Monday, September 25, 2006

"GEORGIE'S WISH!"


Sometimes an idea pops into your head fully-formed, in need of almost no alteration before it goes from your brain to the screen. Such was the case with my latest film, GEORGIE'S WISH, which I'm pleased to say is now finished and ready to inflict upon the world!

I got the idea for GEORGIE'S WISH about a week ago, and literally started making the puppets about half an hour later (this was in addition to finishing the PUNDING video, which has gone into overtime due to additional shots and set pieces that have been added to the original shoot). I didn't write a script for it, and only did basic storyboards to make sure the idea would hang together as a film. Now here we are, one week later, and it's done. When inspiration strikes, you just gotta go with it...

Click HERE to watch GEORGIE'S WISH, and please click on the ad at the end to support Red Hatchet Films!

11 Comments:

Blogger Darkstrider said...

Wow dude, this film is incredible! And I had to laugh when I figured out who Georgie is! I don't understand how you're able to get such powerful acting out of these simple little puppets. And that's something I'm really curious about.... just how DO you make the puppets anyway? I'm completely flabbergasted by that dog in particular!

3:47 AM  
Blogger Michael Granberry said...

Thanks, Mike! I'm always blown away by YOUR puppets, especially their incredible faces. My puppets are just basic aluminum wire armatures with super sculpey for bones. I cheat a little by using clay for the moving bits in the faces (mouths, eyelids & brows) and blend it all together with acrylics. I'm still learning which techniques work and which don't, so it's an ongoing process.

I'm so happy you mentioned the dog--he was my favorite character (after Grandpa)! I'll post some more pics soon, and try to remember to take some while the puppets are under construction in the future...

6:23 PM  
Anonymous grant said...

Hey MG, I just got a chance to watch the film and really enjoyed it. I'm amazed that you can crank out work so fast like that. Love the dog puppet as well.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Darkstrider said...

Man! So... you mean that doberman was just wire and clay??!! Amazing! And how did you do the coloring... acrylic paint? Or is it brown clay worked in?

I lookeda t the "behing the scenes" on your website... are you still animating on that little desk?

I'm really feeling the need to get back to doing simple little films the quick and dirty way (though I wish I could make them work as well as yours do). After I'm done with this massive project I have going now.... it's back to guerilla-style animation for me!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Darkstrider said...

Oh, and I also wanted to ask.... (there's so much I want to ask!) how do you make the clothes, and the furniture? Surely you're not working at dollhouse scale?

11:28 PM  
Blogger Michael Granberry said...

Thanks, Grant! That means a lot coming from you, too...working fast is usually more of a necessity than a preference, but sometimes it helps, since you don't have time to overanalyze. In this case, I had access to a really great camera, but only for a week, and figured it was a waste not to shoot something with it.

Mike, I totally forgot to add in my puppet description that I also use a latex-cotton build up for the bendable sections on the puppets (elbows, wrists and such). In the dog's case, I also built up his midsection this way, and his neck. I had to shoot him so you couldn't see the material bunching up, especially in the neck. I only used clay for his eyebrows, lids, and lips. His paint job was pretty easy once I realized that Dobermans are practically all black! Just a few spots of sienna here and there to give them that classic look...

Thankfully, I graduated from the top of the little desk to a slightly larger table, but it's starting to get cramped now! I used dollhouse furniture on a couple early films (A Winter's Tale, especially) but those puppets were just way too small to keep using. I'd say average height now is about 7"-8" (like Grandpa). I recycle a lot of doll clothing (G.I.Joe has a pretty good wardrobe!), and make some of the clothes too, if needed. I'm learning how to make furniture out of necessity to match the larger scale puppets...

I've learned so much from reading your blog, Mike, please feel free to ask anything, anytime!

12:14 AM  
Blogger Darkstrider said...

Oh ok... I gotcha.... so the puppets are wire and SCULPEY, with clay just for facial features, and cotton/latex at the joints. Man, it's really working.

It's really cool to hear that someone learned something from my blog - especially an artist who's work I admire as much as yours. I wish I could pick your brain and learn how you do the storytelling stuff so well! I guess it mostly comes from experience in stage productions? Same as Barry Purves.

When you're working out story ideas, do you think in terms of things you've seen before, or just wing it? I think I need to start working in some cases from scenes that inspire me, you know, at least taking certain elements from them, not just ripping them off entirely. Certain parts of certain movies do make me stop and say "wow... I could use that!", but then I never do! I always want to start with a clean slate and make everything up. I don't know if any successful film writers ever did that.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Michael Granberry said...

I know what you mean, Mike...there's such a stigma about being derivative, and yet, I think it's natural to want to expand on the images that affect us. GW evolved from wanting to do an animation of a zombie coming out of the ground like I've seen in dozens of movies...but I always love it! And it was hella fun to shoot...

Storytelling is a strange process...some ideas that sound great on paper fall apart onscreen, while ridiculous concepts work beautifully. My writer friends keep telling me: "beginning, middle, end..." so I try to keep that looping in my head. Anybody else wanna weigh in on this? I'd love to hear how other folks develop their storylines...

3:08 PM  
Blogger Darkstrider said...

Hey, I just noticed the trees from Winter's Tale in the background! Prop recycling is fair game. I also realized how effective the voice acting is... it creates probably about half of the feel of the films. That's something I haven't even tried.... but then I'd rather do silent films than have to hear my own voice trying to act! Voice acting is the kind of thing where if it's good it adds new dimensions, but if it's bad it can kill a film.

11:30 PM  
Blogger herself said...

Great thread, fellas. I'll have to go back and watch GW again for the trees and dog.

So, forced fast can be a good thing. Hmm.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Michael Granberry said...

Ahh yes, I love those trees! I was glad I got to use them again..I hadn't planned to but when I got to the "gravedigger" shot I needed something to close the back of the shot with, and those trees worked perfectly. I heart recycling!

I find that sometimes just forcing myself to pick up the pace for real or imagined reasons helps me take that plunge into the zone, so I don't spend too much valuable time "thinking about starting". On the first "Valley of Gwombi" film, I would make up challenges, like, "see how many dinosaurs you can make out of clay in five minutes...GO!!" I think the intensive you guys did recently was a great idea because it makes you accountable in a creatively stimulating way...

12:08 PM  

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