Sunday, August 02, 2020

My Answer for Filming Halfland

I had hoped this would be The Answer for filming Halfland. 
Spoiler, it was.

I hesitated to open the package from Dan and Denise Rojas* at Green Power Science. I had seen several of their videos and watched Dan expertly hand-polish second-hand fresnel** lenses in numerous stages using expensive equipment. He made what he calls "Clear Spot" lenses that are left as grungey and patinaed as they were found in salvage yards, taken out of old big-screen TVs, except for a large well-cleaned and polished center. But today I finally took the plunge and opened the package to look at it and confirm or dispel my thoughts on how this would work.

It 1,000% gives the effects I was dreaming of for Halfland. All of the analog distortions, the natural vignette at the edges, the hyper-shallow depth of field, large enough size to cover composing the scenes, the ability to shape the blur and stretch of everything in front of it, all fully checking the boxes. I could weep with joy at having it. I am beyond excited to begin shooting what is in my mind.

I had flirted towards this reality for many years, fumbling, reaching toward this very thing without any idea it existed. I loved the way the highly detailed puppets and sets looked when seen through large glass jars of water. I felt like a super genius reverse-engineering what my greatest artistic inspiration Dare Wright had done in my favorite work of hers, Lona.

But stop motion is something else again and all of the effects I wanted for this film were natural and dream-like. No edge-to-edge clarity and bright lighting.

I next need to jerry-rig/build a frame to hold it steady and in position for every shot. It is soft like regular PVC, capable of making gentle convex curves. The stand for this application may be as simple as a wooden cube with clamps that allow the angle and curves at the four corners to be adjusted as I go.

Get excited.

* Dan and Denise make solar Fresnel Lenses, Parabolic Mirrors, and other intriguing things all towards their passion for alternative energy options.

** A fresnel lens is composite compact lens originally developed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788–1827) for lighthouses.[1][2] It has been called "the invention that saved a million ships."[3]

The design allows the construction of lenses of large aperture and short focal length without the mass and volume of material that would be required by a lens of conventional design. A Fresnel lens can be made much thinner than a comparable conventional lens, in some cases taking the form of a flat sheet.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Let's Celebrate! [Draft]

Here's where I've been.

[show photos of house and gardens transformation]

Here's how I'm actually filming.

10-step, hand-polished, clear center, Fresnel lens
purchased from Green Power Science in Florida for $75.
Can you imagine how I'm using it to film Halfland?

Creation timeline has taken me far longer than I could have ever begun to imagine. The good news from that is that I've grown as a person, much clearer on what I'm making with Halfland and why.

And, after all that has transpired since the last post, I am more capable to carry out filming the film series on my own terms. Rules have been thrown aside with the courage of new conviction to get it done, without doing it as others would.

The regretful news from it taking me decades to get to this point is that the people who got excited and were so supportive on this blog have, for all intents and purposes, been let down in not seeing things realized sooner.

The only way out of the latter result will be to make the film. The length of time it's taken me still will have tried human patience beyond its limits. But will, in the end, be fully repaired if I can succeed.

I remain gratefully in Halfland.

Please stay tuned. And Thank You.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Today's Cool Find: Mushroom Bloom Time Lapse

Very Halflandian piece of video. Coming back at you with posts. Let's GO!

Friday, February 09, 2018

My, My, Look At The Time!

A whole year has passed and the time was chocked full of cat care, Youtube videos, ballet classes, and major home renovation here. Exactly a year ago, by several acts of God, Paul and I were able to buy the house we had been renting for five years (saving us from another move, thankfully). And the journey/transformation from lifelong renter to homeowner has been profound.

Not only that, but because the house is a grand ol' 104-year-old dame in great shape for her age with many original features, loads of character, and much else to recommend her, she needed a substantial amount of retrofitting, strengthening, and sprucing up.

I became a bit of a general contractor for about 10 different types of crews through the year-long process and have learned a lot about building and finishing.

It's wrapping up now, with me putting the rooms back together and doing last minute touch-ups that were too much detail to ask workmen to do. Halfland readers will not be surprised to hear I went into too much detail.

We added a floor of storage to the top of the building when a secret attic was discovered by a handyman who crawled up into what everyone thought was a crawlspace only to discover it was a pristine antique attic with 9' ceilings and gave us hundreds of square foot of storage for sets and materials. Now the main floor has much needed elbow room.

Our eldest cat, Isabella, passed away this week, so we are now a household with three cats. Her memorial post coming with a tender tribute. She went well in the end.

Even though I could scream and cry over not doing any art of any kind all year and watching the cats use 1/2L set pieces forced to lay on the floor as litterboxes the last few months, I still took the time to take every ballet class from my master teacher to take advantage of his being alive and giving so much to students at every level, in how to dance and how to live well as a developed person.

I realize that in order to dance well, better than I could before, I have to set aside the me that I know and move into an alternate approach toward the movement. It's like wearing my teacher's larger ego in my mind rather than my own.

I have video of the ridiculously cluttered crammed chaos we've been living in for the year during construction as well as after shots of spaces put back together in order and elevated.

Ready to go back into Halfland filming with determination, clarity, and greater strength, fam.

What have you been doing???

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cool Find: Daniel Burton's lifeline

May 26, 2015 Daniel Burton wrote to me that he was beginning his first stop motion film project called lifeline. Then earlier this month, he let me know it was fully completed! Here's the link. Big props for finishing for sure, Daniel. Making a stop motion takes a great deal of grit and tenacity to complete. [At least I imagine that it does. Will report back once I finish mine.]

Meanwhile, kudos to Daniel for making his dream come true now... It's had over 4k views so far.

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