Monday, December 7, 2009

What is Halfland?

It's my wholly original folk tale in the traditional vein. It's a fantasy on the surface, but really more of a visual allegory or metaphor in the sense of ancient myths. It's filled with symbols from deep within my own subconscious. It's a grand experiment to see if these incredible, truly, incredible new creative computer tools can empower everyone with basic modern means to be their own movie studio. But most of all, it's the most insane fun I've ever had or could ever imagine having.

It's actually simple animation for Halfland, I hope. No dialog at all, not much narrative, mainly uninvolved physical movement made in short bursts and strung together as a film, as if beads. The magic of it is in its detailed sets, puppets, and costumes, the world created.

Story/movie/play, in brief: It's the audience/camera pov following a mermaid from our shores, undersea to Halfland (Where everything is more clearly half of something else.)

We pick up a view of the mermaid swimming in a freshwater stream (presumably coming in from a delta) to a half tree/half house where a goat woman comes down the hill with a rain barrel to collect her visiting mermaid friend.

They share tea and soup and watch various insect goings on until nightfall, then turn in for the night in the ember glow and last lantern light.

In the middle of the night, the crow woman barges in, wounded, bleeding, desperate. Rana packs up the mermaid in the water-filled barrel and tucks the crow woman onto a sled, and off they go to get her the help she needs in the desert.

[That describes the action taking place in about 6 micro-episodes of approximately 6 seconds each. And is the end of Act 2.]

[Act 3 takes place in the desert]

The troop travels to find the Serpent Sage, he knows what to do for the crow, plays an instrument that causes flowers to grow from his head. This causes flowers to grow from her head too.

[End of Act 3 as well as the first complete series.]

Subsequent series involve the moth man, the writing mouse, how answers are discovered on the leaves of the trees.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Halfland Build Lists:
specific items that need doing

Interior/Exterior Cottage Building: rain gutter with bucket pulleys

Set Landscape Building: plant landscape; silk waters; distant hills; set foreground branch near camera on wide shots, Flowering Thoughts

Puppet Making: armatures; casting; hair; costuming; and finishing for; Tarn (38% done); Kyra large and small (50%); Yanu (50% done); Torhar; Urhu; Bird's in Hats (80% done)

[Table updated: April 2015]

Completed Set/Prop/Puppet Elements--DONE!-- kitchen curtains & rods/brackets; Entry window curtains, shade rods and brackets, desert palm tree; Moon Lantern, Bamboo Grove, Tea Cup Roses, glass Tudor windows, rose wallpapering; plant pond foliage; portion of fencing in foreground, gate in fence;  Mouse House Exterior, weathervane, tree lanterns; coppola; shutters; porch; Urhu's desert tent; Mouse house interior; Writing Mouse's ink bottles, quills, scrollsUrhu's snake-skinned musical instruments; roof joists; roof and shingles; Cabbage moth halo/crown; Butterfly wing tapestry loom, Chicken Painter's easel, brushes, and canvasesFour seasons of birch forest, lace spider webs

Finished Puppets--DONE!--RANA!! Writing Mouse; Bosq the snoring cat; small Pink Snail; Knitting Beetles, Herman! the Caterpillar, Catalina the Inchworm, Dust Bunnies, The Tailor Spider, Birds in Hats (so nearly), Pink Snail, Handicapped Butterflies, Time Flies; devil moth; Time Frog ; Caterpillow,  Chicken Painter (by Deborah George); Mr. and Mrs. Smook OYsters, blue dragonfly, twigman, twig figures, Hermit Crab

Backdrop Sky Building--Again--Day and Night DONE!

Finished props--DONE!-- iron tea kettle, Bird's hats, door keys, floral arrangement, window boxes, strawberriesFireside hearth andirons and kettle crane, Queen Bee paper hive, Queen bee's crown; Time Frog's lotus and lily pads, Chandelier AGAIN!; All Food Props

For possible future Halfland episodes:

Add'l Props: Torhar's saddle; Tarn's sled

Add'l Puppets: Butterflies that tango, and look like flowers, and are handicapped.

Add'l Minor Sets: underseascape (made from puppet packaging from all over earth from Notes readers)

Cool Find: Gondry Music Video

When you love a piece of music, one way to immerse yourself in it is to pull it apart piece by piece and make art with it. Michel Gondry did this in an interesting way. He took an existing track of music (Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers) and mapped it out by hand on paper (first 3 minutes of this "making of" video show exactly how).Then he tested the pattern using oranges, books, shoes, glasses, bolts, etc.

Ten HD videos of a train ride in France (for the light gradients) and three months of digital post production produced this..via