Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Other film festivals

Since we have this finished product, I figured we might as well milk it for all it's worth. Here's a resource to find other short film festivals that we could potentially submit our work to:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


You! Be at Ha's house at these times! 

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 10pm. 
Friday 3-10 with a break for dinner/SOCA
Saturday 2-10, with a break for dinner
Sunday 11-3 or 4 or 5?

Remember that these set times shouldn't preclude individual work time on the "sets 'n props" to-do list if we have time to spare. Hopefully our legions of volunteers should help us burn through that quickly though!!

Also remember that our goal is to have filming of the Tower Interior scenes and all the Doodleland props/set done by SUNDAY so that we can start filming Doodleland!




Sunday, September 11, 2011

Set #1: The Tower Interior!

We are finished with set #1! We are only...two days behind on our most recent schedule so far. 

Doodle Do

Rolling to do list!

j-make background for Ringo's house in the drawer

j-fill in Lucy’s line after oscar says “strange” in the ship
j-make a clown werewolf mummy with knives for fingers

∞-make watercolor practice flowers
∞-get/make/cut a big piece of paper that will be the fear (for the biggest fear)

e- make windows in doodletown. make some windows for doodles to peek out of (make sure they are big enough) make boarded up things or metal guards to go behind them. If possible have them be able to look out through the slats. They should be removeable (do not glue!) and maybe open in different ways.

je-make background drawings for the little ship to be pulled across. See script for backgrounds.
je-make a spaceship/houses/whatever new things will spring up in doodletown.
Je-think of background for hand show

h- find sock-monkey socks for his close-up hands (ha’s friend???)

Ja-ask Jeff if he’ll narrate for us

a-make/get self portrait of allie’s brother

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


If we are going to finish this, we have got meet these deadlines come heck or high water!

Here is a list of all the things that need to be made for these scenes. The ones in red need to be finished by Friday the 9th for filming!! The ones with a ∞ by them, anyone can do, but if your initial is next to something, you're the best person for the job.

j-email mr. bennet - Think – using allie’s brother, also using mr. bennet’s class…. Timing concerns!! Also, sophie?
j-make a new tree
j-draw a 2D mini-ship
j-make little inky things for the dresser drawer
j-make ringo
j-fill in Lucy’s line after oscar says “strange” in the ship
j-make a clown werewolf mummy with knives for fingers

∞-email matt king, see if there’s any way to check out the AFO camera on weekends.
∞-make a calendar of everyone’s schedules (including kenny and kelley)
∞-make scribbles
∞-make post-it shrubs
∞-trim doodlelands paper
∞-make and cover front doodlelands hill in pre-ripped paper, then notebook paper. Leave bottom fringe so that it hides the frame edge
∞-make a word balloon for sock monkey. On a stick or wire that is held seperately
∞-patch the sun that’s already there by cutting out a horizon-to-top strip that covers the sun, paint it blue.
∞-buy blue fuzzy gloves the same color as oscar, also find sock-monkey socks (ha’s friend???)
∞-make tiny paper /map that gets printed out of dood
∞-write [kid’s name] Mrs Wittkopf’s class Period 5
∞-get/make/cut a big piece of paper that will be the fear.
∞-make tiny smoothies, maybe a little smoothie machine

e-cover trees with yellow
e- make windows in doodletown. make some windows for doodles to peek out of (make sure they are big enough) make boarded up things or metal guards to go behind them. If possible have them be able to look out through the slats. They should be removeable (do not glue!) and maybe open in different ways.

Je-make a sun w/moveable face
je-make background drawings for the little ship to be pulled across. See script for backgrounds.
Je-draw a fruit bowl full of aaahhhberries
Je-make dood’s bowl (2D) also a bag of scribble kibble to put next to it maybe.
Je-draw a record and player and record cover with swinging arm
je-make tiny pizza cutter
je-make a spaceship/houses/whatever new things will spring up in doodletown.

Jeh-make the dresser (non-functional)

h-make life-sized pen
h-make little-sized pen
h-make a cushion that slides onto the stick to become a stool.
h-make badges
h-make the pencil sharpener gun
h-make a tiny pencil
h-make a tiny pen (simpler than the squid pen! For lucy at the end)

Ja-ask Jeff if he’ll narrate for us

a-make/get self portrait of allie’s brother

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York International Children's Film Festival

In order to get the into the NYICFF, we need to get cracking!
This year, the deadline for Student Short Films (that's us) is OCTOBER 15TH.
That's roughly four months.

Film on DVD (PAL or NTSC) -- I don't know what this means.
$25 entry fee
Entry form --

Promotional material (high res jpgs, reviews, bios, etc)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's Next?

Hey Y'all,

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on the stage - set - prop - puppet production. My suggestion would be to use what you have to create some still photographs. Let's see something, folks!

Send me some pics!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Din Quixote Soundtrack

As presented by Flavorpill:

Don Quixote de la Mancha is a complex figure. He is at once a rational thinker and a raving madman, a deep romantic trying to create a better world and a sympathy-evoking innocent. He sets off on an imagined quest to win glory for his imagined paramour, and spends the novel trying to distinguish between his hallucinations and his reality in an only slightly exaggerated description of the way we all live our lives. His intentions are forever honorable, though they never seem to come to any good, as he is too often waylaid by his own foolishness. There’s some contention that Quixote knows more than he lets on – that his insanity is an act of sorts, but we interpret him in the middle ground: not totally bonkers, but not self-aware enough to be sly about it either. Here’s what we think he would fight windmills, make declarations, and uphold the code of the knight-errant to.

