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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

I had the sort of weekend that I thought I'd said goodbye to when I left New York City. (it's usually a lot quieter here on weekends.) Mike Genz visited from Edinboro University, we saw the ANIMATION SHOW at the Little Theatre, and I got a large quantity of work done on my new film.
What, you did not know I was making a new film? Well, every 25 years I drop whatever I am doing and make one. And the number was up so I had to do it.
Actually, I did make some other short films since YOUR FEETS' TOO BIG but they are no longer viewable on modern media since they were made for CD-I projects at Phillips Sidewalk Studio in the early nineties. Too bad. HELP ME RHONDA was rather good; it only survives now as a pencil test on my reel.
Now the new one had to be made for a class, so I figured that a horrible nightmare that I had last December would do nicely because I could not think of anything else that I could do that interested me as much. The title fluctuated a bit but after some discussions with my father, who thought the original title noisome, I decided I'd go to Shakespeare (whom I'm also studying) and get an idea from him since so many other folks have.
So the film is now called THE OTHER EDEN.
And there is not a single piece of paper in it. All artwork was drawn and modified on the computer.
This is not to say that it looks like it was done there; I dislike the 'computery' look of most Flash animation and wanted a more organic feel. AE7 (after effects to you non geeks out there) gave me some remarkable effects that, when combined, actually resemble colored pencil renderings and pastel sketches. At times I'm using up to seven modifications of the original artwork, and the result is sort of pleasing. I say sort of since I do not yet know if the entire idea is off kilter or not. For one thing it is not funny. It was not meant to be. After all it was based on a nightmare. This nightmare was remarkably precise; I actually saw the shots and cuts that I use in the film. But some things were added after I woke up.
So anyway THE OTHER EDEN will wrap in a few weeks. It's fun being able to turn out 14 feet a day, I can tell you. But it is not character animation and was not meant to be.

Mike Genz liked the look of it so that was one impartial judge. A few students have also seen it and they seem to be impressed. The Upstairs Neighbours also thought it was working. So I reckon that I will enter it in some film festivals afterward. Couldn't hurt.

Speaking of festivals the ANIMATION SHOW played at the Little. I was disappointed with some offerings but pleased with others; my favorites being Joanna Quinn's DREAMS AND DESIRES, which should have won the Oscar this year, and Bill Plympton's THE GUIDE DOG, and a very funny film from France about two idiotic Samurai armies fighting over nothing called VERSUS.
NINE was well made but lacking in story and, I felt, overrated. The others in the show did not register much with me. It was good to see many of our students and some faculty in the audience.

The weather has been sneeting (snow, sleet) and slaining (snowrain) for days now. It's just becoming tiresome, and L.A has never looked so good to me as now. Amusingly enough they are over cast and rainy, too.
Well, we'll be in a bookstore so don't need the sun much.
I'm off to L.A. tomorrow for the book signing, and so will be posting in a few days when I'm back.
Cheers til then.

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