Saturday, July 22, 2006

Realizing Rana

Victorian Era illustration, possibly by C.H. Bennett, an intriguing concept for Rana the Goat Woman's horn-like hair style.

I don't know how it is where you are today, I've been hearing tales of dramatic storms and power outages in New York and St. Louis, typhoons in the Philippines. Here in Los Angeles it was about the hottest I've seen. The meat thermometer that I use to gauge temps read about 100 degrees--inside the place--all day. Yep, me and Him stayed in, even though we don't have AC, listened to the rolling screams from the carnival across the street and the neighborhood backyard fiestas that samba into the night here during summer months. We walked around with frozen washcloths atop our heads all day. I even tied icepacks down my back as a low-tech cooling device. Strange clouds, strange color of light at sundown, thunderstorms, flooding, eerie, foreboding feeling in general. Might just be the extremity of the weather. How is it with you?

I did manage to make a good start to continuing collaging Halfland reference images. I completed Rana's page. It's another oversize sheet filled with pages of special books, magazine and web finds, drawings and vintage photos found along the way. These pages are vital to my realizing Halfland characters, sets and props because, even as I envision the film in my mind's eye, it is invaluable to tap into existing images that spark the recognition of what it is in me.

The top section of Rana's page (snapped above) shows the sensibility of the character in her cottage set, domestic, wise, content, earthy. On the right are pictures denoting her manner of dress, costuming and horn/hairstyle possibilities. The middle shows other Satyrs and similar Chimera-like creatures ( as well as real goats with boatloads of natural personality. Bottom left references quadruped hind legs and on the right hoof details.

I thought I'd feature this image from it. It is an interesting, older, wise, robust, woman that alone would be enough of a guide for me to follow to nail the Rana character.

Everyone take good care...


  1. Yes! I love this! Gathering your reference material... the fruits of those 12 years of preparation.... this is the way Tori Amos set about to make her first album... she gathered personally important items into a circle on the carpet around her and lay in the center of it... like a fairy ring. Little Earthquakes was the result (the album, not tremoric activity).

    As for the weather... it'sa been crazy around here up until today. Last week was insanely hot, with some of the worst humuduty ever recorded in the St Louis area (a very humid place anyway in summer). Even in the middle of the night temps were often into the high 80's with heat indices to 100 and beyond. And then there were crazy violent storms a few days ago... the heat broke only during he storming, and then returned with a vengeance for another couple of days. Then suddenly today it's a nice sweet 80-ish with no humidity, only we're under a boil water order. Well, that ended a few hours ago. Some local TV stations have been off the air, the piped-in music at work was static until toward the end of the night ( I checked it several times). And I just watched this thing about global warming on Discovery... sounds like end-of-days stuff, with ever-increasing violence in storms of all kinds. Truly a good time to have small puppetish matters to focus on, and lose sight of the harsh macrocosm in favor of our microcosmoses.

  2. Hang in there Shelley, It reached 112 in my neck of the woods, broke all records ever recorded. A bad day to get caught up on yard work, but you gotta do what you gotta do. By 10 A.M. I was done.

    Great stuff as usual on the reference material I really like the old photo of the wise old woman - really nice. The goat horn hair is an interesting idea too, just avoid making it look too much like the Princess Leia look.

    Stay cool

  3. "Truly a good time to have small puppetish matters to focus on, and lose sight of the harsh macrocosm in favor of our microcosmoses."

    Well put. Something I realized myself the other day. Watching the news, seeing that storm that hit the East coast last week, I think it was 'Beryl', seeing that little red spinning fan hurricane symbol on the screen again, was like a shock to my system. Hurricane season officially started in June, but we usually don't get the brunt of it until Aug/Sept...can't believe its been nearly a year already, and what a horrible one at for the coagulation of our little society...the silver lining :)...and my own private microcosmos, the light at the end of the tunnel...

    Great images, Shell! that last one, very grand-motherly...

  4. Hi Fellers, Good to speak with you. It sounds like the heat has been affecting all of us, perhaps the worst for wear, Jeffery and the Mrs. Uber because of the abject trauma they survived as recently as last year. Hot air and and thunder storms. 112?! I won't complain again! Thanks!

    Thanks too for keeping me square on the Leia Doo, Mark, good point. That's precisely the kind of thing us peeps are good for each other for. That and so much more. I was telling the Mr. today that before (as in before blogging; BB) I wouldn't have done nothin' yesterday because there wasn't time to do ALL the reference sheets as I would have preferred. But one of the great values of having this place and this audience is that it fills in my DNA, if you will, so that I now have patience to take and appreciate small steps as well as large.

    It may be fiddling while Rome burns, but I think while we are here and able let's do what we love and what means something to us.

    I like the name Silver. Would "Silver Society" be anything? Too precious? Keep looking?

  5. Sounds like the name of a retirement community.

  6. Totally. Plus, I realize I should not be discussing it here! In a 100 years young animators will find the comments above and have a hint that the great rumored society did in fact exist!

  7. A little further updating (of last week's volcanic weather... this week is lookin' great!):

    It never actually hit 112 round these here parts, topped out at around 102, but the index pushed well into the 120's and 130's. The humidity (Hah! Spelt it rifht thet tyme!!!) was so incredibly harsh, it literally felt like someone was stuffing your chest and skull with steaming wet cotton pulled straight from a blast furnace. Each day in the hottest part of the afternoon I rode the ol' mountain bike across expanses of shimmering concrete and asphalt turned back to sticky tar by the heat. And for the first few of these dead dog days, my back wheel was bent so bad it was rubbing hard against the frame... making it six times as gruelling to ride as it should have been! I was at the point of buying a new bike (Couldn't spare my transportation for a day to a bike shop for repairs) when I decided to just see if the wheel from my old one would happen to fit. It did, so that fixed that! I'll be getting another bike next month, so I'll always have a fallback.

    The only way I survived was by going fuel-injected and water cooled. I finally broke down and wore this ridiculous red bandanna thing my mom gave me long ago... it has some kind of expanding hydrophilic crystrals in it that retain water and cold, so you keep it in the fridge and it will keep your neck/chest area cool for ten minutes or so. That's half of my ride time.
    Alone that wouldn't have done the trick.... but I had a plan that didn't fail me. I donned a t shirt soaked in cold water each day before setting off. That actually kept me fairly comfortable most of the way there. It would go bone-dry a few blocks before arrival, which is probably a good thing. Once at work, a quick change into the work shirt, grab a big frosty beverage and retire to the walk-in cooler for a half and hour or so as my core temp slowly recedes. It was actually a beautiful system... I highly recommend it! Um.... or not.....

  8. Wow, Mike, that's remarkable and highly clever of you to do those things. Sounds awfully grueling to get there but at least you had some way to cool down once at work.

    Your description of the stuffed blast furnace cotton is absolutely great. Isn't scary to think of this relentless unforgiving heat going on all across the country? And for some in New York without any electricity as well!? It's a primal desperation to walk to a better climate I feel, like so many people have through the ages of migration. Hopefully all of our climates will calm down again shortly.


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