Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boring, non-picture update.

You may or may not be wondering, "Hey, where's all the awesome pictures, aren't you doing photo shoots or making movies or something?" The answer if, if you're wondering, "Not at the moment." And if you're not wondering, please leave and allow strange beasts to devour your soul because you obviously have too much time on your hands reading blogs you have no interest in.

Now that that's out of the way, onto the potentially boring (non-picture oriented) update.

The main bit of boringness is called Business Plan writing and Market research. In a word (or two) it sucks. I can't complain because I chose this business so now I have to prove it's worth the effort...somehow. There seems to be a real lack of assistance or willingness to provide valid or useful information out there. I did get some decent feedback from a couple companies I've already sold to, so that was somewhat useful. It doesn't cover everything though - also isn't helping that the person who's supposed to be helping me write this has suddenly become unavailable without any notice.

I tried an online method someone referred me to. That was a dismal failure. Either on my part for not phrasing the questions properly or whoever attempted to respond for not having a clue what I was talking about and not being the right person I was hoping to find. I was looking for people, indie filmmakers - either them or people who know them - who might be able to provide me feedback about the worth of there being a indie SPFX shop available to them. Is that a service indie filmmakers would have use for or do they already have tonnes of friends who could do it for them.

All I got was a link to a website that doesn't work. Not really the sort of research I'm interested in paying for. You found a website, hooray for you - you couldn't checked to see if it was even being updated or was currently working. Still I sort of appreciate the effort, it just was ultimately of no use.

I've posed this same question to a couple online forums in hopes of getting some feedback, positive or negative at this point I don't care. Just some response that has some thought behind it would be nice. Then again, this is the internet, perhaps I'm aiming too high.

I do have some information though, no specific market information. Like age range or anything like that, I guess I'll have to shift my thinking over to the more generic "Halloween Costume Market" and hope that information translates. This stuff sucks.

And in other news, I haven't been doing photo shoots or filming anything, mainly because of lack of funds and supplies. I've been doing what I can, sculpting some new pieces, designing some new stuff - that's pretty different in some way from what's out there on the market already. So that's some good news at least.

So things remain boring for now. Hopefully that will change in the next few months.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I feel like I've been ignoring this blog.

I was waiting for Home Sweet Hell to be over and done with before I posted any photos. I posted a whole album on Facebook the other day.I have too many sites to manage now, there's the Facebook page, the actual website, the Demons website and this blog. Sure it might not seem like much but the content overlaps and I'm never sure what I should be posting where sometimes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some new prosthetic photos

Aside from getting Home Sweet Hell done, I've been busy the last week trying to fill another wholesale order - it was shipped out just this Friday. Most shops like images of the pieces before and after they've been applied, usually I would just use photos from the photo shoots I've been doing, but not all pieces make it into a photo shoot. Here's a couple images of some pieces you might not have seen before.

These are a resculpt of a previous pair of ears I had made,
they'll be redone yet again to work out the kinks in the demoulding process.
A totally new pair of ears, they turned out pretty good.
I've used this nose in a movie before actually, 
never had a really good product shot of it though.
And this is actually the first nose I ever made,
never used it before until now.

After this last order I've decided to restructure things a bit as far as my work flow goes and how things are done. If you've been reading this then I think I might've mention starting to use master moulds bascially they'll allow me to redo my  moulds without resculpting the pieces. This is of course a bit of an undertaking and most all my pieces will slowly be redone from scratch over the next while, new pieces being added here and there.

I'm debating about doing a piece, using it in a photo shoot and then seeing how it's received by retailers before redoing it for a larger scale production. Or something like that. The master moulds will be expensive to make so I don't want to waste time making master moulds of pieces that no one wants - at least as far as larger pieces go, smaller ones are just good practice and sell easier anyway.

Home Sweet Hell all done.

Home Sweet Hell is all done - sort of. The pilot three episodes are over anyway. I recently had a computer crash, which was a huge pain in the ass and as a result wasn't able to really think about checking the third episode for any glitches until Thursday. And of course there was one and since I was no longer running the same computer I lost my proper encoder settings, since then I've been trying to get Episode 3 rendered properly, still no luck but it's viewable at least for now.

