So this month, besides being my birthday month, is February Album Writing Month (FAWM). I have not completed it successfully in the past, but I am optimistic about this year. 3rd time's the charm, right? Also a member of the FAWM Uke Club (FUC). I am on song #3. So already I am ahead of the previous 2 years. I will get (shitty or not) 14 songs written by the end of the month. As I am currently at odds with my camera, this seems a good time to leave that alone for a bit. Song #2 may need a bit of a tune revamp. The chorus seems familiar to me, so I am sure I may have lifted it unintentionally from something. But they are coming along. Wish me luck.
Ok...so this one the words won't be as big in the last one. I think I overdid it there. :)
So I did not get the video done in time for the winter video contest. I haven't done much. I did find my little mouths, so played around with them a bit. Still jumpy, but it was good practice for syncing mouths to sound. Here is the attempt:
Not great, but not too bad for waht it is. I had tried doing some new animations with my new camera. It is crap. It will not stay focused. I will probably figure it out eventually. In the mean time it is just frustrating me and has me cursing my poverty. I did play around this morning with paper and pen animation.
So I plan on doing some more, once I get my clay to soften a bit. Tuesday is my birthday. My friend is taking somewhere fun for the day. I intend to take pics, so maybe I will finally be able to get some good photography.
So I have been working on cleaning out my old external hard drive, and I found a bunch of folders with unfinnished projects in them. So I plugged them into Pinnacle and played around with getting it to work right for me. I tried putting them up on YouTube, but I can no longer sign into my old account. I have no idea why. So I made a new channel. My newer stuff will all be put here. I started playing around with some mouth pictures I took, syncing their movement to a Cake cover I recorded. It is a bit jumpy, but I think I am getting the hang of it.
So a little bit of progress has been made. I have found 250 ways NOT to build a groundhog head. I will get it eventually, it is just taking so long.
I got the camera finally. It is a Nikon Coolpix L340. Not great. Has even less control then the powershot had. It takes forever to focus. It takes forever to save a picture after triggering. That may be fine for stop mo, as it takes forever to get the next shot set up and make sure nothing has been bumped.
I took some time today to walk around town, take some pictures of artwork etc, just to see what I could do. I added those pics to my photography page. It may or may not be good enough. Apparently daylight is not good enough for this camera, because everything is mushy. I tried to fix em, but it did not help much. Tomorrow I intend to play around with different animations, see what I can get out of the camera.
Yeah, it has been a while. Been slacking. Well, working, but not posting. A lot has happened. II have been having monthly filk nights here. They have been fun. They started shortly before I went to Spokon. I really enjoy playing with other people. I have decided I need to do that more often.
It has been long enough now that the stop mo bug has hit once again. I spent some time looking for animation and video contests. I found one that is witter theme that needs to be between 20 second and 3 minutes 16 seconds. I can totally do that so I decided to do that. At work I have been doing well emnough that I have gotten several monetary awards. They com0e in the form of gift cards. I thought I spent it all on holiday presents, but I checked yesterday and I had a fiarly large balance still. So I got a gift card for Amazon and got myself a camera. Basically for free. It will be pretty much on parr with the other camera I had...it wasn't THAT much. But it will work better than the cracked iPad. It will get here Thursday, so I guess we will see then.
After some thought I have tentatively settled on the theme of a groundhog who can't sleep. His buddies are all hybernating, so he will have to amuse himself. II was goingto start making head mock ups for him today, but I ran out of aluminum foil, which is hat I use for the base. Tomorrow I will go get some and start trying ddifferent styles till I find one that will work. I have decided to use replacemjent animation for the ehads. I have b\never done that before, so this should be interesting. II am excited to get this started.
This weekend is Eucon, Eugene's first locally organized comic con in 10 years. Last month there was one, but I guess the organizers were from Portland. I heard some bad things about it. I am not going to say anything about it, as I didn't attend. This one, however, is awesome.
It started out rough. Turns out they have a few people running different elements who have never even been to a comic convention, or any convention, much less volunteered at one. I got there, and there was no signage, no directions to where things are, no documentation, nothing. When I tried to ask questions, staff either ignored me or they passed me off. Registration had 3 lines, 2 that were for people who already had tickets or were paying with cards, one for people with cash. And never the twain shall meet. People were being kicked to the back of the line because they had cash. I was there right when registration opened, so I am hoping it was just them working thier shit out and not the way they did it the whole time. By noon the line was wound out the door and around the building. It was taking people an hour or so to get in.
