Category Archives: References

Dinner at Susie’s

I had dinner at my friend Susie’s last week.  What is the significance of this, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Sometimes I feel like I was meant to make this film.  There have been many, many magical moments when things fly out of the universe towards me in a way that make me stand back in awe.  An example of this would be my friend Susie’s latest revelation.

The film, as you may know, is based on a Galician poem.  So I’ve been trying to incorporate Galician elements, here and there.   Until reading the poems from the book Little Theatres I had never even heard of Galicia before.  So I don’t know much about the culture, other than the brief glimpses given in Little Theatres.  Susie heard about this important aspect of the film — its language — and suddenly came out with the fact that she herself is Galician, even though all along she has been saying that she’s Spanish.  As far as I had always known, she spoke Spanish, and grew up there… but all this time she had sneakily been born in Galicia and not told me.  Or “Galithia,” as she pronounces it.

So, we were both thrilled at this discovery — she at the fact that I’m making a film in her parents’ native tongue, and I at the fact that she still visits there, and brings back beautiful Galician ceramic artwork and craftspieces.  Last week she offered to cook me a (semi-)traditional meal, introduce me to her kids (whom I’d never met before) and show me her lovely ceramics.

The relevance of this dinner, and the ceramic pottery, to the film will become apparent soon.  I will (later this week) show pictures of my dining room set, which is looking smashing, if I do say so myself.  More pictures from Dinner at Susie’s behind the cut…

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Meet Abigail

And, here she is with her big sister, Sabela:

Abigail is going to be sitting at a dining room table for the whole film, thus the bolt in her bum.  She’ll be wearing a jumpsuit and rollerskates.  She will be getting her hair cut and styled eventually; it’s not supposed to be quite this crazy (though I like how it looks like they’re little troublemakers, with their messy hair!)

Here’s where she was getting painted:

I’ve just cast the mom and dad, and will be working on the dad, Xosé Luís, next.  His head cast looks pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  Which is a relief, because the first cast failed.

More soon!

The Avocado 70s

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the sets for my film is a 70s kitchen.  I grew up in the 70s, and have fond memories of those colourful appliances, the wall phones, and oddly combined colours.  Avocado, orange, “gold,” deep brown, and turquoise were popular choices for interior decoration.

I try to go with a sense of realism for my sets.  This means doing some research:  finding references, carefully measuring things and following a formula for miniaturizing them, as well as researching and choosing the colour palettes.   For the kitchen I went with a very typical avocado fridge and stove set, along with orange cabinets and “gold” formica countertops.  The little cannisters on the countertops are covered with a fake wood grain, as they would have been at full scale.

Luckily I happened to have a couple of Eaton’s catalogues from the 70s to rely on for research.  These catalogues not only provided colour and style reference, but they had specific measurements for everything they sold.  Super handy!

They were also fun to browse through.  Here’s a sample:

I had a lot of help building the props for the set.  One of the wonderful prop modelling helpers is an OCAD stopmo animation student, Miriam, who is in her last year of university, and about 13 years younger than I. When I asked her if she could make a 70s avocado wall phone, she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.  Oh well, sometimes you just have to laugh about such things!

Here is a tiny glimpse of the set, with the avocado stove peeking out in the corner: