Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Sound Idea

You'd never know what this peaceful, sleepy little mushroom ring turns into at night...

Come along, you're invited to see what's going on after hours in Halfland.

Here's a little preview of the sound design for the Bug Party scene. It's just two low res still shots of the set in the dark with a few tracks thrown into After Effects. My very first attempt with the program. Had to start somewhere.

I've actually collected many dozens of sound files for Halfland just last month. I believe to have 97% of all audio that will be needed for every scene of the film, from the pond to the desert. They've all been gathered into scene folders, labelled, organized. Ready to drop into compositions.

This was a huge milestone for the project and brought to light several surprising realizations about actions and the nature of of what happens. It helped me visualize each moment in a more concrete way which made everything even more tantalizing for me.

You will laugh so hard when you see what's making that horn blow at the party! xoox

It's a Full House!

Started assembling the separate set pieces into their new configuration by using sawhorses, tripods,  and crates at different levels, stuffing the undersides with big crumples of thick brown paper for support. 

Since the shot above was taken, the foreground piece is set-up, the full picket fence and gate is installed and the bug party mushroom ring and cottage pathway repaired and finessed.

The set takes up the whole bedroom where I work, you walk right into the Answer Tree's tiny Writing Mouse house as soon as you walk through the door.

With the landscape in position in it's new configuration, it's nearly impassable to my desk back there. I mostly walk around through the bathroom while the full set is set up. Once the cottage interior scenes are being shot, the landscape can stack and stow to clear up space.
The picket fence (seen above midway during installation process) is now fully incorporated into the foreground set piece, painted with whitewash, and the ground around the base patched and repainted to look like ground.

The fence makes the smaller scale of the Bug Party set look even more diminutive. And you know what that means... intensely more appealing results. It's the one thing against the other that makes the illusion work. The bug party glimpsed from a distance (at first) through the fence in the same frame will enhance the magic of the scale differences.

The next post will give the idea a bit.

Just My Cup of Tea Tree

I've made many plans for flower plantings along the picket fence set piece, spent a lot of time thinking of how to make the greenery and flowers. Then I noticed a specific plant in our neighbor's yard and took a little snip to test (lower left). It looked right, right away. The right scale, the right feel. But how would they be made stable to last over time?

As it would happen, the very next day I saw the gardeners had trimmed back that very shrub (They kindly told me it was called Australian Tea Tree) and welcomed me to grab as much from the bin as I'd like. I stripped off the best looking tips, with the most pink blooms, and happily brought them back to the set.

Today I filled a ziplock bag with my trusty Nova Color matte medium, dropped in the stems one by one, smooshed around to coat, and then tapped off excess inside a cardboard box, and hung all over the studio to dry (center).

I really coated each stock heavily, some twice after each coat dried. The result so far is perfect, with all little leaves strongly attached and even the flower petals withstood the treatments (lower right) and look unaltered after two coats have dried.

The other half of the armful I clipped and crushed their stems to absorb a mixture of hot water, glycerine, and vinegar.  Ideally the solution will be drawn up into the stocks and preserve the whole branch longer term. That batch will take several weeks to fully process, so this matte medium technique, by contrast, is super fast and easy.

I used nearly the same method back in September with a batch of myrtle greenery with mixed results. They looked good at first too but the larger leaves curled and don't look lively enough for the use anymore. Might have them in a blurry background.

Crossing fingers that the Tea Tree branch tips will look like this long term. Planning to add other quick (QUICK!) paper blossoms to the greenery at the fence as well. Yellow Sweetpeas (center bottom).
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