T-shirt design containing M's Tattoo.

Fear Me... Grrrrrr... I'm a Dragon.


Run Away! Join the Circus!

So I was chatting to my brother the other day. The hard-drinking tattooed hippy surfer mohawk mullet brother. Apparently he's joined the circus. I know what you're thinking, "Wow, Rich's brother is a bearded lady?! Cool!" but I'm sorry to disappoint you. It's not that sort of circus. I'm not even sure it's a real circus or if it's his lounge room and an over active imagination. What I am sure of though is that he and a couple of mates appeared on telly the other day doing their fire-breathing, acrobatic, trapeze routine. WTF? Turn on TV. "Hey, there's my brother chatting to Ernie Dingo about the Trapeze". WTF?

My brother and I tend to keep in fairly loose contact, we get along famously but he's a hard-drinking tattooed hippy surfer fire-breathing trapeze TV star. That doesn't leave a lot of time to make phone calls. Although I don't really miss the 3am five minute long drunken blathers I got on the answering machine during the football world cup, I do like the fact that when we get in touch there's usually something to talk about.

Like the other night,
Me: "Hey shithead what'd you do to your leg".
Him: "DOUCHE! I tore a ten by three centimetre gouge out of it on the trapeze board. Been talking to Mum or are you jealous of my fame?"
Me: "Totally jealous, two seconds on a show run by a washed-up actor must have been awesome"
Him: "Stitches, huge scars and TV spots get you laid around here. What you got going for you?!"
...and so forth.

Even when we don't have something to talk about I can usually come up with something cool to torment the little bugger. Last year, when I hadn't heard from him in about 4 months, I decided it was time he should call me. So what'd I do? Well... I took a copy of the Tattoo I'd designed for his left shoulder, a tribalised dragon (I'll put up a pic when I find it), added some other elements to it and printed it onto a T-Shirt. I then sent it to him with a note saying "Found this in a local Surf shop. Man, I hope the money was worth it. I can NOT believe you sold the design". What a surprise, a couple of days later I got a frantic phone call saying that he hadn't sold it and what the hell was he going to do because the reason why he loved the Tat was that it was a one off design. I strung him along for a while, then we laughed and then we caught up like normal. He's a good bloke!

Mind you when I met him at the airport last Christmas I went to pick up his bag and as I bent over he sucker punched me. "That's for the T-shirt!" Ha! Yeah, I had it coming.


Paint drying on a patch of growing grass

I was going to finish the story today but it was boring even me, and I can usually entertain myself with boring things for an unusual amount of time. Like the time I... *snore*. You get the idea anyway, kidney infected & swollen, bladder infected & swollen, kidney stones, blood, pus, excruciating pain, blah, blah, blah, everythings cool now. Who gives a rats patoobie...

I was also asked to do a meme by my new found friend Pal. Now I don't normally do this type of thing, I find pissing kidney stones the size of volkswagons more enjoyable but because Pal is the first blogger I've met who actually understands and enjoys Cricket (the Game and the Puppet) I still wont make an exception but I will link to someone equally 'happy' to provide answers to the questions.

...I'm also thinking of doing some old-old school puppetry (as in 17th Century) but update it for todays sick and twisted audience, although the original scripts are much more disturbing than anything done today.. Or maybe I'll just move house next weekend, finish off the last bit of The Mill, have a weeks holiday, and then talk about why I changed my mind about doing the puppets. Yeah, that seems more realistic.


Battle of the Intra-body

H'in Fluen Zae looked westward towards the pooling dusk of friday eve with its masses of post labour bronchioles exciting the cooling air with their steaming breath. This of course was no mean feat for a nonmotile gram-negative facultatively anaerobic rod bacteria but his apparent sentience and gender specific title concerned H'in Fluen Zae less than his desire to find a warm alveoli which could ensure his survival.

H'in Fluen Zae shown lounging within a circular alternative universe

As luck would have it, his rising desire was met by the warm touch and salty countenance of a human hand which unknowingly plucked him from his airborne state and with a simple wiping movement deposited him upon some unknown lip. Now if only he could free himself long enough to be breathed he would fight the crack troops known as the Flying Fighting Antibodies until he expired or was allowed to create of colony of his very own. As H'in Fluen Zae struggled from the salival muck he felt a movement. "Damn" he thought, "It's Pharynx and Eso Phagus. Their mystic powers of Peristaltic Contraction Wave will transport me to the death realms of the Gastric Epithelium."

Upon entering the death realms H'in Fluen Zae was surprised to see an unusual occurance. A particularly low level of death. Apparently today was the annual Hydrochloric Acid and Enzyme picnic and as the trainees and the disliked who had been left to start the process of denaturation attacked him he found his resistance and confidence growing.

H'in Fluen Zae fought hard. He believed many times he would succumb even to these low levels of acidity but after what seemed like hours of furious endeavour his bravery was rewarded. Rising before him was Pylorus the guardian of the mythic tri-levelled sanctuary.

"You may enter" claimed Pylorus, "but first you, Haemophilus, must answer these questions three. How are you?".

H'in Fluen Zae chuckled, "that's only one question but I seem to be doing alright. Quite lucky really".

Pylorus grew in anger, "I'm part of the intestinal tract not an Abacus you smart arse nonmotile gram-negative facultatively anaerobic rod bacteria!"

At the mention of the magic word 'Abacus', and much to Pylorus' and H'in Fluen Zae surprise, Pylorus suddenly relaxed and admitted H'in Fluen Zae to the watery realms of the Duodenum, Jejunum and the Ileum.

