Here I've attached Mike's camera to the scaffolding and am pressing the capture button with my left hand as I rotate the set with the right. I wanted to make sure the mechanism looked smooth enough and it does! The actual film will likely use Mike's discovery of a giant RV jack (scroll down in this section of his wonderful site) attached to the set base as a lower-tech camera control system to bring the camera right down into the scene with each turn of the crank. Something I'm grateful the Dragonmaker taught me.
After trying to buy a 6-pin to 6-pin Firewire cable at three places yesterday (none are to be found in shops anymore) I borrowed one from Paul. It was for two purposes, one to see whether The Darkstrider Unibrain Webcam Patrol of Joy was still working (She LIVES!!! It was a broken cable issue before!) and secondly to finally actually connect myself to the [trembling with excitement] Dragon 3.1.
I'm in the throes of a debate over whether to go whole hog and purchase a very costly to me new DSLR camera with a live feed to begin to animate in earnest even before the main set is complete or to piecemeal the equipment together more economically. Even though it is less "practical" or even logical, I am currently leaning at 95% towards going for it. Here's why, many of you know that I started this film 15 years ago, before the internet, before digital photography, before Mac desktop publishing, before framegrabbers, etc. I started by sculpting characters and building props, biding my time, although I couldn't have consciously known that.
Here we are, 2008 and everything I wanted/needed is now in place and obtainable for me. The very last item dropped into place last month with the release of Dragon's stop motion animation software built for the Mac platform. My friend David said it was as if I am technically being born now as he congratulated me on my moment arriving.
My inclination is to seize the moment with gusto. (I will have a hefty windfall project payment for designing my first website in a few weeks that will take the sting out too.)
Part of the Halfland film ethos is that filmmaking be doable with the means of the maker. Nothing bothers me more than desire and talent being stifled by waiting on someone else to provide the funds to make it real. (Don't make me bring up Leni Reifenstahl again!) No more movie producers, agencies, studios need be involved any longer. Narrow, deep, direct interaction between maker and audience rules the day as far as I'm concerned. And I couldn't be happier over that.
All this to say, I finally hooked up, roughly rooted around with her, and found Dragon to be exactly as I wanted her to be, built for what I'm doing, natural to understand and use, thrilling.
The other day I came across a real life Rana Cottage by accident! Some guy built this home in the wild country of Scotland for about $4000 (hats off!) but what really caught my eye was how much it had in common with Rana's rounded, quicklime-washed, rustic dwelling.
A book design client gave me a sample from from a fabulous hotel in Mexico that used naturally twisted twigs to spell out it's name (seen at top). I freaked in a good way. I spent a couple hours tracking down botanical typefaces online and got a few ideas along the way. There is no written language in Halfland as it takes place before civilization existed, before language was needed, before time, truth be told. So when I create the titles, using branches, shadows, and marking on leaves will be the way to go.
Readers here will recall that the Answer Tree hears your questions and grows your answer out on its leaves. Several have been waiting to hear what their's is. Wait no more. Some answers have emerged today...