And for anyone who missed all this or can't figure out where to go looking for them, here's all three together.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's been a long week

I had a bit of an animation to do for someone as well as a pretty large wholesale order to fill - and then my computer crashed. Naturally that really effects my ability to do any animation, but also all my labels and invoices kinda need a computer to be printed off.

5 days of buggering about with the damned thing and it's back up and running. The problems were totally bizarre and made no sense - ultimately it boiled down to a single, stupid defective wireless network card. I can't even begin to explain how I discovered that.

So things are back up and running again and then my printer dies on me. I beat the crap out of it, it certainly won't ever work again now. And yes, I do feel better. Plus there were many other little annoying things cropping up along the way. Most of then are taken care of.

Here's the order I managed to barely fill before running out of foam. I think I have enough for one more, but I don't need to produce anything any time soon.

Maddy usually is underfoot when I'm working,
she was nice enough to sit for a moment
and not attack everything.

And of course, stay tuned for the last exciting episode of Home Sweet Hell tomorrow.

Monday, April 04, 2011


It's been a bit of a hectic week, but then again it always feels like it's been a bit of a hectic week.

Home Sweet Hell has gotten 173 hits as of today, not massive by internet standards, but not too shabby by mine - especially when you consider I don't go out of my way to advertise and it's all though friends of those who were in it. Episode 2 is all ready to go and should prove a little weirder and funnier.

I got myself another wholesale order, pretty decent sized one too. Manageable though, should have it ready to ship off by end of the week if all goes well.

Got a couple photo shoots done this week, one for the "Demons" book and two for the site, probably do two more for the site later this week and I'm prepping for the next photo shoot for the book as well, that'll hopefully be in about 2 weeks time.

Had to do up a couple DVDs for support material for the grant I submitted last month, apparently that HAVE to see a previous movie even if it in no way relates to the project the grant is for. Not a huge problem, at least they're entertaining movies.

I tried out my first Master Mould this weekend. Basically that means I'm making moulds of my moulds. So should anything happen to them, I can easily whip up another in a few hours instead of re-sculpting from scratch. The moulds themselves seem like they're good, won't know for sure until I run a batch of foam - if they work just as well as the originals then this saves me a bit of a headache down the road. Mind you, it won't be cheap and I'll need to reconsider my storage space since I'll be effectively doubling it with each new piece.

I got a very old movie project finally completed this week - no not Malice for anyone wondering - a completely non-Monkey Rodeo related project I did for a friend of mine, an animated childrens(-ish) movie that was about 5 years in the making. Nice to have that done finally.

And I've started work on a new latex mask, not a prosthetic but the pullover kind. I've been doing some research and found there's quite a few places that carry them and the quality looks pretty poor overall. Aside from some of the specialty shops that carry really high end ones, I reckon a lot of these are just churned out, mass produced ones. Pretty unfortunate to see, just means however there's room for me to get something out there, not in as high a quantity, but still something. It'll be awhile before I have the space to really begin mass production or even anything close to it.

Also, and lastly, I managed to make some mental headway on a future project. I've been debating exactly how it's going to work and a lot of things just weren't coming together as I would've liked. This past weekend though I had a bit of a breakthrough and I think I've got it fairly worked out. More details as things progress.

I think that's it.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Werewolves of PEI

I ended up doing a somewhat last minute photo shoot last night (and another in the afternoon but it was quite so elaborate) to get some images of my werewolf prosthetic. What ended up coming out was a werewolf couple sitting at home watching movies - pretty unremarkable scenario overall, but with werewolves.

Leah Quimby and Wes Hamilton were my werewolves - and if you're wondering why they're not overly hairy for werewolves, then you know very little of the true origins of these creatures and luckily all will be explained in a new weekly-ish feature coming to the Monkey Rodeo website in the next few months.

But until then, here's some domesticated werewolf pictures.

A quick video soon to follow.

Friday, April 01, 2011