Outline of Popol Vuh Action
About 20 or so years ago I spent 2 years learning to read the hieroglyphs of the Maya. I had already spent countless years becoming illiterate in Egyptian hieroglyphs so it made since to look into this other great dyslexic friendly writing system. I put in the time and the brain sweat only to find that when I got to the point where I could just start to read the literature that I was totally turned off by all the religious bloodshed, horror and flaying of living humans. I had the key to open the door but did not like what was on the other side. So I quit my studies and almost all of it drained out of my head. One of the few things I got from that time is a lasting love of the Popol Vuh. My next project is the brothers One and Seven Blowgunner and their ball court on the top of death's domain.
Been looking at cool fabric designs of the Maya in prep of clothing Xmucane.
That being the case I then cheated with this very thin fake silk.
P.S. If you have taken over Rome by force today may not be the best day to hang with your friends. Just saying.
Working on Xmucane's face. Haven't gotten into the fine detail yet. Fighting for work space with my daughter who is finishing the costuming for a kid's theater show this weekend. Heard from Tom Yeates who is coming down for WonderCon and will be staying with me for the length of the convention.
Been working on the Animation Festival I am running just getting back to pre-production.Working on the armature of Grandmother Xmucane, the creator. Here is Diego Rivera's take of her creation of man followed by the step by step of the wire armature. Next I have a grant to write for a Stop Motion class.
When I was growing up deep, deep in the old salty sweating hell of Carry's mother at my own mother's soul crippling church in the deep, deep south all the church ladies would all fan themselves in the summer blast furnace of their pews with cardboard fans on sticks donated by the local funeral parlor. I see Grandmother Xmucane, the creator of the universe, as such a lady. So I made her a fan.
Tomorrow, Feb. 26th starting at 2PM my PSA Litter Bugger is playing at a festival in Staten Island. Wish I could be there. If anybody from the East Coust is reading this, is in the area and has some time to kill.
One ticket gets you access to a day of three shows and a meet-and-greet with the filmmakers. Our showcase this year is provocative, funny, and moving.
Experience universal stories in "Of Life and Art" featuring poetic narratives and a documentary that challenges national fears, A Summer Paused. Also showing shorts by Takuma Matsuda, Nicholas Jastrzebski, and SangJin Ko.
Don't miss the back to back laughs in "Without a Laugh Track" featuring a series of dark and witty comedy shorts. Including Bumper. Also showing works by Nicholas Balzomo, Mike Potenza, Larry Loc, UVMDD, and Brandon Nieto.
And catch your breath with the dramas in our spotlight show, "Island Blues" with works steeped in Staten Island and New York flavor. Including Viral Beauty and Two Boroughs, Not Yet by Chad Hamilton and G.H.O.S.T. by Kevin Rogers.
Starting to get a feel for the Ball Court and the Ball Game. The following YouTube Videos show a couple of forms as played today. The inclined court with the lower rings seems to be hips only. The wall version, that I am designing for my set, uses a padded forearm to get the ball higher. Both forms seems to use at least one knee pad. In the incline version there seems to be an zone where the teams can try for the ring without the other team interfering. There seems to be a center zone where both teams can try to get the ball into their court. Think I am going to go with that for the wall ring version too. Seems to be stationed players in the center ready to try and capture the ball for their team when in enters the zone.
I looked at a form with sticks also but too much like Lacrosse that my unknown ancestors played. I was in my 30s when I found out that my father's side of the family were hiding Chippewa blood. My grandmother, on my father's side, use to say horrible racist things about "lazy drunken no good Indians" in front of her husband who we didn't know was one half. She was not a nice human at all. This is the women who reported my father, her son, to the draft board in WWII because he stopped working on her farm for slave wages. After the stone cold bitch finally died Grandfather Peter sang some of his mother's songs at his 92nd brithday party and we found out about the Native American blood in our genetic woodpile. That should make me 1/16th by blood but I have never really felt connected enough to approach the tribe. I didn't earn it. Even if it isn't my fault that I am and inverted "Apple". It is kind of "who will help me eat the bread". Maybe this project in some strange way has something to do with getting in tocuh with my roots?
Incline Xcaret - Pok-ta-Pok - Mayan ball game Pok-ta-Pok.jpg
Seems to have done a lot of stuff yesterday on my Popol Vuh project. Last Night I worked on the second ring for the Ball Court. Again adding power plugs for the eyes of the owls who will be sitting on the head of Kukalkan in one case and on the Ball Court ring in the other case.
