Thursday, February 26, 2015

Power of the Press

When Robert Ito saw something worthwhile in Halfland and crafted a story about those of us who are crazy enough to love building tiny worlds, via a tedious photographic process's known as Stop Motion, he showed me the power of the mighty pen. Even in our Internet universe, the Greg Lady packs a punch to a huge volume of eyes. People who barely knew my last name came up to me at ballet and asked whether I was the Shelley Noble mentioned in that Sunday's NYTimes edition. Tons of people saw it and heard about the project that wouldn't have otherwise. There's something about that power of large numbers.

Since then, I moved to an entirely different sort of space, in many senses. No longer in a huge loft, the whole production is shoehorned awkwardly into a standard-sized room. And what was once an intention to make the film like any other animation for entertainment has now been further defined as hoping to be something else altogether.

It's now about pure art. Art that is admittedly an overindulgent pleasure of creation. But I'm learning to reign in the impulses to execute the ideas that flow out in favor of greater direction of my energies and time in order to get the film made.

At this point, it's all about getting scenes in the can. To get any sort of footage, with what's built as it is, with some things unfinished fully, get the clips into After Effects and get to cutting, enhancing, finessing, etc. There's a danger that all that's been made to date could be lost and it's my ferocious focus to get what ever possible on film. If this were a major test at school, my current state would been known as, "pencils down. Hand in by paper "


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sky Kiss

Crude Pre-Viz on how I hope to paint the back sky layer. It's a Half Sky, Night kissing Day, but it isn't drawn on half, more like 1/3. Still, we can imagine the scene carries on to the left thereby making it always half if you were standing at a different angle.
There's also now built a starry constellation-ed "Night Hoop" but that's a different story.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cool Find: Christina Spangler

My favorite Stop Motion clip of all time so far, this by Christina Spangler This clip strikes deeply at the core of what I'm after with Halfland. The natural sunlight, the lack of narrative, the simple doable movement performance, the rack macro focus that mimics our observant eyes while in nature. Did we see what we saw? Yes, we did.

Cool Find: Granny O'Grimm

Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty. A really charming solid short. It's well done cgi with a really nice visual style contrast between the film's setting and the fairy story being told within it. Wryly funny and well written and performed by Kathleen O'Rourke, Directed by Nicky Phelan, produced by Brown Bag Films:

Monday, April 30, 2012

From a Pauper to a Prince

One of Cirelle's recent photos of her beloved dog, Jemmy. The very one rescued for her from the mean streets by noneotherthan Shel Rasch! He's a happy, loved, and healthy doggy now. Dig those crazy fun ear wisps!

It's been a full year since the day Shel picked Jemmy off our street after our visit. She cleaned him up and gave him to Halfland volunteer Cirelle. In that year, Cirelle has learned to take superb care of a such a bright, adorable dog and he is enjoying the sweetest pampered puppy life to be sure.

He has the best friend a dog ever could in Cirelle, and she the best companion woman's ever had. They have each other thank goodness.

She told me that the other day on one of his many fun walks in the park, he inadvertently stepped right on a bee in the grass with one of his hind legs and it stung him on a back paw paw. He yelped and hopped as fast as he could go on three legs, leading Cirelle home by the leash the whole way. They got in and he ran right up stairs and dove straight under her bed as his place for comfort and safety. She of course collected him immediately and took him to the vet to make sure he'd be alright from the sting.

She was worried (he turned out to be fine) but to her the episode let her know for certain that he knows where to go if anything goes wrong with life... he goes Home. He has, at last, a real home.

With this new fellow in her life, and her puppet project fully done, I don't suspect Cirelle will have time to work in Halfland much going forward. But I wanted to thank her for all that she has done for it and for her being Halfland's Muse in inspiring other people to come and work for a time.

Good things tend to happen for people when they are around Cirelle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Frame Rates

Marina Kanno and Giacomo Bevilaqua from Staatsballett Berlin perform several jumps captured in slow motion at 1000 frames per second.

So, working on Halfland brings a great deal of realization and insight with it. One of the things that is occurring is the sense of life itself being very much like a frame-by-frame animation. It's dawning slowly on me that the only difference between life, animation, and dreams is the "Frame Rate". How many slices of action we can perceive. Too out-there of an idea for you? well, that's why it's posted on the underground.

Case in point. The super slow mo camera technology experiments that are emerging from all over the world are capturing human imagination, I think for a reason. If you watch this captivating, sublimely beautiful clip of young dancers jumping, you may notice how when the 1,000 frames per second kicks in, it begins to imitate or emulate our own mind's ability to see. It becomes nearly a god's eye view (be sure to catch it on YouTube directly after it's all buffered for the effect). I feel that we often see this way in our own dreams. Do you?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mimizard Puppet Completed!

 A: Fully REALized: Cirelle's original sketch, sculpt, and finished puppet
I could not be more proud of Cirelle for actually completing her original puppet character she began here two years ago.

She came over to finish him up especially yesterday and we spent a whirlwind day putting the finishing touches on.

When she saw the date of February 2010 on her initial sketch, she turned to me to say that she finally understood how Halfland has taken me so many years. (YEAH! Tell me about it!) It's not that she or I spend every moment making our creations. Life happens as well. In her case, she became a dog owner over the last year (the wonderful puppy that Shel Rasch rescued for her from our street) and built the cedar-shingled roof on the Halfland cottage.

See her workman's journey over the two-year making of her Mimizard puppet below.