Monday, September 18, 2006

All Good Things

And so we bid a fond fare-thee-well to our experiment in priority. Congratulations and warm thankful heartfelt gratitude to me-self, Darkstrider and Ubatuber for completing our 16 day Production Intensive.

What a rush and a ride. I made relatively small progress on things, relative to my intentions, guestimates, and expectations. But I am 1,000% certain that without this Intensive Retreat I would not even have come close to the headway made. I reviewed my posts from last 16 days and found that while I felt I had accomplished precious little, I had in fact produced some pretty significant change towards making Halfland yet closer. But that's not even the best news.

A far greater thing happened for me than almost any completion could have done. I've experienced the power of (wait for it) EXCLUSION. I am finally beginning to understand what it takes to get large tasks done. Each day of the last 16, I had to continually choose to task for Halfland only and deliberately not choose the many many other things that were either pressing me to be done or tempting me with their creativity or even habitual for me to do. It was a remarkable thing at last to get. I could see that when I chose to do something non-project related there simply was not time in the day for Halfland, my goal. I knew that making certain things more important than the project meant that there had better be a darn good reason why it got top billing. I really understood responsibility and consequence as if I had never met them earlier in my life. In a way I hadn't, not with the focus that accompanies a certain maturity.

I pared everything back to bare bones, pushing away things I NEVER would have before. I took care of my essential responsibilities quickly and without procrastination each day, a wholly new behavior. I saw that if I wanted my goal realized I would have to take the necessary physical steps towards that, to the exclusion of practically anything else. It isn't discipline as I've understood it, a denial or postponement of pleasure imposed from outside ones nature. Instead this was like a shifting from my more impulsive approach to an applied concentration for its own brand of pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. It was enhanced and made 100X more fun by having Mike and Jeffery doing their work and posting daily as well. I loved checking their sites each morning and witnessing the exciting progress there. Having such support and encouragement from brothers like them, and all of you, was like a dream.

Right, so this morning I took a look at ma' Birds in Hats y'all. and I have revised my plan and instead will make and animate 1-3/4" puppets on the cottage set itself. For reasons I'm to pooped to splian right now. I had a second smaller raven Halloween decor, this time with open wings, as if in flight. I took the dear apart and noticed how the makers had fashioned the wings with a stiff "shoulder" reinforced feather that then had a graduated series of flat feathers fanning out from its stalk. I got the idea that if I follow this construction with my lusciously colored feathers (purchased for this purpose in New York 1993, by the way) sandwiched with thin wire, I could position each feather to shape the wings frame by frame rather than use replacement shapes.

Here's a quickie sketch of two, too-small Birds in Hats, made back in New York, popping out of one of their hatboxes.

Sven at Scarlet Star Studios gave a really cute idea for the bird's petite pageant. He thought I was going to have the birds nesting in a hatbox and various other hat and hatbox with bird play that I LOVE and will absolutely use for this scene. Thanks, Sven!


  1. yeah, shelley! did i miss why this was coming to an end?

  2. *sniff* :( Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    No end for me 'til Sept 30....but it was nice that the fabrication part of the short took me exactly 16 days....kismet...thanks for being a loyal viewer Shells, and for pushing me at the start with my no-faced Doc were (and are) a great catalyst, an I gotta get to filming, theres a short in me scratching to come out and play :)

    oh, and..the birds? Adorable :)

  3. Hi Gretchin, well, the 16 day "Intensive" was precipitated by my hubs 2-1/ish week business trip. With him not at home there would be less demand on my time. He's home now and between making the house sparkle, baking his favorite cookies (not a euphemism), and sitting across from him at Urth Caffee, being attacked repeatedly (euphemism), cooking his breakfast, etc. You can see why I thought to take advantage of the space in my schedule! But you're right, it isn't really ended now because now I see better how it works and how I can work working.

    I thought it would be important to acknowledge the completion of the agreed upon time frame as an honoring of the child inside who kept their agreement to work. Sven wrote to us something similar at Mike's blog yesterday, about how if we didn't "mark" the agreed upon ending, then we'd feel like its never ending on some level and that cooperation might be hard to come by when we'd have to enter into a new spate of work.

    Rock it, Jeffery! When you shoot animation it's filled with wry humor and good entertainment. You've got a real knack for direction! GO!

  4. It's been fun discovering you guys and your projects in the midst of your intensive. I've learned a lot and really enjoyed your progress and triumphs. Sometimes it really does take shutting out all other outside noise to hear the voice of your art loud and clear... :)

  5. Hi MG, This is how we roll. The Intensive was only a 16 day extra concentrated spurt. Please stay tuned for more progress!

  6. It's only the end of the beginning......

  7. Perfectly said, Mike.


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