Monday, July 6, 2015

Blogging a Movie: PASSAGES, the storyboard begins

This video is improvised sketches roughly cut in QuickTime and pasted together for story development. It will change over time like one revises drafts of a script. The final version will be rehearsed and will be a lot tighter. One must kill a lot of darlings on the way to final draft. 

PASSAGES is a performance art movie in progress. 

In PASSAGES, the heart of the conflict is the god Sum'o's desire to experience giving birth like a human. The gods in this story - Sum'o and his sisters, Sum'i and Sum'a - are a lot like spoiled children who grow up believing that they can do anything they want. Sum'o's appearance and gender was by his own choice, but now he wants to have a human experience. His youngest sister Sum'a hates humans as defilers of the world and wants to destroy them. His older sister Sum'i is interested only in maintaining balance through observance of the laws, traditions and principles handed down by their ancestors.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blogging a movie: Costume as action and storytelling

Sylviatoyindustries: PASSAGES, Mummy Wrap, Test 1 from Sylvia Toy on Vimeo.

This experiment is more about what will be entailed in removing the mummy strips than about applying them. The costuming is for a scene during which removing the mummy strips is part of a ritual memorializing the creation of the Universe. I know from previous projects that unwrapping is just not effective if the wrap effect is fake. What I'm working on is getting strong look that can be unwrapped quickly; and also, dependably for the sake of continuity.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sylviatoyindustries vs. FB

Thanks to everyone in the neighborhood who has liked or interacted with my Sylviatoyindustries FB page. I am taking it...

Posted by Sylvia Toy St Louis on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

PASSAGES: Story and character development

Research.I am forming a picture in my mind of a Prologue for PASSAGES. It is a scene of a ritual regularly performed...
Posted by Sylviatoyindustries on Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blogging a Movie: PASSAGES: Sketch, Sum'a the Enforcer's case for extermination of the humans

New sketch for my movie in progress, PASSAGES.

Posted by Sylviatoyindustries on Thursday, June 25, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

PASSAGES: Sum'i discovers the King of the Gods, Sum'o, is pregnant

My first improvisation of the inciting incident of PASSAGES. This sketch is rough and has only basic tech, but nearly...

Posted by Sylviatoyindustries on Friday, June 19, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My sketchbook

A living room is a perfect place to make art - even big art

Recently, I was an actor in a minor role in someone else's movie. There were so many people involved, so much crew. I have done everything by myself for most of my movies. But during production of any project that winds up 20 minutes or more, it still feels like there are too many people in this apartment. I keep expecting some continuity girl to remind remind remind me. 

I know that not every major project a person starts gets finished and that finishing my last few long projects has earned me some respect that just wasn't there for me as video artist or filmmaker before. But I have a consistent track record of finishing a lot of major projects long before I even knew how to turn on a video camera. I have finished a novel, gotten 15 plays from page to runs on stage (four in "legitimate" theatre) and I produced a very large body of sculpture for professional showing. I have been a grant recipient and I have had artist residencies in several venues.

It is one thing to be a self-taught sculptor - maybe even "noble" if you go by the reverence people seem to have for self-taught sculptors. 

It is quite another thing to be a self-taught video artist/filmmaker. That quite another thing is not merely about the technical competency curve or mastering continuity - a year ago when I was one-third of the way through pre-production I still thought it was. Yes, I have hit some technical milestones and I finally really get it that continuity is your BFF. But the "quite another thing" is the difference between having a budget and not having a budget - not merely that, but conceiving without having budget as part of the concept. 

While I was on the set of someone else's movie last month, I decided that while, if I had to, I could abide up to 20 or so people as cast for one of my projects, I really could not tolerate having so many people behind the camera tripping all over each other (or so it seemed to me). Having spent 20 years in small theater, creating a story that has more than 5 or 6 characters would not even occur to me. And having spent 20 years in small theater, I know how to streamline crew tasks since crew are often the only folks in small theater who get paid.

It is more liberating every day that I spend in my home study - sometimes until 2 p.m. still wearing my pajamas while sewing or fabricating - so liberating not to be burdened with budget.