We are making slow progress the shots are shorter but some days we can fit in two. The sets are smaller and a lot of the story boarded shots have to be split into four or more shots because of the smaller space we are working in. We have discovered a new technique of using miniatures by animating some simple walking shots and printing these out, cutting them and then animating them back in a miniature set. We thought we would be able to use this a lot but have only managed to do a couple of usable shots but we hope we will get better at it as it a very cool technique if you don't have the room. We have also raised our tables we animate on. This has helped in some ways for some shots but not others but seems easier on our backs.
After getting back an awesome working flow we have decided to finish the rest of the animation at home. There have been a few factors that have made us decide this but if we look at the head of the for list it is the rental outlay and general double doing of a lot of things like phone, food, petrol etc
We are positive but it will take us about a month to move and the good thing is we can still animate as we are moving. We have already set up all of the set exactly as it was at the shed. We just have to do some tests with the lighting and test space for the camera. It will be so good to get back onto wooden floors again the concrete has been killing our legs and back.
So April should have some pretty good photos and news about our progress as we venture into the last few years till we finish Wombok Forest.
OK things did get worse. We had all sorts of problems within the shed complex we have been working out of since 2004. We thought the move home would solve our problems and we would be able to finish all the rest off at home. We can't go into this in great detail but it started to get to the point where we were leaving then we were staying -leaving - staying. We could not make up our minds because home was starting to close us in, but the new rules and regulations were starting to cramp us creativley at the shed. So we moved it all back to the shed from home. We found ourselves in a mess again. But slowly we have worked ourselves back to a point where we have been animating daily and have finally reached the
We are animating with the animals which we are finding quite difficult as they are large and heavy. Sometimes we have all of them moving at once which is fun and a horror at the same time. As mentioned before we are doing shorter shots and sometimes can do three or four of them in a day. For some reason our working days seem to be shorter. We have puppet and final costume changes coming up soon and we have been working on that as well as new ball joint puppets, the boat construction and a camera mount to redo the run sequence.
While going through the original script and the story boards we came accross some dates that were interesting for us but at the same time disturbing. When we started writing the script for Wombok Forest in 2003 we did several drafts, firstly writing it in a full and descriptive manner overdoing all aspects of each scene. With each draft we kept scraping it down getting rid of all the fluffy stuff, until we finally came to the core of the story. We thought at the time that this would be more doable by just the two of us. Each big scene was then broken down to have a different feel to it through the sets, lighting, colours and sometimes the costumes etc would change so it would be like entering a whole new story and we hoped that would keep our interest up for the years it was going to take us. While doing this we ran through the animation in our heads and timed the action and wrote down beside the script at certain points how many minutes etc we anticipated we would be up to at that point. In 2003 we anticipated that at the very moment in the script we would be (minus the beginning) 49 minutes into the film. To our surprise (minus the beginning) we are 50 minutes so we are on target for the time we have anticipated the films length woohoo.
Also and this is the disturbing point, In the storyboards we had written the date as 1.5.07 on one page saying this is the date we were working on these shots. There are two pages in between that and the new page we are working on at the moment which says 20.5.09. These two pages in between represent the running sequence which took us about 12 weeks. So that is just about all the animation we created between those dates because of taking on job after job. So this is why we are so determined not to take on any more big jobs!!!!! BECAUSE IF YOU ADD IT UP WE WOULD BE FINISHED BY NOW!!!
It all feels good now and we seem to be getting the flow back. Maybe we needed the holiday to USA to bring it all back into perspective. Maybe we had taxed ourselves and were on a burnout dive. Maybe physically and mentally we just could keep it up. Maybe it just had to happen this way for us to keep our creativity intact. We don't know, but after this section of the film which we are hoping to be finished by October 2009 we have the beginning and the end to do (they use the same set so it has to be done this way) and this should be done by about july 2010 then we have pick ups and the final editing and sound creation and once we have the final edit finished we then have to get a film print and whatever happens after that is still ???????