“Desaparecido” – Manu Chao
The sun-drenched tones of Manu Chao would definitely be Don Quixote’s go-to soundtrack for wandering around with Sancho Panza in the Spanish sun.
“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” — The Beach Boys
A perfect song about trying to find your place in a world that doesn’t make sense to you, sung by a classically optimistic band that would appeal to our hero’s innocent enthusiasm. Plus, maybe he could have a moment of self-realization when he hits the lines “They say I got brains/ But they ain’t doing me no good/ I wish they could…”
“Where Do My Bluebird Fly” — The Tallest Man on Earth
We think Don Quixote would appreciate the almost painful beauty of this song, sorrowful fever dream music for his lonely adventuring.
“(Have You Ever Been To) Electric Ladyland” — Jimi Hendrix
We just want to know what Don Quixote would hallucinate Electric Ladyland to be. We think he’d have fun with this song – after all, every lovable lunatic we know is a Hendrix fan.
“This Year” — The Mountain Goats
Any gentleman who has gone mad with chivalry from reading too many books about knights would also have to be into the hyper-literary Mountain Goats. There’s just no other way.
“I Want to Know What Love Is” — Foreigner
Our hero is a hopeless romantic, for sure, and he’d totally be into cheesy 80s rock songs. But his belief in the rigidity of right and wrong and the purity of love is what keeps him going through beatings and giants, through enchantments and humiliations, so there are worse things.
“Blowin’ In The Wind” — Bob Dylan
While Dylan isn’t necessarily the picture of the chivalrous knight in real life, this classic track would definitely appeal to a wandering adventurer trying to instill some good in the world.
“Such Great Heights” — The Postal Service
All idealistic, semi-dorky lovers dig the Postal Service. Also, this is a song about overcoming obstacles in the face of naysayers, something that we think Quixote would probably identify with.
“Love Vigilantes” (New Order Cover) — Iron & Wine
This song manages to be both chivalrous and super wholesome, but not obnoxious, which is something of a feat. We imagine Don Quixote listening to this track and wishing he had a wife and family of his own.
“Hands of Time” — Ron Sexsmith
In a certain sense, Don Quixote is just an aging man looking for an adventure to help him in the fight against his mortality. Like so much else in Quixote’s story, it’s a losing battle.

SciFi music?

This would be great backround music for the sci-fi world maybe?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Side Scrolling

There is a clear connection between the flat, side scrolling adventure games and our scrolling sets. This is a great example, and it could be a resource for the science fiction city>

Machinarium 1

What makes this so successful is the way the vibrant, textured scenery in the middle ground moves against the washed out, more liner scenery in the background. The game's camera mimics the way our eyes would move across a scene: the further away something is, the slower it scrolls across the screen. There are enough objects in the foreground to reinforce a sense of 3 dimensionality, but not so many that is obscures the action.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Matt King Meeting

Split up into production groups - some script, some sets, some props - meetings more for touching base and seeing what we're all up to.
Mess around, shoot some scenes for funnnn.

borrow camera to test - just let Matt King and he can get it checked out. He'll be in richmond during the summer, so the camera and zoom recorder will both be available.

chroma-key paper (green screen!) - B&H Photo, also Savage (seamless backdrop paper)

stage - big, solid. grid on top for clip lights. power strips on sides to plug stuff in easily, spring clips for the top and side. make it the same ratio as a widescreen (a lot bigger than we need so that we can move the camera without seeing through the edges)Drywall screws by the inch along the top, put several metal conduit lengths between the screws (rigid, won't sag).

Hans Op de Beeck - piece at the hirshhorn, closes on the 27th,%202010&subSection=Installations&allTextFlg=true&title=Peak - crazy video script

schedule: test camera, see what things look like, but during the school year just prepare and make everything so that during the summer we can relax.

figure out a materials list and dimensions - get our stuff made,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Layered backgrounds

Whoah man - this guy has got it down. He creates depth in a very shallow space using paper.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Simple simple simple

Personifying simple objects works here (i think) by using simple backgrounds/props with clearly communicated situations. The short focus and brights colors makes it seem totally self-contained (not overly simple/unfinished).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Episode: Literature Outlined

Angela Anaconda, Oliver Herring

LUCY OSCAR: full felt
SOCK MONKEY: sock monkey
MAIN CHARACTER: photo paper puppet
They look through the window and ponder the kid. “This is a classic example of blankety blank blank.” [recognize the problem, computer prints out a stats card for the kid stating age name + problem, acknowledge that they have a new adventure] After they ruminate about the problem and what to do, Lucy says ‘I think I have an idea” knowing smile. They leave, we see them pass the window outside in their cool little vehicle, and then the camera sinks/zooms to the cover of the book she left behind “Don Quixote”

Transition to theme song with flipping pages of book – go through a square that applies to every episode.

KNIGHTS: cut out paper/engraving/things? DONQUIXOTE (large and small) /SANCHO PANZA: full felt? OGRE: hand puppet?

After theme song, we see a forest and their vehicle lands in some tree branches in the top of the screen (we don’t see the top very well) and then it just drops them out of the bottom. Unphased, they stand up and brush themselves off, only to bowled over again by an ogre or whatevs. While they’re standing up again, a group of three knights does the same thing. The knights apologize profusely and ask where the ogre went (they all are jangly and a little ridiculous talk very together and don’t give lucy and oscar much chance to respond between them). They’re very chivalrous but dumb – oscar’s hurt but they’re fussing over Lucy, swearing vengeance on the ogre. Brush them off, Oscar says okay so WHAT are we looking for? Lucy says A Knight! Oscars protests but Lucy’s already headed off towards a loud sound and Oscar is left alone in the clearing looking confused. He looks to the sock monkey for support and sees his retreating form next to Lucy. We hear yelling (aaaa!) and they enter a field to see a horse grazing next to a windmill. They’re confused, they look around, then notice that Don Quixote is hung off screen from the windmill yelling ayuda ayuda. He rotates into view and they help him down. They ask him his name, he answers with his huge official title with various deeds “defeater__, vanquisher of__, considerer of doing x” Then he says that they shouldn’t be wandering alone because there are giants/ogres about! Then he ‘sees’ one and tries to ride off but can’t mount the horse. He needs help, a hand reaches down and helps him, they high five/thumbsup, he’s gone. Sancho Panza comes up, he says have you seen this guy, he’s missing his [insert integral part of the horse paraphernalia]. We hear a crash. Oscar goes off on Don Quixote saying why were looking for him, what screwup. Sancho Panza defends him, saying he’s down to earth, [insert more compliments], the other knights are wack. Oscar remains unconvinied, Lucy steps in like naw man hold on.

