Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It is out! "Boxcar Fair" - the video

See it here. It's been months in the making and finally it has been completed, (and the credits added to the end).

We shot the 2 1/2 minute video in one continuous take. There were SO many variables during shooting, that even the day before I wasn't sure it was even possible. The biggest problem was the High-Diver. She kept getting tangled. The solution was to eliminate 4 of her 8 strings. This limited her ability to move but we had no choice. Marionettes don't do well when you turn them upside down. And she really made this fact obvious. Also, she, and the other 2 string puppets, had 9 feet of string between them and the operator. This makes them pretty difficult to operate because much of it is done by feel. My hat's off to our puppeteers for sticking in there and getting the job done! Bravo!

Now on to the next project..........

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Production Stills from Boxcar Fair Video Shoot

Here are many great images of our video shoot last Friday, Nov. 5th, photos by Rich Addicks.

Everything came together nicely - we built the set in about a week and had 3 live performances with Little Tybee on Saturday night.

The day of the shoot we had many run-throughs and shot the video - which was one continuous 2 1/2 minute shot with no edits - about 30 times. We got our perfect shot and I will post it here soon, it's pretty amazing and the song is great too.

My hat is off to our wonderful puppeteers - Raymond Carr, Lee Bryan, Amy Rush and Mauree Culberson. Arthur Thompson also help puppeteer and was an invaluable help with building the set and making props. Paula Joerling, my wife, helped build props and was in charge of our dry ice effects. Eric Cortina supplied the decorative lights in the Fortune Teller's tent. Kerry Sisselman built all of the palm trees and Paula tweaked them. Mary Avery collected bags of leaves that Arthur crushed up and sifted - we used them for texture on the set.

Also thanks to Andrew Kornylak for his lighting and shooting skills and making it all look so beautiful. Andrew was assisted by Brett May, who also work as our dolly grip.

Thanks for all of your help!!!

An overall shot showing the 40' x 6' set, the bridge up above for the puppeteers, and the track and camera dolly.

The Explorer marionette at the beginning of the shot. The backdrop was digitally painted by Ram Bhat.

The Boxcar Fair sign with small tent in background. We sprinkled the set with ground-up leaves to add texture, and added rocks collected from right outside the studio.

The small tent. I built 2 small (3") trapeze artist figures inside that form a heart shape as the Explorer walks by. The figures were operated by strings from below, and back-lit with a small red light.

The High-diver Girl - the next character the Explorer encounters.

Me tweaking the High-diver marionette. You can see the 2 small spotlights I added to illuminate the diver.

The Anglerfish - I finished his eyes, which move, and added the light.

The sign outside the Fortune Teller's tent.

The Fortune Teller's tent - the front of it rolled up as the camera panned across it.

We used a mirror for the crystal ball. The heads turned - an improvement suggested by one of our puppeteers - and their arms were operated by rods from below. I took 3 people to operate these 2 figures.

We threw in a little pyrotechnics.

A shot of the mouse in the tent.

Detail shots of the Explorer.....

....and Fortune Teller.

The "mouse run", which is directly below the Fortune Teller's tent. This was made from plywood and foam, covered with paper mache and painted. Each cubbyhole was lit with a tiny light and propped out with my collection of stuff - keys, light bulbs, coins, bones, etc etc.

A wider shot of the scene.

The ornate Elephant.

The ending shot of the Explorer and the Elephant, and the moon.

Stay tuned for the video..........