Saturday, April 30, 2011

They Multiplied!

Dear Reader,

A fact, little known to the uninitiated, is that certain packing peanuts shrink when applied with acrylic paint. Fortunately my local dealer knew of this and was able to furnish me with the more robust kind.

A little reworking of our painting technique and ....

That's a lot of painted peanuts!

Almost ready to shoot, but first there's a little party to attend ;)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Aliens on Two Wheels!

Dear Reader,

Yesterday was a day of many firsts!

We began by charging our batteries with the first smoothie of summer.

Then Alien Two discarded the training wheels completely!

It was wobbly at first, but pretty soon she was tearing up the sidewalk.

More firsts soon!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS There were a few tried and true activities too; I for instance painted packing peanuts into the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mr. Clock

Dear Reader,

While I wrote to you Wednesday morning, Alien One began her film career.

Today I share with you her first heady piece - a masterful modern self-portrait (click the video below) ...

... And the subsequent, very enthusiastic, gem: Mr. Clock. If you watch carefully, you can see some flowers for this weekends shoot.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Joy to the World!

Dear Reader,

Alien One's birthday celebrations included conveyor belt sushi (which she assures us is not her favorite restaurant just because of the gorgeously presented orange at the end) ...

And of course the ice cream "cake" replete with candles!

What's missing in these pictures is the broad smiles from myself, the Trouble and Strife, and Alien Two; but it was Alien One's moment :)

Of course, it is a truism we all know: giving is as much about the giver as the receiver.

And the same was definitely true with the completion of the Trouble and Strife's master briefcase for a dear friend of ours!

Remember to celebrate for yourselves and others!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Field of Flowers

Well we don't quite have an entire field yet, but we're hard at work prototyping some gorgeous flora for next week's climbing scene.

With Alien Two chopping ...

Alien One glueing ...

And all of us incorporating pom-poms, pipe cleaners and felt. The possibilities are endless!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Sunday, April 24, 2011

At Work For the Easter Bunny

What a weekend! The Easter Bunny truly never sleeps.

Saturday night, around midnight, she had me cutting and gluing felt for jelly-bean pockets.

All in service to the easter egg trail.

And the rest of the weekend was spent on finishing construction of Alien One's party favor bags (by the way, what toning in those arms!).

Back to Squirrel King paraphernalia again.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS. Justus and I did get a little Squirrel King scouting achieved at 6am on Saturday - what a gorgeous time of day for those who are up!

Friday, April 22, 2011

References: Part 2 (Gondry)

As regular readers will know, one of the primary goals of The Squirrel King is to inspire people to build things of their own. With that in mind, I feel it's pretty important to acknowledge an early inspiration of mine, Michel Gondry.

If it looks like what it's supposed to represent, and it's a fun rendition, then that's the representation for us.

And like Gondry's horse in The Science Of Sleep (a real horse in costume on the right versus a puppet below), representations need not be unique. Indeed keep your eyes open for a pipecleaner rendition of Justus; two different renditions of a telegraph pole; and two different renditions of Ed's DWP truck to name just a few that we'll see shortly.

Happy Easter, one and all.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS. In case you haven't seen it, The Science of Sleep, in particular, is a great film to watch for the production design (our story and pacing are dramatically different, but there are certainly elements we've borrowed from Gondry's aesthetic). Even the TRAILER has some of the fantastic elements.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Party Prep

In a distraction from work, and a celebration of life, the Trouble and Strife and I spent last night prepping party-favor bags for Alien One's impending birthday.

No ordinary bags, these will be party favors Squirrel King style, big, beautiful, home-made and with assiduous measurements taken to ensure maximum practicality.

Bag contents remain under wraps, which is to say they are still lost in the wilderness of our minds ;)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Squirrel Queen Builds A Tree

As some of you know, Vivian, our Squirrel Queen and production designer extraordinaire is always at work on fantastic papier mache products of her own.

Now, the beauty of The Squirrel King aesthetic, is that oftentimes we can simply copt her independent work and it slips right into our world.

Isn't this tree simply gorgeous!

And I was in need of a miniature version of our earlier forest too :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Squirrels for Acorns

Dear Reader,

Despite the chaos, Sunday was an industrious day of Squirrel King kits R&D. Our acorn packaging will soon have contents!

Just not quite yet ... Alien One continues to refine the head design.

Vivian, our Squirrel Queen, is still simplifying the body.

And I am still industriously at work on fluffy tails.

But the packaging is getting closer too; the tide is like a burst dam - unstoppable!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS It's still a work in progress so we're very open to feedback.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bathroom Recap

Dear Reader,

Our kitchen still houses Robin's bathroom (though I've promised the Trouble and Strife that'll change today), but before getting to that I wanted to give you a quick recap of the fantastic shoot last Friday.

Let me start with an image that encapsulates so many elements of Squirrel King genius, the photo to the left. First, Robin's boxers, care of The Trouble and Strife's wardrobe wizardry (from scratch, thank-you) . Second, Shi Ne, our magnificent Robin, an amazing talent, and an absolute delight to work with. Third, Justus' inspired rigging of Robin's bathroom sink; yes, that's our trash can being repurposed. And finally, the silver bounce, evidence of Tom, our illustrious DP!

To the right, Tom himself, tries to make sense of our mad-cap script, while outside the window a beautiful pink bird sings a tune.

And then, adjusting the shower head; careful to work from the side to avoid getting his hair wet.

Next, Tom and I work in the grubby chaos behind the set, while Justus, our love interest, lives in a fantasy world (don't be fooled though, Justus spent plenty of time behind the paper curtain too).

Finally, our new Alien, the fatigued Alien Two's stand-in, super trooper helper, Liz! I challenge you to spot her in the final product.

Alright, back to set striking.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Bathroom!

Dear Reader,

What a day yesterday!

More details very soon, but I wanted you to see Justus in Robin's bathroom.

And Robin in her shower.

Can't stay and chat now, the Trouble and Strife is leaving for a run and I'm too old and slow to give her a headstart ... or is it just that she's a bright young spring chicken ;)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bathroom Construction: 6

Dear Reader,

What a day!

Here's the highlights of construction, on the left about halfway through the day.

And this is where we ended up.

Still a fair chunk of work ahead tonight; that gaping hole needs to be turned into a window, and then there's the small matter of what's outside!

We celebrated with a meal out (our kitchen of course now being a bathroom), but for now, it's back to work for me with a long night ahead. Quite apart from the production design, we still need to cope with tomorrow's food.

But before I go, I have to share a little dumpster diving for some last scraps of wood on the way home from ice cream :) Thank god for construction waste!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Bathroom Construction: 5

Dear Reader,

This morning has been a flurry of activity to put a window into Robin's bathroom.

You'll notice the Squirrel King-style vice (aka an adjustable wrench).

The focus, so far, has been on building the window. How exactly to put it in the soon-to-be-constructed paper wall ... well that's a problem for this afternoon!

I'm also hoping to get a little more focused work from Alien One shortly, but for now she's an unstoppable artist. Note the bow on the dolphin's fin: "That's because it's the dolphin's birthday".

Walls next post ... hopefully!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Bathroom Construction: 4 (Alien Costuming)

With the Trouble and Strife in the house, we took a short break from construction this morning to check the Alien Costuming.

Always a seriously chaotic affair, I was very happy to discover that i) the Aliens have not grown physically as much as they had in my mind since the last shoot, and ii) they have grown spiritually, which is to say they are now excited to get into costume.

Obviously there's still plenty of chaos to ensue once they are fully costumed!

Back to building and more to report shortly.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims