Saturday, March 22, 2014

More Demon photoshoots! Hellgirl and an Oonari Demon.

I came to the conclusion this week I’ve been spreading myself a little thin lately, juggling way too much. It’s not a matter of “oh, you should hire help” either, I’ve heard that before and if I did I’d only end up working to pay someone with nothing to show and then just having to work all that harder still, so that’s a shit idea.

Just seemed a massive convergence of bad coincidences that sent a few things sideways on me too. That and the “shortage” of foam latex and some other essential supplies as lead me to the conclusion, I need to take a break from work. I haven’t been working to exhaustion or anything, just too many things at once that’s caused me to lose sight of some important details.

One major oversight was on one of the two photo shoots I had this week, both of which actually turned out really well considering how badly I almost botched one of them.

The first shoot was Hellgirl. I never got a chance for a proper shoot while we were at Hal-Con and I didn’t want to wait until summer, so I asked an acquaintance if we could his greenscreen studio for the shoot. I only got a handful of pictures, but they looked awesome.

Here’s a few of them.

The close up pictures came out much better, the red makeup just didn't take in the wider shots - it looked blurry even when it wasn't. I should've realized that was a possibility, red is a hard colour to shoot with either video or stills. In any case, I'm happy with how the few turned out.

And if this is the first time you're seeing or hearing of this shoot and you're inclined to send me a message telling me I got the big stone fist on the wrong side - this isn't a genderswapped version of Hellboy, this is a totally different character, so instead of the Right Hand of Doom, she's the Left Hand of Destruction. I came up with a whole backstory to her as well.

 The second shoot was of an Oonari Demon – who are a less volatile version of Succubi. So it was another “sexy demon” kind of shoot. They’re simple and fun to do sometimes and while they haven’t yet generated as much interested as I’d hoped, they have generated some.

This is the shoot I almost totally screwed up. The idea was to have some 8 inch horns on a small-ish forehead piece. I was so pre-occupied with trying to get 3 separate orders done with only a little foam latex left I only turned out one piece and wasn’t able to test it to make sure it would work and I had no backup planned prepared either

The makeup turned out great and then when it came time for the horns, they pretty much fell off they were so heavy. Not that heavy, only 35 grams or something like that, but given the length of them they just didn’t have enough support. If I’d been at home I might been able to whip something up, but I was on location, half an hour from home, the model, Julie was already all done up so I did the only thing I could think of and just decided on CG horns

This is yet another reason I should never be on FaceOff, I’m partially lazy with a reliance on photoshop. I don’t think Glenn would buy it if I told him it’d be a partially CG character and he’d have to just imagine the rest – although that is a more realistic scenario these days

Anyhow, the shoot went great for as simple as it was and I ended up with some of the best shots I think I’ve ever taken so far.

 So there you go, a couple more Demon photo shoots down. I have a couple more lined up over the next few months, some fairly simple and I’ll be taking my time on the more elaborate ones.
Got a new prop I’m hoping to start working on soon too, I’ll be documenting the whole process once it’s done. Should be a pretty awesome piece – something I’ve been wanting to do for ages as well.

That's it for now.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

No, I don't want to be on FaceOff.

I get asked this a lot, well, not really asked, but more like people telling me I should be on the show. And while that's a great compliment, especially when it's followed up with things like "your stuff is way better than anything else on that show" or "you'd totally win" - while I don't know if I agree, it's really nice of people to say. However, I've no interest in ever being on the show. No interest in the slightest. I watch the show and I enjoy the show and that's where my interest in it begins and ends, plain and simple.

I sort of feel bad when people bring it up, because they're usually so complimentary and somewhat enthusiastic, and my response is usually a negative one or I just avoid the conversation. Otherwise it just becomes this whole long, repetitive response of reasons why in order to keep them from continually making the suggestion. So what was once a positive comment ends up in a sort of negative, disappointing kind of place for them - which honestly isn't that much fun for me either. And just saying yes is bullshit, I'm not going to patronize people either.

For the record, I'm just going to say this, while it's great you think I'm of the level of talent I could go on this show and clean up, thank you, but no thanks. I hate competition, I think it brings out the worst in people and eventually just stinks of flailing desperation for approval. I hate being rushed. I've no desire to work in the movie SPFX industry. And I like doing what I do, not what someone else gives me as a half-assed, nearly ridiculously impossible to make look decent idea.

I think the challenges are a little on the ridiculous side sometimes and unrealistic as far as what might occur in the industry. I doubt the judges would be capable of anything better by times. And that there are just some design/concept combinations that just can't be done right so if they land in your lap - you're screwed, regardless of how awesome you are. You can tell someone, pick a fruit and your favourite soap opera and a design creature that represents both, but yourself at the same time! It's stupid. Okay, they've never gone that far...but close.

I don't always agree with the choices the judges make and I don't feel like my choices would always pass for them, so why put myself in that position. Of course they're successful in the industry, so they're obviously talented, but it doesn't make them 100% right and beyond doubt. I've seen them gush over makeups I thought were crap and unfortunately, I'm the sort of person who when they smell bullshit, I just walk away. Doesn't matter who you are, you can't tell me something I think is bland or crap is the way it should be done. I've no interest in dealing what that, especially in such a public forum, so I'd probably leave the show in the first 10 minutes anyway. I've got the wrong attitude to be on a show like that.

