Welcome to Thorvald!

Sometimes, the process of making a stop motion animated film is a bit like being locked in a deadly struggle with a fearsome sea serpent, only to look into its face and recognize yourself. This blog is for anyone who has battled a 12-inch tall monster of their own and discovered a worthy adversary and a beautiful friendship.

Welcome to my lair. Visit my monsters and tell me about yours.

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Preparing For the Holidays...

Filmmaking is a battle, and as every warrior knows, no battle can be won without the right weapons. Behold my arsenal of shiny new tools, bought specially to build the characters of The Green Wall and the tumultuous world they will inhabit.

Thanks to the mystical powers of alchemy, the gold coins contributed by The Green Wall’s supporters have transfigured this formidable tool box into a fortress, bristling with miniature screwdrivers of all shapes and sizes (some so small you need a magnifying glass to see them),
 Knives so sharp they can cut through anything from dragon scales to thick cardboard,

…and of course, my trusty Dremmel, which has been by my side through countless duels with miniature furniture, underwater cave walls, steel skeletons, and very long noses.

 My noble Dremmel has received a Christmas present as well -

Happy Holidays from The Green Wall! Thank you for arming me for the Battle of Innumerable Armies!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Latest News on The Green Wall

Thank you again to everyone who has helped make The Green Wall a reality by bringing our IdeasTap Accelerator campaign to 107%!

I apologize for my prolonged silence. I have had a long and perilous journey from the sands of Egypt back to the mountains of Edinburgh. Then there were miscellaneous formidable obstacles to deal with at home - looming deadlines, torrential rains, new thesis chapters and other natural disasters. Having persevered against unimaginable odds, I have survived to proceed at last to pre-production - and the intervening months have not been spent in vain. I am now amassing all of the tools and materials that I will need to bring the world of The Green Wall to life and plan to share my findings with you, my loyal supporters, in the next few posts.

One of the most important things to consider when launching on a new cinematic enterprise is The Camera. As The Green Wall is a live-action/animation production this question is especially multi-layered. The stop motion animated sections, which will be completed in my Edinburgh studio, will be shot on my trusty old Canon Rebel t1i.But the live action scenes, to be shot on location in Edinburgh and Luxor, Egypt needed a different camera.

Making good use of The Green Wall’s production fund, I have been able to obtain this beautiful camera:

It is a Nilox and it comes with its own set of multi-functional mounts and a waterproof case, which I plan to make good use of for the film. As you can see it is tiny in size, but mobility and versatility are very important for the feeling of intimacy and immediacy that I want to create in this film. It may be small but it has some incredible features that will have a tremendous impact on the look of the film. It has a very wide shooting angle and can shoot HD footage at up to 60 frames per second, which means it can cover rapid movement with minimal strobing.

It should work very well with this ‘selfie stick’ because it actually weighs less than most smartphones!

I have already done some experimentation and plan to share my test footage in an upcoming post.

No less important than getting the right camera is getting a computer that will help handle all of the text documents, photographs and footage that need to be processed. Thanks again to the contributions received through The Green Wall’s campaign, I have been able to buy a new Asus laptop (which just happens to be a delightful shade of iridescent magenta). I actually bought it in Egypt, which is very appropriate, considering the setting of The Green Wall. The keyboard is even marked with Arabic characters - handy in case I decide to re-type the entire script in Arabic.

Keep an eye on The Green Wall’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/thegreenwallcampaign) and follow this production blog for the latest updates - I promise there will be many more now!

Happy Holidays!