I can't thank you all enough for coming here and supporting, encouraging, and inspiring me to work on this film. Somehow, knowing there is a large group of kind and interested people out there in the world watching and appreciating what's happening gives me the fiber and fortification I need to keep progressing.
On Wednesday as I finished the nailing detail on the cottage floor, I started to move in on the matter of blending the tree to the made-made hardwood of the flooring. A few years ago I had come across a giant pile of tree roots dug up on public property near the beach and knew I would need them to finish Halfland's tree. I was afraid because they likely had some kind of infestation of bugs or bacteria to have necessitated a tree being removed but not afraid enough to not drag a bunch of the most twisted and gnarled back to our place. I never saw any critters on them BUT in the years they've waited to be used here, there has been much saw dust coming from inside them so I know thousands of someones must be making a feast out of them.
I had no idea how I might use the roots on the tree, or if that would even look good. But I also knew that I would never be able to duplicate the natural quality that real roots have, the flaking of layers, the subtlety of coloration, the buckled shapes. I knew that if I could add them then the entire tree would take on a much more authentically natural illusion. It would bring the tree to life in a greater way. I let my hands work quickly before my head could argue anymore.
I rushed to grab some part of the real roots from the boxes behind the set. I sat crumpled and cross-legged all night long (ouch), essentially sculpting real root pieces onto the existing root tips of my man-made tree. The more I worked it, developing a technique as I went, the more fantastic I thought it looked. My special companion loved to lounge on the pile of raw roots as I worked.
And I was both thrilled and weird-ed out by the fact that... the roots as you see them blended onto the tree, noting the ash-pale grays on the left side by the door and the nearly black ruddy colors of the kitchen area on the right, and growing in and out of the blond floor boards... required no paint or tinting in order to match in color perfectly. None. It's as if these roots were made for exactly this tree.
PS: you can see the little shelf made a bit ago hanging on the wall and the finished vegetable bins. The roots curl and run under the door making the height of Clare's door make perfect sense now too. I couldn't know how I was going to use these roots but now I can't imagine the tree without them. (note: if you scroll down a little bit you can catch the before and after view between this post's last shot and last post's first.)
Next stop: larger pieces real roots, to a lesser degree of detail, on the tree's "outside" view