Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 21, 2013.

Update #90

Face Test and Palace Progress

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Hello friends!

I just got back from doing a presentation and screening of "Monster of the Sky" and "Yamasong" to the department of Cinematic Arts at Cal State University Monterey Bay! What a reception and so many curious students!

The local newspaper even ran an article about my work and the event. It's a good read too:

http://www.montereybayadventures.com/ci_25525028/boundary-pushing-puppet-maker-comes-csu-monterey-bay

As for the film itself, here's an update - Charles works away at creating the cloud palace interior, with all is incredible faux marble and gears. Here's a mock-up of what he's doing right now. (Try to imagine a few statues, tall stained glass windows and I imagine a waterfall in there too - the classic pouring a stream of salt or sugar against black and compositing in front of the marble walls).

I'm also working on face tests for all the characters. We're dialing in the facial motion capture for the humanoid characters, but I want the Squijj aliens to move differently. Here's my idea - shoot the different mouth shapes as replacement animation, giving them a more mechanical, staccato look. What do you think?

https://vimeo.com/92004629

This little fella is voiced by my talented friend Nigel John Southworth, and was sculpted and animated by me (Sam), with mouth sculpts by Michelle Zamora and molding and cleanup by Rachel Mark. Paint by the awesome Robyn Yannoukos!

More news to come, in bits and fits for now, but once we hit June (give or take) and my run on the Amazon Studios/BixPix show "Tumble Leaf" ends, I'll be back on "Monster of the Sky" in full form!


Update #89

BRING ON THE MONSTERS!

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We're going to Monsterpalooza! Puppets will be on display all weekend and we'll be screening short films, including my first short film "Yamasong"! Check out the schedule:

Saturday, 3/29 at 11am - Dark Dunes Room (Parlor 131), Burbank Marriott Convention Center

The MONSTER-themed films:

"Mysterious Mose Graveyard Jamboree" - Screen Novelties

"Harker" - T. Giordano, J. Murphy, James Scotty Shoemaker

"Everloving" - Steve Johnson

"Narrative of Victor Karloch" - Kevin McTurk

"Yamasong" - Sam Koji Hale

"Callalilly" - Stephen Chiodo, Christy Kane

"Dirty Night Clowns" - Ryan Gibeau

"Omar's Mother" - Paul Andrejco

Q&A to follow the screening. Screening room provided by Dark Dunes Productions, Co-producers of "Monster of the Sky"!

(Additional screening Sunday, 3/30 at 4:30-6pm at the Main Theater)

Also, join me (Sam) and filmmaker Kevin McTurk in the Autograph room to talk shop, puppets and anything else that may come up! Hope to see you!!


Update #88

Interior Decorating

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Hi all!

I wanted to share some of the faux marbling our amazing set designer/builder Charles in Portland is doing for the film.

Check out the samples he's sent me. Keep in mind, this is all painted textures ON WOOD!

Can't wait to get to assembling the pieces and adding stained glass depicting our various backers in the glass (coming next!).

Cheers!

Sam


Update #87

Progress - Sets and Facial Motion Capture!

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Hello beloved 333 backers!

My apologies for not posting in a while. I've been working hard to keep things going with "Monster of the Sky" while working in production on VFX for a new children's series. It's a juggling act, as many of you can probably guess, but I'm hoping I can continue to move things forward with "Monster", even if slower than I'd personally like.

Here is where things are:

Sets! Charles Daniels is working on the new Cloud Palace exterior and interiors. Here is a sample of the design we've discussed (with bridal Sky inserted for scale), which includes giant gears and behind that tall stained glass windows!

Facial Motion Capture - we're still fine-tuning the Sky face and once that's dialed in, I'll shift attention to the Prince face. He need need some final touches, his short hair, which I'll be flocking in to his Paperclay head, and then 3D scanning and cleanup. Here is a sample of Sky's face from a clip called "Betrayal" - which is in Act 3 when she returns as a goddess of vengeance.

Facial Motion Tracking - Once I've got a finalized face rig for Sky, we'll start testing the facial motion tracking with PF Track. I'll be downloading the software and testing footage we shot in Portland last fall, for the body movement, and track her moving, emoting face on top of the body. So exciting stuff coming down the pike!

Hope things are well wherever you are in the world, and creativity graces your life in many ways :)

Sam


Update #86

Prince Tanab's Palace in the Clouds

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Hi all! Sorry it's been a while since I last posted - the holidays intervened as well as full-time production work on a new animated show for Amazon. Please be assured I'm working on "Monster of the Sky" every moment I get!

I have hired our amazing set builder Charles to make some new sets for Act 2. He's starting visualizing the Prince's palace and we've had wonderful conversations how that will work. Now we're talking about spinning parts and actual WINGS! Makes perfect sense that a winged people would have flying architecture that's also wing driven.

Anyway, wanted to share my concept illustration and Charles' painting in progress. Once he's dialed that in, he's going to be building the exterior set miniature. Can't wait to share it with you!

Prince Palace concept art by Sam
Prince Palace concept art by Sam
Concept painting in progress by Charles
Concept painting in progress by Charles

And on the technology front, we're working on cleaning up facial motion-capture footage for a couple key shots that will then be used for the facial tracking tests. In addition, I've got the ball rolling on the head scan for the Prince. More news on all these fronts in the near future!

Take care!

Sam


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