Saturday, October 14, 2017

A list of things done this year.

I am scrambling to finish up projects at the FabLab before we close. The day we're done for good is the 31st of October although the laser cutter leaves sometime between the 25th and the 27th.
I'm working on finishing my brother Dave's guitar. (He hates that logo so we won't be using it.)

This was the first instrument I made. I call it the "Fish Bass."

So I made the fish bass. Then a baritone guitar. Then a weird half-hollow-body "Bellacaster" Tele-style, then my brother's guitar (which I call the "Big Bells" but he doesn't like that, I just keep the name with all my files around it so I can get back to it.) The newest guitar is the "Five". Humbucker in the bridge, P90 in the neck. Bigsby-style tremolo.
I also wrote a children's book.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fab. Lab.

So for the past year I've been at a magical place, the Jersey City Fab Lab. It's amazing. You can join for a hundred bucks a month and you can use all the wood shop and general area. If you want the laser cutter or 3D printer those are extra hourly charges.
About half a year ago I joined as a worker prole -- much of my work is working directly with artists to make their dreams come true with a laser engraving or cutting on their projects.
It's amazingly satisfying for me because I'm the artist tech at the end of their process and I bring the "bang" to their projects and they walk away joyous and what "we've" made (they did all the work, I just did the pretty part at the very end they couldn't do on their own.)

And Eric really pushed me in to industrial design. Into 3d modelling. Into working with unusual materials.

Robot has nothing to do with the rest of this post.
Unfortunately, we're closing. Huh. I have the uncanny ability to close places down, don't I? Or maybe I just refuse to bail out as the sink is shipping. Or something.

Jerome Leary has a site for creating .dxf files of boxes. Including trusses, which is very cool. You will need a way to convert to .ai files though. Convertio has a web app which worked for me.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Jordana Williams

We're in the middle of the run of the podcast of Mac Rogers' Steal the Stars (which will be released as a novel by Nat Cassidy.) It's directed by Jordana Williams and like every thing I've seen her direct, it is amazing.
Funny enough the first time I met her she was an actor in a Mac Rogers play that was a kind of send-up of 30's very-fast-paced radio drama where she was the lead -- a kind of gal Friday tough character in The Lucretia Jones Mysteries.*
Here's an interview with Jordana and Mac about developing Steal the Stars.
And another interview with Jordana about Asymmetric.

*I just realized I keep quoting this show in my mind because there was a recurring joke where someone would call someone else "Pud" and then say "That's short for 'pudding'." And for some reason I still find that kinda hilarious.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Earthkiller Novel Cover WIP 1

I probably mentioned at some point that I'd finished the novel that I'd started several years ago but then went whole hog on for 2016's NaNoWriMo. Completely unrelated to the movie, the novel is called Earthkiller.

So I set about trying to get art for the cover. First I made this mockup:

It uses a model from Blendswap by Albin.

Chance suggested I check out DeviantArt for artists and see if I could license some art.
Here's an attempt at that, with the actual book-design from Chance.

The following art is by Duster132 and Chance tried two different ways to set it as a cover. Thing is, this work was already licensed so we couldn't use it.

So we're going with Jeff Brown Graphics. Here is the first sketch he sent.

More works-in-progress coming.

Monday, May 29, 2017


I need to learn more about typesetting and fonts. I read this awesome online book: Typesetting in 10 Minutes and the subsequent stuff. It's really quite helpful.

Here is what the author thinks are decent system fonts.

The A list: Gen­er­ally tol­er­a­ble
Athe­las ★
Avenir ★
Bell MT ★
Book An­ti­qua ★
Cal­i­forn­ian FB ★
Cal­isto MT ★
Cen­tury School­book ★
Char­ter ★
Franklin Gothic ★
Gara­mond ★
Gill Sans ★
Gill Sans MT ★
Goudy Old Style ★
Hel­vetica ★
Hel­vetica Neue ★
Hoe­fler Text ★
Iowan Old Style ★
Op­tima ★
Palatino ★
Ser­avek ★

These are those same fonts which I can actually find in "more fonts" on Google Docs:
Avenir ★
Bell MT ★
Book An­ti­qua ★
Cen­tury School­book ★
Franklin Gothic ★
Gara­mond ★
Gill Sans ★
Hel­vetica Neue ★
Palatino ★

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Where I am at.

Since February I've been living all in one place -- Jersey City. Up until then I'd been living somewhat scattered -- having upwards of 4 different places to live. Brooklyn, Metuchen, Princeton, Jersey City.
But now there is one. And one with cats and no car.
A glued up baritone body at the FabLab

Since last year I'd been working at the JFabLab building sets (and then) guitars. And I work there part-time now. I've done a little bit of industrial design, running the laser cutter. Some 3D work.
So I live all in one place now. Which, as it turns out, is vastly cheaper for me.
But I ended up with the cats. Which, as it turns out, are vastly more expensive for me.

I have three movies in post. The dragon movie got straight-up rejected by our sales rep. So now we're making a cartoon version for kids. I'm making little animations and such. There's quite a bit of work to go on it though.
The Carbon Copy/Android Masquerade movie has had three sets of multi-day reshoots because of distributor complaints. Massive additional photography. But the distributor isn't complaining anymore so I think this movie we have is what we're going for.
The Oblivion movie -- good grief we shot this movie two years ago. But since the three round of reshoots on Carbon Copy were just like shooting a whole 'nuther movie in the meantime well... that's how that goes. We are very deep in post on Oblivion and yes the visual effects will take a while but we're getting there.