The nikon D70 has done 106,740 recorded frames for the film. On top of this there would probably have been about 5,000 test shots. We are amazed at how good this camera has been. We think it is just starting to play up as yesterday it was having problems taking the second shot. But we have nothing but praise for this camera and were hoping it would take us to the end. We have a back up D70 that we were lucky to have had donated to us by Nikon Australia but we would really like to have the new Nikon D300 with live view as we are still using the technique of the spy camera mount. So much has changed since we started in 2003 and the funniest is when we think of storage and how much hardrives were and we sometimes come accross wish lists we made with 80g hardrives costing $400.00 each and our idea of backing up on hundreds of dvd-r's.
We still say a big thanks to all the people from around the world who say they actually read our journal and who give us support and who do notice when we have not posted for a while, and who enjoy the photos and who are actually excited to know HOW MANY MINUTES!!!!!!!!!......thankyou and here are some photos. To help us through this last final two years we are going to try and post more regularly and update the other pages and put on a lot more photos.
53 minutes and working well. The animate every day rule is working. It has changed though with our working techniques/ Can't really explain but we used to sit in the studio together even if that meant one of us animated while the other pressed buttons etc and that would change as the shot went on. sometimes we would animate together always talking working it out together. We think it is because of the time and the worry of not finishing it off by the end of next year it is a bit like a waste of time . Now one of us animates while the other is either building or working out the next technical nightmare. It is weird, we still have the same input into what goes on and in some way seems simpler and faster. We try to go with what works at the time. The boat is coming along now. Bigger than we thought. We are also working on some new lighting we want to do in the boat shot. We call it flicker boy. It is a technique we used for one of our short films when we wanted the lighting to look like it was f;ickery and watery. We made a contraption with two crinkle glass louvers that we put a light above and animated frame by frame over each other. It looked pretty cool so we thought we would do that again.
We are very excited as we have decided to do some 8mm animation within the film. We were excited and inspired when our best friend bought us some old super 8 magazines. We thought well why not do some 8mm not super 8 as we have done before. So in one part of the film we are going to do a sequence on a tv screen that had been shot on an 8mm camera that the puppet uses in the film - complicated but it should be such fun to do. So there is a lot of research as to what film, what camera etc to use.
We got new neighbours in the shed next to us in the complex where we rent. Imagine a mix of sickening cheap toilet spray, a wet ashtray and mix that with some toxic chemicals that causes headaches and burning lungs, all seeping in through the walls into our shut in darkened studio for 6 hours a day and then lingering for the rest. It started to make working impossible. After getting nowhere with the manager of the complex we decided to leave. So this time we really have decided to move home. Sad in some ways as we have enjoyed the people around us in the complex they have been like a big family always there to help, always there if you need something like a bit of metal or a glass cut. We will miss them. Our last 5 weeks has been filled with back and forth loads from the shed to back home. This coincided with us getting a residency doing animation workshops at a school close by once a week for 8 weeks. We thought what a great time to put a shed in our back yard to finish Wombok off. So here we are munching to get back into animating and waiting for the shed to go up. But we are feeling good!! we are home just waiting..................for the bulldozer and the cement mixer........
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER- DECEMBER
The shed is all up and running and the air conditioner was put in on xmas eve which was good timing not just to get away from the heat but for us to start back very early in the new year. We had dismantled 3 3mx3m garden sheds that we had for storage and extra working areas at the back of the rented shed that had to be erected in our yard somehow to store some of the stuff that would'nt fit into any other part of the house and yard. When the big shed was finished we had to make two concrete slabs for two of these sheds to go up next to the new shed for extra working space. This meant we had to dismantle them again and erect them up on the slabs and now they are all finished and working well. The new shed is just a bit smaller than the one we rented and the roof a bit lower but it really feels like a studio nice and quiet. Found the storyboards and script and while we have been waiting to get back have been working on these a bit more. Dusted off the puppetts that are a little worn and did some repairs. Looking at lighting and some new changes coming up for the next few scenes. Working on a timetable to hopefully finish in 2010.
Now we just have to hope we can get back the focus.
click to see our shed construction