Monday, April 30, 2012

The Cork Car Shoot

Dear Reader,

A couple of stills from yesterday evening's cork car shoot!

Obviously we're all deep at work getting to the essence of the scene. It was serious business with the smoke and fire they were headed into.

And in case you're wondering, yes, that's me on the left ... the Trouble and Strife and I decided that it was time for a new look :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cork Car - Almost done

Dear Reader,

With tomorrow's shoot almost upon us, I'm happy to report that Paul's cork car is nearing completion!

We just need to put the pieces together and add a steering wheel!

Fire and smoke are in the works. It's going to be another fun shoot!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reflections on Building Stuff

Dear Reader,

Great things so often start with a whim! Of course it doesn't end there.

Working on the last of Paul's car, I've been struck by a truism of life. If you want to make something, simply start.

Almost without fail you will need to refine along the way, regardless of the planning. This is not to diminish planning, that too is important, but making things concrete is uniquely satisfying and in fact creates a momentum of its own.

So today, I encourage you to pick up on a project you've been cogitating! Go on, stop cogitating, start building!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Perilous Life of a Stunt-Double

Dear Reader,

The night finally drew upon us yesterday; Squirrely's destiny was upon us. Pyrotechnic arsenals were readied, vertigo was battled and overcome ... the stage was set:

Above the trees and power lines, the night sky was set!

Below the ground, the shot was lined up ...

The lights were on, the camera was rolling and Squirrely took her jump to greatness!!

For the footage you'll just have to wait, but rest assured there were sparks and death was defied :)

After the fire and the flight, Squirrely returned to inspect the now-burnt-out power lines.

Notice her stoic stance in spite of her newly singed tail!

Chin chin

Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Justus' Feature Debut

Dear Reader,

As many of you have no doubt inferred, the thing about a high-end-low-budget-visual-effects driven film is that it takes a long time to piece together.

So long, as it happens, that Justus, our leading love interest, has, since we started The Squirrel King journey, followed another of his acting projects, through from beginning to finished product!

Congratulations Justus on your feature debut: 29,000 Wishes. 1 Regret. For everyone else, here's a review.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Call for Corks

Dear Reader,

You know you all have them, everyone does, that secret stash of corks you've been hoarding for ... you weren't quite sure what.

Well Paul's car needs more corks! It's already looking great, but we're shooting it on Sunday and it's still a few corks - quite a few, actually - shy of a full rig.

I will even travel for a big enough bag! Not North Dakota, but most of LA :) Give me a holler!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Counsel of Fellow Professionals

Dear Reader,

As the day grows closer to shooting the pyrotechnic action scene, Squirrely's stunt double has called in a council of professionals to review the safety features, and in the event of catastrophe, to stand in should something unthinkable happen.

Stay tuned for scenes from the action.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cardboard Foundations

Dear Reader,

The next couple of shoots will both benefit from foundations of the wonderfully whimsical variety. Specifically I've returned to one of my favorite media: cardboard and masking tape!

And though Squirrely's stunt double (bottom left, in the right image) was nervous about the hole in the center of my construction (necessary for the camera on this miniature shoot), the Aliens reassured her that the power lines will catch her fall :)

I'm pretty sure Paul too will be exited about the hood of his car ... wait for it though, this will soon be covered in corks!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cat Out at Large

Dear Reader,

Much has been made of the cats Robin freed from the Nesting cat shelter, not least of which, their impact on the local squirrels.

Now it seems, Vivian's cat in particular, is at large in the world and being heralded on the Ultimate Paper Mache blog. Congrats, Vivian!

Squirrels around the world, beware.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Squirrely and Her Miniature Stunt Double

Dear Reader,

The time has come to shoot some action set pieces!

To that end I've made a miniature stunt double for one of our favored squirrels. Here you see the two of them standing side by side ... and in front of them one of the pyrotechnic implements of mayhem!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lost Coconuts in Paradise

Dear Reader,

A couple of celebratory snapshots of our rejuvenating Hawaiian vacation!

Left, fun times in the Trouble and Strife's crocheted bikinis. She made five pairs - Robin, yours are on the way!

Communing with the local wildlife ...

... and the predictable loss of our coconuts, this one we actually scaled a tree for and hacked open with our own knives - it takes longer than you might think!

We're all ready now to jump back into the chaos at Squirrel King headquarters :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, April 13, 2012

Justus' Musings from the Boulder Field, 1

If you read yesterday's post, you should know that I, too, am in paradise: the boulder field.

Paradise comes with its share of overuse injuries, and yesterday, while I was wandering around paradise, massaging my sore shoulder, I remembered what Lao Tzu had said about this very subject:

If you fill a cup to the brim, it will spill;
if you keep sharpening a knife, it will blunt.

