Here’s another way you can support Apex Digest. There’s old-fashioned raffle with amazing prizes at http://saveapex.maryrobinettekowal.com. You can buy a ticket to put your name in the hat to win autographed copies of books, art, video and other strange goodies. Tickets are a dollar each. That’s nothing, right? You can afford that.
On Friday, September 29th, we’ll draw names and hand out the prizes.
You might win an autographed book by Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Keene, David Louis Edelman, and more. Or how about a copy-edited manuscript of one of Ben Bova’s novels? Maybe you’d like to have your story professionally edited? Stop by and see which things you covet.
I expect each of ye scurvy dogs to be talkin’ like a pirate this fine day. And to make sure ye do, this journal be havin a pirate filter installed, so any o’ yer comments gonna be convertin’ to pirate speak. In case ye be needin any other advice, visit the hearty lads at www.talklikeapirate.com. There’s many other fine instructional videos there.
I love the music video we are shooting today, which is a good thing, considering how many times we have to listen to it. We did some fun choreography with live hands, pretty complicated stuff involving two puppets and an actor, but we had time to practise it and nailed it in two takes. We were all very happy.
Gummi Ãžor brought in a puppet today for fun. I’d seen the video of it, but hadn’t had a chance to work with it. It’s entirely remote controlled. If you go here and clicked on one of the videos in the top row you can see a demo of Gummi’s puppets. The last one on the video is the one he brought in. A puppet like this is useful for a stunt shot in which there’s no way to get a puppeteer in place. It’s a nicely engineered thing.
Today we drove up to ÃƒÅ¾ingvellir (pronounced Thingvetleer) to see the OxrÃƒÂ¡foss and the place where the North American and European continental plates are separating. On this excursion Emily came with us and she and Eve were appropriately astounded.
I did Ziggy’s drumming for the rest of the afternoon. For the wide shots ÃƒÅ¾or thought my energy was better, and I didnÃ‚Â´t pull down on him as much as Rikki did. Whew. He did a great job, but I was feeling a little misplaced. We finished shooting all the music videos for this episode today. Tomorrow should be more fun, but not with drumsticks.
Today we did three music videos in which Ziggy had to drum. I have discovered that I am an inept drummer. I suck. Badly. I can make it look like he’s drumming, but can’t actually do that and stay on the beat. It is infuriating. Especially when someone who can keep a different beat in each hand says, “Look, you’re just counting to eight in this hand and to four in this one. With this syncopation thing thrown on the sixth beat.” Ah hahahaha. Right.
Let me explain. I played violin. Single melody, single rhythm. This whole splitting of the brain works fine unless I’m supposed to keep a steady beat–two steady beats. Thank heavens we didn’t have to have the kick drum active as well.
I think we did these videos from 2:30 till 7:00. I’m exhausted. All the puppeteers are.
We went to the pool after work and soaked in the hot, hot water. More of the same tomorrow.
This evening we went to hear a group called The Goldens play at an opening for a furniture store. You might recognize the handsome man with the fiddle as my father. The other men are some of his picking buddies.
He played the saw too, but I didn’t get a photo of that. Apparently one man in the audience came specifically to hear Dad play the saw. That was kind of neat. He had heard about it on the radio and his father used to play, so he came out.
I took a video clip of one of the songs and some day I’ll figure out how to upload it to my journal, but not tonight.
Today has still been busy, but it’s been a little slower than yesterday. So I got to watch two of the episodes that I haven’t seen yet. I worked on both, but they finished post production after we left. Ziggy’s Alien is fun, but I love the music video in Secret Agent Zero.
Rob came in to work with me today and is spending most of the day in the Hudson room while I work on the music video for this episode. It’s a song for Stingy called “I am the Prince” and it’s a rip on a Britney Spears song. Very funny. So that means that I did a little bit of work with a rodded hand, and some with feet, but mostly I’ve been watching Jodi be funny.
While I did plenty of work today, the thing I had the most fun with was Bessie’s music video, Secret Agent Man. Lots of dancing and Bond moves with the arms. It was fun, but I’m exhausted. These shots always seem to happen after massage. Why can’t they happen before massage?
When the episode Remote Control finally airs, I am the Shoe Tytus 6000. It’s a shoe tying machine that the character Pixel invented to tie his shoes. In order to work it, I lay on my back under the floor of the set, wedged up into the puppet by a series of apple boxes. Once I was in place, I couldn’t get out again without help. The idea of the shot is simple. Pixel puts his foot on the machine and it ties it. The reality was very hard. I was tying a shoe that was over my head, while wearing gloves with rings and wires on them, and had a choice of being blind or looking in a monitor. Not easy. But I did it, and they seemed happy with the final take.
I also spent a lot of the day being a right hand for ÃƒÅ¾or (pronounced Thor) as he worked Ziggy, or working legs for various puppets. Raymond, the producer, complimented me when I slid in to add some foot action for Pixel in a music video. He said, “I like what you are doing with the feet. Things are livelier here since you came.” Apparently no one else really worked the feet, they just let the puppet sit on the walls. I get bored, so I look for things that I can do.
Today we’re shooting the music video for this episode, so I was on set all morning assisting. The afternoon looks like it will be very different, because one of the cast members is sick. She worked the morning, but I think they’ve sent her home for the afternoon.
Speaking of home, this is the apartment building that I live in. I’m on the top floor; that’s my bedroom balcony.
This is the view from the bedroom balcony. Not terribly exciting, and–aside from the van–it looks more rural than it is.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]