Thursday, March 31, 2016

Halfland's Life Aquatic Begins

Part of my delay has been a space issue. I'd run out of it. I finally came to terms with the state of chaos here and decided to station the sea set on our little back porch by the back stairs. First came the reorganizing of storage and a clean up.
The space was already fitted with wooden slats at a nice height near the screened windows. 
I used a ball bearing turn table on a foraged art crate to mount the cardboard set. It allows me access on three sides. Not meant for panning during animation, it will allow me to get multiple angles and views into the undersea world.You can see how the sled moves in this clip.

Made and painted background sea life. Dry brushed dozens of shells in grey blue and white.
Installed the door into the large papier mache rock with wire. Sand was sealed with watered down matte medium and can withstand full vacuum attacks and flexing once dry.
The box was fleshed out with crumbled brown paper and masking tape. LOTS and LOTS of sand was applied to a paper base on the sea floor (bottom right). Took several passes with a shop vac to get normal. As things developed, I installed reflective panels and mini disco balls on the edges of the box so the lighting will dapple. Fishes were carefully installed one by one. Pieces of the actual fish puppet packages sent to Halfland from around the world were incorporated in the scene, half buried in the floor, floating down from the water's surface above, as if all the crazy creatures seen were lost from our world.
Kept the palette neutral, in blues, greens, white, with pale yellow shadows, so that all the fish will show off nicely.
Added scrap wood structure to the opening of the large rock and finished it like the others with loads of texture and a sand skirt. This way I can plop it down anywhere in the set for its scenes at the end of the sequence. Bonus: the inside was lined with black felt so it can double as a composite shot bowl, if need be.
Please stay tuned for how all the fish got groovy...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Peek-a-Boo!

 Peek-a-boo! says, gl's little scarlet starfish, interrupting Ceri's woolly starfish's train of thought.



Hi There, Dear Blog Friends! Lots of exciting developments in Halfland to tell you about! Thought I'd better pop in to tell you the entire underwater set has been fully built and is now completed. (!) That was the last of all the sets to be built for the whole series of films.

All the MUCH appreciated sea life puppets that were sent in by all of you for the scene have been installed in the new set and are ready for their cameos. (!) Getting very familiar with them during set up I nearly came to tears over how wonderful each one was. How much care and time and thought was invested in them was incredibly touching. I am ashamed to calculate how long it has taken me to build this set for them. I kept trying to delegate the filming to someone else as the years ran by. But then saw my way clear to tackle it. And now this milestone too is thankfully done.

Posts coming soon showing all the action of the build and each puppet rigged and on set.

In other progress, I had a day of sitting in the court house halls earlier this month for jury duty and was surprised to find I had written out every shot of the whole series in script form in my little notebook by the end of the day. (!) I LOVE IT. I can't believe how each little vignette of action flows into the structure of time of day/season/akts as I was hoping it might. And there were a few surprises, even for me!

Please stay tuned...
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