Friday, October 30, 2009

Hair Loss, Bewitched, Chick Tracts and Baby Monsters

In the battle against hair loss there can be only one winner.  No wait, there are four winners (of varying degree of prizes). 

Create a 60 second clip about hair loss (comedy, drama, else) for a chance to win cash or a fancy camera.

I'm in. Plus I've enlisted a bit of help in the idea department from some friends which gives the whole process a Mad Men/Darren Stephens* (Bewitched) kinda advertising campaign feel.  Im stoked though I gotta figure out how to create a toupee thing in Iclone.  Thanks for the heads up Dulci.

* Did you know that Darren was played by Dick York who hurt his back and was replaced by Dick Sargent (did the producer figure no one would notice so long as the actors first name was Dick?).  But perhaps more interesting, 2 actresses won posthumous Emmys for Bewitched.  Yep, bewitched won an Emmy (er...2).  Which leads me to Boo! which I actually picked up in a Kroger in the South (the religious tract, not the movie) and vividly remember the page discussing how Bewitched was indeed Satanic.  But thats neither here nor there.  Watch Boo because it's funny and Halloween themed.  Then go watch Guppy's Godzilla because it's cuter than ...well I got nothing.  It's cute so watch it.  End transmission. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Set Design and Wasting the Rappers

In news of old things that I find interesting, theres a new Life magazine special that highlights the 50 Greatest unsolved Mysteries.  Some pretty good little snippets here like "What Killed Rasputin?", "Who was D.B. Cooper?" (I love DB Cooper), "What Happened to Judge Crater?" and so on.  Cool black and white photos, though the text was probably ripped straight from wikipedia (or is that the other way around).  Anyway, the mysteries are listed in chronological order so the older ones start it off and towards the end we get "Who killed Jon Benet Ramsey?".  Now almost all of the 50 shorts involve questions like "Who killed...", "Where is...?", "What happened to...?".  Then out of nowhere comes the title "Who Wasted the Rappers?" which should have been followed by the question "Which Editor got fired for allowing such a title?".  The inclusion of the murder of Biggie and Tupac is appropriate (I love Biggie as well) but that title just strikes me as demeaning and incredibly stupid.  Eh mountains and molehills and such.

Worked a bit on Steve-O's last night.  Adjusted the Steve-O sign (much better me thinks), added interior backdrops running at an angle within the building to give a sense of perspective when looking through the window, created the balloons in sketchup (would you believe there is no effective group of balloons in 3d warehouse that are less than 1Meg), added the Color TVs sign, adjusted the sidewalk width and added the roadway markings and a scooter.  Whew...

Still some additional signage to add to the windows, add some color to the grand opening sign and then I need to figure something out for the background besides trees.  I think this is an urban setting so I'll either look for some buildings or perhaps either a photo-realsitic or cartoony urban backdrop.  Have to play around with this to see what works.  Might shrink the line weight on that roadway marking..its kinda big.  Finally I'll send it off to some set design guru to get an opinion.  Overall, I think shrinking the sidewalk and the Steve-O sign goes a long way to making this look better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Surfs up and the need for some perspective

Strolling about on my morning web commute I ended up reading the reelviews review of Wings (1927).  An interesting review  that describes the flick as something of a time capsule capturing the essence of WWI in that brief time before the world had to view it through the lens of WWII.  Also mildly amusing is James' brief take on how Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (made approximately 70 years later) infects Wings with a sense of cliché.  So a fine read of a silent classic which made brief mention of Clara Bow's breasts (Wings was pre-Hays code) which sent me googling Clara Bow and...hubba hubba.

Not all that familiar with Clara (somehow thought she was the intended parody of Lina Lamont from Singing in the Rain..but perhaps not).  Anyhow, the "It" girl wikipedia entry is well worth 20 minutes of your day.  At least it was was to me (my favorite quote from Dorothy Parker..."It, hell, She had those."  Also fun to note that putting on your lipstick in a heart motion is called putting on a Clara Bow...).  

And moving on to things more animation based..Ive started work on a new project.  Script is drafted and being reviewed and I'm currently developing some of the characters and sets and such.  So here is a very early version of a set I was working on last night; a simple electronics store.  

I'm still considering how to develop the store interior (use an interior backdrop/wall or use individual props...I don't have any interior scenes so probably just the backdrops) and I will be adding some flyers on the windows (20% Off!) and pehaps some street and parking lot markings (and perhaps a vehicle or two).  The Grand Opening sign is a flex prop that waves gently in the wind (though I think it could use some color).  And I'm rather proud of the how the set is shaping up.

But the question is should I be?  I keep trying to step back to view things as an outsider because as the creator I have that bit of pride that keeps me from realizing its not all that good.  The same issue happens with all my projects in just about all the phases.  Is this script good or is my sense of pride unjustified.  Is my halloween movie solid or have I just watched it too many times to know the difference.  This is where a mentor/critic role would come in handy.   

Looking at the screenie this morning I'm thinking that the Steve-O sign is way too big in relation to the building and the sidewalk is too big as well so thats more things to add to my list.  More on this project as it develops (feels like 4-6 months production to me) though as a little teaser clue I will say that this flick will use of exclamation marks to excess.