TRANSITION to historical explanation:

-insert Jonathan’s sketchbook pages- flat flat imagery. Figure out Lucy’s speech behind it – research Cervantes process
Lucy's speech characters - flat profile paper/silhouettes characters

Sancho Panza is like yup, Oscar says something pithy applying the lesson: personalize, draw from your own life, easy to draw from your own experience, think of your character as a person – make it 3D. Okay so you just need to look at yourself – Oscar has a thought bubble with a mirror and lucy says what a great idea! And grabs the mirror out of his thought bubble. They thank him and ask him for ideas for more storytellers. He says I have JUST the guy, and they go to a pier at the end of the field and round some trees to reveal the steampowered paddleboat. They get on the small version, then it cuts to the inbetween set walking along the top of the steamboat amidst crowds etc. We hear some powerful oration and our heads turn. We head towards some tighter concentration of people and the talking gets louder. Then we cut to seeing the crowd from the front and we can see just his hands gesturing, and then we see us push through the crowds in front (CROWDS: paper cutouts in back, simple felt literary characters in front (harry potter with lightbulb?) He finishes his story, switch shots from Mark twain view to our view, and the crowd reveals him (still on hands and then pan up to face.) Mark Twain is relaxing, Lucy and Oscar approach him. Mark Twain recognizes them as Imaginauts “Oh! Hello! How are things? How can I help you?” They say well! We have this kid with this problem. Can you tell us how to write stories stories? And he cuts them off, answering, "Say no more! Just a little castor oil and a good whupping will get him right as rain!" (LOL dark humor?) Mark Twain tells them to look for the everyday ridiculous and talks to the Imaginauts about satire. MT uses passerby on the boat to illustrate how to tell stories, using their actions and narrating over them. His last piece of advice should be comical, irrelevant, and maybe irreverent. The Imaginauts ask him if there might be anything else they need to do, and MT responds: "Oh well I happen to have an appointment in the Sci Fi City, if you'd like to accompany me, I can reveal to you the secret of the sages on the way. Would you like to join me on my aerial transportation basket? [hot air balloon]" We end up with an object (magnifying glass? Ear trumpet? Telescope?) While Mark Twain is talking, he’s not just addressing us, he’s addressing his friends around him (crowds around, anansi sitting across from him/near him).

We can inflate the balloon in real time, and have deus ex machina hands from above tie it off. MT says, "Thanks Hans!" The three enter the hot air balloon.

There should be a transition scene from the Sci Fi City where the three of them are talking on the hot air balloon.

CROWD FOREGROUND/CROWD BACKGROUND: brer rabbit, chicken little, aesop fable characters, etc. Paper cutouts, connected (foreground) paper cutouts/silhouetted. Maybe individual papers of huck finn and jim wandering through
MARK TWAIN: full felt
ANANSI: felt balls and pipe cleaners

Explore ideas of science fiction: take something new/around them, expand it to its logical conclusion combined with human nature. H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Poe, ? - WHAT IF?
-look inside
-look outside
-synthesize something new

Kirsten: Research Mark Twain’s anecdotes? How to write stories.
Jonathan: Research cervantes’ process for lucy’s speech.
Allie: ?

Mark Twain says okay guys - I have an appointment to make with an old friend. Would you like to come along for the ride? (OF COURSE!) There is a balloon pad on the end of the paddle boat which they climb into and sail off into the blue . Rise through the clouds, pop out the top, 'we're so high!' 'nay it's chill'. no one sees anything, rocket cars drive by. Zoom way out/cut way out and see them directly below the enormous city. Then cut to them already docked and exiting the balloon. Mark Twain spies/is spied by/ Isaac Asimov accompanied by robot and investigator. Isaac hails him "oh i am so glad you are here!" the robot and investigator start asking questions and they all bustle off with some short goodbye like 'you guys are fine here, right?' oh wait! you will need this: mark twain grabs the magnifying glass from the detective and gives it to them. The imaginauts are left alone in this new city.

INVESTIGATOR+ROBOT INVESTIGATOR: rectangles - fold-out arms - paper - cereal boxes?
BUS DRIVER: silhouette paper
BACKGROUND CROWD: modified riverboat crowd
FRONT CROWD/CROWD: individual paper puppets (sketchy alley dude/talking fish/leaking robot/slimy dude)

A sci fi bus comes, and the driver stops to ask if they're getting on. Not sure what to do in this strange, new city, they hop on! Oscar and Lucy sit next to a robot guy who's leaking oil, so they freak out and move seats, only to realize they're sitting next to a gross slimey guy. LOL. Very uncomfortable, the Imaginauts look out the bus window to concentrate on something a little more pleasant.

This is a great transition to the sci fi city in the sky! We see images blur by at bus speed that introduces us to the various goings on of the city. Possibilities: sketch alley dude selling lungs to a talking fish! etc etc The Imaginauts are lost in excitement seeing all these new things, and end up at the end of the line, which is a junkyard.

The Imaginauts get off the bus, totally lost and confused. Lucy is kind of upset and unhappy, thinking that the sci fi city in the sky is rather unsophisticated and too ridiculous. She thinks that this world is rather cramped, a shout-out to an Isaac Asimov novel about agoraphobia. "This place is so ungrounded in reality!" They take out their handheld tech to find their location (like a mini Computer) but it's broken. They look around the junkyard trying to find parts that would fix it, and at the junkyard they find this mechanic fixer upper of broken things, like that guy in astroboy!

