… skeletons in my closet (unfinished video)…

Click the image above to play the unfinished music video for the unfinished song “News” off of an unfinished album from several years ago!

[~45mb – LARGE and 3 minutes long, so let it stream for while before watching it.]

Well … October is that spooky time of year. I’ve decided to go digging through my closet for some skeletons.

Let’s see here … digging through closet … hmmmm … oooh … nope … too scary … heck no … ahhh maybe … noooo way … AHHH HAAA!!!

Perfect! Found one!

Here is an epic tale of an epic, undead project!

This story starts about nine years ago …

Towards the end of my band “Eureka Farm”, I lived outside of Palouse in what I commonly refer to as the “Chicken Coup”. You can see a shot of it briefly in my short film Time Lapse 1. I was shooting tons of Super 8 movies back then and I really wanted to do a detailed stop motion animation. I decided to start work on a video for the song “Quinsonnas”.

I designed and built myself a rear projection animation table and camera rig out of some wood and tripod parts. I story boarded out the film and shot most of the background plates for the rear projection around the Chicken Coup. “Eureka Farm” went to New York to play the CMJ festival and I shot the rest of the plates in the city.

I made dozens of little characters out of art board and designed my main character out of the same sturdy stuff and hinged him so that his limbs could move. I made several different heads with various expressions that I could slip in to change his mood.

The reality and the scope of the film left me experimenting for a long time. Super 8 film just wasn’t fast enough to pick up the light from the rear projected slides. On top of that, there was no real way to keep track of my work as I progressed through dozens, hundreds and thousands of frames. I would only get to see my work a few weeks after shipping it out to be developed. This was too heartbreaking so I shelved the project for many years.

In the meantime, I moved to Portland and wrote about an albums worth of material (that I never released). One of these songs fit nicely with the stop motion world I created for “Quinsonnas” and I started re-envisioning the piece in the context of the song “News”. Many of the elements remained.

I made the switch to video, which allowed me a real-time preview of what I was doing. If I messed up a move, I could instantly know and not waste hours of my life. I set out to redo the film. As I learned more about computers and film making, my friend Gideon introduced me to After Effects. I was skeptical at the time, but now it has to be my favorite piece of visual software. Thanks Gideon.

The segment above is as far as I ever got on the piece. The song was never finished. The movie was never finished. There are scenes that are not animated. There are scenes missing objects and characters!

After watching the film tonight I can officially declare it undead. I’m absolutely sure it will rise from the grave someday … in some form. It needs quite a bit of work (I’m lookin’ at you “Blam!!” that comes out of the doorway that looks like a bad internet font). It was also part of a larger story, so it isn’t complete on it’s own. I mean … there’s a whole scene dedicated to a chicken and a grasshopper that hasn’t been made yet!

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