Sunday, May 11, 2008
Here it is:
Yup, it's short, but 10 seconds is not a lot of time to tell a story in! It was inspired by my fiance Daz, who spends a lot of time staying in B&Bs and guesthouses when he's working away. Some of the places he has stayed in have been very very grim. You know you are staying in a real budget guesthouse when the monster under the bed looks more comfy than the bed itself!
I shot the entire thing in a different way to my previous shorts. Because my puppets usually speak, I normally have to plan my animations frame by frame to fit with a pre-recorded soundtrack. This time I planned nothing. I knew I had to shoot it as at least two different scenes, and finally decided on three during shooting. I knew what needed to happen, so I just animated the characters, taking as many frames as it took. Then in post-production I could adjust the speed of movements by cutting frames or slow them down by duplicating frames. I could also get rid of a few bad frames, where a body part was not moving in a smooth line, because that female puppet was an awkward sod to animate smoothly. I then cut the three sections so that they would fit together as one sequence of 300 frames.
I lit the set using reflected light from an angle poise lamp with a 60W daylight simulation bulb, bounced off the off-white wall to the right of my animation table and onto the set. The darkened room effect I did in post-production, layering a circular gradient getting darker at the edges onto the frames, one frame at a time (yawn...). The light fades were done the same way, adding a transparent black layer and changing the opacity from frame to frame. I also had to edit out a major blanket movement crisis in the section where she is stroking the monster's hand. The blanket was taped in place and sprayed with hairspray to stiffen it... and then I went and leant on it mid-scene, because I am a clumsy fool.
The sound was added later in what I can only describe as an experimental trial-and-error fashion along with some basic maths as I know nothing about sound editing. The various sounds are a recording of me roaring before stuffing a pillow in my face and some sound clips shared free of charge by their creators on www.soundsnap.com. I then layered together me roaring, two different creaky bed noises, a background storm, some spooky orchestral chords and a music box. It is probably a horrific mess, but I did my best!
Friday, May 9, 2008
He is the second character for the grim guesthouse short. He doesn't stand up (hence the reason he is leaning drunkenly against a bed) and has no tie-downs because he is an under-bed monster, and everyone knows that thay spend their entire lives lying down (it's true you know!).
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
some thick grey board (cardboard)
Mess up the carpet tile a bit with soime oil pastels. The framed sign on the wall is just a frame made of grey board then painted, on top of a grubby looking handwritten sign. The mattress is two sheets of upholstery foam glued together, with some polyester wadding lumpy bits taped on, then covered with a piece of fabric. The pillow is just a miniature pillow I made. The blanket is a micro-fibre cloth. Glue everything down with the glue gun and you are finished.