Thursday, May 29, 2008

That's what friends are for

I've been helping out my buddy Daniel Lenéer on a couple of his film projects. The latest one, "Wavebreaker", is about the angst-ridden crew on the sub Nautilus. I'm building a period diver's helmet and some other stuff for the project. And I'll be providing animated fish and a giant squid in post production. But we also needed a practicle tentacle for interaction with the cast. I built one out of an old foam matress and covered it with skin and suction cups molded in latex.

Suction cups galore! Ten different sizes were sculpted in Chavant clay and a mold of Ultracal 30 was made from them. It took about one week to cast as many cups as I needed, two casting sessions a day.

Even more suction cups! This is just as I started adding them to the tentacle.

A little test hug, to see if it's flexible and cumfie enough. The skin has not been added yet.

On to the actual shoot! Camera guy, and sometimes a
cting guy, Christopher cuddles the tentacle.

The tentacle finally meets its intended victim, Jimmy, who acts out the squeeze rolling on the floor, perspiring sweat added with a spray bottle. Fun stuff!

Danny decides the tentacle needs some proper
motivation and steps in himself, a true hands-on director (not many women in his films yet. Hmmm...)

The interior of the Nautilus was the basement of the block of flats where Danny lives. Pure and simple. There are neutral walls and some pipes hanging from the cieling, but nothing else that could make that place go as "submarine interior". My initial reaction was "How the hell will we make this work?" Maybe we won't all the time, but there will be scenes where it will work. Other than that it was fun to do. We alternated using the basement set with filming scenes in front of a green screen. The bottom line is Danny & Co know how to make filming fun. I sometimes get lost in the technicalities of making a shot convincing. I once heard a film critic commenting on the "effects" in schlock meistro Ed Wood's ultra B-movie "Plan 9 From Outer Space". It isn't as much a case of Wood not having good effects as just having representative depictions of the effects he would've had, if he had the proper budget. For those of us who do non-commercial, or amateur, films it's the same thing. We do the best we can with what we have. Just because we don't have EVERYTHING we would need to make the finished film match our visions doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. If we reasoned like that nothing would get done.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fantastic Plastic

Mini-statue making is probably my new hobby! I thought I'd show off a couple of other things besides the Tsathoggua statue that I did. This is a model of the ugly, brutish fish-thing said to inhabit Lake Myllesjön in southernmost Sweden. Many a brave man, including my grandmother's uncle, tried to capture it, but failed. The model began life as a sculpture in Chavant clay. A silicone mold was then made and plastic resin was used to cast the final model. It's painted with acrylic airbrush paints and some model hobby paint. The entire model is about 25 cm long.

This Valentine´s Day gargoyle is a four inch statue cast in plastic resin from a Chavant clay sculpture. This little fellow was made for a special friend's birthday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tsathoggua idol

I'm a big fan of H P Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos (not really defined by Lovecraft, but by his admirer August Derleth). What's not to like about this weird, xenophobic, asexual, icecream-loving guy and his insane tales of slimy cosmic horror?? I'll be getting back frequently to old H P in this blog. His main beastie, Cthulhu, has been the subject of numerous interpretations; images, dolls and statues.

There's been quite a few Cthulhu idols made and I thought I'd do another deity from the Mythos. Tsathoggua was invented by Lovecraft's pal and fellow author Clark Ashton Smith and is worshipped on his primeval continent Hyperborea.
"You shall know Tsathoggua by his great girth and his batlike furriness and the look of a sleepy black toad which he has eternally." Pretty ugly, but weirdly cute at the same time.

This idol is about 35 cm tall. It's cast in black plastic resin and drybrushed with bronze paints. The original sculpture was made with Chavant clay and a silicone mold was created for making castings. The silicone is "Dragon Skin" made by SmoothOn Inc. The plastic is Smooth-Cast 325 (with black pigments), also made by SmoothOn Inc. These materials are great. In fact all materials from SmoothOn are great! They set fast and are easy to work with. Not that darn expensive either, when you look up what similar materials cost at other sellers. Tsathoggua was created over two weekends while Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jethro Tull was blaring from my workshop stereo (for no particular reason). Now he's lurking from the top of a book shelf.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I hate bloggers! Never ever a blogger myself!!

Yet, here I am now. Somehow I concluded that I have a lot to say but too few listening. So I'll have a go at this blogging business anyway. I'm here to talk about creativity as a lifestyle. I belive that the road to happiness is discovering the meaning of your life, not LIFE in the big, cosmic sense of the word, but you own personal life, that only you can change. If you can pin down what makes you feel complete and accomplished, then you have nothing to worry about. It's as simple as this; What you enjoy doing most = The meaning of your life. For some it's sports, for others it's being social, for me it's being creative as often as I can.

Some facts: Born 1974, living in Sweden. I saw "King Kong" when I was six, and my life hasn't been the same since. I work as an art editor for a local newspaper. In my spare time I write, draw and make masks and props for stage plays, LARP role players and (so far) one TV show. I also make amateur films with my friends and I try to keep the noble art of stop-motion animation alive. I’d like to see the Loch Ness monster perform live before I die. I'm hoping to expand my creativity and finding new friends through it.

That's about it. The stuff that's going up here will be a mix of old and new. Mostly it'll be about what I build for different projects and how things work -or don't. Be seeing ya!