History of Current Film Project
Letter Bugger is a PSA about the plague of litter defacing our world. It has a definite horror/slasher sensibly. The time for Iron Eyes Cody hippie guilt has long passed. The current generation doesn't give a damn about guilt or nature. When I see litter I want to force feed it to the litterer. Maybe when they see my little film they will understand just how close I and others are to attacking them in the street for there mindless despoiling. You have been warned.
Prepping like mad for Thursday's Ladera Vista Junior High Stop Motion class. Just found out I have 24 students enrolled. That is a lot. And it changes the dynamic a lot. Also have CFA meeting tonight. Going to be in Fullerton for the last half of the day.
The start of the semester and classes at the junior high stop mo class starting Sept. 1st. have kicked the crap out on my animation schedule. And talking about getting the crap kicked out of you the cold that came on at the middle of last week didn't help much either. I am also behind on my work on the festival website which really needs to move forward. The next scene is the skateboarder gets his. Maybe on the weekend?
I currently have custody of the family cold. It has put a big dent in my plans coming at the busiest time. Just been keeping up with Fullerton. Haven't been able to do anything on the Festival. And my poor animation has not gotten any attention at all.
Two days cutting masks. Got home form class about 11PM Monday night. Good class. I held off going into great detail on syllabus demands and looked at the things that formed the current animation industry. Things like Lucas renegotiates deal with Alan Ladd, Jr. 20th Century Fox, for sequel rights and merchandising profits. Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold taking over Disney and kicking out the son-in-law. And of course the death of Frank Wells.
Been cutting masks and compositing since Monday night. The last pass I did I had to brute force it frame by frame matching up the twister green screen comp to the Trash Hound coming out of the twister.
Did take care of some festival bussiness yesterday. Have to get back on the festival website today. Writting an agenda for upcoming board meeting. Been trying to work out a presentation for the Skyview kids who took first place at International Open Film Festival (IOFF) at the beginning of summer. Also have to do some updating on the Fullerton class roll. The students who showed up with paperwork have had time to add to class by now.
8/22/16 : 2nd post
Starting to assemble the shots from last night. Still a lot of layers and a long way to go.
Last night I animated 4 passes, 2 green screen and 2 full set, and now it is cutting mats time. Not the most fun but something that leads to a finished shot so something that has to be done. Another day of run around at Fullerton trying to get together what I need to teach tonight's class. Fishing instead of cutting mats.
Currently at 1.52 in my work print. Working on setting up my next shot. It is a complicated set up. A locked down camera with three levels of green screen and then an animation pass with water and the girl on the bike. Everything has to be shot back to back. Looking at tomorrow night. Then Monday is my first night of class at Fullerton.
Kind of took the day off. Went to see BFG with my wife at the $2 theater. Then went out to the Crab Cooker for lunch. Good movie but the creep behind me keep talking to her kid. May she be uncomfortably warm in the netherworld.
Been putting together the Agenda for Festival board meeting. Also planning my next shot. The project moves forward.
Also submitting films through FilmFreeway. Ran onto these rip off pigs with their major copyright grab.
=====film festival copyright rip off================
1. In connection with the content you submit to us for consideration in the and associated video-casts, you are authorising to host, cache and store your content and grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual and royalty free right and license to use and distribute your content online through Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival Website and associated partners networks and or similar.
2. The rights described in this agreement and granted to commence immediately upon submission of content to and continue indefinitely. You may write to Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival at any time and request termination of the non-exclusive license, whereupon Goa Shots International Short Film Festival will remove your content from Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival website and all associated distribution within 90 days.
3. Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival has the right to include your film or video in its promotional activities. This may include, but is not limited to, the creation of showreels and advertisements promoting the Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival, physical screenings, viral campaigns, presentations and product pitches.
4. Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival has the right to compress, transcode, and package your film for online and offline presentation.
5. Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival has the right to screen your film at and partner events, including screenings and launches associated with the festival and otherwise.
6. Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival has the right to assign or sub-license any and all rights granted to third party terrestrial television networks that partner with the Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival.
