Thursday, May 11, 2006

What, me post?

I haven't been posting here a lot lately, in part because I've been busy working on Minions for Hire shoots. Of course, I have some behind-the-scenes shots, but since these shoots are for toons that won't be posted for a while yet (I'm trying to hold myself to posting one a week under normal circumstances, in hopes that I'll build up enough of a backlog so I can pull it off like clockwork) I don't want to spoil the toons by posting the back-stage stuff yet. So look for some Minions DVD-extras here on Monday.

The requirements of Minions are inspiring me to create some stock sets and props that you'll probably see over and over as time goes by. Of course, you've already seen the cell-door I built, but there will be others. A major one I'm working on right now is an industrial-looking cat-walk with an open-grid floor.

The catwalk is something I've been meaning to do for a long time. I'm building it around an extruded and stamped plastic screen designed to keep leaves out of gutters. The stuff comes in three-foot sections, and so I'll build a three foot section of catwalk that can be suspended over a set, or used as a setting itself. The plastic screen will be shored up with strips of flat, rectangular molding attached to the side with screws and nuts, and by the hand-rails uprights, which I plan to make from sections of threaded rod.

I'm hoping the final result will be generic enough to look at home in a super-villain lair, a factory, a refinery, or a rocket gantry. If you've ever watched a James Bond movie, you know there are always Minions in the catwalks, where they have spectacular fist-fights with the heroes, be shot and fall over the railing, or just be blown off by explosions. I think I can get a lot of use out of this little prop. I'll post some construction photos, and hopefully this is something that anyone with access to a hardware store and a few hand-tools will easily be able to replicate.

One important development here is that I've replaced my trusty Canon Powershot A40 with a new Canon Powershot A530. It's smaller lighter, has more shooting modes, better movie function, a 4X optical zoom instead of 3X, and most importantly, 5 megapixels instead of 2. I've been very happy with the Canon Powershot family of digital cameras, and I recommend them highly. They take good pictures, and have a lot of control and versatility for compact cameras. I've been impressed with the quality of the optics, the image sensors, and the all-important software that backs the sensor up. They take good pictures. 'Nuff said.

The old camera still works great, and I'll pass it off to my daughter so she has a decent camera to photograph merchandise for her web-store (she does sewing and costume work). 2 megapixels is more than enough for typical web-ad photos.

Meanwhile, to fill the time until I can post some new stuff, here's a golden oldie in honor of the coming summer, to remind you to always wear your bug-lotion.

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