Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shooting has begun!

I began shooting today! I was planning on starting shooting yesterday, but I caught the dreaded bug my whole family has this week, so things have been relatively slow the last couple days. While I normally work 10-12 hours a day, I can only manage to squeeze out 4 or 5 hours a day since friday without feeling queezy and ill. I think it's strep throat or possibly tonsillitis. Blech. It should be over soon, but thankfully I am ahead of schedule so it's not affecting my work flow in any great way. When I feel sick I just resort to sculpting things or doing small relaxing tasks. Thankfully Ryan was here to help me set up the lights and table this morning.

I finished two shots this morning (about 10 seconds), which I will show you a shot from in a moment, but first... the progress from the last few days...

the finished wall for the pig/time man. Some of the cogs turn and the hands on the clocks. That big evil spikey thing spins as well. It looks like a saw/wheel of death. I don't know what it is to be honest. You can't see the sharp razor edges on it from the picture.

this is that magical insulation foam I talked about filling the puppet heads with before. the red one is firm, and the blue one is like packing peanuts(flexible and squishy)

I used it to create the underground walls, give it a rocky texture.

there are pipes and grates that will fill the space too - and I added some rusty color on top of the black

the hill

after the plaster, I painted it brown, then put a layer of glue and sprinkled some leftover cactus dirt I had in the garage.

broom grass got glue on in bundles in a sort of forced perspective height gradation

this is what the grass looked like when I found it at the dollar tree(normally 8 bucks a piece! I love 99cents stores.

the grass gets a bit sparse in the back since you can't tell on the angle I will be shooting at.

building a grandfather clock from a smaller grandfather clock and some extra wood and the sticks left over from the broom grass

I made the clock face bubble shaped by dribbling some hot glue on the wood.

Ryan helps out with putting the table together. Apparently, Ryan wants to be my apprentice :) For those who don't know, he is normally my sound designer and my only other collaborator in all my animations. he was with me when I first tested out some stop motion with a chunk of playdoh a few years ago.

setting up the lights- the background is made from a vinyl window shade that I spray painted beige and then added transparent layers to. the house is sitting on top of a trashcan and a coffee filter box.

testing out some angles to set the house just right

I am adjusting her eyeball

and finally some shots from the real film!!!! This is from the opening shot. All of these have different color tones since I was playing around this singular images to try and get a feel for the colors I want - so they are all different here.

this is supposed to be a tad later in the day.. 20 minutes or so. All of this takes place at about sunset.

testing different colors

that's all for now. Off I go to continue :)


  1. vanessa this is the COOLEST. i read 42 blogs a day and yours officially just became my favorite. and made it on to my 'lovely things' panel. and made me wish i made films......

  2. This is a great example of the process!!!! I really love how you can see the table in the garage and how your vision just makes it look amazing in teh real shot!!! Love it leeb!!!

  3. It's looking great Vanessa!! I hope you feel better soon.

  4. BRILLIANT :D Keep going man!