We’re coming in on the home stretch of the first Frown Town short and sorting out a lot of odds and ends in the process — from music and scoring to rotoscoping in fire effects frame by frame.
Our first video is all cut together and just about ready to go. It looks like we’re going to be a week late on our deadline as we’ve run into some turbulence finding a girl suitably spastic to dub in Judy’s dialog. It’s apparently a lot harder to lisp like a Dungeon Master than I’d realized. In the meantime, we’ve added in a beautiful theme song written and recorded by the incomparable Megan Keely and punched the proceedings up substantially with a phenomenal score by Japan’s own Ash Ryan.
While the musicians were doing their thing, I spent some long hours in Adobe After Effects rotoscoping in lighter flames frame by frame. It’s both harder and easier than it seems, involving taking footage I shot of a lighter and tracking it along to the video. The effect came off pretty well and saved us from accidentally setting the puppets on fire while we were filming.
There was also a crucial shot that we only got one take on which was pretty much ruined by Andy’s being totally visible lying on the ground throughout. This was also resolved with the cinematic magic of After Effects, as I painstakingly matted him out and gave Geer some legs to boot.
We already had his legs on file from our misguided attempt at building a massive photographic archive of the puppets from every angle to attempt to complete the project as a sort of animated collage. Oh the follies of youth.
While we’re waiting to record Judy’s dialog — early next week — and finally wrap up the first short, I’m gearing up pre-production on the follow up, which last weekend meant spending $75 on craft supplies to make Pabst Tecate (formerly Trey Awesome) the hipsterest headdress in all of Frown Town.