It's been Wall-to-Wall Halfland

How to begin to unpack what's been happening in Halfland... Hmmm....
A Beautiful Mind
One of the major milestones for the project was my wallpaper-pasting down every single remaining reference image collected over the last 15 years for Halfland onto over-sized posterboard, by category. I had completed doing this a couple years ago for the main characters and some of the tree and cottage materials but this was finishing all the rest over several days. I had everything pasted and ready for Intern Sophie last Monday. After feeding her an after school snack, she helped me attach all the sheets onto an entire wall of the shop, floor to ceiling, wall to wall+.

These images are incredibly valuable to me. I believe in collecting reference images for projects like a whale eats, by allowing the food to come to me as I travel through the ocean of life. All I do is filter it as it comes across my mouth, as it were. I am ruthless about it. I will cut images out of rare, irreplaceable books, buy a whole magazine just for a single image, and print out copious web finds without attribution. All of it is up for easy viewing and inspiration now. So helpful.

Sky Pie
After much much thought, I believe, I have truly and finally worked out the sky I'd like to create for Halfland. The plan is as easy and inexpensive as I could make it and even though it's hand-made, it gives the coveted "infinity illusion" I'm hoping for.

In order to determine the actual size of scrim I will need to buy, I got the bright idea to use a 10' x 20' plastic drop cloth to measure the space. I thought I might use these as the final sky itself for a minute, so I tested what sort of medium might work to paint it as a sky cyclorama. Polymer mixed with transparent dye worked ok. But really got me was how white, opaque clouds looked on their own sky layer, one can be seen above right, through tree branches. (click always to enlarge any image).

It wasn't until a nap this afternoon that I hit upon my sky recipe. Seen below...

The woven nylon stretch fabric I used in my test scrim photographs with a moire pattern that isn't visible to the eye. Buying the non-woven theatrical scrim should handle that. This clip doesn't show how well the infinity effect works as a result, but if you can see past the moire, into how the three layers of cloud shapes interact, you might get a sense of it...

Here's my awkward scale elevation of the sky system in the workshop space here with the set. It should look something like this when the cardboard trees are built to cover the support column, as shown on the left. The system will have to be installed in different spots as scene shooting moves to alternate sides of the 360 degree set.

Felted Vool
Art Bonus: I made little blessing booties out of a second-hand raspberry wool sweater that had been washed in hot water in order to weave its fibers into wool felt. Or how my great Polish Ballet master pronounces it; "VOOL!". I added hand-felted rosebuds to the toe for Ella Rose and tucked a little blessing on a strip of paper inside. I love Verking vis Vool and sneak projects with it whenever I can. I even introduced needle felting to Intern Sophie last week. She went totally ape for it and was excited by the idea of using this technique to craft the tiny fuzzy woolen socks for her cat puppet in her film in development; "Socks: The Movie!"

Thank you for reading. I can get back to finishing out the set now... Wishing you well!


  1. yay! i hope the sky stuff works! and the felted shoes are A.DOR.A.BLE!

  2. Holy smokes! This is brilliant. I love your schematics. Works of art. Very proud of you.

  3. Thanks gl, I hope the sky works too. I'm really hopeful about it.

    Thanks, Paul dear, It's beyond nice having you for a fan! xoxo

  4. cool beans Herself!

    problem solveing is what its all about in this crazy Medium.


  5. Too true, Justin

    Everyone solves things their own way too.

    See you Sunday! w00t!

  6. Vishing you vell too. That's how my Mother-in-Law speaks actually. I absolutely LOVE that wall. It's an invaluable reference to have ones influences laid out like that.

    I'm sure your background will work wonderfully.

  7. I read this with my mouth wide are like some kind of artistic genius. Incredible.

  8. Hey Rich! Digging your stop mo avatar there! Qa utte! Thanks for the support. What do you do for sky as it were?

    Really, Mama's losin'it? This whole thing is way outside my area of know-how, NO HOW! I'm hoping it'll work, please stay tuned to see if it does!

  9. Ha! The avatar is very rough stop-mo Shel, no increments on the turning just done by eye in a hurry. But thanks!

    I haven't really had to deal too much with sky actually. The last stop-mo I was involved in we used a 2.5m squared matt painting of the sky. Other than that it's been indoors and if there's a window I've done digital so I can get the light right on the inside surfaces without worrying about exposures on the outside. The next one, a music video featuring these stop-mo paper dragons, will be set inside at night. Maybe I should do an establishing shot outside to play with a 'big sky' like yours.

    I have to say though that never done anything nearly so big as HalfLand. The scrim you're using makes sense for the scale your doing... scares the bajezzus outta me though. :)

    Do you still have a link for that video with the animation of fire and ice? People over at my blog seemed interested in the idea of it.

  10. Scares the bajezzus outta me too, Rich! But--at least it's cardboard! I can deal.

    Looking for that old cool find link. tried a search over at YouTube for :fire and ice, paper, cut outs, stop motion, music video. Nothing matched.

    Do you happen to remember the month it might have been posted over here? I might be able to snag it that way...

  11. If anyone can do big scale paper products Shel it's you! I'll stick with leeeeetle!

    Yeah, I tried all those at YouTube as well. I can't remember when it was that you post it. Ah well, not to worry, it'll turn up one day.

  12. This is amazing, I'm in heaven!
    Sandra Evertson

  13. Miss Sandra, You are most welcome to visit here! Thank you for the kind compliment.

  14. Anonymous11:55 PM

    Looks like you've really had your head in the clouds - in a totally practical way! Looks like a great solution. Bravo!

  15. g3t films said:

    "Ha! The avatar is very rough stop-mo Shel, no increments on the turning just done by eye in a hurry. But thanks! "

    You must be a newcomer around these parts.... or you'd know Shelley LIKES it rough! Um... and I DON'T intend any nasty double entendre.... she likes rough animation. And afterwards she likes to roll over and smoke a ciggy. Hah!!

    Shelley, I'm loving seeing all the stuff you been doin' out Halfland way! Keep working like this and it might grow to 3/4land, or even wholeland! Wouldn't want that now!!

  16. The rougher the better!!!

    Wholeland.... Hmmmm....

    Having the film completed sounds so nice!

  17. I can't get over what an enormous undertaking this is! Great stuff Shelley ... as ever :)
    x Rima

  18. Oh, Rima! It is so nice to have someone understand the scope of the effort! You know exactly what's involved here and what I'm trying to do. It helps. Thank you.

  19. The Cloud shapes look like a good Idea, Although the Vid was slightly blurred I can see how awesome it will look on the finished Film, As for the Shoes Adorable!!!

    P.S Sorry for not visiting for ages, I litterally havent been on the Computer for Ages!


  20. Thanks, Ben!! So nice to have you stop in! And how nice for you to have taken a break from the computer, you must be made of stout stuff.

    Thanks always for the encouragement!


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