Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cajun cooking

It's been at least 15 years since I made a jambalaya. Back before surgery and before William, we used to make stuff like this all the time. Now that William is into it, we started hunting for okra. It used to be difficult but not impossible to find it frozen but now none of the main stores stock it anymore. We found some at Tony's but then yesterday I found it fresh at Superstore. The only real substitute was the sausage. We went to the Ukrainian Co-op and tried a few and picked out one. I stayed with the smoked pork kubasa which the internet said was an acceptable replacement. William slaved over the stove, stirring and so forth. The recipe turned out quite well in my opinion. William had seconds (perhaps even thirds) so it was certainly worth repeating. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

animating in 1987

I've continued scanning old negatives. I just finished 1987 (I've been moving backwards since 1991). Here I am in my first apartment in 1987 working on my film "Dr. Watermellon and His Orchastra" (sic). I recall that I'd spent a month watching tv then became very inspired to get to work. I drew all of the characters and created most of the artwork at this desk looking out my window onto Lorne Street (at 14th). Moisture in the apartment froze all the drawings on the window in a layer of ice.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Connaught Confectionary

I was scanning my 1988 negatives today and found this image of the Connaught Confectionery. It is just at the end of our block but was gone before 1996 when we moved in to our house. William and I walked down the block and looked at the foundation which is still in this lot. I'd forgotten that this is where the store stood and figured the old cement was just a garage. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

No crocus yet

On a FB rumour, we headed into the valley to see the first crocus' blooming. We've been too late in the past, but never too early. We took a few photos anyway and headed back to Superstore, a distant second in any attempt to commune with nature.
We find out tomorrow that Tanya had her baby on this day. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter egg hunt

Did a last minute chocolate egg hide. I counted them before I hid them and after William searched and we are missing one. I have no idea where it is, even though I'd hidden it only 15 minutes previously. Had some of Firday's dyed eggs along with chocolate ones for breakfast. The one egg that I dyed, multiple times, ended up being stained deeply into the interior. Yum.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Photos using strobe light

We did some pick up shots of Canister and Sawboy in the studio today while Erik is still in town. I also wanted to play with the strobe light a bit. We worked in complete darkness to get a few long exposures. It doesn't have as much of a throw as I'd hoped though.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter egg colouring

We hosted egg colouring this afternoon. Gertrud did her traditional onion skin variant. Janine, Terry, and Paul came, making it a party.
 William and Xander flitted back and forth between eggs and minecraft. William worked with wax to create a very cool abstract impressionist egg.
Rania came over with her daughter and did some eggs and selected some cloth for puppets.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

video projection

I'm liking these little projectors. It's not a "pocket projector"; it is a bit bigger but is bright and small and can run off a card with no player attached. The menu does not allow as many adjustments to the colours as I'd like, but versatile in many ways.  From 3 feet it creates a 28 inch wide image. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Deep snow

Last night we went to Combat Improv. It was a good show but had the smallest audience I've seen in quite a while. With fewer voices yelling out suggestions, William got three or four ideas out there including "cabbage farm", the batcave, and "Diary of Seven Vampires". I passed a roll of 16mm film on to Eric from years ago when he was a student and helping me with hand processing. He seemed pleased.
The audience size was certainly due to the suddenly snowy weather. Apparently we had more snow this week than we had in December to February. Margaret got into it, shoveling and making snowmen. I just want to sit in front of my computer, although the combination of wearing boots on slippery surfaces with extended computer time has reacquainted me with my soar back. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Visit with Kallie

Stopped in at university for coffee with Christina and a trip to the library. I ended up dropping in to Kallie's studio to see her new drawings and discuss projection. She's been making videos and posting them on Vimeo ( Check them out.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Snow Tires and slippage

We usually go all winter with all season tires but this year we got proper snow tires. I didn't think we'd got our money's worth out of them so luckily we've been dumped on by a fresh few inches and be sliding around for at least one last day. Today I scanned all of the negatives I shot with the stereoscopic camera over bast week (4 rolls). I have a slippage problem on some rolls which creates superimpositions. I think it happens commonly about half way through the roll but I'm not sure what to do about it now. Do I just stop at the half way point (wasting half the roll but paying full processing)? Probably. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sockvile and Geremy's basement

