This is where notes, images, updates, thoughts, concepts, outtakes, discussion, and all things related to the production of the video will be posted.
I have the studio furnished and ready to start moving in equipment and supplies to get started.
After years of saving up and prioritizing my creative exploits I am finally able to start construction on a stop motion animation studio! I am converting my mostly unused garden shed into a small studio space.
I love my cat, I really do. He is very entertaining. He loves to play, constantly! And everything is a toy. Including, and especially all of the pieces and parts necessary to create stop motion animation. And he can sneak into any room and loves to be in the middle of whatever I am doing. I am not making excuses, but he has presented a challenge that has led me to seek a location outside of my house to work on this production.
However, he is not the only reason production has come to a halt. It has been a tough year and a half with lots of personal challenges that has caused this production to be put on hold. I lost a lot of good folks, one of whom was helping me on this production. He was a close friend and colleague, and an amazing artist. I hope I can live up to his example, as an artist, as a friend, as a human being. I miss you, Bill.
Anyway, I thought it better to post a more lighthearted excuse for my lack of progress. And Ollie, as you can see, is definitely an obstacle to overcome. I have gotten past the personal tragedies and now have a solution for how to overcome my cat. More to follow...
Starting back on this project after an absence, I thought it best to start back at the beginning. Here are some lighting tests from the opening scene. Since I want this scene to be a bit of a surprise when it is unveiled in the video, I won't provide too much commentary.
I am revealing a little bit more that I want to in this test shot, but since this is just a rough sketch of the scene, it really doesn't give the whole story away. Here is a little taste of what is in the works...
That is all for this little teaser. I can't wait to see this scene come fully alive!
2015 was a year of many challenges...
I had relatively new job that went through a lot of changes. By the start of the year I had lost my entire team and also been transferred to a new team with all new people. Shortly thereafter I was asked to do things that I had not done in a long time in a manner I had not done before. I was asked to be in the office every day, sit in an open cubicle environment, and with a lot of management oversight. After 10 years of working from home, being basically my own boss, and dictating the work I did on a daily basis, this was a radical change that I found exhausting and not entirely inspiring. On top of that, I was restoring my grandmother's house that I had inherited at the end of 2014. It needed a lot of work and took until June to get it on the market. And we are still working on it, and still have not sold it. There were also some serious issues going on with family that I will not get into here. In addition to that, one of my collaborators fell very ill and one lost his job and had to focus on starting his own business. Needless to say, I had a lot going on. There was not much time left for fun and not much energy left for creativity.
But this is a new year, and it started off with a job offer to go to a new company and be a permanent employee for the first time in over 15 years! So I have been able to build in a week off which I hope to get the last of the issues done on my grandmother's house and get my studio put back together...
Oh, did I fail to mention the two new kittens that have been added to our household that make setting up action figures for the purpose of stop-motion animation completely impossible.
Imagine what she could do to an action figure!
In spite of all of that, the year did have some positive highlights. One of the biggest was actually provided by the previous job (well, it will by tomorrow). It gave me the opportunity to travel to Toronto and meet with the creative driving force behind this project and the whole reason it exists... Mr. SJ Wordburglar himself! We had a great night out and I got to be the first person to see his new comic book, The Last Paper Route. It is such a fun read and I am honored to have been there to watch as he opened the first box from the printer! It is a must have for any comic book fan and I can't wait for the next issue!
Now on to the main reason for writing this blog...
I am currently working on the opening scene which is one of my favorites. I can't wait to share a sneak preview in the next post!
I know it has been a while since I have posted anything, but it is well worth the wait. I have been working on the largest set of this production. At over seven feet long and three feet wide, it is entirely on the largest playset ever produced during GI Joe's 50 year (and counting) run, the U.S.S. Flagg aircraft carrier. This is one of the settings for Shipwreck, which of course being the sailor is more than appropriate. This scene required a lot of prep work in terms of lights, backdrop, and setup, not to mention making sure I had all of the figures and vehicles that I needed to bring the scene fully to life. Basically, it is a party on a boat, but not just any boat, a massive one!
I am going to be a little light on pics for this post because for one, I don't want to give away the whole scene, but also because I missed out on the initial build of this fantastic toy. I had to go out of town the weekend Carson had planned to put it together. Something I still regret. I would have loved to have pictures of that event to post. I still have hopes in putting one together someday. So those pictures will not be in this post. But I do have a few early pictures of setting up the set, which shows some of our clumsy backdrop. Hey, it is hard covering enough of the wall and wrap all the way around this massive set. Not to mention the fact that we had to position it diagonally in the room so that there was space to put both the backdrop and the camera.
Here is Carson playing puppeteer for me while I take a few shots to see how the scene will look in action. As you can see, it was nearly impossible to get everything in the scene in focus.
And here is a test shot of the scene fully lit and populated with figures and vehicles.
MUCH more to come...