Building the guts of a set is the easy part. The walls, the floor, even the bed and the dresser … no problem, it’s the details that make it come alive. Before this set is finished it needs to be dressed with empty pizza boxes, beer cans or bottles, stains on the mattress, a pillow, some newspapers scattered around, wire or hooks on the wall, a torn poster, peeling wallpaper, an old phone, an end table, torn curtains, some milk crates…etc. So while it may look good right now, it’s not yet lived in.
Work continues on the new set. I’ve roughed out the lighting and things are moving quickly. The city was added with photoshop (it’s not my work … yet) and I think this test gives you a pretty good idea of the look I’m going for. This scene takes place both in the room and out on the balcony so I’m building the set so that once I’m done filming inside I can simply spin the table and continue shooting outside. January is looking very likely.
On November 27, 2016 the first draft of FILTH was completed. In my eye that’s the day FILTH was born. A lot has happened over the course of the first year of production, most of it good, some of it bad (remember the foam rubber fiasco?) but I would have to say that this has been an especially smooth production so far. Adversity my build character and make for good reading but if the second year proves as uneventful as the first that would be just fine with me. FILTH was meant as a change of pace for me and it’s proving to be a very good decision. I’ve said it a number of times but it’s worth repeating, I’ve never made a film like this and I’m very curious to see how it is received. BTW … the next major set is now under construction with early January being the target for animation.
Last week it was a puppet. This week it’s the set. I just finished the last shot in this scene so it’s time to take a hammer to the set. Sometimes I feel like I’m rushing things. That maybe I should be spending more time on the sculpting, building and detailing of the sets, animating, what have you. But that kind of perfectionism can lead to paralysis and I’m not interested in spending the rest of my life on this thing. The amount of time spent on any given facet of production is completely irrelevant to the viewer. It matters to those of us behind the scenes because we love to say, “Oh my GOD, you can’t believe how much work went into that.” I’m as guilty of that as anyone. I mean come on … who doesn’t like a good war story. But in the end, what’s on the screen says it all.
I’m both a little happy and a little sad today. Scene 11 is done and it’s follow up, Scene 13, will be finished by the end of the month. Happy because I have my first complete scene which I am extremely pleased with but sad because I’ve finished working with one of the puppets. It’s strange to spend a year designing, building and creating a character, personality and all, only to say goodbye to him after only 6 weeks of animation. All that work and now he’ll be boxed up and stored next to all the others in my little puppet mausoleum. I’m going to miss him.
As we approach All Hallows’ Eve I’m reminded of something. HIVE is a year old & BROKEN is now three. I like the fact that I posted my films on Halloween. I didn’t think about it for BROKEN, and for HIVE it was just dumb luck that it happened again. Now it’s in my head and I want to do the same thing with FILTH … but I have serious doubts as to whether that’s possible. I’ve been shooting for 4 weeks and I’ve complete one minute of animation. That’s a very good pace. But FILTH is 15 minutes long which would put the completion of filming sometime around Christmas 2018 … and that’s if nothing goes wrong, and something always goes wrong. I’m not ready to make any predictions but I will say this, Halloween 2018 is a long shot.
It’s nice to be animating again. Ask me how I feel about it in 10 months and I’ll probably give you a different answer but for now it’s nice to be in front of the camera. There was a time back when I finished THE LADY OF NAMES (2011) that I thought I’d never animate again. 10 straight years of animating can really mess you up. Today I find myself relieved to have finished all the building (for now) and getting down to the filming and best of all, I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing. It’s a little unfair of me to make these claims especially since it will be a year before I show any of this but … hey that’s the perks of being the one in charge. You’ll just have to trust me.