So far, avocationally, I've made a short-scale bass guitar and a baritone guitar. I'm making a Telecaster-type next. And then a Rickenbacker type (the trick is finding an appropriate neck). And lastly a version of Neil Young's black LP. It'll be different of course, probably half hollow body.

There's this opera which has been around, again, for years. And I have a novel which I'm waiting on a redline edit version to get emailed back to me. And the Alien Sky script which doesn't actually exist.

And to finish all those movies above. That's where I'm at.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Superbird progress.

I found a Fab Lab here in Jersey City last July. I had sets what needed building. So I built them.

Although shot in Chapman Productions in Allentown, I built these set pieces in Jersey City. I'm fairly proud of how nice this set looks. Gotta give a shout-out to my man Jiah for helping. Laura was in charge of lighting Kate Britton.
Anyway, we shot this and then we needed to shoot yet more. O ye gods. Well that meant even more work at the lab to make costumes. Lots of work on lasers and 3D printers. I learned much. We shot those rounds of reshoots at the Art Factory in Paterson which was also amazing.

Then I started building guitars at the Fab Lab because that was fun. Then doing other things and now I've been making drum synth enclosures. The basic design isn't me, and the electronics are way not me, but I took the pre-existing design that Damien made and altered things to jibe with the new pc boards.
The Superbird monophonic drum synth with onboard trigger and ability to control from an external trigger. Bassman head for scale. We made the Superbirds in different colors with acrylic tops and plywood front, back, sides, and bottom. 

And now they're at Moog Fest in both kit and assembled form.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

All These Things Shall Come to Pass

I have to finish Carbon Copy. I am so close. If the computer would stop crashing (and if the antibiotics I'm on would let me focus) it would be done today. I just need some ricochets and some good action music.
The novel. I await the Queen of Mars' redline.
The opera has been stalled for months. I have the texts up on the computer. I need to make a decision about the opening aria -- is it about the bombs that fell during the war? Or is it about our man Felix?
The dragon movie -- needs a new last act. It's about 30 minutes long and animated.
Oblivion -- needs ADR and many more visual effects. O! That the visual effects could be done by the end of next month.
Alien Sky -- needs an actual screenplay.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Iona's sprouts

Brine brussels sprouts in 1/2 cup kosher salt to 6 cups water for one hour.   Drain but do not rinse sprouts and put in baking dish.  Add 1/4 cup olive oil and roast at 350 till done.  I dunno know, anywhere from 3/4 to one hour.
Meanwhile toast 1/2 black mustard seeds in a dry skillet till they pop and toast.  Remove from heat and crush perhaps with the bottom of a glass tumbler.  Mix with 1/4 tsp kosher salt and sprinkle on top of sprouts and enjoy.

Premiere Grumpifly

Section 1: Premiere 2017
Section 2: Premiere 2015
Section 3: Premiere 2015

Yeah. Adobe Premiere really muffed up the update of Premiere and After Effects. The LUT's in Lumetri are totally bonked. And when you roll back to 2015 the links to After Effects are all messed up and you also need to roll back After Effects and bleh.

Although the required update to the NVidea 970 card finally fixes the thing where I couldn't see what hadn't been clicked on in Facebook on my big monitor because it didn't understand the gamma requirements.

Aren't you glad you read this blog?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My to-do list

The Russian word for "alert" or "warning" is Предупреждение apparently.

I'm working on the following projects:
  1. Carbon Copy -- after three sets of reshoots we hopefully have the final movie in the can. It has to be done by the 24th. 
  2. Oblivion (many vfx still need to be created)
  3. Dragon Movie (animated)
  4. Novel -- The Man Who Destroyed The Earth (being edited now)
  5. Opera (The Imaginary Opera)
  6. Alien Sky (our next movie which does not have a script)
That's pretty much the order of those projects. But I have other co-requisite projects which need to be done for my own well-being.

A handbook of how we make movies. Like a real and actual book.
A web-series about how we make movies.

A Baritone electric guitar (honestly I thought I might be done today but I won't be.)
A Telecaster-style electric guitar with a Bigsby-style tremolo.
A Telecaster-style electric guitar with P-90's (maybe?) and a hard tail. Semi-hollow-body

A ribbon microphone with a wooden body
A U47-style microphone with a wooden body

There's an exotic wood place over on the other side of Journal Square. I had no idea.

Monday, March 06, 2017

These things

V-28 combat armor

Ludoviko -- MI pirate
Lilian -- MI pirate

Ernie -- MI on pirate ship, killed after launching bioweapon at Mars

Nell -- civilian engineer, killed by flechette round in corridor

Iku -- MI hid in tail end of ship

L-40 railgun



MX438 Mark II


KL 858 Autonomous commando weapon system
add section where I figure out how to use it


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Clearing Tabs

A noncommercial production sound rate sheet.
Here's a great thread on guitar routing depths. The thing that's relevant to my interests is:
BODY THICKNESS: 1.75” (50’s TELE’s varied from 1.50” to 1.75”)

Juno is the ride-hailing app that doesn't seem to hate humans as much.
I kind of dig this type treatment.
The policeman who's in charge of the firearms unit of the Jersey City Police Department is into model trains. HO and O scale with the Society of Model Engineers. (I have to update all my information so I'm getting a new Firearms ID card, which requires me to go through the whole process again but without the fingerprinting -- because I just got that done.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017