The Frown is Back in Town

Posted by Steve on Aug 22, 2012 in Filming, Production | Subscribe

Oh. Hey, Internet. You been standing there long?

Two years is a while, huh? Sorry about that. Andy up and moved to grad school in the frozen east and the thing about puppets is they take kind of a lot of hands. More than two anyway. But now he’s back and with him, Frown Town returns from its long hubristic hiatus. We’ve scaled back our original delusions of grandeur and are now tackling the material in the form of shorts. Here’s swearing the first one will be released by our second Failiversary: September 15th, 2012.  Now is the time for the rolling of sleeves: there’s work to be done.

First thing’s first:  Finishing up the squirrel puppet.

Here’s Fuzzy Britches in all his dim-witted glory.  We’re gonna be operating him with fishing line to give him that meth-head-with-the-jitters quality city squirrels tend to have.

Speaking of meth, we also had to make Judy some sugar sticks. After considering various varieties of iridescent flake glitter, I went with these small plastic beads to fill in for the sweet stuff. They read beautifully on camera and roll right off her. Glitter never comes off. Glitter is forever.

Since building sets proved prohibitively time consumptive and would severely limit our camera angles, we’ve opted on using real locations for this incarnation of the show. I stumbled upon this vacant Victorian in the Panhandle awhile back and figured it’d be just the spot to get our frown on. If only the neighbors could have just chilled out and stopped calling the cops on us, but they couldn’t and they did: twice. Two times. Fortunately, the day of the actual shoot the house’s owner showed up first and he kindly let us finish filming despite of the boys in blue.

In another uncharacteristic bit of luck, just before Andy came back to town, local filmmaker Allen Price offered to help us out with filming, editing, finding voice actors — pretty much whatever we needed.  We also had the on-set assistance of our new buddy Avi Ehrlich of the Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club.  He took production stills and helped out with puppeteering when four hands just weren’t enough.

Here’s Judy laying out with the storyboards, which were completely essential.  With so much to keep track of  — from the police crashing the party to Judy’s arms ripping off twice from overly-aggressive gesticulation — having a map of what had to get shot was the only thing that got us through the shoot in any kind of shape at all.

Since we’ve been warned never to go back on location again, reshoots are impossible, so we’re making the best of what we got and we’re on to editing the video. Now all we need do is re-dub the audio, add some minor effects and an animated intro and we’ll at last be ready to release the first of what will hopefully prove a continuing series of Frown Town shorts. We can’t thank you enough for waiting, especially all y’all who gave us money to get this thing done. No one was more disappointed than us when the project collapsed, but we think we got it back up and running right this time and we don’t aim to give it up again. Stay with us.

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