Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Spaghetti Gets Stale After 10 Years?

Yes, over 10 years ago I started this project. Make that 11 years but who is counting? I have returned with a vengeance or should I say I retired. Which one best fits this situation. Ok. Retired. I said it. I am retired. I have no excuse now. No soul sucking child protection job to rob me of all my creativity and time. Lots of endless open hours are now available to me. So I must get on with it.

This last week has been one of the more creative. The answer was simple. Put your puppet theatre on rollers and with this new freedom I can move it out of the way, making room for me and some creative juices. It is freeing.

So now that I can move it around and get it out of my way these are a few of the things that I have been working on. There is the Everyman’s horse, now a black stallion. He will be introduced in the desert campfire scene along with Everyman. Just have to finish is mane and hot glue on some eyes. And let us now forget the tail.

Trusty Horse

Also been working on some lighting effects for the same scene. I wanted to have a starry sky so I built a flat with Xmas lights that I could attach to the back of the desert flat. Here is the process...

First...take some Xmas lights and hot glue them to the back of this old piece of flat. Make sure that you have hot glued them to the holes in this flat.

Lights being attached to flat

Then, we take this flat and attach it to the flat for this scene...where Everyman and Death will meet. It is meant to be a desert dusk scene with Everyman sitting by his camp fire, starry night, bed roll underneath him and his trusty horse sitting close by. 

Starry Night Flat Attached

Then we had to see how it worked with the front of the flat..

The Starry Night Flat

This was followed the final product!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Remember way I was contemplating? Here are some thoughts of what was happening in the 50's

Anthony Mann

The most prominent examples of 50s noir Westerns were the series of five films that teamed actor James Stewart with director Anthony Mann in some of the darkest, adult "psychological westerns" ever made. In Mann's films, the director focused on chilling tales of revenge, obsession, and the paranoia of a lone, confused, tortured, vengeful western figure played by a darker James Stewart:
  • Winchester '73 (1950), the first in the series of classic westerns in the 50s - a tale of the relentless pursuit of a gun and revenge sought by Stewart on his brother (who killed their father)
  • Bend of the River (1952), the stark and compelling story of the Oregon Trail journey across the country, with Stewart as an ex-outlaw going straight and having to confront his former partner on the opposite side of the law
  • the sophisticated and excellent The Naked Spur (1953), a study of compulsive greed for reward money by a self-loathing bounty hunter (Stewart) inspired by the goal of re-purchasing farm land lost during the Civil War, and up against Robert Ryan
  • The Far Country (1954), another story of deceit and revenge
  • The Man From Laramie (1955), with suspenseful, savage rough action in a murderous feud between two sons of a patriarchal rancher
[Footnote: Studio control of stars significantly eroded when James Stewart signed a precedent-setting independent (or free-lance) contract to share in the box-office profits of the Anthony Mann western Winchester '73 (1950),and for the comedy Harvey (1950). In fact, for all his Universal Studios films (including Bend of the River (1952), and The Far Country (1954)), Stewart took no salary in exchange for a large cut of the profits -- a very lucrative deal. As a result, he earned increasingly high salaries, became a pioneer of the percentage deal (a performer accepted a reduced salary in exchange for a percentage of the box office profits), and was the industry's top box-office star by mid-decade.]

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What a rainy day will do to delude you into trying creativity

I be back...once again. Now that I have a pretty good chance of not having contracted the Hantavirus in Yosemite, I suppose it is time to start living again. Not that what I was doing before was really living. Working, sleeping and reading some in between.

Today it is a rainy day in Montreal and Jocelyne is off studying for her course in art therapy. I have just finished up converting our extra room, my old den of sorts, into a studio like atmosphere for her to do her work. Of course, sitting there gathering dust is my marionette theatre. There have been some awfully long absences from my attempts to make this morality play with spaghetti on the side. So now that the room is clean and kind of set up for creativity. I thought I could give it another try. Likely to fail but rainy days will do it to you.

So I need to start thinking about the opening sequence again. Trick is I needed to set up some type of pulley system to open my God cloud doors so he can give his instructions to Death to go to earth and summon the Everyman to his reckoning. Also, I need to have my narrator that I posted so long ago make his intro. Also, had to begin renovating the lighting system that had not been fired up all these years.

But it worked. Here is some proof:

Seems like it is ready to role actually. will need my trusty apprentice Jocelyne to help me with this one. While filming in front and doing some of that manipulation they talk about in puppetry, Jocelyne will need to part the clouds. I hook up a piece of thread from the clouds to a sewing machine bobbin on the arms of my house lighting:

The bobbin is connected the cloud apparatus and as the thread pulls through this first pulley it goes to the back of the theatre where it threads through a second bobbin and then on to the round drum with a really cool handle. Not really. When anyhow, each side is thread on the drum in the opposite direction so when you turn the handle the clouds are drawn in their respectful directions and opens.

Remember this video of the clouds parting?

Not bad for a first attempt. Practice makes better I always said. I will get it down, teach my able assistant the technique and then we will part dem clouds. I used fishing line the first time and you can hear the result. Carpet thread is silent but then again I would take out any sound and lay over a soundtrack using the Mac audio and movie editing program.

Of course developing a Spaghetti Western Morality play requires me to get back into the mood and do some research. Good thing I want to be Jimmy Steward these days. I rented two of his classics, A Bend in The River and Winchester 73, a crowd favorite. I will have to do me some research on how these darker characters played by the aw-shucks Jimmy Steward of a few years earlier. Anthony Mann appears to have something to do with this. This is the early to mid 1950's, not far away from Sergio but apparently a big influence on him and his invention of the anti-hero hero of our meatball classics from Spain. 

Nothing like a good western to get those creative juices going. See you around town soon. Lament

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I'll be back and back and back

Yep, I am back. I have to ask, how can a production of a play this simple this...everyday, take over six years to complete...plus. Lazy that it. Creative laziness. But I am back none the less. Now that I have this Mac, with iMovie, I can do segments seconds long and then paste them together to make my film. I never really have to perform the whole play and one puppeteer may be able to put it off. We will see of course. ADHD could be the other reason for the delay but lets not go there.

FYI: to the right is a picture of my narrator. Get to it man!
So to get myself back in the saddle of sorts. I am working on the opening sequence. The earlier post was just a way to learn something about iMovie applications. Now we have to go back to the beginning. Scene 1 will be the introduction. I did not want to build another puppet for this scene so I took a soldier hand puppet that I had bought years ago and morphed it into my Narrator by putting on a cloak of sorts and a black hat. He looks something like a thespian with is mustache and roughed good looks. He only has a dozen or so lines to says so this was a real time saver.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Got to love a Mac
Playing around with the future

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Their Second Meeting...News Flash!!!

Death and Everyman are now more colorful and ready for their first scene. With complete of the backdrop these two characters are finally at home. Skillful...yet bold painting by none other then Gene Painter, my close personal friend and artist, places the action squarely in the setting sun on some desert outside Samara. Everyman and Death are now able to complete the first two opening scenes of this epic play. With this new venue we are able to see Death, transformed into a Western anti-hero from the other worldly figure that was earlier commanded by god to go forth and ask Everyman to give an accounting of his earthy life. Ladies and Gentleman...an exciting development. Stay tuned for new developments...every day...every week...every month if I am lazy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Death Complete

Death appears to be complete so we are moving on to his hostler so he can do a duel with Everyman.