MECHANIC: full felt/other massive

The mechanic explains to the Imaginauts that sci fi literature is like a crystal ball to see into the future.
Lucy: But we can never predict the future
Mechanic: But we gotta start somewhere!
Mechanic explains how technology today is just an idea/dream from the past. Cellphone?

Imaginauts pick up important object: an old school lightbulb. Getitgetit LOL.
They explain how being able to capture light into a bulb was once only a dream for the people of the past. Lesson, lesson, lesson. Imaginauts realize they need to get back to the problem character of the episode!
Oscar: Hey I think we need to get back now. Thanks!
Mechanic: Oh, do you want to take my shortcut?
Some crazy jetpack, sex, violence, crazy.

Back to the tower!
They get literally kicked out of the junkyard - they fall off screen, we cut to the tower and hear faint screaming getting louder, tower looks up, leans out, sticks its tongue out just in time to catch them and slurp them back in. shebam. They check in on the kid on the computer - kid's still struggling, got crazy scribbling and paper all over everything - quick cuts to *DUNN* piece of paper *DUNN* scribbles *DUNN* kid slumped over at the desk, pencil poised. We see them in a poster in reality-suits, cut to ear close up, sound effects tell us they've dropped down and they're climbing his shoulder, they enter the shot with the ear, an arm shoots out with each object, as they are announced, zoom out to see oscar and the sock monkey holding them, lucy saves him from falling off. they say a ceremonial rhyme to sum up each object as they throw the things in - pause and replay the important scene for each object as it goes in. follow the last object down into the blackness, blackness resolves itself into shapes of frantic busy people, someone catches the objects, puts them in a container, shoves it into a processing unit, spark spark zap quick zoom out to kid's wide-open eyes (quick fluid simple), eyes look down, he starts writing furiously. In the background the imaginauts go back into the picture frame and high five. Credits roll and we see them hanging the kid's ID on a wall full of them.

KID: cut paper pictures (2D? 3D? Oliver herring?)
KID EAR CLOSE-UP: paper mache

Some ideas:
-The Imaginauts encounter a stop sign for a crosswalk. Pause for 20 sec waiting for it to changes. They walk.
-scorpion and frog in background on river boat
-don't forget: mention the kid at some point again.
-sock monkey has to do the rhyme one time
-important quotes are emphasized and appear on scrolls and then are collected by a little quote creature.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Music maker

Check it out:

Robert showed me the other day, it's an easy way for us to make some musical experiments without musical skill!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Episode: Design

Problem: Kid needs to clean his room, but doesn't exactly know how/what/when/where. Enter the Imaginauts, with an episode all about design!

Lessons: The Principles of Design
Proportion (including Golden Ratio/Mean)

The worlds in this episode could be organized around a Jason and the Argonauts/Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets-esque adventure around the Imagination. Island hopping? Overcoming challenges/puzzles? Mazes?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Here is what Jonathan and I picked out for colors. We thought it would be best to get one of each color and then try and mix them when we need more specific hues. These 9 skeins(?) cost approx. $144.
We need to put in this order today before 5
 but won't do it until we hear from you guys that these are okay. If there is a color that you need that you don't think we can make from the colors here, say so. Keep in mind that mixing colors is not like paint, and they will look more like the natural 'brown' color with different colored strands than a solid dye color.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homework for Friday 2/18

On Sunday before we left, Ha, Jonathan, Kirsten and I decided on 2:30 at Cabell for our Friday meeting, where we would begin felting our puppets and discuss the Design and TV/Video/Animation episodes (alternatively, we could begin actually storyboarding the literature episode?). (Allie does that time work for you?)

SO! To accomplish this, our group homework is:

- Decide on the colors your puppet will require and what he/she will wear. We thought it would be pretty excellent to dress the same as our puppets, so pick clothes that you own and that can be easily simplified into puppet form (We will probs be making tiny clothes for them.)
---Kirsten - bring your huge box of barbie doll clothes plz!
WE WILL NEED TO HAVE THIS INFO TOGETHER BEFORE FRIDAY. Since we need to order the roving before Friday, we need to know what colors to order. Also, if we need to arrange a roving shopping trip, it will probably need to be either before Friday or on Friday morning before the meeting.

- Do some background research on Design and or TV/Video/Animation (look over old blog posts to refresh your memory about what we've already worked out) so that we can start throwing around world ideas and main messages.

Other notes from the Sunday meeting:
- The puppets will probably have no wire frame - they will be solid felt, since they are not big enough to merit hollow interiors to save materials.
- We'll probably use the stick-and-wire method of controlling the puppets from below, but that needs more work. For now, we'll work on making the puppet bodies so that our control experiments will be more informative.
- The puppets will be about Barbie height, but normal human proportions, not stick-bug proportions.
- Our self-puppets' defining features will be something like:
          -Allie: long blonde hair, blue eyes
          -Emily: blue eyes, brown hair in little buns
          -Ha: asian, long dark brown hair
          -Kirsten: long dark brown hair, side part, brown eyes
          -Jonathan: beard, glasses, short hair.
Of course we'll do what we can to make them look as much like us as possible, but if they all come out looking like this, at least we will know who is who. (Although this is our goal, of course)

Roving for Roving

Okay, so from what I can see here is the lay of the land re: felting wool.

The Fiber Warehouse (aka mystery phone number guy):
Undyed is 13.50/lb, Dyed is 15.70/lb
He doesn't ship till Friday, so he said we'd probably get it by Monday or Tuesday.
POTENTIAL PROBLEM: do we have to buy 1lb at a time? Can we buy less than a lb. of any one color?  A pound is a LOT, right?

Harrisville Designs (aka the other place VCU orders from)
$16/ half lb. bag.
Would probably ship 3-5 days after we order, plus delivery time.

