I started working on a project I’m calling PLASTICLAND. I am continuing to tell stories with my action figures.
While staying at my girlfriend’s house a few months back, I took a long walk. I found a blue plastic toy abandoned by the side of the road. I think that it was part of an infant’s car play-set. I was struck by both the loneliness of the seemingly useless object, and also the possibilities it offered. I decided to bring it home. One less chunk of plastic polluting our environment, right? It became the set for these little stories.
I made the following camera tests over two after work filming sessions in my backyard. I used my iPhone to capture the shots in Dragonframe. It worked well enough, and I love the portability of the phone. I’m having trouble exporting a quicktime file in Dragonframe, however. It’s choppy and slow. H.264/ACC works fine, so I suppose that will have to work for now. Dragonframe support said:
MP4 is much more compressed, and suited for playback. If you are outputting a really large (dimensionally, like 4K) Animation Codec movie, it might not play back in real time. That format is more intended to be used as an intermediary for editing.
For fun, I edited the two takes together. I’m approaching each scene as though my younger self were sitting in his childhood backyard playing with these objects. That’s really my only narrative principle. I made storyboards as a kid showing how I would animated scenes with my stuff, had I a working camera and film. I’m finding this as satisfying now as I would have as a boy. My intention is to use this footage as projection material for playing music. There’s a lot of boiling in this – my hands and other things.
As a bonus, Brood X has arrived. My yard is full with emerging cicadas. One fellow made an appearance in a few shots. They haven’t started singing yet. I can’t wait to record them. Here’s a bonus video I made for Instagram:
I’ve posted about this guy in past. He’s one of my all time favorite creations (as action figures go). His origin can be seen in The Benefits of Radiation. I made a 3D scan of the original, and can now print him in a variety of materials (plastic, brass, silver, etc.).
Special thank you to my daughter, Chloe, for helping me make the scans worth printing.