I’ve been a little more relaxed when it comes to lighting on this film. In the past I’ve tried to make sure that all my light was motivated, that it made sense as far as the geography of a set was concerned. That’s a little harder to do with this film so I’m taking liberties. It’s a fine line to walk, pushing the limits as to what an audience will accept. Being that FROM HELL HE RIDES is an animated film gives me a little more leeway in that no one is expecting reality. A few more adjustments and I’ll be animating again.


When a set gets this close to being finished it’s time to start setting up the lights. I want a set to look full but not cluttered and it’s only when I see it under filming conditions that I can make a final determination. There are always going to be some small adjustments. Often that means not adding things but taking stuff out. I’m starting to accumulate an awful lot of props on this film.


I’ve learned a lot over the past 7 years but I think my greatest strides have been in the area of set building. I’m much more comfortable with the process than I used to be. And while framing up a set is fairly easy, it’s the details that continue to challenge. Because I don’t like the idea of buying off the shelf items I end up spending a lot of time making props. This week it was tables, hammers and a bellows for my blacksmith shop. I’m not ready to take the plunge but I think the next logical step for me is a 3D printer. It’s too late to be considering one for this film but even my patience has a limit.


This week saw the cabin set come down and construction on the blacksmith’s shop begin. It also marked the end of a second puppet’s scenes. I don’t get attached to sets the way I do to puppets. Maybe it’s because it takes so much longer to build the characters, maybe because I physically handle them or maybe it’s because they actually have voices. Whatever the reason I was sorry to retire this character. He was a lot of fun to animate. As for the blacksmith shop, I’m hoping to have it up and ready by August 1. That’s something of a tall order considering all the paraphernalia that needs to go into it but I’d like to think it can be done.