Holly Spring Homespun - I called the Yarn Lounge in Carytown and they said the closest place they knew of to buy roving is this place. It's about a 45 minute drive from here.
They don't have a wide selection, but their site lists a pack of rainbow colors (see link) for $24. I THINK it's 6 oz. total, and the lady kept going on about how it was sooo much more than we needed, but she doesn't really know what we're doing.... anyway, it's an option we could get immediately and use as a stopgap while we waited for another order to ship, since time is of the essence.

We also have the option of buying little starter bags from places like Ben Franklin or Kmart I think - they sell little assortment packs of 1.76 oz. with 8 colors for something like $11, or individual color .22 oz. packets for $3/ea. Couldn't confirm the availability at Kmart but Ben Franklin said they have it. Hobby Lobby out in Short Pump sells .25 oz packets of 2 colors for $2.

The Fiber Warehouse is by far the cheapest, and it's actually the fastest shipper compared VCU's other place. The places we can drive to seem to be marked way up in price and we'd have to drive quite a little bit. I suggest we order from the Fiber Warehouse asap, and in the meantime get some of the little packs to tide us over and get us started working.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

old wonky notes from ha's house

research macchu picchu for structural knowledge.

deeyewhy universe - patchwork campground?
mount buildmore - bottom - peublos, cliffhouses, up to treehouses, failling water, igloos

transiency - see in the background wherever we are for a while, then finally stop and ask them, Whaaaat are you doing??? take away: snails

structure - choose either macchu picchu or cathedrals to visit

Notes from 2/6

 In hindsight this is pretty obvious, but it turns out we definitely need to storyboard these episodes and add more detail before Kirsten can start a script. We started doing that a little with the Literature episode, but it need much more work, and some thumbnails wouldn't hurt.

We also need to do more research about these authors/characters/artists before we can teach anyone about them - most of the subjects we're including are things we know enough about for the general outline, but we need to research more on each subject before we can write it out.

Don Quixote – [Background: The novel is a parody of the chivalric code of honor – Cervantes points out that it’s ridiculous in the real world to be so idealistic by applying that code to a 'real' person (based off of himself). At the same time he creates a new code of honor that’s more applicable in the real world. He bases the real world off of his own experiences. Another important separation from other concurrent works is that he wrote it in the common language.]

Walking through the woods to find don quixote – come across several knight who each acts typical, talks about questing, and maybe says something chivalrous to Lucy. They are Suspiciously Identical. Oscar keeps thinking that each new one is the great knight that Lucy’s talking about and leading them to, but then they walk out into the field and see Don Quixote, who says something similar to the other knights, but is obviously very different. We only talk to him for a second before he goes off into the background to do something (fighting windmills etc). We talk to Sancho Panza about him, and he mentions that he likes Don Quixote because he’s more real, down to earth, speaks normally. Oscar is not convinced that Don Quixote’s so great, and Lucy explains – segway to shadow puppet explanation of Cervantes' process. 
Explanation winds down, S.P. and D.Q. take us to the LitCity. 
{we are considering replacing Poe with Mark Twain because he is more pertinent to our problem - storytelling.}
Mark twain – tavern wigwam with other storytellers. OR crazy steamboat with passengers going up the river (sans litcity)

Walk into the room and someone finishes their story. Mark Twain clears his throat and everyone listens. We hear him tell one of his stories, then we talk to him about how he did it.
Story style– flat and simple like Lucy’s history lesson, but more colorful.



Like veggie tales, but sort of disturbing?

This uses characters with minimal movement and no expressions to convey a dramatic story. The vegetable puppets move with a sense of weight that's really nice, especially in the fight scene and the tavern place. The lighting in the tavern is really nice, too!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Puppet Materials?

We need to decide what to make our first puppets out of. Ideally they will be a puppet-building practice exercise for our real main-character puppets, so we should make them out of whatever we plan on making Lucy and Oscar out of. 


Jonathan, Kirsten, and I were thinking about the pros and cons of felt vs. wire frame with paper mache, and hand puppets vs. stick puppets. 

Felt: we don't know a lot about it, but it seems like a cool material, and could end up being really nice looking and sturdy. Where do we get the wool? How hard is it to do? Could we have easily moveable joints?
Wire frame + paper mache: Jonathan made a wire-frame prototype for Don Quixote that has really well-functioning joints and looks good. The paper mache would be the questionable part regarding appearance, and possibly durability/good motion.

Hand Puppets: Easily moveable mouth, but that would use up one whole hand, and would also possibly make the puppets really big. If we used just one finger to move the bottom jaw, the size issue might be remedied. Do we need a moveable mouth?
Stick Puppets: No moveable mouth, but we could probs move two arms instead of one arm and a mouth. 

We would like to start building our self-puppets on Friday at Kirsten's dad's office at 10:00am (there's a Ben Franklin very nearby, so we could tromp over and make our first materials purchase there), so spare a couple thoughts for the material and design questions here before Friday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Character Bios

Name: LUCY
Nicknames: her mom calls her lulu, oscar calls her lucy goose
Birthday/Zodiac: September 15, Virgo
Sex: Female
Age: 20
Parents: Joan of arc, clown by claude verlinde
Birth order/siblings: passle of brothers, all younger
Current Residence: the tower
Occupation: imaginaut
Salary: paid in ideas/stories – kept in a notebook. Can’t use it too many times, gets old/worn out.
Talents/Skills: knows art history, retains facts well, no nonsense, organized (disorganized when researching – waves)
Greatest personality flaw: isolates herself, too involved in her work, has a hard time relating to decisions based on personal subjectivity or feelings.
Best quality: logical, original, creative thinker.

Personality: Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can become very excited about theories and ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings. Highly value knowledge, competence and logic. Quiet and reserved, hard to get to know well. Individualistic, having no interest in leading or following others.
Linear thinker

Leah and Ellie mashed together.

