Monday, October 31, 2011

Bare Bones Halloween Extravaganza.

I spent the 2 weekends prior to and including Halloween helping out with Bare Bones Puppets' Halloween Extravaganza,  "A Fistful of Dirt - How the Death was Won"

"A Fistful of Dirt: How the Death Was Won is a loosely bound tale that is part  Japanese folktale, part Spaghetti Western.  It is the story of a tengu king who decides to do away with Death and, with the help of his tengu cronies, destroys the Book of the Dead, rendering all life on Earth unable to pass through the Veil between this world and the next for over 150 years. As he does so, he traps a wayward Traveler in his irreverent, never ending, “No Death” party. The festivities are interrupted, however, by hordes of elderly beings... desperately hoping to make their journey to the afterlife. Unwilling to hear the pleas of the undead strangers and Traveler, the king is finally swayed by a heartrending encounter with the ailing Earth... The evening concludes with a procession of actors and audience in which all are invited to speak the names of their dead and to sing them a song of remembrance."

Barebones can be described as "community theatre at its best."  It's certainly the most community-oriented production I've ever been involved with.  Hundreds of people came out to put on this show, and work was found for everybody.

images from the rehearsal of the show can be seen here

images from the full-on performance can be seen here

My job was to project psychedelic imagery onto a screen, using the same materials we used on Stromboli's Medicine Show

Happy Halloween :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blood Splatter FX - Resources

My friend Sam has tasked me with helping to develop special effects for his upcoming film, Saint Mark's Hooker.  Today, we discussed techniques for shooting a full-on shotgun blast to the chest.

I didn't know anything about making bloody explosions before I did my research, but now I have a working knowledge of the techniques involved and the ideas have started to flow.  There are a lot of good resources on the web that I'm compiling here to make the search easier for anybody on a similar quest.

The first (and probably the cheapest) method of making a fake gunshot that I found is from IndieMogul.  In this video Keir MacDonald shows us how to put a condom full of fake blood under a target's shirt,  and use a washer attached to fishing line (if you're inside) or black thread (if you're outside) to snap the condom, making the blood burst out.

In Keir's method, you might need to cut the shot so it begins when the washer exits frame, or else it breaks the illusion.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So I'm a writer now.

The four thoughts that brought about my rekindled love of writing:

First, I was reading about a great woman polymath named Blanche Ames.  When Blanche died, her daughter wrote, "For her to have an idea was to act."
Which meant to me, instead of thinking about how I'm going to do something, or how much I want to, if I have an idea I should just act on it.  It's freed me up creatively a lot.  I stopped writing "to-do" notes to myself in my journals, and when I did that it freed up all that time and space and creative energy so I could do real writing.  Substantial writing, the kind with ideas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Resurgence of Dreaming

Resurgence of Dreaming Manifesto
By Thomas Boguszewski and Michael McConnell

     An abundance of cameras and global internet access have made everyone into photographers, filmmakers, and journalists. This new media of the masses has made a critical mass aware of the flaws in our system. Thus, artists pursuing social realism become redundant. In this era, what role do artists play?

     I pledge to bend my art to a new purpose.
     From here on out:
  • I enact a resurgence of dreaming. 
  • I take responsibility to provide a plethora of alternatives to society. 
  • I posit potential solutions to the problems people face. 
  • I make my visions attainable, though they are born of dreams. 
  • I am aware of and celebrate human nature. 
  • I find hope not by denying reality, but by admitting to it and adapting it. 
  • I provide examples of how one can live a happy, virtuous life in a world where the traditional cycle —Schooling, employment, earning, consumption, procreation— has been exposed as flawed. 
  • I believe that we must never give up on happiness even when old methods have failed. 
  • I know it is folly to cling to failed methods! 
  • I actualize my personal visions. 
  • I also give voice to, and interpret the dreams of others. 
  • I depict characters who step outside the normal system. 
  • I break the rules and make my own. 
  • I encourage others to do the same. 

  • I make it clear that any world I dream may be useful and may make us happier, but is not the best possible world. 
  • I do not know the one right way to do things. 
  • I do not have all the answers (anyone who says he does is out to hurt you.) 
  • I know that this set of goals is only right for certain times and purposes. There are many wonderful reasons to make art out there. 
  • I do not sanctify this or any document. 
  • I break this pledge whenever I want.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

24-hour-comic: The Event

So earlier this week I posted the product of my go at the 24-hour comic.  Now that pictures have surfaced of the event, I'd like to give you a glimpse of what it was like.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

24-hour comic - Oct 1 2011

So this is my answer to the creative challenge of this year's 24-hour comic (to create a 24-hour comic in 24 hours).  I was only able to make 8 pages during the 24 hour period, but that's okay.  I tried my best.  This project is made of firsts:  My first 24-hour comic, my first time using bristol board, my first time using ink and watercolors together in a "real" comic.  It was a great day.  Photos of the event to come.