But once you got in.....for a first year con, it wasn't bad. The artwork was goreous! If I had my way, I would have spent thousands on all the pretty shineys there. I know that is usual, but I really didn't expect much for a first year in a smallish town. The crowds are huge, but it was set up so that for the most part flow was good. I did have a few talks with newbies about where to pull out of traffic when they need to stop. I needed my cane this weekend, and people kept kicking it out from under me. I don't think it was on purpose, I think people were distracted by the shineys (who can blame them), but still they were lucky I had some stability and I didn't end up on the floor. When in public you watch out.
So now I get ready for day 2. Today is panel day. Hopefully Jim Beaver, the guy who plays Bobby on Supernatural, one about Tardis doocumentary, the Trek Theatre, and Creative Creature Creation with terryl Whitlach, who used to create for Lucasfilm.
So in a fit of complete insanity, last weekend I decided to enter a 72 hour horror film challenge put on by the Eugene Film Society. In stop mo. In 72 hours. I really should have my head examined. It was hard, easy, fun, frustrating, impossible, and one of the best things I have done. The resulting film is ok, considering what it is. I see all the flaws that could have been fixed if I had more time and fewer hiccups. But anyway, I decided to write about my experience here, to get it out there, to maybe perform some post mortems, and to help me decide where to go next.
The competition was announced several weeks beforehand, but I did not make the decision to do it until a week before. Considering we were not supposed to do anything for it beforehand, I guess that was best. I tend to overthink things. I opted to sign up for the screenwriting workshop that happened the Saturday before. It really didn't help much as far as writing tips, but it did get me into thinking about what makes a good horror film, and what elements would be feasable in stop mo in such a short amount of time. I knew I was not going to have any time for fixing or adding in post, so I needed to decide what would work easiest on camera as shooting happens. I wrote out 3 loose premises that I could base my movie on, and thought about which elements would be needed for each. I did do some set building beforehand, cause that was not specified in the rules. And well technically I built my puppet beforehand too, as I used Wade.
I also figured out I needed to do some surgery on Wade. He had several joints that were broken that needed to be reglued. Here is Wade waiting for surgery. I had to reglue his arm into the shoulder joint. He is made with square tubing in the torso, with matching but slightly smaller square tubing glued to the arm at the shoulder so that it is removeable. The glue in his shoulder totally broke so his arm wouldn't stay in place. turns out I should have also fixed his leg joints, but that happened later.
That is pretty much all I did beforehand. Thursday night October 22 was the kick off party. I am not good at parties, and had no one to go with me, so I was kind of dreading this part. But they made it manditory in order to get the required line of dialog and the required prop and the rest of the guidelines. I had no need for actors, most people there were there for thier own moves, and no one waanted to do voiceovers. Every actor who attended was looknig for on screen time. And when I requested help with Foley, no one knew what I was talking about. Now actors I can kind of understand, even though some of them claimed to be film students, because that is not an actor's job. But the filmmakers....most of them didn't know what I was talking about either. Foley....one of the most important pieces of any film, especially horror, and no one knew what I was talking about. In case you don't know, Foley is the souunds that are added in post to make it sound realistic. Foot steps, snow crunching, fabric swooshing....all that is Foley. In live action it is generally added because the mics usually only pick up the actor's voices, and in order for it to sound real it needs to be added afterwards. It is also used to add emphasis. If all of a sudden you hear water dripping really loudly, generally that is your Foley artist's work. It is good in live action, but essential in stop motion where there is no ambient sound recorded as you film. I did not find anyone to help me with Foley. I did however find someone to record a voiceover for me. He also did on camera work. Cause not being an idiot he knew he could do both. :)
I really wish they hadn't made that party mandatory. It was very pointless for me to be there. It was at Level Up Arcade, which is a traditional quarter sink arcade with a bar. It was too small for the volume of people...we could hardly move or hear each other over the din of other people talking and video games being played and music playing. I found a couch in the corner, and chatted with anyone else who wandered over there. I read my Facebook. I sang along loudly with Creep when it came on. When it finally came time for the "reveal", people who were customers of the arcade and not with the party continued to play video games, and the crowd was so large I ended up at the back. I heard NOTHING that went on. We stood there for a good 20 minutes listening to the incoherant wah-wah of the peeople talking at the front before they finally just gave us the thumbs drives that had everything they were saying in a documment and was the required recepticle for submission. Needless to say I was glad to get out of there and start working. I was more than slightly annoyed though that they wasted so much of my time.
