Sunday, May 29, 2011

Set Design: Wizard of Oz, Our Combined Vision

A sample of the scenery we are creating for our little production. Stage magic is infectious. We spent the better part of a day going over the script, determining the look of our version of The Wizard of Oz. By 3 PM yesterday I was beginning to feel excited about this project, because I could visualize how it will come together. I will start assembling mid June. The rest of the weekend was spent photo-editing. Next time, I hope to share a video of the opening scene.

For nearly forty years this story has given faithful service to the Young in Heart; and Time has been powerless to put its kindly philosophy out of fashion.
To those who have been faithful to it in return
...and to the Young in Heart --- we dedicate this picture.

(I am not sure why they are using the movie reference to the letter when we are doing everything to make it come alive on stage.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The goldfish gallery is now ready.

Body of Proof - Episode 1.09 - Broken Home - Recap

Well. It was a good place to end the season. Megan and Lacey bonding over lunch. Or Lacey taking Megan's side in Todd dating Kate issue.

This episode starts off with young philanthropist Nikki Parkson dead. Then when Lacey got into trouble at school for looking at paparazzi photos of the her dead role model, Todd and Megan presented a united front to discipline their daughter, which she would later interpret as her parents getting back together.
Something in the pictures causes Megan to suddenly leave a meeting with the principal and was once again in full work mode, just when Todd was letting her to be more involved in Lacey's life.

Megan was determined to stop the funeral, even if it will get her into trouble. During the course of the investigation, the family truly believed that Nikki had hanged herself, but Megan found out it was made to look like suicide. Nikki was strangled to death. Ethan missed vital evidence, because he thought it pointless since she was already embalmed. It was a real mystery.

"She was already dying, why would someone want to murder her?"

Sam got it right. It was about money.

Not only did her sister conspired to con her money and got her killed, her own mother (Jill Eikenberry, L.A. Law) was withholding medication.

Meanwhile Megan figured out from a conversation with Lacey that Todd was dating her boss. Megan was right to get angry with Todd for putting her in an untenable position (definition of untenable: Incapable of being defended, as an argument). She had to work with Kate. It would be too awkward for her. Todd didn't get why it should be a problem. Peter didn't get it either.

Peter makes an interesting or rather annoying observation. Whenever something bothered Megan, she always draws solace from the dead.

Megan accepts the fact and is pleased when Lacey understands her frustration.

Favourite line:
Sam to Peter: You two can't wait for me to find the bodies, you gonna find them on your own now huh?

Four more episodes from the first season will be aired in season two. I am looking forward to seeing those in September.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Set Design: Cyclone Animation

I have choices of how to animate the inside of the cyclone. (1) An animated filter on GIMP lets me use a wave filter to create frames for an animated gif. (2) The same image rotated to create a animation of spinning clouds. Will have to see which will work with Keynote best.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 1.08 - Buried Secrets - Recap

Quality time between Megan and her mom (Joanna Cassidy) is interrupted by another "DB" dead body.

"You care more about the dead, because they can't talk back."
"Believe it or not, they have something to say."

Joe Salerno, 18-year veteran homicide detective with Philadelphia Police has seemingly been killed in a hit and run scenario. To make matters worst, he was Detective Sam Baker's friend. Megan tells her and Bud that he was already dead when the car hit him. He was killed then thrown over a bridge.

Due to the high profile case, the Chief is coming down hard on Dr. Hunt.

Talking with the widow, Sam and Megan learned that Joe had been moody and distant with his family and stopped making origami for his young daughter. And Bud found out that Joe was obsessed with solving the death of a teenage lacrosse player.

Peter couldn't help notice Megan's hand is troubling her again.

"What is it with you? Every time I have a problem, you gotta point it out."
"Maybe because you never allow yourself to have a problem, Megan."

She tells him this one is her mother. They have a complicated relationship.

All the while, Ethan is awkward around Detective Baker. When Megan asked if he ever lost a friend, he finds his own way to tell Sam he knows how she feels. His only friend was a guinea pig named Kenny. He cried when he lost his pet.

It was Megan's theory that whoever killed the girl must have also killed Joe too for getting close to nailing her murderer. Although Kate wants her to solve the police detective case only, Megan still pursues it by having her mother, the judge authorize an exhumation request of the girl.

The cemetery was also where her father David Hunt was buried. We find out that he had committed suicide.

Despite incurring the wrath of her boss, Megan worked with Kate to find out how the girl had died. They surmised that's why Joe was murdered. He had found the crime scene.

Why? Megan wants to know why a loving father and husband was moody and withdrawn, stopped talking to his wife, and stopped making origami for his daughter. Even if he was frustrated with his case, it doesn't explain his behavior. Megan thinks Joe should still be folding paper. The dead did have something to say. With Curtis' help Megan learns about Joe's illness.

When it came time to confront the murder suspect, Megan hits him in the arm. Then she bluffed her way to a confession. Scaring the killer into believing he was dying from rat poison.

Solving the case inspired Megan to find out what happened to her father. Joan doesn't. She reminds her, that she was the only one that wants to look now.

