It often escapes the Northern Hemisphere that half the world thinks of this time of the year as time for the beach, but precisely that was on my mind when while grocery shopping yesterday I came across COCONUTS!
Inspired to get a jump on Robin's costume for a future beach scene, I bought two and pulled out my circular saw :) With a little effort I whittled the white out of Christmas - the coconut flesh that is! All we need now is some colorful straps and Robin could celebrate Christmas with the Aussies.
Chin chin Ruthless Whims
PS. For those of you concerned for my safety, rest assured; I repurposed the glasses from an Avatar screening, so I was seeing everything in 3D ;)
While looking back through some footage, I came across this little gem of enthusiasm from earlier this year just prior to the shoot of Robin's bathroom. I feel that it nicely captures some of the passion I have for this project.
Earlier this summer I was inspired by the work of Denise Duong. Her cut paper collages seemed like an ideal springboard for some fantastic Squirrel King background elements. You may even recall, Alien One and I gave the concept a shake with cut fabrics before ordering some fabulous papers.
As so often happens of course, we got sidetracked by other pressing delights! Finally, though, after one last hot chocolate for inspiration, we're back, and this time we're really onto something!
Alien One cut some clouds and pretty soon we had enough elements to get a sense.
One of our mantras for the digital series has been to mix media as extensively as possible, and Sunday's shoot was no exception.
Not only was Robin driving the Mango Goddess with Vlad's portrait in the back, but along the way she encountered many things including ..
The purple picture car that Justus had to drive to set (it didn't fit in the back of our transport vehicle).
First and foremost, The Squirrel King is about inspiring others to jump in and create. Every now and then I am encouraged we're onto something :)
Having shared the (work-in-progress) sizzle reel with one of Alien One's friends (again and again, per request) I later received one of the most heartwarming texts I've ever received. The little girl had presented these images to her mother. When asked about them she responded: "Rufus has given me some good ideas!"
She then asked for a camcorder to make a film with! I can't wait to share more with everyone :)
Chin chin Ruthless Whims
PS check in tomorrow for images from yesterday's grand shoot!
As has been noted before The Squirrel King has grown well beyond the confines of simple web series. Indeed the loftier goals now include revolutionizing the way people perceive their own ability to create and inciting them to inspire others too. Instrumental in executing this grander vision are the following team.
A PhD from Harvard in mathematics and rock-climbing expertise that ranks him among Australia's top boulderers serve as great indicators of Rufus' diverse talents and inclinations. Add two beautiful and energetic daughters into the mix, and it is hardly surprising that he has chosen to follow up his debut feature film, Butterfly Dreaming - which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and went on to win Best Thriller at the Santa Monica International Film Festival - with a light-hearted digital series about aliens, squirrels and one woman's quest to be part of something important.
After an academic career that started at Oxford University and included over 300 publications in prestigious journals such as Nature, Keith parlayed his scientific expertise into a more business-focussed life. As a founder and director of several successful biotech companies Keith has raised over $100 million dollars and structured partnerships with major companies and institutions including IBM, Dow Agrosciences, Beckman, Bayer, Nestle and the Bill Gates funded FIND Foundation.
The head of the scientific lab that coined the term "Proteome", Keith founded and grew the biotech company Proteome Systems from 12 to 150 people, ultimately leading the company to a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange; doubtless one of the contributing factors in his being awarded an Order of Australia.
Complimenting these professional credentials, is Keith's belief in GNH (Gross National Happiness), the Bhutanese measure of prosperity. Further with five children, and four grandchildren, of his own, he is perfectly placed as a driving force behind the world of The Squirrel King.
Otherwise known by the pseudonym The Trouble and Strife, the elusive Paytre would be more accurately referred to as Her Saintliness. Far from torment and conflict, her presence on the Squirrel King team ensures precisely the opposite. Trained as a lawyer at USC where she held an executive position on the law review, she is, by day, an entertainment attorney.
Beyond her legal prowess, and undergraduate background in physics and biochemistry, Her Holiness is a fashion guru and designer; skills she is harnessing as the visionary behind the Squirrel King clothing lines Little Nut (kids), Big Nuts (mens) and the yet unnamed women's line.
She met and married Rufus over 10 years ago while working in a lab at MIT.
Just outside Wenham, MA, there is a valley named "The Valley of Justus".
If you really need to know more, check out the cast page, as Justus plays his namesake, and the digital series lead's love interest.
Vivian's eclectic background ranges from papier-mache snails and ferrets, to writing "Fly My Way", the number 1 pop song in China for 3 weeks in 2010.
She's also a co-creator of the Sweet Mary & Jane for Monarch Media, and a producing partner for the band Thank You, Goodbye.
Exciting steps forward: we've locked the picture for a trailer! Which means that the first fully formed view into the world of The Squirrel King is now with our sound genius who will bring you the sounds of Aliens, trucks and squirrels!
There's still score to add and a couple of small visual effects but this is a big step forward. With some luck early in the new year we'll have something to share.
As you can see, it's the sort of thing that makes Alien One jump for joy :)