished the paintings (there are rough spots and areas I'm not satisfied with), I did complete them enough to make the proposal. Now we play the waiting game...(I've submitted a lot of work over the last year and haven't heard so much as a peep from anyone, but I'm not giving up)....
Next up for me, I finish the weeping angels and prepare to film the cemetery set....I am also working on rendering a high quality version of "Widow", with a few slight re-edits, for a local film fest, deadline Aug 31...

8.10.2008

Tree Beast and Trollio


Third panel NEARLY done, I want to try out eyes on the Beast though I think it'll be too much.....going to plug away at panel #1 today and finish up the main panel, the troll...

8.08.2008

Troll Painting - Panel 3: The Tree Beast


Just added goopy medium mixed with taupe-ish color to give the tree some texture...I've got the Troll painting propped up next to the easel while I'm working but I'm having a little trouble keeping things completely consistent...overall its an interesting little experiment....I'm thinking my last couple of layers on each painting will be done all at once, with the 3 panels all squished together on the easel, which I'll have to rig with an extra long board for added girth...

8.07.2008

The Transit Troll

I did not finish the bridge troll painting in time for the No Dead Artists show, but I have other plans for it. Another local "Call to Artists", this time the Arts Council and the Downtown Development District plan to plaster the work of 14 Nola artists on the transit shelters along the streetcar line. I'm submitting the troll for consideration, thing is, the shelters are looong, so I've got to beef up the painting with two more panels, one on the left and one on the right, continuing the landscape and maybe throwing in some other magical creatures as well....depends on how much of a crunch I'm in come Monday.....oh, did I not mention? Deadline: Monday at midnight....y'all keep your fingers crossed for me to get this puppy done, I need lots of happy thoughts and encouragement ;)




I've already started on the far right panel, a bit of the ole Tree Beast in there I think (though not scary....a happy Tree Beast!)...I miscalculated the horizon line, have to shift it up a bit, but you get the idea...

8.04.2008

Unearthed - Arming the Angels

Over the weekend I molded my sculpt, applying four coats of rubber latex with a brush from Friday night to Sunday...I ended up going thick with the rubber, even though the description of the process I used as a guide (from "The Prop Builders Molding and Casting Handbook" by James) uses a thinner mold which can be peeled off of the sculpt like a sock....I worried about peeling because of the undercuts especially at the chin, and since we wont see the backs of the sculpts I didnt have to worry about a seam back there, so I went thicker with the mold and sliced it up the back to free the sculpt...then before pouring in the plaster, I wired the mold shut with twist ties and covered the seam with cool hot glue (didnt let it heat up all the way, worked well, peeled off easily after casting)...the wings were cut from a couple of cheapie garden sculptures, just to save time...they ended up taller then I'd like so I need to shave and sand down the bottoms to cut down on the height....more coming soon...

8.01.2008

Unearthed - The Angel Beast

More sculpting progress, I'm not completely settled on this face yet, a bit too beasty maybe, though we wont even really see it in the film (their hands will be in front of their faces, like my print and Dr Who's weeping angels)...I plan on sculpey-ing the arms after casting this piece in plaster, I want to avoid a complicated mold, and I want their arms in different poses....with this piece on its own I should be able to do a simple enough rubber latex mold, peel it off, then fill with plaster...the wings will be harvested from a nest of baby sparrows I've been nurturing in my yard....good eatin' come harvestin' time too!...or maybe I'll shop around for something cheap and wingy to recycle, I think K-Mart has their summer patio stuff on clearance and I remember seeing some angels and fairies there...

7.31.2008

Unearthed - Angel Sculpt

I made great headway yesterday with the angel tombstone sculpt, here it is thus far...

7.30.2008

Unearthed - Tombstone Angel

Next up for me is completion of the main cemetery set for Unearthed. Alls I've got left to do is sculpt the tombstone angels. I'll be soft-molding them with latex probably, it'll be my first real attempt at molding soft/casting hard...finished casts will be plaster, I'll pull two angels from one mold because the second statue will be broken up and strewn about the grave site, so I can just use the same sculpt for each of the two tombs...then once I cast, and dress the set with them, I'll be ready to film....

7.22.2008

No Dead Artists

I've got a few more days to work on my submissions for the No Dead Artists show at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. I'm just about done with my blocks, which means I can start printing in the coming days.....here is a mock-up of what the finished print will look like...
....the black bits are block #1, an actual print from the actual block....I then added my sketch of the angel in Photoshop, to play with composition a bit.....angel is block #2, still being carved...