OWNERSHIP 1. Goa Shots - An International Short Film Festival does not claim any ownership rights to the content that you submit. .... (What, no ownership. The mega-jerks have just done 6 paragraphs of copyright rip offs. Sweet inferno they claim more rights than Spike and Mike the current slime time low of the festival circuit. Third party assignment...gods and little fishes)
================Shame on them forever===============
Animated 2 scenes and 2 scene inserts. The women throwing candy wrappers just got them force feed to her. Next scene is the nasty little girl on the bike getting hers. I will have to rework the creek bed area of the set. The hound is going to twirl up out the the water and snatch her off her bike. The bike will wobble on and then crash. She gets off light. Just gets feed the rotted food she has thrown.
8/17/16: 2nd Post
Out dressing the set and doing pre-lighting for tonight's shoot. Off to the hardware store for some needed supplies. Then some graphics work on the festival website. Waiting for Michele at "All the Arts ..." to fill my supply list. Nice to know I don't have to worry on this front. Guess I have to rattle the cage over at Fullerton or I will never get my key in time for class.
Shot a night scene last night of a women eating candy and throwing the wrappers on the ground. Tonight the Trash Hound force feeds her all her candy wrappers. A little saner now that I am animating again.
Yesterday was a bit of a waste. It started out nice enough. Made a run to "All the Arts ..." and turned over the Semi-Finalist award certificate for last year's class project "Jump". Talked to Lauralyn about art and the art programs she has going and the cool art in her office. Always a joy. But then it was time to go over to Fullerton and the day went to hell without the use of a hand basket.
Fullerton is always an endurance test just getting class set up. Thirteen years teaching this class and they never get my key order right. " You don't need a key for the media closet, that door is going to be unlocked." No, two years ago one of the teachers forgot to lock it and someone ripped off a high end DVD player so that door is not going to be unlocked and if I can't get to the hardware to show animations I am reenacting cartoons with shadow puppets made with my fingers because no one will be around to unlock anything by the time I get into class. But there was no official source to tell otherwise and they just couldn't take a teacher's word for what we need to get our job done.
Then the person I needed to pick up my lapel mic from wasn't in her office. Then the copier was out of toner. So I couldn't copy handouts. And the whole day turned into one large cluster fornication. And I haven't animated in 8 days and I am getting very bitchy. Sorry! I've finished most of my prep work for Fullerton if I can ever make copies of the handouts. Updated the class website for Fullerton and Ladera Vista. Have 2nd draft done on the festival site. And I just did a quick insert animation this morning for the Trash Hound attack on soon to be wheelchair jerk with the gun. So I'm feeling little better now.
Yesterday was all about prepping for Fullerton. I printed all my class hand outs. Figured out the leasson plan. And even pulled all the DVDs and VHS tapes which the cued up. The first class is a little different this year. I am starting in the events that created the current state of the animation industry. Then we will go back and see how we got to this point starting with the first animators and moving forward. Should be fun.
Today I did a 2nd draft the the festival website. Getting closer to launch.
Hope to animate Monday night. I did some set prep yesterday morning. Plan on more set dressing tonight. Then it is off to Fullerton Monday morning to get my keys and maybe stop in on "All The Arts". Then it is the candy wrapper dropping floozy gets her's.
Just got off the phone with Lauralyn Eschner, who runs "All the Arts For All the Kids" program for the Fullerton School District. Great program, tries to make up for all the cuts in Arts and Music by clueless people in offices who should know better. Sorry, that is my opinion, not her's. But Sputnik goes up in 1957 and everybody starts cutting Arts and Music so that schools can turn out nothing but rocket scientists. How dumb is that?
Anyway, my after school Stop Motion program starts on September 1st. at Ladera Vista Junior High. So now I have a 4th major deadline but well worth it. These kids really give me hope. They love the animation for the fun of animation. I'm not sure if I would have done 5 short animations last year and be working on this longer PSA if not for working with these kids. Okay, "Debate" https://filmfreeway.com/projects/462411 was footage from my Fullerton Guerilla Stop Motion training sessions. But working with these kids has reawakened my own love of animation for the love of animation.