Background: middle distance runner, page at a library (LOL), used to do plays – really good extra

Physical Characteristics: a little chubby, jumper with cat, little cat purse, black energetic hair with pigtails? Doesn’t wear the uniform because it’s stupid

Race: image
Nationality: vague
Height: large and in charge
Weight: large and in charge
Dexterity: left handed +10
Favorite Color: dreamsicle orange
Eye Color: black
Hair Color: dark purple/blue/red
Hair Style: energetic hair with pigtails
Glasses or contact lenses? no
Skin color: vague – little dark, olive?
Distinguishing features: catpurse, pigtails, eyelashes
How does he/she dress? Dress with cat, collared button down flannel, mary janes
Speech Patterns: LATER
Health: secret gaptooth, lactose intolerant
Hobbies: collects bugs, reads historical fiction (secretly historical fiction romance novels) – obviously a big reader. Note-taking, always writing.
Spirit Animal: koala

Nicknames: weed
Birthday/Zodiac: March 11
Sex: male
Age: 20
Parents: kiss of the muse, cezanne
Birth order/siblings: little sister
Pets: turtle, sock monkey
Hometown: vaguely european
Current Residence: the tower
Occupation: imaginaut
Salary: paid in ideas/stories – kept in a notebook. Can’t use it too many times, gets old/worn out.
Talents/Skills: energetic, yo-yoing, making, always doing something
Greatest personality flaw: no attention span, does not assess risks very well, bad driver – never allowed to drive.  
Best quality: extremely loyal, great people skills, adaptable.

Personality: Friendly, adaptable, action-oriented. "Doers" who are focused on immediate results. Living in the here-and-now, they're risk-takers who live fast-paced lifestyles. Impatient with long explanations. Extremely loyal to their peers, but not usually respectful of laws and rules if they get in the way of getting things done. Great people skills.
Connects things intuitively
Picky eater – health nut/snob

Background: swimmer, grew up on a beach, mow lawns – draw pictures, worked at a grocery store- did the chalkboard things.

Physical Characteristics: always wears the uniform because he thinks its awesome (but it’s stupid)

Race: image
Nationality: vague
Height: variable
Weight: moderate
Dexterity: right handed (secretly ambidextrous, but very much)
Favorite Color: rainbows!
Eye Color: black
Hair Color: orangey yellowy blonde
Hair Style: always under his hood thing, little puff bursting out
Glasses or contact lenses? Yes – square, dark blue/bright red it’s like whatever.
Skin color: vague – on the lighter side, edging towards yellow and pink?
Distinguishing features: jumpsuit/hood/poof, glasses, sock monkey?
How does he/she dress? Body suit with utility belt with imaginauts logo.
Speech Patterns: LATER
Health: cavities, split ends.
Hobbies: jig-saw puzzle
Spirit animal: otter

painted people, puppets, personalities

Alexa Meade paints people on people. Athena in the literature episode? Maybe more?

Also also, here is a list of 16 personality types which we might use as a jumping off point for our two main characters.

My suggestion:

Oscar: ESTP

Friendly, adaptable, action-oriented. "Doers" who are focused on immediate results. Living in the here-and-now, they're risk-takers who live fast-paced lifestyles. Impatient with long explanations. Extremely loyal to their peers, but not usually respectful of laws and rules if they get in the way of getting things done. Great people skills.

Lucy: INTP

Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can become very excited about theories and ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings. Highly value knowledge, competence and logic. Quiet and reserved, hard to get to know well. Individualistic, having no interest in leading or following others.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Episode: Photography

Problem: Our PC is a budding young photographer of his art class. His classmates, due to some sort of contagious delusion, think that photography isn't "real art." Our PC is so discouraged, he wants to give it up.

Episode: Figurative Sculpture

Problem: It's snowing, so our PC is having a jolly time on his day off school frolicking in the winter wonder land. He's making snowmen and creatures left and right. Exhausted from his creativity, he retires for the night. In the morning, he wakes up to find that his neighbor has built a magnificent snow sculpture, finely crafted by artisan hands. The PC is distraught. The masterpieces that he created yesterday are nothing compared to his neighbor's work, in his mind.

Episode: Architecture

Problem: The problem character (PC) is a child of a family facing economic hardships. They have recently decided to move into smaller, more affordable housing. Unfortunately, the PC's box of toys has been misplaced during the move, and the PC is forced to deal with this alongside his stressful new circumstances. His parents propose that he makes the best of things with the cardboard boxes left over from their move.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Notes from 1/28: Sculptcha, Litratcha, Architechtcha, and Photography

[My notes are pretttty slim, so plz bolster them with yours! Feel free to edit the post itself.]

Photography: Goal: determine that photography is a worthwhile medium. We'll talk to vermeer about the camera obscura, see the whizz-through of the evolution of photography, go through the Photoghetto (??) to visit the Porchtrait, from which we'll meet and follow Ansel Adams? or that other guy? out onto the Film Strip (boardwalk?)
[obviously I'm a little fuzzy on this one's people and order they go in - amend! edit!]

Architecture: [failed to take any notes here - probably not the best person to write about this one anyway - amend! edit!]

Literature: Most of this is good for now, we just touched on the mythology part - Athena/Pallas will show us around ancient Greece, pointing out all these different gods/myths in process. Also before we get to Poe's house we'll stop by Mrs. Dalloway's house to say hey and see if she knows whether Poe is home / watch her kill a moth.

Sculpture: ? We need to find more artists. The episode will deal with how different artists approach and represent the human form - what aspects they are trying to emphasize. (venus of willendorf et al - fertility, classical grecian statues - perfection of form, african tribal sculpture -???, etc?)

Color and Light: Bumped to be the last/finale episode because the problem is NOT with a kid, but with ImagiNation itself - the Color Fields are at war/arguing/seperating/in a tiff and the Imaginauts have to sort it out. The Printing episode is now the second to last episode.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pinhole Cameras

David Macaulay

David Macaulay is an author, artist, and educator. These cartoons are based on his books, and they show how buildings were made back in the day, from the perspective of the builders. The stories are pretty good, but especially relevant to our project are the segments concerned with the actual construction of the architecture.