My skills are limited to my corner of the market, not to the movie industry and I'm perfectly happy where I am for the moment. I don't think I'm that good. I'm okay at best. I muddle by with a few occasional successes. There are people who think I'm good and that's great to know and I'm fine with just leaving it all at that. I don't need, or want, validation of my skills from a panel of judges (who honestly, I've never heard of until the show) on a TV show.

I don't mean this to be a slap in the face to anyone who has ever made the suggestion or has thought it but never said it, I just felt like putting it out there to avoid the very possible awkward conversation.

And that's it. To add a little, while I've no desire to be in the Hollywood end of the movie industry, I certainly wouldn't say no to the opportunity, I'm just not interested in seeking it out, as I said, I'm perfectly happy working at the level I am - so think about that if you decide to press the issue, you're basically saying that my level of happiness with my talent/success isn't good enough and that I should live up to yours instead regardless of my own person feelings. That's kind of a shitty thing to say.

Just a note: if you read this and think my point was that I believe I'm too good to be on a show like FaceOff - than you missed the point. There's some incredible talent on that show, I just don't want to be a part of it that kind of competition.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Converations with Demons is dead.

So I finally heard back from the Canada Council about the grant and it's not happening, so for anyone who was interested the mockumentary project I'd been planning (along with several others now as well), Conversations with Demons is now pretty much dead. It's too expensive a project for me to even entertain the thought of thinking I might be able to do it on my own - and even if I tried doing a little bit here and there, it's just not going to work and would be something I'd end up abandoning if it takes more than a year to do - and with no money it'd take about 4-5 years most likely.

I debating about crowdfunding, but given the hostility towards it and the amount of money needed, it's not even worth attempting. I'd need a whole crew of volunteers working a couple hours a day to promote it to even hope to come close to what I'd need.

So I just decided to move on. There were also several smaller projects tied to it that I'm pretty sure I'm giving up on as well since they all required an FX budget as well. If you follow the business on Facebook, for the last couple months I've been doing a daily "Random Demon Facts" which was going to be tied into the mockumentary and an accompanying book - I'm passing on that for the time being as well since it's an effort to come up with all this stuff to make daily posts and now there's not really much point to it, so I don't feel like wasting the energy on something that is reaching a smaller and smaller audience because Facebook seems to like to limit your posts more the more often you post. Dicks.

There were some more elaborate photo shoots I'd planned, requiring money, which are being abandoned for the moment as well. There was a lot of potential projects I was looking forward to that hinged on this grant - and while I knew not getting it was a pretty definite possibility, it's difficult not to want to think ahead and make plans on some crazy off chance it did happen.

So, I've got a couple photo shoots in the works that are a little more elaborate, however even they'll be delayed because of some commission work that fell through as well - it started off a good year and it's slowly already becoming a pretty shitty year of disappointment - BUT, it gives me time to torn towards the easier, less expensive - and probably slightly more fun projects I have in mind as well.

Case Files of Bureau 51 is an idea I had a couple years ago now for a really easy to shoot, no worries about video or sound quality and no continuity or commitment issue with actors either. So it's a definite number 1 on my list of potential projects this summer. It's basically COPS with demons and monsters and zombies and crap. Totally live action, no CG or post effects of any kind, all shot in more or less one improved take. It'll be a web series, each episode only a couple minutes, all self-contained working up to possible a final episode that ties it all together.

Ask Cthulhu will be part of my Project Cthulhu idea. I'm scaling down the whole Project Cthulhu idea to my simpler concept, where I create what I kind of described as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer version of him, which would just be Cthulhu in a business suit, not a full body suit - so I only have to create a head, hands and possibly feet, rather than the full body - which would be incredibly expensive.

The Ask Cthulhu part will be a weekly webisode, only a 30 seconds to a minute long, I don't know at this point, where "viewers" can write in to ask Cthulhu questions and advice. The best part of this is, and I don't want to give away too much, is that it can be filmed in advance to some degree and several episodes shot in a couple hours - so a few months worth can be done every so often and keep the whole thing going for some time - if there's any interest.

The downside of this is, it will require close to $1000 to do, so I'll have to find a way to raise that money in the next few months if I want to be able to do it in the fall. We'll see how that goes. At least it can be done bit by bit.

I'm still debating about my "Universal Monsters" project, the idea there was to take all the original male Universal Monsters and recreate them as if they'd been written for women - trying to keep the original descriptions, basic concepts and costumes as close to what would have been done back in the day. Most will be pretty easy, but the Gil Man (Gil Woman in this case) will be pretty expensive to pull off well.

There are a few other ideas I'm debating as well. I might take the down time to finish up a couple older movies I put on the shelf and abandoned awhile ago. For right now I'm looking to get back into Bimbo Zombie Killers: Moonshine of the Damned though, hoping to get that thing finally taken care of by early spring.

And that's it really. I was hoping to be able to attend a few of the bigger conventions it'd I'd received the grant as well, planning on doing shoots and whatnot in the areas them, but that's dead now too so I'm looking towards two smaller local cons that are happening this year. There something called, I think, HorrorFest over in Nova Scotia, although I can find any contact info about who runs it or how to get involved, the one email I found attached to it I didn't get a response from. And there's a Gothic Christmas Fair over in Halifax in November this year I'm looking forward to.