Wow, it's been a while since my last post! Sorry about that, been busy with other things lately. And the Hawaiian shirt debacle threw me into turmoil that hasn't been fully resolved yet, so I've been unable to make any more progress. It's become something much bigger than a simple fashion statement.... really it's a deciding factor in the whole look for the wardrobe of my film, and helps to determine how the set/props all will look, so a lot rests on the decision I make concerning how to dress Huck. I finally broke the stalemate by stripping off the shirt. But I have yet to make him a new one. I'll keep you updated on that.
Meanwhile, I've recently discovered a few real gems of online videos I want to share with you. Some of you will already have seen them, I found them all through the message board in the last few days.
First up is Brad Shaffer's Christ of the Cubicles. It's been described as "Fight Club meets Office Space", and I think that's an apt description. I'm really impressed with the way the filmmaker used camera movement and composition, including some powerful splitscreen effects reminiscent of DePalma, and the clear and subtle means he uses for telling his story. This is quite simply a great independent film, forget the fact that it's done entirely in stopmo!
Next, Windmill Boy documentary part 2. You might remember when the first part of this hit Youtube (not sure If I blogged about it or not). Each time I see more about this exciting little film I can't wait to see the final product!
And, last but far from least, is Gloomy Valentine, a first-time film made by Isabel Peppard down Australia way. You can see it on her website www.DeadHeartStudio.com. I remember when she contacted me a while back, in the early stages of production, and showed me a clip of her puppet plucking petals from a flower. I could tell then this was going to be something fantastic! She's got a really crisp and clear web version of the film posted in its entirety on her site, and is offering it on DVD as well through her web store. I'm really completely blown away by the sheer quality of this film..... let alone as a first! Part of the credit goes to fellow Aussie John Lewis, an incredible animator who worked with her on it.
Ok, soon I'll be back with more on my own film!
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Man, I hate doing collars! As much work as the rest of the shirt, in a fiftieth the size! So much engineering... so many compound curves, edges that all need to be hemmed under somehow, and so tiny I can barely see it, much less get my bulky giant's fingers in to work with it! I swear I'll never again make a shirt with this kind of collar on it. This goes back to my idea of things that work well and things that don't.... why on earth should I struggle so hard to make something that doesn't look right anyway, puts all kinds of weird stresses on the already crappy looking shirt, and even if it did look good would only make everything look more 'normal'?!??!? From the neck down he's looking a bit like Malibu Ken's mutant cousin.
And the buttons!!!!! My god, they're so tiny they actually have no physical weight or mass! I couldn't pick them up, couldn't feel if I had one in my fingers or not, and once i finally did, I couldn't set it down! It stuck to my fingertips. Painting them was a nightmare. And still they look gigantic. From today forward I move progressively away from this cartoonfiied realism. There are ways to make puppet clothes that are at the same time much easier and look better, without ending up looking like doll clothes!
In the comments section of my last entry Sven mentioned the infamous "Muppet Stitch", that supposedly can be done from outside and look almost invisible. I've heard of it before, and decided to go in search of. I found this thread at Muppet Central: Hensen Stitch. What I gather is that there's no real magic stitch, it's more a matter of great skill on the part of the stitcher. I once downloaded a page with a bunch of diagrams for different stitches and tried to learn a few of them, but now I usually just use the most basic one... straight across, and try to keep the line nice and straight and the stitches uniform and at an even tension. It works fine, I don't see a need for anything fancier, unless of course I actually COULD do a stitch from outside to repair or finish something I can't get to anymore.
And finally, here's a clip Eric posted recently at StopMoShorts, a trailer for Wombok Forest that just totally blows me away: Wombok Forest. I can't get enough of this! It's got a perfect balance of realism with an almost cartoonish exaggeration, but without looking like a cartoon. Every element is perfectly done... all the details, the lighting, the way the puppet is dressed, and especially the animation. Bravo Miles and Julie, bravo!
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Pinned and trimmed, ready to stitch
Foam Tack glue by Woodland Scenics is used for all hems. It looks and smells just like Elmer's Glue-all, but it's about twice as thick, and it tacks up instantly. That's why I like it for jobs like this, you don't need to hold things for very long, if at all. And it's very flexible.
A piece of wire goes in the bottom hem to help control the shirt and make it animatable
Hey Shelley! Lookie how I did the sleeves! Good idear, huh??! Sleeves are entirely glued on, no stitching involved. Nice and simple, the way I likes it!
I just have to figure out how to make him a collar and possibly add a few more details and he's ready to rumble. Not perfect.... the seam along the top edge is kind of screwed up, and you can almost see the upper edge of one of the sleeves, oh and making the bottom hem shortened the shirt so much if he bends over at all you can see the shoddy job I did on the back of his orange undershirt. But it looks good at 60 yards on a galloping horse!
Friday, February 02, 2007
I'm cheating - it's just a shirtfront glued on!
Strech fabric - springs shut after making small holes. Great stuff (and so forgiving for puppetwear!) Huck likes this part a little too much I think.
Damn, he almost looks better just like this!
But Huck loves his Hawaiian style!