I'm printing up all the hand outs for Fullerton today. Also had to go out and buy shoes, something I hate. But My wife went with me for moral support.
Picked up some more eraser art at Daiso, gods I love that store. Created a puppetoon replacement set for Ice Cream. The kid on the skateboard is going to be throwing a half eaten ice cream cone at the no littering sign at the bottom of the ramp. Nice splat and show slide down the sign. Looking forward to that scene. He is also going to throw a half eaten cone at the Rag Picker causing him to fall into a pile of trash and cut himself on the broken bottle that the guy who ends up in the wheelchair smashed on the wall. The blood of the Rag Picker is the last element that brings about the creation of the "Trash Hound". Another scene I am dying to film. Tex Blaisdell; my teacher, friend and mentor use to say never do the best pages first or you will never get to boring pages. Hell, I miss Tex.
Okay, back to work.
Spent the morning making miniature candies. Strange the width of skill sets needed in stop motion. But if your slasher-like hero is going to follow a trail of candy wrappers then you need candy to unwrap. And it has to be very small.
Finished the new arm for my boom rig. Not as fast as the ones that cost giant stacks of dollars. Have to reset in between shots but it gets the job done and it cost under $50 so you can't beat that if you don't have that large stack of greenbacks. Got a major rewrite this weekend for the festival website. Been waiting until all the comments come in from the board. Well, not waiting. I have been filming and working on the class prep. Really looking forward to class starting. There will be less to do. But then I have to prep the Junior High Class.
Built a new arm for my camera rig / boom. The next scene is a shaky cam following a trail of candy wrappers back to the female litterer. Then a close up of the Trash Hound force feeding her the wrappers on the park bench I made a few weeks ago. (see below) Went to see my Chiropractor today. Long hours bending over a set and setting at the keyboard take their tole.
Couldn't get to sleep last night. Too wrapped up in three major concurrent deadlines. So I did what I always do, I planned out my next shot. After I did that for a long enough time to know that I was not getting to sleep I got up and filmed the scene of the rag picker, picking up after the slobs who look down on him. Finished the edit on it after I woke up and I am now at 1:26. I have one more scene coming up that will join this to the end / end titles. Strange way of working all backwards. But it is working out okay. I think my Test Footage Production is starting to feed back into my normal stop motion, I am getting more of a UPA feel.
Did another scene last night, how the guy in the wheel chair got there. Then did a lot of editing to finish the scene. I am currently at 1:09 of finished animation. The opening titles are finished as are the end titles. Starting to do the inbetween scenes with the shaky cam and Trash Hound pay back. Think it will run somewhere around the 5 minute mark when it is finished.
Been beating on the AniMazspot website. Getting feedback from the board and making changes. Normal times its just me. Good to have other people thinking about the nuts and bolts. Can't think of a more insane time to have 3 major deadlines, class prep, festival reboot and my animation. Did manage to do some editing. Shot the insert as a still and did a zoom with some effects. More like X-sheet animations but with the plan created after the principal photography is shot. Took it to an editing program to do the insert. A lot of times I just work rough inside 3D Studio Max, at least for the work print. Planning a shot for tonight showing how the litterer in the wheel chair at the end of the film got there. I get to do a gun shots shot so get out the cotton.
Stayed up to 3AM writing HTML code for the AniMazSpot Animation Feedback Festival website. Alittle blurry eyed. Also thought of another insert scene I need for the end section of Littler Bugger. Strange how when you are working on one thing other things pop in.
8/5/16 : post 2
Spent the day re-editing the end of Litter Bugger. Lots of little things needed small changes. Tomorrow is festival web site and then the festival page on FilmFreeway.
Finished up my scene last night. Soccer ball kick into the river, red strobe change and then "Trash Hound" twisting into being out of the stream bed. Is there a name for that scene that Marvel always does after the credit roll? Whatever that scene is called I just finished it.
