reduce. reduce.

Posted by tkemp on 2006.05.28 @ 13:35

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After Emilio del Rosario’s newest student informed us yesterday that his piano practice was going to interfere with his plans to perform with us, I knew had assumed too soon that the script was finished. Didn’t some poet say that you have to revise as long as you’re living? (or something like that — I’m not a quoteperson.)

I drove home in some sort of blind rage, singing along full volume to Green Day and almost hitting several cars while changing lanes. Once making it home without killing anyone, I had a beer and called my current flame, who calmed me down with his summary of The Idiots Guide to the Crusades. I went to bed, got up and went to church and came home to work on today’s Columbus Dispatch sudoku puzzle, which ironically was five interlocking sudoku puzzles. Go figure.

Then I attacked the script. I wish I could say like a fourteenth century crusader, but that would sound too courageous, and I don’t like war metaphors anyway. It was more of a rabid raccoon attack: hack this, cut that, combine these three lines into one, froth at the mouth…

I’m starting to view preparation for this performance as some twisted form of budget therapy. Like yesterday, I got over my fear of singing in front of people and today I’m getting over my dislike for the revision phase of the writing process. I’m also learning to channel my stress in productive ways — such as road rage and sudoku.

Disclaimer: Steve, I’m not blaming you in any way, shape, or form for anything. Especially not the sudoku.

imagery imagery

Posted by smokris on 2006.05.28 @ 01:17

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blindside.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.27 @ 23:56

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The day started like any normal day, Steve hacking on stuff starting around 8am, waking us up at 9am (but us sleeping an additional hour or two).

Steve was hard at work, editing all the video we had created in the last week. Ashley and I headed down to the mine to finish up the last day of stopmotion. The goals were floam and kitchen utensil animations. With the creative ideas running thin, we slowly banged out a couple good animations involving floam, including an amazingly cool subatomic particle collision. The kitchen utensils, however, posed a greater problem, seeing how all we could really do was rotate or spin them. However, we managed to get some good footage. With that done, all stopmotion had been completed.

Tina arrived around 2 pm to work on music and other activities. Steve continued to edit video, while Tina practiced some of the singing parts in the performance. This was all being done while Ashley and I finished up the filming.

Feeling confident in the day’s tasks, we headed to Molly Woo’s to celebrate Ashley’s 20th birthday. The restaurant was built into the local mall, but do not let that take away from the value of it. The interior was decorated with red lanterns and an entire wall was dedicated to niches filled with vases. Very fancy. The food was good, however, for the price, it was a general consensus, that either there should have been a lot more of it, or that it should have been more creatively designed. But, overall, a very enjoyable experience.

A near fatal blow was dealt to Project Ruori upon returning from Ashley’s birthday dinner. Apparently, our keyboardist and lead actor, Max, found it was better for him to spend his time this week in Chicago. He allegedly has a very important piano lesson June 5th, 3 days after the performance, and he needs to practice for it. This topic will be left at that.

Now. Everything has screeched to a standstill. There are many possibilities to overcome this obstacle, however all are very time consuming. Most likely, at this time, the script is going to have to be rewritten for four characters, and the music is going to need a complete overhaul. Other outcomes are possible, but are becoming increasingly improbable as time moves forward.

Tina has headed home to start work on a 4-person rewrite.

Luckily I have blind faith in Steve, Tina, and Ashley’s creative abilities to make this happen.

Also, if one happens to be in the Columbus area, and then, perchance, is able to play the piano and have some kind of acting abilities, do leave us a comment or something.

neue rollen. neue rollen.

Posted by tkemp on 2006.05.27 @ 16:41

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I was asked (or rather commanded: “write blog!”) to add something here. My exploits at the condo and various custard shops have been adequately detailed by Ryan, so I will not belabor these further.

As I write this, Steve’s musical rendering of Couscous is pulsing through my headphones, blocking out the sound of my brother and mom stomping around the house. Hopefully I’ll be able to commit the notes and subtle rhythms to memory soon enough to not embarrass myself in front of the real musicians on Monday. Steve has been generous in referring to me as a “vocalist” and “actress” when introducing me to friends and collaborators on this project, even though he knows as well as I do that most of my stage experience has been through school performances and karaoke.