Roman City

From Wikipedia:

Microhistory is the intensive historical investigation of a well defined smaller unit of research (most often a single event, the community of a village, a family or a person). In its ambition, however, microhistory can be distinguished from a simple case study insofar microhistory aspires to "search for answers to large questions in small places", to use the definition given by Charles Joyner.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


This has the feel I'm thinking of a far as our puppets in the Printing episode. Love it.


Not only should our Imaginauts be smartly dressed, but as their support team, we need a unifying insignia that declares us as part of the most important force in the universe!

Episode Line-Up

Episode: Architecture
Problem: A kid in a family that has just divorced has had to move to a smaller house (apartment?). After they move in, (s)he is left with all these empty moving boxes. What a metaphor!
Worlds: Architecture, yurt --> igloo --> evolution of cathedral --> Bauhaus --> skyscraper

Episode: Literature
Problem: A kid is having trouble writing a fictional story for his class.
Worlds/People: Don Quixote --> City of Lit --> Edgar Allan Poe --> Greek myths (and drama?)

Episode: Photography
Problem: "camera -- D:"is what it says on the poster lawl. A kid who specializes in photography in his art class is shunned by other kids in the class who think his photography isn't real art.
Worlds/People: Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Great Depression portraiture, The PORCHtrait, ??

Episode: Sculpture
Problem: A kid is playing in the snow and is frustrated at his deranged mutant killer monster snow goons.
Worlds/People: Human form via sculpture, Women of Willendorf, Riace Bronzes (Greek sculpture), Ana Mandieta silueta, ImagiClub dance party

Episode: TV/Video/Animation
Problem: A kid suffers underneath anti-TV parents and has unfortunately adopted the militant policy himself.
Worlds/People: Eadward Muybride and the first motion picture, Life of an American Fireman (showing more than one view), Nam Jun Pak, Charlie Chaplin black and white, 3D land

Episode: Design
Problem: Kid needs to clean his room, thinks these chores are boring and pointless
Worlds/People: Bicycle pants, ??

Episode: Music
Problem: A kid from a musical family is forced to have music lessons
Worlds/People: Baroque, The Doors, Jazz, Pop, Blues

Episode: Printing
Problem: A kid is misrepresented in a newspaper (something he made?)
Worlds/People: Jost Amman and Standebuch, Johannes Gutenburg, Hokusai: Mount Fuji, Hogarth: Gin Lane

Episode: Color & Light
Problem: There's a problem within the art world! In the COLOR FIELDS, the citizenry of the ImagiNATION have run amok! The reds, blues, and yellows have formed separate camps and are refusing to commingle.
Worlds/People: The Color Fields, Red world, Blue world, Yellow world

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Color/Light Episode

This is great!


Hey guuuuuys. Watch Little Audrey. And pay attention to the music.
Loooooove :)

The Deal

I talked to Nancy (with invaluable assistance from emily), and this is how our budget is going to be handled.

We'll be getting our money through the Communication Arts Dept, more specifically from Deborah van Buren in the Comm Arts Office, and even more specifically from the credit card they will be giving Deborah van Buren in the Comm Arts office.

We will get the money as needed during the project. If we want to buy some lumber , we can A) have Deborah phone in her credit card number at the register or B) buy it online and send Deborah the order with the credit card bit empty or C) use our own money and save the receipts to be reimbursed in the future.

If we have Deborah phone in the card, we'll need to phone her before we go shopping, just to say, "Hey Deb, we're going to head to Lowes in a bit, be ready for the call around 3:30 thanks super muchly you know."

Unfortunately, we cannot just take the credit card. Oh well.

The good news is that they will be pretty flexible about how we spend the money. Nancy said that if our materials cost ends up cutting into our travel costs that would be a-ok. They'll be watching the amount of money we spend, not really what we spend it on.

So let's figure out what materials we need and get shopping!

Monday, January 24, 2011

This is Important

Also Relevant!

Image Sources

The Communication Arts Department apparently gives its students access to a couple of huge artwork imaging databases: This is the VCU page explaining the different sites. I'm not linking to the actual sites because I think there's some hoops you have to jump through to make sure you're allowed in - just check them out via that ^^^^ link. 

There's ARTstor, which is something the school (as a non-profit?) gets access to, and the VCU Digital Image Databank. There's also the Cabell Library stockpile of art books and book art.  The VCU DID appears to be not just an image source but also a program for presenting images as well... idk. 

Anyway, these are probably super-handy things that we have access to - getting images from a legit website/database is a reassuring option compared to google searching things and hoping we're allowed to use them and that they haven't been tampered with. Plus, maybe whoever's in charge of these two things would be able to help us wade through any copyright issues?

yay school resources!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Episode: Literature

Problem: The kid has to write a fictional story for his class, but he does not see the point of writing fiction because he does not think it serves a purpose in the real world. The Imaginauts need to show him that literature is great for learning!

Possible worlds/people to visit:
1. Dr. Seuss -- The world should look very Seuss-ical (but not so much that it's copying...). Dr. Seuss talks in really strange rhyme-y ways and explains why it's good to allow your mind to stray into the fictional world.
2. Edgar Allen Poe -- This part can be really dark and creepy (maybe even scary?), and it should show how real and inspiring literature can be.
3. Greek Gods and Goddesses on Mount Olympus -- (because we wanted to include mythology) They would obviously talk about Greek myths and explain how the lessons from these myths helped people in real life.

Episode: Music!

The kid is being forced to take piano lessons/practice piano, even though he thinks it's lame. Also, his dad is a professional musician, so his entire family thinks music is really important, but this IDIOT of a kid disagrees.

