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.
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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