I have the weekend off, from the evil bill-paying retail job, and may have enough time to hustle and complete the troll painting....submission app needs to be in the mail on Monday...

7.09.2008

Unearthed - Rockin' the Gates



I'm mostly done with the cemetery gate set...the left gate is glued permanaently in place but the right gate is hinged with armature wire to swing in or out (whatever feels more natural when I'm animating)....Herbie will smash the lock on the gates with a rock....the chain on the lock is rigged with wire so I can animate it slipping off of the gates and falling to the ground...the arch has given me a lot of headaches over the last few weeks, I tried a few different techniques (painted transparency, puffy paint, etc) to create it in one piece but it never looked right, didnt flow with the rigidness of the rest of the gate, so in the end I had to craft it by rigging many many bits of wire, all glued together like a house of cards, with sticker letters for the text....I've also created a little feline friend to sit guard at the entrance as Herbie approaches....

...few more bits to create for the main cemetery set, I'm thinking August will be the month for filming part three...Part four involves Herbie wandering through woods, which I will film in Sept, basically resetting a forest scene for a few different shots, some with broken plaster statues/columns/etc as he gets closer to the treasure of the living hill...I'll need to leave the forest set up for October, as I plan to resurrect the Tree Beast for Monster Month....*phew*....sounds like a good enough plan :)

6.24.2008

Unearthed - Cemetery Gates


I've started assembling the outer wall and entrance gate for the cemetery set, will only need it for one or two shots...

Doctor "Whoa"...

The Lady and I have been immersed in BBC telly for the last month or so, a friend recommended the series Torchwood to us and we started there. Torchwood is a spin-off of Doctor Who, a British icon that I was already familiar with from back in the day (I used to watch Tom Baker eps with my mum late at night on PBS I believe, when I was but a wee lad). I hadn't seen any of the new episodes though (the Lady and I dont have cable). So we rather quickly worked our way through 3 seasons of the new Doctor Who and the first season of Torchwood, mostly checked out from my local library. (I've bonded with my library since the storm, making weekly trips, generally checking out my maximum of 6 dvds and 6 vhs tapes. Their selection is impressive, and best of all, free!)


Torchwood is excellent, receives props from us for featuring a gay/bi? leading man who is heroic and strong and not defined by his sexuality. Captain Jack Harkness leads Torchwood, a group of alien hunters trying to protect Earth from invasion. Tons of atmosphere, dark, risque, and fun to watch. I'm looking forward to the second season, with a guest spot by Buffy's James Marsters (Spike).


But I've really fallen in love (again) with the Doctor. I haven't loved a show this much since Buffy. I've enjoyed every new episode of DrWho, and have even been blown away by a few, those written by Steven Moffat, who takes over as showrunner next season, woo-hoo! His episodes have been chilling, and he's really the reason I am writing this post. His eps "The Empty Child" (seas1)and "The Girl in the Fireplace"(seas2) both receive my highest praises (plus, Billie Piper as Rose, yum!), but his third season episode "Blink" is fantabulous, a must see for fans of animation, not that there is any animation in the ep, but there's something there thematically that I cant quite put my finger on, something about all the bits that go on between frames, in the blink of an eye to the beholder. Not to mention, there are stone women in it, statuesque weeping angels that have influenced my Unearthed cemetery set (I will try to recreate them as the gatekeepers to the grave that Herbie searches for. Makes me think about my Vanity Fairies also...) And if my praise isn't enough to inspire you, howzabout this? The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly asked Neil Gaiman to rate his top 10 monsters of the last 25 years, and he placed the Weeping Angels at #3. Get it from Netflix, disc 4 of season 3 of Doctor Who...


6.17.2008

In Case of Emergency, Break Glass...

...striking Pandora's DMV set...

I'm running out of space here, and have also been trying to figure out a way to display some of my stop-mo work. Yesterday I killed two birds with one stone.

Shadowboxes.

I bought a 12x16" silver box for Pandora, a weathered 8x10" wood box for Tree Beast, and a 12x16" black box for Widow. These are relatively inexpensive (Michael's puts them on sale 50% off every couple of weeks, I spent about $30.00 on them). The Pandora box is pretty tight, not deep enough, so her knee is squished against the glass, but its a small price to pay to have her hanging on my living room wall...I cut her set down to fit in all of the important parts, lined the sides with set bits too...for the Tree Beast I printed out a puppetless set plate image and pasted that on as the background, I even hot-glued moss to the 'floor' of the box...Widow isn't done yet...all-in-all they make a very nice presentation, and now they're out where folks can see them...I'm going to burn copies of the films to attach to the backs of each....