The first two large-scale collaborations I worked on — Tuesday Afternoon and last year’s Electro — focused a lot more on ridiculousness in other people and, ironically, I was also detatched from the performance and implementation of them. It’s therefore fitting that when I try to use my writing to take on my own ridiculousness, I get swept up in portraying it, too.

hot glue.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.27 @ 00:03

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A target time of 9 am was set for waking up this morning. However, little did Steve know he was waging a war against Earth’s rotation. Ashley and I have yet to conform to EDT, and if all goes as planned, we never shall. Anyways, Ashley and I woke up at 9 am MDT with the help of Steve.

A brief breakfast consisting of cereal solved all early morning hungers. Steve then ventured back to the tunnel to continue composing music. I did the dishes, so I could enjoy some coffee in my $1 travel mug. Ashley set up the arts and crafts center to create.

Seacreatures were fashioned out of pipecleaners, fuzzballs, wiggley eyes, and hot glue. 6 fishes, 1 octupus, 1 seaurchin, and aquatic plant life were created in the safety of Steve’s livingroom. The underwater scenes had to be put on hold, as the image capturing device was transfering audio+video via firewire to a mac. This gave us time to set up the tri-planer aquatic set in the mine. The tri-planes consist of a background, foreground and “action plane.” It is quite exciting.

3 bowls of soup, 3 ears of oven baked corn, and 2 plates of ribs were had for lunch, along with 2 glasses of creamsoda and 1 glass of rootbeer to help the medicine go down.

The lunch time allowed for the video+sound transferring procedure to end. The camera was carefully lowered to the mine. With the camera in place (yet again artfully set up by Steve) the fish animations began. Forground and backround scenes were filmed first. Then the action plane was put into use as seacreatures were filmed swimming in their natural habitat.

Tina arived shortly into the fish animations and this is when everyone got to hear the music for the upcoming performance. Tina and Steve discussed the music while Ashley and I continued filming.

6 pm arrived, and it was time to venture into the daylight to Denison University. The mission was to meet up with Mr. Matt Briggs and Aaron Fuleki for dinner, then a movie. Aaron could not make dinner as he already had dinner plans, however Matt Briggs and his girlfriend Jessie were able to make it. We ate at Creno’s Pizza. It was delicious and the dinner conversation was phenominal. Plans were made to pass an hour of extra time at Whit’s Custard shop. Steve promised the most delicious custard, and the shop came through. With dessert over, we headed towards Heath to catch the 9:45 movie showing of DaVinci Code. We got stood up by Briggs and girlfriend, so we decided not to see the movie but to meet up with Aaron instead.

Aaron’s house was finally found after missing a left turn. We were greeted at the door by Aaron himself and his two cats. Introductions were made, and we got comfortable on the couches. Aaron and Steve went off to side room to investigate what type of equipment Aaron should bring for the performance. In the meantime we met Aaron’s wife Megan who told us a funny story about cloth awnings. Once equipment selections were made, and no other plans were created, we watched Aaron play with his cats. It was quite entertaining. The best was “cat gun.” In this game, Aaron picks up one of his cats and pretends it is a gun. The funniest part, was the absolute hilarity of how pissed off the cat got at the game. The next best game was cat fishing. In this game, Aaron used a toy fishing pole to cast a toy mouse off into the distance, then reeling it in with the cats chasing it. This game lasted a good 30 minutes. It never got old.

Eventually we decided it was time to head home. The trip home was short and interlaced with conversation. With not enough time left in the day, no other activities were conducted.

fifty miles per gallon.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.26 @ 00:05

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The day started early, as a trek up northish was needed to meet up with Ashley and Steve’s Grandparents for an outletmall shopping extravaganza located in Lodi. It was a two-for-one trip as Steve needed to make recordings of Grandpa as the “radio announcer,” and Ashley needed to shop with Grandma. I was there mainly for the ride and the food.

After the two-for-one special we enjoyed a magnificent breakfastlunchdinner meal at Bob Evans. With food, shopping, and recording done, we could focus on the main task: getting the Prius to average 50 mpg. It was in quite a hole from city driving the couple days before the reset. With Steve masterfully drafting behind semis and the Synergy drive performing, our goal of 50 mpg was exceeded by 2 mpg by the time we neared Polaris Parkway. It was magnificent; unfortunately, the visual proof ended up blurry. So, take my word for it.

With the newly-acquired teapot from Grandma, some sound and video recordings could now be realized. Since the teapot required an external heat source, like the one before, we chose the location of the kitchen to record. The new teapot whistled like a champion; the sound was recorded; the video was captured; and two microphones were melted (not really, but pretty close).

After the recordings, Ashley and I were sent out on some errands so Steve could get to work on finishing the score. Ashley and I visited the post office to mail a TACWB DVD to a victim fan in an undisclosed location. After the post office, we headed back to Meijer to purchase gummibears, milk and 6 stalks of corn. From there we proceeded to DSW to spend a $5 coupon Ashley received in the mail. Of all the shoes, we settled on 3 pairs of socks. Costing her $2.70.

2 hours later, Steve was found hard at work in the Project Ruori studios. However, he was needed to help set Ashley up with a computer and keyboard for sonata recording purposes.

An abridged version of Ashley’s sonata was recorded. During the recording process, Steve headed back to the tunnel (next to the animation mine) to continue working on the score. I sat idly by.

Donatos was visited when a break in the music action was needed. A pepperoni and pineapple pizza was eaten, along with 6 breadsticks.

Steve is continuing work on the music.

Rehearsals start in 3 days.

Also, very few pictures were taken today. Hopefully the sparse collection of picures captured on my camera will help in the visual department.

shopped.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.25 @ 00:38

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Today’s work was crammed into a small amount of time. Other tasks had to be done first:

(List A.)

  1. Obtain Teakettle
  2. Obtain Grandma’s Birthdaypresent
  3. Food

An attempt was made at the PolarisFashionPlace to solve task A2. Steve brought the camera for sights and sounds. No luck was to be had solving task A2. However, we did manage to get kicked out of the Pottery Barn Kids, while filming a toy cashregister. Gesturing at the camera we were told, “We can’t have those in our store,” while another employee stated, “No, really, that’s okay… They aren’t really…” But we left it at that.

We returned to homebase to ascertain the location of a goodwill to complete task A1. The closest Goodwill appeared to be quite a trek so we headed out to avoid rushhour upon returning. We traveled to the location in question. However, upon reaching the stripmall additional tasks were realized:

(List B.)

  1. Obtain goods from the DollarTree
  2. Obtain goods from the BigLots
  3. Get clarinet reeds from guitar center

Tasks B1. and B2. were completed successfully. I obtained two new traveler coffee mugs for a dollar each. Other supplies were purchased too: Aluminumfoil, Gummibears, 3-liter Carbonatedbeverages, Trashbags, and cookies. Task B3. was a bust. Apparently no woodwinds or the supplies that accompany woodwinds are sold at “guitar” center.

Finally, Goodwill was entered. Teapots were located in the back left sections of the store. There were two teapots, one was self-heating, the other required an external heatsource. We choose the latter of the two. Task A1. was completed — or so we thought. Two additional items were found at the Goodwill: A clockradio (whose plug is currently stuck into an outlet in Steve’s kitchen despite all efforts to remove it), and some cool vintage records.

Task A3. was solved simply: Steak ‘n Shake. It was scrumptious.

Later in the day, after Steak ‘n Shake, it was determined that task A1 was not completed: the whistle on the teakettle failed to produce a sound when tested. Two dollars were wasted.

Additionaly task A2 was completed at a different time in the day at World Market.

Now that all the tasks were completed, the primary objective of the day could be completed: water. Sound and video needed to be captured. The sound of dripping water on metal was captured in the comfort of the extra bedroom. All external sounds were silenced, as drops of water were dropped on to different types of metal. Two mics picked up a wonderful subset of the incoming waves.

Next was the video of water. The bathroom was the most logical place to capture the water in one of its natural habitats. Various clips of filling the sink were taken. The audio was also recorded; all spectators were silent. Water was then run down the mirror for video capturing. Steve framed each shot, while Ashley and I prepared the dropmaking apparata. After that, more inspiration came, and water was run off many more glasslike objects.

Steve is currently transferring all the video off to a Mac. Results are pending.

The primary objective, and 2 out of 3 of the secondary objectives had been complted for the day. Still-photo images were taken of the primary objective to demonstrate that it had happened.



Would you please close all the windows and pull the drapes. I don’t like the lights. I don’t like the draft… And if you can prevail upon that raggedy-ann carcass of yours to exert itself, I’d like a cup of hot chocolate in my bone china!

cheeriome.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.24 @ 07:00

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The day was started late due to sleeping in.

Eggs were purchased from Kroger in order to make blueberry muffins (in reality they were streusels, but what’s the difference?). The muffins were eaten on the back porch. Everyone enjoyed them.