Collective Soul's Hymn for My Father play as Megan finds origami paper among Joe's personal effects and gives it to his little girl.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inner Light on Penny Whistle

As requested, first time for all the net, I am posting my performance other than harmonica.

I can't remember when I recorded it. It's been a while though. I am not a musician, but like most people, I learned to read music. There are not many songs I can play on a penny whistle. Since it sounded like Picard's Ressikan flute, I modified the fingering to play Inner Light. This digitization has not been enhanced. What you hear is my playing into a handheld mic. (So. I am a ham for playing back my recordings.) I hope you like it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Set Design: Progress on The Wizard of Oz

Samples of royalty-free images I am using to create the illusion.

The good news is, there will be an architect who worked on the last production of Cats will lend his skill in The Wizard of Oz. Next time, we are to meet to finalize what set construction will need in way of digital projection.

The progress:
On the drive to Unionville this morning, I realized that the cyclone sequence will be one long take, not intermixed with Dorothy's reaction. I will be getting audio cues to set up timing. Meanwhile, I can begin designing the elements that go with it.

Apparently there will be script changes.

As requested, I am to also provide the following:
  • The cyclone travelling towards the foreground
  • The witch's eyes, appearing to glare at the fearless foursome
  • Flaming fireballs the witch tosses at Scarecrow
  • Meeting the Wizard (I actually mocked up a slide show with multiple fades. I'll share the video, next time.)
  • Flying monkeys
Aside from this, I get to put together the skywriting sequence too.

S-u-r-r-e-n-d-e-r- Dorothy or die! W. W. W.

There are a series of crystal ball sequences between the poppy field and snowfall (needing snowflakes that will matched the performers' snowflake hats).
The videos for them will be used as is in the presentation. (Can't wait to see how they look like).

OK. Not so daunting as I thought.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 1.07 - All in the Family - Recap

You are going feel this episode is out of sync with the ones we've seen so far. That's because it was aired out of order. It explained to me why Lacey suddenly thought her mom's job was more interesting than her dad's in "Talking Heads", after telling Megan she was pushing too hard in "Letting Go".

Despite that it was a great one for all the characters.

This episode started off with the murder in progress. Ed Russell was killed with his baby girl lying just a few feet away in a playpen. It happened in a nice neighbourhood not far from where Peter Dunlop grew up.

It's a mystery to the investigation who killed Ed. Who would want to kill a stay-at-home dad, father of two? Was it the wife? Or the angry teenage son?

It had to be a painful reminder for Dr. Megan Hunt, as we can see in flashback her own father was found dead, when she was a little girl. We don't know how it happened, but Megan took it personal enough to warn Bud not to tell the son when he brings the boy in. His father is dead. He shouldn't have to hear it from a cop.

Meanwhile, Megan's ex-husband Todd (Jeffrey Nordling) had gone to the Medical Examiner Office to seek Dr. Kate Murphy's help on a case. He also asked if Megan would like to take Lacey for the day. Megan jumped at the chance to be mom, even before she knew she would be carpooling Lacey's friends as well.

We got more than a few delightfully light moments.

One of them being an encounter between Todd and Curtis.
"Are you her secretary?"
"No. I'm her boss."
"No one is Megan's boss." So Todd still holds Megan in high regard.

Having survived growing up with three sisters, Peter offers his insights on adolescent girls.
"My mom told me the key to carpool is snacks." He had just plopped down a big bag of it on Megan's desk. (He listens to his mom. Hmm. Makes me wonder if Peter's sisters were older or younger than him.)

"I want Lacey to like me, not have her teeth fall out."
"You'll thank me for it later."

Lacey wasn't happy when Megan shows up with "work". Remember Peter has been helping Megan become a better parent. You have to love that he sticks up for her. "Give your mom a break." Tasty Kakes anyone? He knows what girls like.

It was good to see how Bud and Sam bounced ideas off of each other at the crime scene. It only goes to show that they have a good partnership. I found it amusing how they went to arrest their handyman suspect. "I hate my kitchen. Do you hate your kitchen?" Bud says, suggesting Sam be a sexy distraction, even if she still looked too much like a cop.

Back to Curtis. He had been roped in to help Dr. Murphy, on the same case. "This goes way beyond his job description." Watch what happens when he tells the young man he has to examine his you know what, in Spanish. Kate was even surprised that Megan was rubbing off on Curtis. He went out of his way to help an abused minor.

It was tense when Megan went to see the wife on her own. Don't go into the house.

In the end, Megan and Lacey naturally became closer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Wizard of Oz Script

I reviewed The Wizard of Oz script that will be used for our production. I was encouraged to give my opinion on what needs to be done. I am glad I did. There were scenes calling for effects from the movie. Given the resources I have at hand, I gave my recommendations. The projected elements simulate a movie. It is not really a movie. Animation will be a much more effective alternative. The simpler the better. I am confident they will agree. You can see how I can make the house fall down in a heap of dust, in the above image. If they don't mind stick figures and silhouettes, we can definitely make this happen.

Watched the movie again, as well as Dreamer of Oz (1990). That one was more for me as a writing inspiration. There was also a 1910 silent film and 1933 animated movie.