After that I went back to my tree problem. I still couldn't get the foam to stick to the tree armatures. I decided to stop wasting time, and run down to Eugene Toy and Hobby. They have a huge model train section, with experts. Surely someone there could help me. I ran to the bus stop, where I learned I had missed the bus by 5 minutes, so I ran-walked the 1.5 miles there. By the time I got there I waas red faced, sweaty, and not all that coherant. I am sure they all thought I was crazy. Fortunately this is not the first time I have had a wierd request for them, so they took it with grace. The guy behind the train counter handed me some ultra strong super glue, explained how to use it, all the time looking at me like I was a moron for not being able to do this on my own. I am sure that as soon as I was out the door they were laughing at me. Ah well...that is what this is all about right? Entertainment?
I got to the bus station to find the next one was not for another 30 minutes. Don't let anyone tell you differently...Eugene bus system sucks. On Saturday the ones to my house generally run once an hour. So I ended up grabbing a juice and doughnut from the Kiva and run-walking back home. At least it wasn't a wasted trip.
Once I finally got everything set up, I started shooting. I have a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad which allows me to remote trigger. What you can't see in this picture is that the screenof my iPad is cracked, which s why I haven't done much shooting lately. One of the cracks is right down the side, right where the frame puts presure on it. I worried I would totally kill my iPad using it. However at thhe moment I don't have an alternative camera, so it would have to do. I managed to not break it completely, so I am hoping by not having the iPad resting directly on the frame it helped.
In the middle of shooting I ran into more Wade issues. This guy would not stay together. His legs kept falling off. The glue had brokenn from his pelvis, so the legs kept falling out of the square tubes. I tried moving the ruler up a bit, but that didn't help. I finally took the legs off, which actually made it easier for him to stay attached to the cliff edge.
But I got them all pulled over, and spent hours pulling them into Pinnacle, setting the frame length for each pic, trying to watch it and adjust accordingly. However, Pinnacle and my PC did not want to cooperate. My computer overheated several times. I ended up having to compile each segment sepaerately then add them together. The frame rate I set was 24 FPS, but it would only let me export it in 29.9, which made it loook way different. I spent many frustrated hours trying to fix it. Then at one point it would not let me add pictures into my timeline. Turned out Microsoftt had decided to run updates, even though I completely turned off updating while I was working. I could not get that setting to stay off. I finally had to do some rebooting.
But after all that, I finally got it done. I finished at 6pm, which didn't leave me much time to get it in. The bus wouldn't get me there on time, so I tried getting a cab. I called 4 cab companies....all of them were at least 45 minutes out. I finally texted my frined who drove me over there. I got it in by 6:30, well within the time alloted. Whew. That was long, hard, and completely insane.
If you want to watch it, you can see it here: GARGOUILLE.
I want so many things. I want to be a musician. I want to be in an all female Green Day tribute band. I want to be an animator. I want to make stop motion movies that make people laugh and cry and want to see them over and over and over again. I wanna be a writer. I wanna write books that make poeple lose themselves in the storyline, unable to put it down till they have read every single word. I wanna write music everyone wants to ahve in their headphones. I wanna write ear worms so good no one cares that they are ear worms.
I may also be slightly delusional....
So with the new year, I have decided to write more. The problem with that, is everytime I sit down to write, nothing comes to mind. I just can't make myself put anything on paper. I am not afraid of sucking. I am afraid of sucking and people reading it before I have a chance to edit to make it less sucky.
I am sure I can do it, though, if I just let myself. So...my goal is to write an outline for NaNoWriMo. I am singularly uninspired, but honestly I don't think that should stop me. Maybe I will do a bunch and choose the best one...the one easiest to flesh out. The goal is 50,000 in 30 days. That is just under 2,000 words a day. I can do that.
So...Eugene is ifnally getting some attentionin the comic book convention arena. Eucon...Eugene Comic Con is hapopening next month! i am SO excited! There will be awesome artists there, some actors, and, of all things, WWEwrestlers. I do not understand that at all, but I guess as long as they don't skimp on the other stuff I guess we can be all inclusive.
There was another one here last weekend. I don't know exactoly how it went, as I did not attend, but I have heard bad things about it. twhat I don't get is why the 2 events didn't join forces to either create 1 kick ass event or 2 rocking events.
So earlier I tried to post this with the new Weebly iPad app. It sucks. I had a very long post, and only 1/3rd of it posted. The background was dark red, and the letters were black, so I couldn't really see what I was writing. There is a lot of work still be done on it before it will be useful to me again. At one point it worked fine. Then they broke it.
Gripe gripe gripe. :P
Eleanor is an aspiring writer, stop motion animator, crafter, musician, and anything else shiney that might cross her path. She is a geek, nerd, and all around weird person.