I think I can work with this footage. The moving backwards water is a little hard to read without the reference footage of the scene before, which is not filmed yet. Soccer ball flying in an arc and landing is still water. I have already started to time the strobe. It is going to be very delicate. Then the twisting birth of the Trash Hound from some of my beginning green screen animation from before the set was built. But I am going to have to wait on it because I need to get working on the Festival page for AniMaz Spot.
8/3/16 : 2nd Post
Had to hang out on the side of town were my wife works because it was her short day. Went to Frys to get some software I needed. Picked up "The William Castle Horror Collection" on DVD for $6.99. Watched "The Old Dark House" and had a simply great time. Each year the National Library group come up with a Summer Reading theme. The theme comes from a committee and always have the problems of all committee decisions . I think my wife did a great job on making sense out of this strange theme that does not seem to have much to do with reading and more to do with Rio.
Been out cleaning my set and pre-lighting for tonight's shoot. Going to use a Kevin Altieri strobe effect trick lifted from Rat Bastard. I went to school with Kevin which is why I have a copy of this pilot. Yesterday was all about Prep for Fullerton and work on the festival. Going out to the Library to shoot the display before it is taken down. I created the armatures for all of the frogs. May do an animation with them later. I am getting them back because the Library does not know what to do with a lot of 12 inch frog puppets.
Been doing class prep and festival planning. Hope to animate tomorrow night.
I have just been voted President of the Board of Directors of the Non-Profit that runs the AniMazing Spotlight Animation Feedback Festival. Jason Zakuto, one of my former star students at Cal State Fullerton who is currently very active in the industry, was elected Vice President of the same Non-Profit. We have been tasked with re-launching this one of a kind important Animation Feedback Festival program that was originally started by Tee Bosustow, the son of UPA founder Stephen Bosustow. It is a lot of work but it has been a very important festival and it will be a very important festival again. At the core of the festival is the simple concept of giving feedback to every single filmmaker from all of our panel of industry judges. More on this later!
Off to Burbank today. More news later.
There are so many skill sets you have to master to be a stop motion animator. Making miniature cereal boxes and newspapers are just the tip of the ice cube. Gettting ready to film the after credits kicker scene for Litter Bugger".
Spent time making trash to scale; newspapers, cereal boxes, candy wrappers. I found these great desk caddies that look just like wire trash cans. Also spent time resurfacing the sidewalks in my set. "All The Arts For All The Kids" just asked me to run another after school stop motion class at Ladera Vista Junior High. Super cool. I figure if I keep teaching junior high kids in the Fullerton area stop motion it is only a matter of time before the college animation programs in Fullerton have to finally address their long time deficiency in stop motion education. Yes, he has an agenda.
Working in your dreams is usually a bad sign. It means that you are too busy. And the down side is that you don't get paid for it. Last night I spent my dreams doing a stop motion animation of an old time classic Jack Kirby Hulk vs. Thing battle. I enjoyed it very much. It is so hot in Southern California that I had to quit working on the set rework by 10 AM and I didn't get back to it until 9 PM. Fixed some support problems one one end of the upper level and locked the two tables together so there shouldn't be unwanted shaky cam when I lock down for the ground line shot up the river. Prepping for Sunday's mystery meeting. Been trading emails with the director of "Hemp Master: Way of the Weed" When I was judging short films for a festival his film was one of the standouts so I sent him a fan letter.
Little hard to get back up and running after getting one animation project finished. Picked up some supplies for reworking parts of my set. Shooting the quick film showed areas of weakness that need to be addressed.
Finished sound today and posted my test footage production to FilmFreeway. Click the image below to the project profile. If you want the password to view the short email me and use the suject line "Weiner Password". Back to prepping my class tomorrow and getting ready for a secret meeting next Sunday. Then it is back to my main animation project.
Finished animation on my test footage productions. Spent the day doing sound / foley. My least enjoyable filmmaking task. Thank the cinema gods for freesound.org. These guys are the greatest.
Just two scenes left. Had to redo the opening titles. I did CGI fire on the Olympic Torch but it just didn't look right. So I did stop mo fire with puppetoon flame replacement caps and 20% gray cut masks. Bob slid tonight.
