Archive for July, 2011

Ruffus The Dog – A Christmas Carol Update

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I know – I know – it’s been months since I last posted anything about our online holiday special: Ruffus The Dog’s Christmas Carol. What can I say? I’ve been busy. I had to pay the rent. My car had a flat tire. My suit was still at the cleaners. My dog ate it. Insert applicable lame excuse here.

Actually, I have been working on it and as it slowly nears completion I eke out small portions to share with other people to get their opinion and to just generally let folks know I’m not neglecting the task at hand.

Here’s a few more.

As you may recall from previous posts about the production and some behind the scenes footage – this production of Charles Dicken’s classic is just a tad out of the ordinary.

We shot this thing in my living room. We used green screen in a very small area with no prepared background elements prior to shooting. It was all very much a seat-of-your-pants kind of shoot. Everyone who worked on it wore several hats and helped out with everything that needed to be done. It was a lot of fun.

All the backgrounds – our virtual sets – are being constructed after the edit was completed. We had to get the timed cut done so JP Hosuton, our composer, could record the soundtrack. He worked with a lot of rough images, layered un-composited green screen shots and a lot of frames with just text describing what the hell was supposed to be going on.

The task of creating the CG virtual sets has fallen to me and I now find myself esconced in my basement edit suite working on a Hackintosh (thank you, Mark!) with just Final Cut Pro, PhotoShop and Cinema 4D to craft and piece together the necessary elements for all 230 separate shots – most of which contain 4 to 10 layers of footage. Wheee!

Sounds like work – but it is fun.

I am liking what is coming out. It looks good. I wish it was going faster. I wish I had some staff to do things for me – like get another beer. I wish – well – as they used to say: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Wishing won’t get me closer to completing the work. All there is for me to do is to just fucking do it.

And that I am.

Here’s a song clip for you. It’s one of JP’s great tunes – it takes place during the visitation from the Ghost Of Christmas Past where she shows Scrooge how his lust for money lost him love for Alice.

Let me know what you think.

There’s more to come. Much more.


P. S. It is definitely odd to be spending the dog days summer cutting together snow scenes.

P. P. S. And I’m still looking for a paying gig.

Marshall McLuhan – Happy 100th Birthday

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Today marks the 100th birthday of Marshall McLuhan and whilst the world goes to hell in a handbasket of unrelenting greed and destructive paranoid mania let us remember that this good fellow had the wisdom to stand up and say: “Here comes the shit storm, suckers. Good luck!”

Well – okay – he didn’t exactly use those words; but the words he did use continue to inform us of who we were, who we are and who we might be. If we’re also wise enough to use this knowledge.

Happy Birthday, Dr. McLuhan.

NOTE: If you’re having trouble hearing the sound – choose the 240p version from the video menubar. Why? I have no idea.


UPDATE: Actually,this video by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is probably a better evocation of the current media seas within which we all swim. Gonna make this one my ringtone. Yeah.

Carl Sagan On Why We Go To Space

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Sagan, as always, speaks to the heart of the matter. Worth watching to the very end.


Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

This film 5-25-77 is a small indie flick that so closely emulates a lot of my own teen years it raises the hair on my neck. I blogged about it years ago. To my knowledge it has yet to be released. Now titled just 77 it had at least one showing at some Star Wars anniversary festival. But when WHEN is it going to be released for public consumption? Fuck.


Friday, July 1st, 2011