Geremy, Erik and I (with a bit of commentary from William) made some significant editorial decisions about the perpetually uncompleted "Sockvile" puppet program I made with a group of 15 students in a course five years ago. I've been feeling that the 15 episode structure was just not working. It was uneven with some episodes rushed, others crammed,and storylines getting lost. I'd decided to try to tighten it into one long film but this weekend we started realizing that some of the subplots, specifically some of the better subplots, were not relevant to the primary plot and should be removed if we were really intent on making a feature. Today we decided to create three stories which intercept each other, taking place at the same time. I'm confident this will be more satisfying. Now the real work begins (again).
After burgers at Five Guys, we went to see Geremy's house. He basement will mess with you (observe):

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Canister about town

Erik helped document Canister finishing my table today. He can be quite handy when he isn't bent on world domination. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mr. Saul, remastering the master

Just when you thought that the "Mr. Saul" films could not represent any greater level of arrogance, Erik and I sat down to re-record all of the audio tracks in preparation for the bluray release. Put your cheque books away, it is probably still a month until I have them ready. No photographs were allowed at this private session (I can't imagine any other explanation for me not having taken any selfies. Surely I didn't forget?). 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Disastrous computer theft

Detail from An An's missing film
A number of offices in our department were broken into over night. While some professors lost stuff (I appear to have been spared), the most devastating items taken were the edit station computers where our grad students had been working. An has lost three months of her animation. Xin also lost her sessions and is set back seriously. I'm going to do all I can to help get them back to where they were, but this is a bad day for art. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Violence on Campus

On campus today we witnessed an intense fight between the dread space pirate Squidmulon and Professor Delusia the Nochturnalist. It appeared that Delusia left the victor, having strangled Squidmulon with a poisonous snake, but the pirate proved not so easy to kill after all....

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Canister the Robot versus Kynth the Vampire

Kynth/Canister Colouring page
While re-staging some scenes from Angst in 3D with Sunny Adams we were interrupted by the jealous robot who wanted to be the only star of my projects. Looks like nothing will stop him from fighting with all of my characters. Luckily no one was hurt.... this time. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pie Day

Happy Pie Day everyone. I was so oblivious last night while skyping with Rob and Kevin after the 10 exhausting hours on set that I didn't notice Margaret and William were baking pies. This morning I was called down for pie breakfast. There is no better way to start your day. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Many German Expressionist studio portraits today

Amazing day in the studio with Marian Donnelly, Kenn McLeod, Rob Bos, Mitch Doll, Erik Sirke, Wendy Peart, Leesa Streifler, Elizabeth Matheson, Berny Hi, Chrystene Ells, Misty Lee Selinger, and Jaye Kovach as well as Eagleclaw and Jeremy. Wow. Exhausted but thrilled.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Film shoot photos

In by 8:30am, out by 5:30pm, my film shoot went quite well thanks to a committed and talented cast and crew. I had to substitute my strobing device for a constructed effect in post, but other than that I got my shots as planned. Erik Sirke arrived the night before to work on this and some other projects of mine this week; very excited to get some productive work accomplished. Geremy Lague came on board as well, very appreciated.  AJ Leeks joined the crew and we got a nice lunchtime visit from another alumni, Ashley, and their daughter (whom, contrary to suggestion, did not make it on camera). Rania was there taking some great photos and helping with the death scene, nicely handled. Margaret was of course invaluable, helping me find my backside and all the other stuff I rely upon. Ginette Hall did make up which I could not have done without, even though the performers are still young enough to have perfect skin. The whole film began with William's eye makeup and I knew I couldn't go on unless I could get that right. Thanks Christos for making the connection with Ginette. Alice Willett was the perfect "nameless village girl" character. You would think that with only two characters that I would name them, but I'm having a block. I was going to call William's character "Lookout Johnny" but now realize that this is the name of his puppet, not him. Speaking of puppets, the crude creations I made came to life under Chrystene's manipulations. It will probably be a couple of weeks until I have a rough cut due to other commitments and the style I wish to edit it in.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Envy the professionals

I brought my props to work, hoping to get pre-lit for tomorrow but have discovered that, this being one of the busiest times for film students to shoot, that the studio is in use this evening. The morning will be rough. I still have a few details to take care of but, as with working at home, I continue to sit on the floor trying to accomplish my tasks. This wasn't so hard three decades ago when I was a student, but I think my knees won't forgive me soon.