Well, I submitted High Strung to The Sundance Film Festival yesterday. Now I have 79 days to brace myself for rejection, which won’t be hard at all. Speaking of counting down days I have 8 days left in the studio that I’m working in. The “Higher Ups” have finally come to their senses and realized their faults of letting me use their facilities and are finally kicking me out. With my track record I’m pretty sure they’ll send some goons to take me out in the woods behind Evergreen to break my kneecaps so there’s no way I can crawl back to try use continue to use the studio. Anyways, lots to do in little time, this is nothing new though. The audio team has been brought back together and are ready to finish up the sound design. I should have the picture done by the end of this month, the audio should be done by the end of October, and compression will be done in the beginning of November. High Strung actually going to be finish? Who would have thunk it?
On a more interesting note a good friend, Sean Parker, is submitting his third feature length film, Coup de Théâtre, to Sundance. I was able to see a rough cut of it and it was a most enjoyable film full of heart and charm. This guy blows me away with everything he does. He’s only got a couple days left to tighten up the cut before he overnights it to Sundance. I wish him the best of luck and can’t wait to see the finished piece. By the way he’s only 22 and wrote, shot, and is almost through the majority of post in a little more than a year while I’ve been working on the same 13 minute short for two and a half years…
Here’s a link to his site with some info on the film and a trailer for it as well:
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For the first time ever I almost kind of slightly might see the light at the end of the tunnel for High Strung. I only have 7 shots left to animate and 4 to re-shoot. Then all that is left is ALL the post and to finish the audio. Yeah…
Here’s some more hand-animated crane action. Only 8 takes this time. I was about an hour into take 7 when the power went out at the campus rendering the work I had done not visible to continue. Quite frustrating with no sleep. Four hours of sleep and 6 hours of animating later the shot was finished… well sort of. This shot does mark my last medialoan checkout. Quite a sad event, no more free use of amazing equipment.
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The beginning of the end is upon me. I’ve said this so many times it’s numbing. Alas though a final, no exceptions, real deadline is quickly approaching. All animation and post must be finished before Fall Quarter begins because I will be officially graduated. They’re finally doing what they should have years ago and are kicking me out. I have 28 shots and all post-production to complete in roughly a month. The goal is to have the picture completely done by the end of September and the audio done by the end of October leaving the beginning of November for all final compression and outputting. As for the production itself, there might be a real ending to the story after all. You know a beginning, middle, AND end. Instead of the current long boring beginning, build up middle, and unsatisfying drop to the story. You only know what I am talking about if you went to the Eye Candy Animation Festival I put on, which I doubt you did. For that matter I doubt anyone is reading this. Anyways, Elliott has actually come out of the house. Of course I made it as complicated as possible and did a hand animated crane shot. Rigging up a dolly track and a jib arm I managed to shoot the opening of the third act relatively how I imaged it. It took a week to plan and 9 1/2 hours of straight animating to complete. Here’s a timelapses of the animation process…
Take #12 (Messed up the shot about 2 hours in…)
Take #13 (Completed Shot)
“You’re never going to let yourself finish it…” – An Evergreen Policemen
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Well, I’m getting back to major production again. The deadline to finish High Strung is the end of summer and it’s coming much faster than I was hoping. I’ve done the majority of the prep work I needed to before getting to back shooting again. It’s extremely hard to stay in the studio for these long days again. No rest for the the ambitious I guess…
The whiteboard in the studio…
Production schedule from Spring Quarter, pretty damn intense…
Inspirational artwork: some good memories, some bitter, some inspiring…
Cleaned up studio ready for another 6 weeks of intense work…
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I just updated my old youtube channel with a handful of old videos I made before getting into animation; some music videos for friends’ bands, skate videos, and even my first attempt at stop motion. All of these videos are much different than any of my current work, much less pretentious and artsy.
Check them out here: http://www.youtube.com/projectilefilms
A trailer for my 45 minute skate video Raising Hell. I made it when I was 16:
All of my skate parts compiled into one video. The last part even has footage of me when I was 14:
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I’m wrapping up the prep work for the beginning of the quarter. Trying to get everything squared away so I can solely concentrate on finishing the remaining animation. I’m back to writing tiny “To Do Lists” on note cards. I feel the productivity beginning to rise again, or should I say the pressure of having an incredibly close deadline incoming. Much has been done in the past couple of weeks. The inevitable finally happened, two of Elliott’s fingers broke. It was quite a challenge to figure out how to fix them, in other words make completely new ones. Not being able to pull out the broken pieces I ended up drilling them out, making new fingers, tearing apart the broken ones, gluing the pieces to the new fingers, wrapping the new fingers in black string, and then white string. The whole process took several days. The story has been continually refined and rewritten. The piece went from basically having no solid story, to being over 440 shots, to being 267 shot, and finally cut down to 163 shots. This process has been the most difficult part out of everything I’ve encountered throughout this animation. Hopefully, it will pay off in the end. A shooting scheduled has been arranged and plans are being made. Below are some behind the scenes pictures to show what I’ve been doing, including the evolution of the storyline and storyboard. MORE DETAILS TO COME! Keep on checking in…
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Though I doubt anyone has noticed, I have taken a lengthy break from posting on my blog but I have never halted production. I am still trudging through the vast ocean that has become High Strung. Today is the first day of Spring Quarter marking my sixth straight quarter of production on this piece. Much has changed and progressed since my last post but to get you up to speed as quickly as possible here is an amazing short multimedia video about High Strung and myself produced by Photoland as part of Inside Evergreen:
I will be posting much more frequently so keep checking in. The clock is ticking, the pressure is on, and it’s time to make some magic happen.
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Enveloped by his focus, Elliott is oblivious to the outside world. To justify his way of life, he must undertake a discovery of identity and awareness. High Strung is a traditional stop-motion animation shot with high-resolution digital stills.
View the trailer in HD on Vimeo or Youtube
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