Sunday, September 17, 2006

On the Sparrow

Made a start of fabricating the supporting cast member puppets, Birds in Hats.

Keeping this Production Juggernaut rolling, I thought about Birds in Hats characters and their brief scene in the film. They are to be really just blank bird body shapes with bird legs, wings that flutter, eyes that blink, and beaks the chirp. Rather than sculpt and cast them, I thought to make a direct puppet. I may, and likely will, make two pairs of the squabbling squab as making small sparrow-sized bird puppets to scale for the set would have them be 1-1/2" tall and too difficult to animate as I'd like. I'll use scale puppets on set for long shots and 4 or 5" puppets for close-ups, animating them on a specially made set detail, compositing them into the final film.

I didn't have any Almaloy on hand thin enough, so I grabbed a 22 GA. Floral wire to work out how to wire the legs. These are a get going practice session trys because when the wire is doubled and twisted it's a bit to stiff to move easily. I trotted out the new Japanese air-dry soft clay, that I mentioned a while back, to add to the wire for bird leg flesh. I'll see how it dries in the morning---wait--it already is morning. Nevermind, I'll know the answer in time.

The bodies will be covered in beautiful colored feathers and then there are, of course, the hats! There are already velvet-lined hat boxes made and a nest to suit them. I'll need to make an ornate hand mirror in which the fussy dears will enjoy admiring themselves.


  1. Birds in Hats!! One of my favorite concepts here in your Halfland, Shells....great idea for the larger-detailed-set-bit for the close-up shots, that'll be fun to do...

    Keep going, keep going!

  2. Thank you so much, Jeffery! I can't tell you how encouraging it is to have you say that! w00t.

  3. OMG! Do the birds in hats nest in hat boxes? Is that how they came to possess hats, and where they pop out of?

    Probably not. But the visions that just flashed through my mind were SO CUTE!!

  4. OMG! Sven, I'm going to USE THAT!! What an absolutely adorable idea! See the action is that one birdie flies into the cottage and lands on her nest and fusses over herself in the mirror, trying on different hats from her collection in boxes on the branches around her nest, then, her mate (now revealed through your comedic idea of popping up from inside a hat box!) to quarrel with her over a hat he'd like to wear. There's a tug-o-war and much noisey chirpage. hee.

  5. Aint no thang but a chicken.... leg! Good to see you making so much progress on all the 'flighty' characters in your film!

  6. Hi Mike, I sure don't feel like it's progress, such small little movements. But, ok, I guess it's more than I would have done before. Yeah--thanks!


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