Pylorus has always been relaxed by the severed heads of beauty queens, flowers, and the Funkyard.

H'in Fluen Zae exalted for he had survived against all odds. Here in this paradise he could relax at his leisure, combine with with the warm soup of watery pre-digested food stuffs, and be absorbed slowly by the ever adpative Villi. There he knew he would be transported to where he could cause more damage than his wildest dreams could have imagined... Rena-land.

Tune in next time as H'in Fluen Zae finds sanctuary in Rena-land until he is forced to use all his Kung-Fu skills when tracked down by the Mighty 3.


Alive... but the drugs ARE having an effect on me!


Weekend wanderings

Following on from forests, flying things and bubbles; I was wandering the blogs as I'm want to do on a friday afternoon and at the behest of a far too infrequent blogger (whose characters remind me a little of my favourite childrens book author and illustrator *Space Monkey and Mr Lunch Rule!*) I came across some of Mary Blairs work with forests, flying things and bubbles.


I hadn't seen Mary Blair's Little Verses before (lucky to those who had it read to them in childhood) but the simplicity and innocence of the design work she did as part of the team on Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan (shhh, I know it's Disney) is completely timeless. *sigh* better times! What?? Nah, we have 3D to play with these days. Be nice to see some more good scripts coming out rather than the trash we're experiencing at the moment.

I've been enjoying a lot of the illustrators out there in blog land lately. There's a lot of brilliant styles. Some are simply stunning in their originality, who wouldn't want their book illustrated by people like that?! Others are bizarre and gently confronting. And then there's the talented, often funny and always Aussie bastard abroad creating some of the best free-flowing cartoons I've seen out of Tasmania (Ha! OK, I can probably extend that to Oz). It's all good and worth a wander through if you're into pics.

Unfortunately the closest I ever got to being an illustrator was this...

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


The Sprites

There's probably a bajillion things I could say about this little foray into childrens programming but I've been a little pre-occupied with real life stuff over the last few days so I've forgotten half of what I was going to talk about. I did get a little nostalgic when preparing this one for the web though, these critters are so cute (not that I'm biased). I still hold out hope that I'll get to produce this one as five minute TV fillers for kids under the age of three. Maybe I should just produce six 'episodes' at this production quality and sell direct to the public. Any producers out there can stop laughing now, ever heard of Baby Einstein? Yeah, knew that would quiet you down!

Um, what else, this type of video is a good example of the type of thing I would take along to a funding meeting when looking to produce a pilot. It's not as important as the script or the budget but it certainly improves your chances of inspiring the sometimes surprising lack luster imagination of a funding committee. Seriously, it's not a criticism, they're not paid to be overly imaginative, they're paid to skim the script for anything undesirable, scour the budget mercilessly and smack the pinata of expected revenue until they're sure there's candy inside. The sooner a person understands that the easier it will be to produce the type of documentation which inspires those types of committees to part with their highly under-resourced budgets. What else, oh, if you're interested in producing early childhood material always attach an early childhood professional as a consultant (I'm sure everyone has at least one friend who is a teacher or something) to review your scripts and so forth, it goes down really well. All that is good stuff to know but it's not as much fun as actually making a show like this. The payoff is seeing kids enjoy themselves while they're developing their amazing little brains.

Hmmmm, I got nothing, watch the Vid!

free video hosting
Free Video Hosting


More for the Kiddies

I was going through some old tapes yesterday and came upon this little gem. I had forgotten that I'd even made this. It's a very early blue-screen test of a fairy puppet I'd made after I started recieving orders for 'Cat and Dog'. Although the crazy blue screening in 'Cat and Dog' adds to the overall humour of the piece I probably made this to assure myself that I could achieve some decent looking characters if I chose.

I think this is one of the cutest things I've ever made. Gush.

Fortunately I didn't have the second half of this little test on the tape. It was of a Crocodile who lives in the hut (at the end) having a bubble bath singing a blues song about counting bubbles. Why is that fortunate? Cause I did the singing. Trust me, you don't want to hear me sing the blues using a crocodile voice.

Anyway, enjoy the fairy. If you've got young-uns, show them, let me know their reaction.

Ohhhh, I just remembered that the background was originally modelled on one of those scary block-prints published in early versions of Dante. Ha!


Odd Sox

During my web wandering today I came across a pilot made in 1999 for an Aussie TV show for kids called Odd Sox. I adore kids programming, not surprising considering Cat and Dog Find the Easter Bunny, and making TV for kids is really satisfying in a let your ’let your imagination be free while teaching something’ sort of way. Although this pilots editing and story telling is a little passe I can happily say the puppetry and sets are truly excellent. Although that shouldn't be surprising considering the show features some of Oz's best puppeteers. Here's the opening credits.

ODD SOX is a Registered Trademark

There's also a news story, not posted here, about washing a dog which ends in a bizarre scene with a group of children scrubbing each other with large brushes. Odd. But the oddest thing about this is that I have a number of scripts with the same title. No implications, they're completely different types of shows. My show was about a number of misfit odd socks battling the evil forces within a bachelor pad in the vain attempt to discover what had happened to their other halves. It was replete with stocking on football sock sex scenes and psychodelic regression therapy. Not exactly kids programming.

Although it IS a shame that the show above never progressed past pilot (Australian funding streams *rolls eyes*) it does leave me wondering whether I could get a hold of the puppets and re-tool the show. I'm sure big kids would love it.