FILTH is not for kids. I’ve mentioned in the past that it is a violent film with extremely course language but living with the film for over a year now I sometimes forget just how over the top it is at times. I spent last weekend working on a montage sequence that had some particularly strong content. Now … it is puppet violence so that in and of itself softens the impact and being in black and white tones it down even more (some of the raw colour footage is spectacularly graphic) I will also add that FILTH is more EVIL DEAD II than it is SAW (for those unfamiliar with those films or who only know them by reputation, there is a difference) The fact that FILTH is a little on the extreme side doesn’t concern me in the least, just know you’ve been warned.
HIVE has been nominated for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Short Film. 2 years ago BROKEN was nominated for the same award. The winners are chosen by fan ballet so I don’t expect to win but I was taken aback to see it nominated. I’m not sure how these things are selected but someone out there seems to like my work and for that I am grateful. If you wish to vote I will make it easy for you. Simply copy and paste the text below into an email and send it in. More on FILTH next week.
9. BEST SHORT FILM – HIVE, directed by Adam Ciolfi
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be putting the finishing touches on Scene 21 this weekend which will put this set to rest. The balcony scene was only 4 weeks in front of the camera but it was some of the most challenging work I’ve ever done. Not because of the animation (that was fairly standard) but for the amount of post animation manipulation of the shots. Close to half the shots had some sort of digital help (green screens, rig removal, set extensions) and on more than one occasion I found myself isolating the characters and replacing the entire environment (something I have strongly criticized in the past but have come to see the practical reasons behind, my how the times have changed) And finally, I say goodbye to a second puppet … I hardly knew ya man. I plan to clean up all the linking scenes next before moving on to the final showcase set. AND the film has inched past the 6 minute mark.
This is a puppet movie. I know that. There’s one right here on my desk, watching me as I write this. When I’m animating I’m surrounded by all manner of tools, coffee cups, clay, paper towel, paints, wire, tape, pens, paper, yogurt cups filled with screws and bolts, clamps, and on and on. Nothing at all special. But when I look through the lens, when the lights are hot and the camera’s rolling, a world exits, it’s alive, it’s real … and it’s getting bigger.
Puppets are a lot like people; you never know which one’s gonna be a jerk. Take this guy for instance. I really like the design and I had no problems building him … but OH MY GOD is he a tough one to animate. Why? I’ll give you several reasons. The coat is long which makes it very difficult to get to the legs. The lower part of the coat (right below the belt) is made of a thicker rubber than the rest of the puppet. It’s much stiffer and doesn’t always want to get the hell out of the way. Because his waist is so high I incorrectly placed the back joint too low so he’s a pain to bend and twist. Having said that … he looks really cool on film (which is all that matters) and watching him move you’d never know I had any issues. Actors….!
I animate fast. My animation is nowhere near the best you’ll ever see but I can really crank out the frames. I’ve been doing this for almost 40 years so I don’t really think too much (it can only hurt the ball club) I just go. It’s not that I’ve lost my patients for this, far from it; I’ve just had a lot of practice. On HIVE I switched from shooting 24 fps to 15 fps which made things a lot easier. 9 fewer frames a second is a huge time saver and truth be told, the average viewer really can’t tell the difference. I’m not trying to compete with computer animation here for god sake; I’m just a guy making a film in my basement. I no longer look beyond that fact and I’m much happier for it. Now if you’ll excuse me, my lights are warmed up and I’m going to whip off a couple of shots.