In Testeron, I was experimenting with creating a nonsensical but linear logic pattern. The events unfold in a very straight forward way and are meant to naturally and comfortably transition from one oddity to another. This absurdity acts as a blank slate of explanation. Analyzing art that is void of critical meaning and finding some seems no less valid than analyzing art with meaning attached. This is just a snippet of what the video will eventually be. We will be led to many more strange worlds and situations and eventually loop all the way back to the beginning.
I started out by creating a sitcom inspired background in photoshop. The textures were found through simple Google searches. I printed it out and glued it to a large piece of cardboard.I took several photos of the kitchen in the photo department on campus, printed out the images and placed the textures onto so similarly shaped cardboard boxes. The blinds were created similarly, though I had to manual slice up the image as well. A wooden dollhouse floor was used for the flooring.
Once the set was built, I set up the camera and a large softbox and began filming. The hand puppets were, you guessed it, hands. I played the part of Eugene, a man who was bitten by a were-hand on his way home from work but left with no memory of the event. Joyce, his loving wife, was played by fellow photographer William Connally.
After we filmed our scene, we took a trip to the recording studio and re-dubbed our lines. I recorded the vocals using the same software I use for recording music. I compressed and added a few EQ filters to emulate an “old timey” tv feel. For the music, I took some cues from Ren and Stimpy I found as well as an old song from the 30s for the black and white theme. For the desert scene, I needed to build another set. This time, I decided to do it digitally using Adobe After Effects.
Again, I did a google search, found images with cactuses and mountains and sand(cacti?) and cut them out. Once I had them placed where I needed for the shot, I added a few lights and did a bit of color correcting.
Once things started looking half decent, I cut up the transformed hand from the previous scene and placed it into the shot. It was time to build the turtle.
I used my hands for the turtles body parts (including the tale) and filmed them in front of a crappy, homemade little green screen. I used a metronome to match the rhythm of the bodypart’s movement. It got the job done … barely.
I brought all the body part videos into after effects and keyed them out. Then I built a half shell in the software and placed the parts in the appropriate areas. I then animated the turtle shell and moved him across the screen accordingly.
Once everything was in place, I clicked the render button. It took approximately 8 hours to render one and a half minutes of video. Yikes.
Once that was all completed, I recorded some vocals for Turtle, then filmed his funeral in a patch of muddy grass in front of Cranbrook Academy of Art. The End (so far)