Week by week another piece is completed. Pre-production is by far the most challenging part of this process. I used to make lists once I had a finished script but I stopped doing that. They were so long and daunting that at moments of frustration I was ready to concede defeat. Now I wait until I have all the big/obvious stuff done before I start writing things down. I’m not going to forget to build a puppet but I might forget to build a shovel. It’s just another game you play to make it through to the end.
It’s hard to know when something is ready. Be it a script, a sculpt, a set or a film. I’m constantly looking at and changing things as I go. At some point you have to sign off and move on and right there is the tricky part. You can just as easily spend too much time on something as not enough. I’m not a perfectionist. I’ve neither the time nor the patience to be one. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with a few rough edges. Do it once and it may look sloppy but do it often and it becomes a style.
Another few hours and this skeleton will be finished. Even though this particular character has limited screen time and did not require this elaborate an armature, I decided to build a full on skeleton anyway. It’s my way of working out any issues I might have with the design. Even though everything works (really well I might add) I still plan to make some significant changes in order to streamline the overall design.
On the festival front FILTH has been named BEST SHORT FILM at this year’s Crypticon Seattle Film Festival. This is my third time screening at Crypticon but needless to say, this was the best. Thank you to Festival Director Eric Morgret and to all those involved in putting on this event.
I’m very happy with these shoulders. They have every axis of motion real shoulders have. I first came up with the design on FILTH and it worked so well I’m using it again. Because of the copious notes I’ve kept over the years it’s proving to be a very easy build. All the major characters in FROM HELL HE RIDES are human so I’ll be building 6 of these in total. That’s a lot of machining in the weeks ahead.
The first armature for FROM HELL HE RIDES is finished. I find the process of making skeletons very relaxing. There’s something about the finished product that I find very appealing. By contrast, sculpting can be absolutely grueling. You’d think it would be the other way around (and for most I bet it is) but I’ve always been attracted to the mechanics of stop motion animation. There’s a real art to engineering a good skeleton.