Saturday, May 23, 2009

True Family Story Update

This is a tempting little pic from what I'm currently working on.

If you follow the label for this entry, you'll see a bit of the background for the project, in terms of research. It's called True Family Story, and that's exactly what it is.

In brief- in the mid 1960s, my oldest brother was bit by a squirrel. My family had reason to believe said critter might have rabies. The events that unfolded around that incident have resulted in a "famous" family tale, filled with tears, laughs, weirdness, and a certain amount of semi-cruel humour.

That's my family, all right!

And It seemed like a likely candidate for a little animated film. Stop motion, of course.

I'm working on it during the coming months, in the stop motion studio at Sheridan College. I have a trusty assistant in the form of a co-op student. She is otherwise known as the very talented Carla Veldman. We're working away, building everything needed (puppets, sets, props), and aren't stopping till we're done (or until I go on vacation).

I really can't say when it will be completed. Working full-time, raising a little kid, helping out with elderly parents, and being a husband (and doing each at least reasonably well) leaves only so much time for "art". But it WILL get done, you'll see.

In time, I'll start posting more photos and videos of behind the scenes stuff. Along with that will be writings that explain what's going on, and I'll probably write a fair bit of "how to" stuff as well. I AM a teacher, after all.

But for now I'm really trying to focus on just getting as much stuff made (and shot) as possible, with the precious studio time alloted to me, so bear with me.

I will definitely be posting oodles of goodness.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

David Lynch- Interview Projects

This is a perfect concept, that could keep me watching forever.

David Lynch is collecting short documentary interviews with people all across the United States. Not famous people, not movie stars, not politicians (although I suppose all of those types MIGHT make their way in).

No, the interviews are with good old fashioned humans.

The projects aren't officially launched till June, and you can sign up for email reminders here.

And a preview of the projects can be watched here. This preview piece is touching, charming, heartbreaking, and thought provoking. I can't wait to see more.

I really like where this project is coming from- a celebration of basic humanity, and the simple interest we all have in what makes others tick.

And I also like that at least from this preview clip, there's nothing ironic, smarmy, or "cool" about it all. It's honest, heartfelt, and a little bit weird. Just like life.

Thanks to my wife Jen for tipping me off to this!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Forrest J. Ackerman Estate Auction

Click on the above image to see it in detail.

From all reports, Forry Ackerman (who died in 2008) was not only the world's foremost collector of sci-fi and horror film memorabilia, he was also simply an awesome guy. I never had a chance to visit his "Ackermansion" to see his collection, although I imagine I would have been welcomed, mostly because it sounds like everyone was!

The final piece of evidence that the man was an awesome guy is perhaps what he stipulated in his will: that his remarkable collection be made available for auction to movie fans everywhere, so that everyone would have a chance to own some of their own Hollywood magic.

The auction site can be found here.

I'm not that clear on the details of the auction, or how it was held (the last lots were auctioned this morning). I guess it was conducted completely online? Are the unsold items still available? I was a bit stunned by the asking prices, and the somewhat confusing website.

But even if you aren't into dropping thousands of dollars,I recommend you download the various lots (as pdfs, which are FREE, of course), and simply sort through what the man held. It's stunning. On any one single page, you'll find iconic items from A-list Hollywood flicks. Just remarkable. And you'll also find crazy stuff from C, D, and E- list flicks. This man loved it all (or at least loved collecting it all!)

I don't think they make 'em like this any more.