I did an opening scene for the "Weiner Olympics". It is a POV shot straight out of "Doom". I created a torch and a set of flame caps to create the fire on the torch. I need to do the lighting of the Olympic torch. Then two scenes in the middle. And then my secondary film project is finished. I filmed the end scene yesterday but am not posting it. Then it is back to my first project.
Prep for my Fall class got out of hand and got in the way of work on my projects. Also spent too much time at the computer and then needed to see my Chiropractor. I could not set at my computer without lots of pain for the last two days. Hard to post to this blog. Did do some stuff off line that is for the end of the second of my animations. Oh, and I had to change out a window unit air conditioner Sunday, which also took away from the animation.
Plugging away on prep for the Fall class. Did get time to rework 3 old puppets for extras for the upper level "After" scene coming up.
Curling is such a strange sport. It is the next scene in my secondary animation. Made the broom out of copper wire and a chop stick so that I can animate the bristles. Which meant I needed to get out my text on patinas and figure out how to color the copper to look like straw. In the end I did a heat patina quenched in apple cider vinegar. The curling stone is white plumber's epoxy with a fake granite finish done with markers and clear fixative. Next I need to mix color latex and fisnish the faces for the extra for the main animation upper level "after" animation. More class prep.
I started out doing all clay puppets. But they were too messy and had to be constantly rebuilt. I had a brief flirtation with latex bodied puppets with clay faces for more animatable features. I did a number of them during the times that I was doing my stop motion comic books. So today I am rebuilding a number of these hybrid puppets as extras for my upper level "After" scenes.
On the Fall class prep. I am catching up on files for the "Animation Hall of Fame" I did not have time to generate last year from 2015 student animator reports. I had an extra 30 students in the class with no TA or extra compensation. But let's not go there. Below are some of the puppet extras I am rebuilding.
Finished the bench. Finished the upper level test, (See below). More set dressing and then maybe tonight or tomorrow night I will film the upper deck "After" scenes. I have 16 seconds without titles or credits on my second short. Shooting for 1 minute on "W. O.". Prep on Fallo class is moving forward. I have 62 students already signed up. The syllabus and data base are in good shape. Updated the timeline. Next I need to work on class website.
When we go out for sushi I always save the chopsticks which sometimes garners looks from my beloved mate's eye. (Sorry for the verbiage, I have been watching Globe on Screen "Midsummer Night's Dream". The Puck does an Emo rip/imitation.) I am making a park bench for the upper level of the set. Plan on doing some tests, Speed Skating, later today. Then finish dressing the set for some more "After" animation. I created a counter yesterday to superimpose on the skater footage. Doing two animations at once is really opening up everything. Started on prep for my Fall class. Had a couple of festivals asking to download animations. Maybe that is a good sign. Has been so in past an omen most fortuitous. My wife has Emo's email, I wonder if he knows this English actor is using his "Stick"?
Getting ready for one more big "after" animation and a couple of pick up shots before moving on to the "before" scenes. I have a rough cut of the end of the film in the can. Also been shooting some scenes for the second looser animation I am now calling "Weiner Olympics". Lot more of a UPA feel to it. And more edge of the set showing, things coming and going. And you know what. So what! The big secret project that I have been referring to in these pages but keeping a lid on is coming back on line. Should be able to announce one way or another by the beginning on next month. For now here are a couple of scenes for "Weiner Olympics".
One of the drawbacks of working on a back parch set is Kamikaze moths. Not good for the moths and not good for the very expensive high lumen light bulbs. Decided to do a second stop motion animation on the same set just for down and dirty fun. I have the set and I have the camera rig. It will be a take off of the "luge" test I did yesterday. Finished another "after" scene. Still not sure of the lighting. May have to do it again. Going to have to start prepping for my fall "History of Animation" class soon. That is going to take some time away from this project. I have other projects also looming. It is always something.
Just did a test on a new camera rig. It is below and is called boneluge2. The idea was a quick test without any walk cycles. Mr. Bones worked very well. It has nothing to do with the finished animation but is was quick and fun. Might do something with it just because it was quick and fun.
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