More research for the ball court. Chichen Itza (Well of the Itza - sea fairing clan, late kingdom) is the main source I am taking from. There is a lot of talk about an "I" shape to the court. It always seems that at least one end of the "I" is open. Also seems from the design that team sides are divided between the rings. But gets the point if the ball falls? Is it which side had it last? Or what side the ball is on?
Put up earthquake ties on my video wall next to my work station. This is the family collection. My private animation collection is in a cabinet elsewhere. The DVDs have another home in other parts of the home.
Went out and finally saw Moana yesterday. I love a lot of the work by John and Ron but this is more of the same. The Broadway model is tired and overworked. Also had some of the oversight problems of Prince of Egypt. Story is hurt by not hurting feelings. Too slow. And the song about the parents not understanding. Did like Eric's 2D animation on the Tattoos.
Been working out the Ball Court for my set. Trying to work everything out before I start building the set. Also making plans for power in the set.
Been doing research on Xmucane, the grandmother of the Hero Twins and creator of the world. More new age idiot pages with sexy girly images that have nothing to do with anything from the Popol Vuh telling me to say a prayer to Xmucane for my schedule book because she was the goddess of calendars and time. Why are the Maya such New Age loony magnets. Got the power plugs working on the front of the Ball Court Ring unit.
Went out to see Moana at the cheep theater but it was sold out. Picked up a good book on art of the Maya. Went out for sushi. That wasn't sold out. Very nice. Little more work on the ball court ring.
The "Ring" in the ball court is pie in the sky. Everybody shoots at it but is is not like Basketball. Whole games go by without anybody getting the ball in the ring. From what I can find in my research the main points are from keeping the ball in the air kind of like tennis only played with only the hips. So, Soccor, Tennis, extreme Basketball with the loser getting his heart cut out. What is not to love.
I have attached contacts for power to lights in the eyes of the Owl messengers. The center of the rings is packed with a air dry silicone foam for tie downs.
My WonderCon Panel
Building Stop Motion Puppets, Saturday, 4/1/17, 10:00a.m. - 11:00a.m., Room: 211
A low cost, low teach approach to the creation of Stop Motion Animation Puppets with long time animation educator and Stop Motion Animator Larry Loc. Learn how to make sophisticated wire armatures with the tools as hand and supplies readily available at your local hardware store. Learn how to turn armatures into effective Stop Motion Puppets.
Some thoughts on how history is made up by jerks without research
Or "The Road to El Dorado" was not set in the real world either.
There are a lot of wrong headed ideas about the Maya. Most often among the New Age crowd with their Harmonic Conversation foolishness and end of calendar end of time nonsense. I am really tired of lack wits without a single second of research projecting their fantasies. These are not great and higher consciousness mystic all knowing guides to some made up fairyland of childish dream fulfillment.
I dare say that all the blood and drugs and human sacrifice and flaying alive and frenzied blood maddened crowds generated a hell of a lot of energy but it was not the wheat germ Patchouli kind of new age energy that so many try to graft on to this culture.
The Maya burned down all their forests to make ash to mix with plaster to create that brilliant white facade that goes so well with spilled human blood. They built all their temples on their very best farm land so that the farmers were forced to plant crops on steep hill sides that they could only work by tying a rope around their waste and anchoring it to a tree so that they wouldn't fall off their field. In short they created an ecological disaster that contributed to the fall of their empire way before the Spanish showed up to kick the butts of the last Maya empire made up from the sea fairing clan.
Research, don't just make stuff up. If you are going to create stuff from whole clothe then do so. Don't try to attach your fantasy to a people which where very bloody real. Anybody with a brain and some time can look up the facts and easily find out that you are all full of crap.
Simple puppetoon blood drip test with colored hot glue replacements. Bit of shake because nothing is locked down.
Finished 1 Legged Owl and did a flight test. Off to see Doctor Strange for the 3rd time, this time in 3D. I'm not a big fan of 3D but a giant Ditko fan.
Afternoon of Remembrance was cool event. Great Stories as always. Working on the inside of the wings and breast on the 1 legged Owl puppet.
Running out of feathers, have to made a craft run later today.
Tomorrow is the Afternoon of Remembrance. (see details below) As a member of the committee it is my job and often pleasure to round up speakers and photos of the animators being honored. My friend and partner in Animation Festival crime, Tee Bosustow, just sent me a batch of photos of Willis Pyle. I met Willis only once but he had a profound effect on my stop motion animation with his walk cycle of Gerald McBoing Boing going to and from school in the 1951 Oscar winning short animation of the same name.