creation

The fun of anticipation

groot-sketch

Still working away on the Guardians of the Galaxy short, principal shooting is almost done and things are soon to be edited.

Which is good, ’cause the movie opens Thursday and we’ve already booked out IMAX tickets.

But as I was busy putting the final touches on the Guardian puppets (See Groot above) and dancing because a sequel has been confirmed by Marvel, it’s fascinating to note that everything we know about these characters comes simply from a trailer (we’ve avoided the comics to be able to enjoy the surprise). That’s it, just two minutes of carefully crafted goodness, specifically designed to snag the interest of people. It totally worked on us, particularly in terms of interest in Rocket Raccoon and Groot, who barely appear in that first trailer. Yet we were totally hooked by the first viewing. The tone of the opening sequence, the perp walk and description of characters and the combination of the retrotastic song mix with action packed scenes. It’s like if Frankenstein was specifically designed and pieced with plaid colored thread and sewing needles in lab named FUN. First impressions are everything, as we discovered with the first glimpse of a movie appearance of Wonder Woman (#underwhelmed #drab).

But the Guardians of the Galaxy? Yeah, we’re so there, massively interested to the point where we’re trying to avoid other trailers and advance information about the movie, because we so want to be knocked over the head with awesomeness on that opening night. Only four more days!

Oh crap, we we still have so much to do. Back to work!

Whooshing and laughing

 

(SCENE 6 SHOT 2) SEVENTEEN SECONDS) They’re lead by Nick Fury. SHIELD forms the Avengers with all these guys and Nata, uh, Black Widow, who is just so awesome (blushes) (pinkish felt circles!) (girl giggles) and uh, uh, Hawkeye who has an awesome bow and arrow. Actually this is two scenes, one of just Nata, uh, Black Widow and Fury/Shield, the other of Hawkeye. IS THERE A REASON TO MACHINE GUN ARROWS??? cause as a running joke…Is there a reason not to machine gun arrows?! I CAN’T THINK OF ONE!!

We’re still in the midst of shooting scenes for the Who Are These A-holes movie/recap. And still drawing some of the characters and backgrounds. And rewriting some scenes.

There’s a deadline monkey on our back and he’s just laughing at us. This is not like the training with Yoda!

It’s funny in the “uh oh, but maybe we’ve finally learned something” sort of way. It’s incredibly easy to go back and forth and figure out the script (as seen in the quote above), but putting it into reality is a process. And there are only so many hours in the day. So we trudge on, taking notes so we can do better next time, while blaming the monkey gods for messing with our plans.

To be fair to monkeys, there are always monkeys and we are easily distracted by things like the new Weird Al videos, new pictures from [that website with the movie art! Ack! Help (Concept Art World)], Gif Party Friday or discussion of what all those new Marvel dates mean.

But we’ll get to the end, over the next week!

 

A guarded post about what’s next

We’ve slept and rested and eaten, along with plotted and planned about what to do next. The answer came with a certain movie trailer which captured our attention and wrestled it to the ground like it was an unruly teenager:

Guardians of the Galaxy, due in August, is a totally unexpected and exciting bit of story. There’s a talking raccoon with gun and his pal is walking tree. Who are these people, what are they doing, where did they come from and how do they fit in with the rest of the Marvel Universe?! Over chocolate cookies, we’re sketching and storyboarding the answers!

Mr. ink and cookie Mr. Pink and Guardian storyboards

A Chair of Ice and Fire is now live!

Season 4 of Game of Thrones starts real soon and we’re as excited about it as much as anyone. What’s going to happen to the remaining Starks? What annoying thing is Joffrey going to do next? And what about the dragons?

While you wait, enjoy this short recap of what’s happened, but from a slightly different and younger angle, titled A Chair of Ice and Fire

 

On the Merits of Director’s Cuts and Learning Software

 

The truth is sometimes you have to go with what you got. Especially when learning new software. Ok, let me roll back and tell you what happened.

In December, I got this excellent Daryl Funko Pop Figure. Yay gift cards, yay Daryl! Immediately I thought I should try some stop-motion with him, he doesn’t have lots of articulated parts, so it might be fun to move him around see what he gets up to. I also wanted to try out some eerie lighting, since I had also found the cool ‘kevins’, aka those wobble lights, that you can set anywhere and they just light up. Plus I wanted to try low light and see how the iPhone camera did with just ambient light. I thought a Daryl / X-Files kind of thing might be in order. So I broke out some other toys, settled on the spaceship, set up a scene and told Brandon he should come work the camera.

This was pretty impromptu, born out of an extra day off. THIS IS IMPORTANT! It’s important because the impromptu nature meant we didn’t do any of the new things we are trying to do like, a shot list, a storyboard, etc. All the preparation stuff. We shot the video, tried some other stills etc, had a chat and some fun. It went well, despite the unprepared state. It’s funny, one of us will usually have a good picture of the project in mind. A sort of director’s cut if you will.

A few days later, we had a Plaid Play day. (These are fun days, when we hang out and do art, discussion, learnin’ and play) I spent a couple hours of the day editing the snazzy new video. It was great! The video posted here is not it! See we are new to video editing software. It’s important to learn it, but has a steep learning curve. Probably would be easier to take a class and learn, but we are using the webs. ‘Cause it’s cheaper and less time consuming in a full work schedule. Somewhere between finishing the edit and saving the project, something got lost, button-pressed or misplaced; I’m not sure what exactly. But the nice edit was gone and in it’s place was all the clips I had been working from.

So now I did’t have any cheat sheets of preparation to go by, I didn’t have any notes I made during editing and I was back at square one. And I couldn’t quite get the magic back. I had done something that made that video great, but when I did it over again, I got only good results. So lessons learned: Prepare! Take Notes! Ambient light is interesting!

See you next time.

Collaboration Pt. II, The Quickening

Working with others can be, well,  work, as anyone who’s been on a committee, had a job in an office or simply tried to negotiate a revolving door can attest. Sometimes it’s light work, sometimes it’s a lot of work, but there is always some element of having to deal with others and find common…