Familiar Shapes Website is Live
Visit http://www.familiarshapesthemovie.com for details and updates on the Familiar Shapes documentary feature film.
Production on 'Familiar Shapes' Begins
You know when suddenly realize how quiet your kids have been for the last half hour, and your heart freezes and sinks to your toes?
Well, I've been quiet and up to no good as well.
I've spent the last several months researching, reading, and talking to experts in computer science and early modern England for a the forthcoming feature-length documentary 'Familiar Shapes'. You can skip my blah-blah-blah and just watch the promotional video above, but here are all the sordid details.
This feature-length documentary will consider two distinct areas of research: malicious social bots and early modern conceptions of the witch's familiar. Both the malicious bot and the witch's familiar are seemingly uncanny entities: non-physical, shape shifting, and under the direction of hidden and malevolent individuals. But where these two forms diverge -- both in their definitions and their very real impacts upon their present and historic communities -- illuminates a great deal about the behavior of people: how we define themselves against others, and how we're inclined to muddy the distinction between truth and belief. By comparing malicious social bots and the misinformation the spread with early modern conceptions of the witch, her familiar, and the written records that remain, a cautionary tale is presented to the contemporary viewer: we must change how we engage with social media.
This documentary will combine interviews, animations, archival images, and staged footage to weave together these two stories. I have completed over twenty pre-interviews with scholars in the U.S. and U.K. who research social bots, misinformation, and the early modern witch trails. We begin video interviews with regional scholars in two weeks, I'll travel to the U.K. to interview historians in May, and the remaining U.S. interviews will be scheduled soon.
Our goal is to have all the interviews shot as early in the summer as possible, to structure the rough-cut and storyboard the animations before September. I'll revise the edit and begin production on the animations in the fall and (fingers crossed) score grant money to hire some assistant animators. We anticipate completing the film mid-2019, hopefully in time to do the festival circuit and freak people out before the next elections.
My Director of Photography, by the way, is former Digital Media BFA student, Hamilton Young Ward. Ham is a videographer, illustrator, and designer based out of Charlotte. His films "Miss Addie Johns - Brewton, AL” and “Ronnie Ward - Brewton, AL" have screened regionally and won awards, and I really recommend you check out his site.
So stay-tuned! More soon!
New Work on Website!
Artemis is wrapping up her festival rounds, and will be made available on Vimeo later in 2017. Wish her luck on the rest of her journey!
Moving Image Workshop: Introducing animation, motion graphics and visual effects in 45 practical projects
Head over to Bloomsbury Publishing to check out The Moving Image Workshop: Introducing animation, motion graphics and visual effects in 45 practical projects, the textbook I wrote with my animation and motion graphics students in mind.
If you end up adopting it for your classes, or end up writing a review, please let me know; I'd love to hear how it works out.
New Animation Finished: Artemis
Busy, busy year.
I finally finished Artemis, a stop motion animation I've been plodding through for the last year. It's just starting the film festival circuit, so it's not available on line yet, but shoot me an email if you'd like to include it in a film festival or screening, and I can get you access.
Artemis combines 3D printed puppet parts (faces and heads) with titanium silicon bodies cast from 3D printed molds. With the financial support of a Mecklenberg County Arts and Science Council Regional Artist Project Grant, I was able to purchase a ZYYX 3D printer and PLA filament for the faces and molds.
I was also fortunate to include the voice talents of Voices: Jeff Murphy (Driver), David Smith (Ghost of Elvis), Tyler Smith (Apollo) and
“Beautiful Man” by Stephanie Fagan. (Music/Lyrics Copyright 2011, Stephanie Fagan, under License to Big Mavis, LCC. Sound recording Copyright 2011, Big Mavis, LLC.)