Down to the mine. Today was multiplane animation day. This time Ashley and I brought down two sheets of glass, stolen from Steve’s bookshelves. These were used to create the animation surfaces for the cereal sessions. Steve artfully placed the camera and the lighting for the animation. The rest was up to Ashley and me. With the proverbial creative juices flowing we very very slowly moved each piece of cereal around to form delightful scenes, including but not limited to: cereal fireworks, cereal squaredance, cereal swarms, and a cereal chase sequence.

As Ashley and I animated, Steve was hard at work trying to finish up the score.

The day quickly ran out of light and dinnertime began at 11pm. I had been waiting in anticipation all day for the worldfamous pizzamuffinthings by Steve. His techniques cannot be divulged on this public forum. However, the results were indeed very satisfying.

Robert then stopped by to take some measurements to build the custom LCD Projector/Mac Mini mounts for the wondrous Double Projector Tree.

Down to the mine again. This time the animations were fast, yet detailed. Heavy eyelids became a factor, so Ashley and I had to retire.

Sadly, I do not think the day’s goal of 100 stillphotos to prove the day existed was met. But, I do believe quality over quantity did prevail.

food.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.23 @ 01:37

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Today revolved around food. It started with Steve giving us directions to a McDonalds in hope of satisfying the early morning hunger of Ashley and me. We made it just in time to get the last two hashbrowns made before breakfast was over.

After picking Tina up we ventured back to Steve’s, making sure to stay inside the circle — i.e., I-270. We made it back safe and sound.

Ashley and I were assigned to do some more animation. With food on our mind we headed to the kitchen for inspiration. It was found in the form of tongs, a pizza cutter, and a cheese grater. With our props in hand we headed down the shafts to the animation mines to invent. The clips today were a lot cleaner than the midnight session last night, and my thumb even made a guest appearance, despite the warnings that it shouldn’t. No grapes were harmed in the filming of our clips, however the pizza did not survive intact.

A much-needed nap was then taken.

Upon awakening, it was dinnertime. We ventured out to Ming Flower for some delicious Chinese delicacies. Leftovers are waiting for us in the fridge. Back to homebase. Cookies and Milk were had by all (including Radcliffe who showed up for dinner, too).

Steve, Tina, Ashley and I did a prelimanary reading of the script. Moods and acting styles were discussed for each scene, along with timing. My creativeness does not expand into the world of acting, I will leave it to the professionals — i.e., the other three.

It is time to sleep, because the quicker I go to sleep, the faster blueberry muffins will come in the morning.

stop.  motion. stop. motion.

Posted by smokris on 2006.05.22 @ 02:15

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I think I’m going to use this space to try to loosely chronicle ruori happenings over the next week-and-a-half as things progress toward the (all-too-rapidly) upcoming show in Philadelphia.

I frantically cleaned the house (i.e., emptied two entire rooms, half-into-dumpster, half-into-car-to-unexpectedly-drop-upon-my-grandparents). I drove to Akron-Canton Airport to pick up Ashley and Ryan. Akron-Canton Airport is amazingly small. Small, as in, most of the primary roads on campus are single-lane, and they actually allow cars to stop near the passenger-pickup-area. Also small, as in, they can get away with a huge flash thing in the middle of their website. Altogether uncanny.

We were planning to record my grandfather doing some narration (voiceovers to be used during some film-based segments of the show) but an unidentified individual forgot to bring the camera battery. So we shall meet him sometime in the next few days.

We arrived back in Columbus. Ashley and Ryan went out to retrieve some essentials such as Meijer Bulk Gummibears, Dinner Rolls, and Myriad Caffeinated Substances.

While they were gone, I searched for software with which to turn the fancy new videocamera into a bolex, and came across iStopMotion. I played with it a bit and decided to buy a copy.

Somehow I managed to destroy one of the three mac minis already. It’s giving me the flashy-folder thing and doesn’t start loading OS X at all..

Tina’s back in Columbus now, too. She’s planning to be here most of Monday to hopefully finish script stuff and start working on blocking and storyboards. Speaking of things that should have been done a year ago, I really need to start writing the score.

Ashley, Ryan, and I then spent the next few hours assembling and becoming familiar with the animation rig. And rediscovering how touching a small part of an object causes the whole room to move (taking the frame out of registration and requiring a few minutes to reposition everything). Having realtime onionskin capabilities in software is so helpful.

We ended up with about 25 seconds of potentially-usable footage @ 12 frames per second.