This past week the aperture lever on my camera seized in the open position. I fixed it by applying pressure with the index finger of my right hand to the exposed part of the lever on the inside of the camera body [just back of the lens mount on the left side((camera right)] until it popped back into place. Everything is working again. Okay … what was that about? Why did I just waste your time on something so arcane? Because that is exactly the kind of thing you have to deal with when you work with technology. Don’t get me wrong … technology is great but you can’t reason with it. It took me a full day to track down the problem. It presented in such a bizarre fashion that it could have been anything: the computer, the animation program, a bad cable, the camera, the lens, me. I cannot understate the level of anxiety problems like this create. There is always an underlying fear that something is going to go catastrophically wrong and the closer I get to the end the greater the fear. You have to train yourself to roll with the punches.



I don’t like to talk about money or budgets. My reasons are simple. Let’s say I told you HIVE cost $20,000. You might look at the film and think, “Ya that looks like about 20Gs.” Now let’s say I told you it cost $200,000. You might say, “What did you spend all that money on cause it’s sure not on the screen.” Now, what if I told you it cost $2,000. Your response might be, “Wow, you did all that for two grand?” 3 budgets, 3 different reactions to the exact same film. Money changes how people look at things so before anyone asks, FILTH will cost exactly as much as I spend on it.



I did my first experiments with stop motion animation in 1978. That was a long time ago. My early films had a lot of giant monster destruction. What did you expect, I was a kid. Later the fights got a little more immediate but they were always short and involved weapons. Even The Lady of Names, whose finale is a 9 minute battle scene, was all sword play. That’s why it came as a bit of a surprise to me that I’ve never actually animated a straight up, mano a mano, gloves off, drag down, no holds barred, last man standing fist fight. These two very large puppets are about to spar in just that fashion and I must say I’m giddy at the thought of it … like I’m 10 years old again.



I’m animating again. The last scene, 133 shots, all muscle. I’ve just past the ninth month of filming which means FILTH is now my second longest shoot. By way of comparison The Lady of Names was 9 years in front of the camera and I will never ever do that again … EVER! The odd thing is, since November 2012 I’ve been working on one film or another pretty much without a break and if I were to move into another 2 year project after FILTH (that idea I had is starting to evolve) that’ll take me to 2021 … which would make it … 9 YEARS.