Possible worlds/people to visit:
1. The Baroque period - the Imaginauts appear in a garden with a bunch of little kids playing. A woman comes out and yells for "Wolfgang" to come entertain. So all the kids run inside, and a 10 year old Mozart plays the harpsichord while people dance.
2. The Doors - there's a 60's, Yellow Submarine-inspired world; we meet the Doors playing in the middle of a desert with a bunch of hippies dancing around. The lesson the kid should learn from this world is that music is all about feeling and that it should only be taken but so seriously. He should have fun with it!
3. Jazz -- Louis Armstrong..?
4. Pop music -- Lady Gaga (we could show her crazy pop side as well as her softer, acoustic side)
5. SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS! I think the main thing we have to worry about here is showing a variety of different styles of music from all different cultures and time periods.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Episode: Printing!


Jost Amman, Standebuch (book of trades)
Portrait of Johannes Gutenberg
Hokusai: Mount Fuji
Hogarth: Gin Lane

I was having a hard time figuring out what worlds to visit without a definite problem to solve. So I made one!

“Real World” Characters

Rick--an aspiring poet
Esteban--ricks friend, a doodler whose dad prints a small, unpopular tabloid magazine (like a local Weekly World News, or, if it strikes your fancy, like the Quibbler.)

These were the first names I could think of.

Standard school hallway: Esteban is sitting by the door of the library, doodling. He hears a commotion coming from inside, gradually getting louder as he puts away his drawing, shoulders his bag, and moves a step to the right. The sound reaches its peak as Rick, fuming and talking angrily to himself, throws the door open, striking the spot esteban would have been if he had not moved. Rick does not stop to talk, and Esteban immediately takes up a station beside him as he fumes and continues to stamp away from the library.

R: Hacks! Great hacking hackered hacks!
E: Hacks.
R: (not noticing Esteban’s lack of emotion) I know, right? That bunch of razzle-frazzle-hornswaggling low down etc etc.....
E: I’m guessing you didn’t get to be in the school newspaper?
R: As IF I would work with those intellectual nematoads! They think the entire world revolves around these hallways. Which brand of headband is “cool” right now. The new lunch menu in the cafeteria, with 30% less mayonnaise. Like my poems make less interesting reading material than an interview with the night janitor! Sorry, Ray.

Ray: don’t worry about it
(Ray, the night janitor who they just passed, doesn’t even look up from scraping a piece of gum off the water fountain)

Rick: If I can’t be published in the school paper, I’ll never make the contacts I need to get my work seen by the people in charge of notifying the editors who can get me noticed by the board who gives out poetry awards and Katherine Sporkles in my algebra class will never notice me!
E: She noticed your last poem.
R: And she made me clean all of that marker off of her locker... sigh...

They step outside, more talking.

R: Wait, doesn’t your dad run a newspaper?
E: My dad? Well... yeah, if you want to call it that... (eveasive)
R: I could publish in there! With your drawings to illustrate my beautiful words! (striking a pose) Hark! Yonder fair maiden, whose plum eyes sparkle buckets of diamond glitteringly into the air, air, air.
clean, mountain air, made sweet with the smell of fighter planes dropping heavy gourds with ruby fruit onto the ground below, the ground which is me...

E: I don’t know, my dad’s newspaper is sort of....

(Cut to an extreeeeeme close up of his dad, in the room which doubles as his office and his bedroom)

Dad: Weirrrrrd!

(he is examining something closely. A bug? A piece of moldy bread? not sure yet)

(door opens, closes.)
E enters, with Rick in tow: Hey Dad.
R: Hey Mr Whatever.
Dad: (abandons looking at the bug, bread, whatever) hey guys. how was school?

As esteban kicks off his shoes and walks through the hallway, we see that there are magazine test sheets hanging from every conceivable surface, all smeared with ink. He chats with his dad, and it becomes clear to use that his magazine is neither reputable nor profitable.

We zoom in on a picture in one of the pages hung on the wall. It is a crude drawing of a strange creature, with a ridiculous title next to it. (You know how some magazines have artist’s interpretations of bigfoot or the mothman or something? Yeah.) When the edge of the screen is lined up with the edge of the picture, the little creature comes alive. We have entered ImagiNation.

The creature moves around a little, examines a painted bush, and is almost instantly caught in a butterfly net wielded by one of the Imaginauts, who are dressed in wacky safari clothes.

Imaginaut 1 (names!): A Fur-Toothed Bumblebutt! And this late in the season, too!

Imaginaut 2 : (makes a checkmark on their clipboard) If we find a Snark before noon, we’ll be way above quota for the Imagizoo.

1: My friend Jack saw one fly through a Manet the other day. We should head over to--huh

(the imaginaut peeks through the window into the real world that we recently passed through, and sees Esteban and Rick working in their respective notebooks. They look a little frustrated.)

1: Who’s that?

2: I don’t know--


#2 whips out a portable computer sensor thing


The imaginauts look at each other, nod, and get into the waiting vehicle (in a very extreme way). The little imaginary creature, apparently forgotten, takes a hesitant step towards the bushes, but a mechanical arm from the imagijeep (because it’s a safari?) grabs it and pulls it into the car.

Passing through gin lane and beer st, we visit the city of print. Characters of the alphabet hop around the imaginauts’ feet like birds. We follow them to Gutenberg’s press, where they’re printing out the Gutenzine. (they wouldn’t STILL be working on that bible, come on.)

The artcentric imaginaut only wants to look at the Durers and the Hokusais, which jostle each other amiably in the jumble of crosshatching and flat blocks of color that make up the print city. that is, until they see (and hear) some Lutherans being thrown out of a window, and the historynaut explains (maybe with a little animation?) how the printed word was a sea change in the course of human history.

They learn how a letterpress works, how engravings were made, and they go to the print city zoo to see Durer's rhinocerous! (so it connects to the beginning of the episode?)

Guys let's do it. We are going to get kids excited about printing!

I spent too much time on this episode and I don't have Comics/Animation figured out as well. I will get on it.