Monday, June 29, 2009

X-pired Supers in "Altered Egos"

so, here it is- a project that I've been involved in for the last...month-ish? I came into it after the basic idea had been established and a pretty thorough outline had been written out. I was given this outline/script and proceeded to polish it into a final script, adding several of my own ideas that the other members of the creative team agreed to (the biggest additions were the opening narration and thedialogue-less sequence which I timed out to the introduction from Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra", which is most popularly known for its use in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey) then after we cast the roles from people in the drama group, we had one rehearsal, then 2 weeks for the actors to learn the parts while I planned camera shots and thumbnailed them out.

I even did a very rough animatic of the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" sequence to work out how i would eventually time the cuts and actions to the music:
Then we all got together on the 20th and shot the bulk of the footage over a six-and-a-half hour period. Despite the longer-than planned shooting time we had fun, and the actors came up with a lot of fun ad-libs I incorporated into the final edit. The remaining 3 hours or so of shooting was done the next day at a separate location. (the window in the beginning and ending was filmed a completely different place from the rest of the scenes.) This shoot produced 2.5 hours of footage that I then had to capture from mini DV tapes onto my computer. Once this was done, I edited the piece together. This took about 22 hours, the majority of which was split between two days, the 24th and 25th. Finally, after some feedback and additional tweaking, it was shown on Sunday night, the 28th, at the young adults group that meets at Glad Tiding in Reading.
there was one shot I wanted to something special with- the last shot, I wanted to digitally zoom out and add a photoshopped matte painting to make it seem farther away, but I scrapped the idea because the camera wasn't locked down when i filmed the shot:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disney's Stories

Ever since I was a little kid there have been 3 things I loved to do more than any other. One, as evidenced by this picture, was performance.
This was during a visit from our grandparents- we decided to put on a show for them and it ended up being a reenactment of the "Dance of the Hours" sequence from the Disney film, Fantasia. We went all-out with the costuming, and really got into our roles. I got my brother to be the crocodile, using his green raincoat, green pants and green slippers and a red sweater for a cape; my sisters wore their gymnastic leotards to take on the role of hippos and ostriches. As the elephant, I went all in grey; grey hoodie and sweatpants, grey socks on my arms and feet, with a grey sock on a bent-up clothes hanger for a trunk, and a grey clip-on tie for a tail. The sign my sisters are holding up said, "The End," naturally (an early attempt at Brechtian techniques?). I guess this was also my earliest foray into the world of theatrical directing.

Disney movies seem to have played a role in a lot of my earliest inspirations.

The other two things I loved best were writing stories and drawing. In the room where I was supposed to work on schoolwork, we had a mickey mouse lamp, looking pretty much exactly like these pictures I dug up from ebay:
I still have the lamp, but the shade, being probably just as old as I was, crumbled years ago and was replaced by a more generic one. But while the shade still existed, I used to look at the characters on it, and one day c. 1990 (I would have been probably 8 then), when I was supposed to be doing math or something, I took some scrap paper and tried to copy the characters, then on the back of the papers I wrote a short story about each of them. Actually, looking at some of these, and given how young I was, I think now that I may have just put the paper up the the light and traced them. But I was proud of my accomplishment at the time...

on the page above you can see a partially erased rendition of one of the chipmunks.
maybe next time I'll put something up that wasn't traced...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dusting off some Internet Cobwebs...

and now for something completely different... here is a website that I designed way back in the college days for the web design class I took, oh, sophomore year? We just had to come up with a simple concept, create multiple inter-linking pages with interactive features and some extras like roll-over buttons, on-click buttons, etc. the content was entirely up to us. so I quickly threw together some special drawings for the titles and buttons, and dug up some old cartoon doodles I had laying around, filling out the collection with pictures of some friends and family I happened to have about. If you browse the site you may even notice some early prototypes of characters that I currently am using (or will be using) in my When's Day Comics that I sporadically post here.

be sure to check out the "search for a date" feature to discover such hidden treasures as:

an early version of whippersnapper kitty...

a primitive (but kinda cute) version of Edwin Aardvark...

and Hookhand Harry, a villain who has yet to appear in the regular comic strip series! (but stay tuned!)

You'll even find some visual disney references on the page, along with a couple of pretty fun roll-over animation on certain links!

I chose not to post the photographs I had used for the Toon page's Search for a Date feature, for obvious reasons, but most of the names were already falsified, so I just left the page itself up minus the pics.