From time to time I'd like to share more wise words with you, things I think about while I'm out in nature climbing Her boulders.

See you soon,

justus (rhymes with "goo juice")

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Postcard from Paradise

Dear Reader,

I'm on holiday, but I wanted to share the joy with you. Days strolling to and from the beach, snorkeling, eating and reading before closing the day with the sun :) Of course it's hard to focus on the sunset with the Aliens having so much fun in the foreground ;)

It's morning now and I'm off to see if I can find the manta ray I swam with yesterday!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS Fear not, our fish back at Squirrel King headquarters are being attended to :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Handstands Are Good For You

Dearest Reader,

The aliens LOVE handstands. They spend more time inverted than upright. Some yogis believe that handstands lead to mental calmness and focus. Other scholars extol stimulated digestion ... Not a regular partaker, I recently attempted one. At first, the feeling of my muffin top moving toward my cranium and the weakness of my arms was unsettling. This was soon surpassed by the thrill of flipping upside down and feeling the blood rushing in the “wrong” directions. I stayed in the pose for a long time … about a minute. And, while I didn’t feel any mental calmness or focus afterward, it was just fun to feel like a kid again. The jury might be out on the benefits of handstands, but fun is good for you. Go ahead, do one!

Irrevocably yours,
The Trouble and Strife

PS Not sure there's much evidence of the calmness in the Aliens either.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The blog left to Justus!

Whims has flown the coop and left me to blog--here goes!

My name is Justus (rhymes with "whose twos"), and this is me with a squirrel. We met out in the forests of Nesting where I was on an errand, and we just sort of hit it off.

And here's a picture of Mr. Whims himself, deeply at work photographing the
cat shelter.

Finally, here's a picture of my girlfriend, Robin. Isn't she beautiful?

Well, that's it! I'm going climbing soon, I'll send some thoughts from the boulder field!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Running Round in Circles

Dear Reader,

After running around in circles for a couple of days gathering the pieces, it's pre-dawn now and we're ready for action!

The car is full, the Aliens are sleeping soundly after running in their own circles and I'm heading out.

Pics from today's shoot next week :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vacuum Sucked Acorns

Dear Reader,

Yesterday was filled with some big leaps forward in our quest to bring acorns to you! Indeed, even our first attempt, so proudly displayed here by Alien Two, was recognizable as an acorn :)

It all started with an artfully sculptured mold situated inside a sturdy housing and a vacuum cleaner split into two hoses.

Our industrial dipper dropped our housing into a slurry of pulp paper liquified by hand (a la the Aliens effort) ...

... by ad hoc mechanical madness (witness, yours truly with a Squirrel King drill attachment), and Vivian's genius with the blender (somehow undocumented)!

There's still a little way to go, but every 10,000 mile journey has a 69,823rd step, and I believe we just took ours :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Roofing the Cat Shelter

Dear Reader,

Yesterday Alien Two said goodbye to the concept of a bamboo roof for the Nesting cat shelter ...

.. and Alien One and I went foraging for another whimsical alternative at the local nursery. With Irish Moss stowed alongside her gold rush calla lily we returned to Squirrel King headquarters ready to implement our greener find.

On reflection - with the integrity of the shelter structure (which is predominantly cardboard and paper) in mind - we've decided to live on the edge, leaving the actual application of the moss to the roof until our Friday shoot!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cat Shelter

Dear Reader,

To fit with its namesake, the town of Nesting needs a cat shelter.

Searching the web for reference images and inspiration, I came across some groovy pieces like the one to the right, but we wanted a shelter that housed many cats together.

In the end ours is a more geodesically inspired design. I've tried two different roofs - pink tiles and bamboo - but think I'm headed back to the more organic idea of sod which Alien One and I will procure today :)

Filming of the cat shelter happens this Friday!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, April 2, 2012

Acorns ... A Big Plan

Dear Reader,

In a bid to bring some Squirrel King magic to you, we've started work on constructing acorns. A lot of acorns :)

As with many of our finest projects it all began with some high-end power-tools! Indeed we treated ourselves to a new circular saw (the one used earlier for cutting the coconuts was borrowed and simply whet our appetite).

While I created a housing, Vivian was left to sew steel into the shape of an acorn!

Stay tuned, it's going to be a busy week watching, not only this project unfold, but preparation for Friday's shoot too!

By the way, if you look carefully you'll see that's Alien Two helping with the clean-up. Of particular note, is the newly formed twin-hose vacuum cleaner she's wielding ... whose true meaning will soon be revealed.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims