character building

Blast Off

Evil Eleanor as Brendara, ready to blast some blood-sucking bats to bits

Great we've managed to book up a number of public presentations of Galdo's Gift.  That's fantastic!  Woo hoo!  Go Tapocketa, yeah!

---pause---

'Yay.  Good.''

---pause---

'Yeah, it's going to be good.'

....

'Er, have you had any thoughts as to what we might do?'

'I dunno, you?'

Well, thankfully, ideas and elaboration are our strong point; our problem is time.  We need to find some way of presenting our book to a whole bunch of heckling children that is fun colourful and inventive and relatively quick.  We decided the best idea was to blow everything up.

That is to say, we would take the illustrations directly from the book and blow them up to human size so we could perform the story at full scale.  We would just need to work out how we could attach the character heads to ourselves and be able to switch them quickly.

 

Ingredients:

A whole bunch of illustrations

A bemused local printing shop

A lot of thick card

Tonnes of Velcro

A huge loss of dignity

 

With a skull cap made from Velcro (which looked fine on Eleanor but for some reason on me gave the air of someone all prepped up for the electric chair, 'sorry, kids') and its Velcro counterpart attached to the back of each character mask; we had our quick-change system ready.

some of the card masks and props ready for the school presentation

Child's Play

Our first 'gig' would be Commonswood Primary School in Welwyn Garden City.  We had initially asked if we could 'perhaps, kindly have a quick session talking to a few children about the book, if that would be to much of a problem, thank you'. 

Cut to: booked for seven half hour sessions each with thirty children (the last session would actually be sixty children) aged from seven to eleven, all on the same day.  -'Oh, *gulp*, thank you, that sounds great'.  Oh God.

Ok, so no hiding, time to step up...

5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

(to be continued...)

 

 
Ready for battle

Ready for battle

 

How to get a head of the crowd

If you print this, you will have headed paper -(sorry)

So the heroes of our story need a host of adoring fans and, despite what they say, three is not nearly enough for a crowd.

No, it's going to take more than that; a hero is just not a hero if there are just three lowly admirers raising a barely audible cheer on our protagonist's triumphant return.  Perhaps we could make one admirer and copy and paste times twenty, would that do?  No?  Ah, ok.

Colourful Characters

one of our King's subjects, ready for colour

We've made up a collection of characters to inhabit Galdo's kingdom from the numerous body parts we have created.  Once we have decided on a few of our favourites, the process begins of colouring the various body parts based on our selected palette.

The multi-coloured heads you see in the image above is the first stage of this colouring process.  The colours you see here are far from the final colours (we will adjust those later).  For now, we are just colouring in.

In the next post (on Friday) I will show the process of picking the body parts (all sounds a bit Frankenstein, I know) and how we turn them into fully fledged characters.

hand picked: a selection of some of the hands we have at our disposal

Through the Swampland

Oh my, I think I've taken a turn for the worse.

Oh my, I think I've taken a turn for the worse.

There seems to be a part of every momentous journey when you are forced to slow down and take stock of your surroundings, and I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing.  Stopping and taking a look around you means you have time to re-evaluate whether you really have taking the right path or perhaps back up a little and take a slightly different route.

We have ended up in swampland and have had to stop and work out why we ended up there.  The development of the inhabitants of the world we are creating have not been very forthcoming and we are now in the process of inviting new ones to our land.  Hopefully they won't be so difficult as the last lot.  Creating cool characters is hard!

Onwards and Outwards

So yesterday I spent time drawing out the body parts that will make up the characters that populate our strange little world.  As with everything we touch, this has become slightly more elaborate than we intended.
Whereas some of the main characters body parts are pretty much set, the generic characters parts are interchangeable. 

This, along with the fact that I wanted to create enough parts to have a better hit rate of creating the best characters possible, has meant a lot of parts!  Many heads, many bodies, lots of hats...many many hats.  Still, it's character-building stuff (sorry).

Eleanor has been working on the sets where our characters will reside.  A forest, rolling hills, a fantastic castle, all made out of lots of card bits, scanned into the computer and reconstructed in the digital ether.  It's all looking very promising.