Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Introducing Robin

In The Squirrel King, she keeps fish, saves cats and inadvertently tortures squirrels. In real life she hugs trees.

Meet the Aliens' instrument:
Robin, aka Shi Ne Nielson.

Incredibly talented and full of energy Shi Ne is the embodiment of everyone's desire to do good and be a part of something important.

Are the Aliens excited by their co-star?

Alien Two did a spontaneous jig.

While Alien One found a tree of her own, climbed it, and meditated for half an hour.

Who could have hoped to find a Robin with such a natural inclination for our aesthetic?

Am I excited? I, of course, remain as cool as a cucumber.

Next, stay tuned for the more unexpected find of the Robin casting sessions ...

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Watery Grave

As we all know, mostly art imitates life, but sometimes ... sometimes life imitates art. The Squirrel King's protagonist, Robin, spends her days struggling with good intentions that go awry. So it has become with our fish.

Despite our otherwise healthy tank, Moonshiner begun swimming sideways a few days ago and has in consequence been quarantined (see the foreground tank on the right). Worse however, while Moonshiner languished in quarantine the apparent harmony of the tank was viciously disrupted in my absence; indeed I returned home one afternoon to find Black Bunny mauled.

Black Bunny's funeral was a sombre affair (indeed paparazzi were banned) in which Alien One, now all too adept for her tender age, read the eulogy: "I wish Black Bunny was here for longer."

Rest assured though, it was back to work the next day, with construction continuing on the the Alien cribs.

Finally, it is my sincere hope that the Gods of misfortune will once again turn from our living fish to art when, after this weekend's callbacks, I can introduce you and them to Robin. Indeed in a further bid to bring Robin to life, Alien One, myself and the Trouble and Strife have all been busily at work on her bedspread (those strands of pom-poms will soon be married together completing our heroine's funky bedspread).

Stay tuned for drawbridges.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alien abandonment

The last week has been a big week on the home front with Alien One starting Kindergarten and Alien Two starting pre-school. The combined cataclysmic cut in my workforce has been playing on my mind for a couple of weeks now, but who can argue with the enthusiasm of Alien One after her first day.

While it is inspiring to see how completely Alien One has embraced the Squirrel King aesthetic, I am hoping that her teachers have uses for her books beyond those she found in the back of the car.

I am also hoping the shift in focus will make it easier to persuade Alien One to relinquish the cinematographic reigns to Tom Clancey (the DP, not the writer) with whom I have already been having covert meetings about the look and style for the series. Tom is a superb cinematographer and equally superb person and we are all very enthused to have him on board.

And in case you were wondering about Alien Two, rest assured she was every bit as excited about heading to school! And oh-so proud about her first art project!

And the silver lining to the depleted workforce? With after-school playdates we're utilizing more of the local talent ever before! Stay tuned for the next post in which we'll show off some of the work.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Chains

Everyone knows drawbridges require chains, and the ones on the Alien spaceship are no different, well maybe just a little given we're building them with paper. So we gathered our top helpers and went down to the park where we could really cut loose with the paint. And the results: if you look carefully at the photo on the left you'll see three unexpected things happened:
i) Alien Two started painting leaves,
ii) the painted pages stuck together (something that only got worse when we tried to bring them home), and
iii) we discovered an alternate use for the hair-bun holder by Alien One's foot.

With all that in mind, we returned to the kitchen floor, our home studio, and started afresh. Actually, first Alien One searched her room for the clothes pegs to avoid the problems created by our second unexpected observation.

(btw, the green wall not only belongs to the Alien's room, but their spaceship)

Finally, we laid out the canvas and got to work splotching paper. For now you'll just have to imagine the final chains as the loops are yet to be closed.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS In case you were wondering, dear reader, the audition process went spectacularly well today. More soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Casting began well back during the writing stages when after continual pestering, I realized that the blonde brutes bugging us were in fact the Aliens. Even before that, Justus had, by fiat, given one of the characters his own name in an act that might be likened to a dog marking its territory.

Come to think of it, I wonder if the three were in fact in cahoots; the photo on the right was Alien Two marching Justus to ... that was two years ago!

More recently, it occurred to me that the magnificent Tony Doupe - who played Officer Lowry in Butterfly Dreaming, my feature debut - was indeed a Catburglar. Was indeed THE Catburglar. Don't worry that you can't see his face in the photo on the left; he'll be wearing a balaclava over his head throughout The Squirrel King.

The great excitement for this week though is the casting session for Robin, the center of our story, the woman who desperately wants to be part of something important. We've narrowed down 500 submission and will be auditioning this weekend! Stay tuned for the excitement.

In the meantime our intergalactic stars are adjusting well to pampering earth-starlet-style.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims