Wednesday, March 31, 2021

H P Lovecraft's "Alienation"

I keep returning to H P Lovecraft's sonnet cycle "Fungi From Yuggoth" to pluck texts for my YouTube videos. My latest pilfering resulted in an adaptation of his sonnet "Alienation." I believe this to be a pretty personal text from old H P, as it's about living in the world feeling like an outsider. 

Both the young and the old versions of the dreaming man in the poem are stock media. The young guy is just a photo, which I via the magic of Photoshop inserted into a still image from the old gut stock footage. 

The very weird Ghooric Zone (mentioned in a few Lovecraft texts) is a mix of many stock photos of various landscapes placed in layers in After Effects. I used various distortion tools to make the sharp rocks undulate. The flying balls are made up from a single digital stock animation I found many years ago.

I'm actually working on a film featuring more stuff from the mysterious Ghooric Zone, so I'm not completely done with it. 

Yaddith is another strange world, mainly featured in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", but as with many named places in Lovecraft's fiction, it gets a shoutout in other stories too. The towering buildings in the background are a stock CG image found on Depositphotos. The strange organic orb thingie in the foreground is a CG animation found at Videoblocks. This scene also features the only stop-motion puppet in this film; a native Yaddithian. These strange beings are described in detail in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", and I tried to stick with what Lovecraft says about them. One big exception, though: Yaddithians seem to lounge around in monkish robes. I scrapped that since I thought they'd look more alien in the nude.

My Yaddithian is a very simple puppet. The head is a wood oval and the rest of the armature is my standard aluminum wire/thermoplastic concoction.

The puppet was padded out with thin polyurethane, most of it actually soaked in latex to make the material very pliable.

Apart from the textured skin I only used two latex castings, pulled from old molds -the chest and the end of the snout. The eyes are two Photoshop print-outs covered with Glossy Accents plastic to create a lens-like effect. 

The spikes on the head and the back are bits of toilet paper dipped in tinted latex and rolled in my hands into pointy shapes. The same goes for the claws on the feet (which you never see in the film).

This short film was pieced together quickly, in a week, just about. I'm sure I'm not done with "Fungi From Yuggoth" yet. If I ever get through all of the poems I should probably edit my short films together into a continuous feature film presentation.