Posterama

The Robot Scriptures Part II We Were Not Made For This World

A few posters for two of my upcoming short films.  Designed by the amazing Jeff Brush.

The Robot Scriptures Part II The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot

(Published on August 31, 2014)
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We Were Not Made For This (voice over) World

Mark "Big Poppa" Stampley - Narrator for The Robot Scriptures PART II: We Were Not Made For This World

Mark “Big Poppa” Stampley – Narrator for The Robot Scriptures PART II: We Were Not Made For This World

A couple weeks ago we procured the services of three-time Grammy nominated Fred Bogert to do some of the sound mixing and engineering for the newest short film I’m directing — He helped record the award-winning Caribbean Blues musician and voice actor Mark “Big Poppa” Stampley who is doing voice over work for the film.  We recorded in Bogert’s studio, Briarpatch Audio Productions.

These guys were such talents to have pulled in for this project!  A huge thanks goes out to them~

We Were Not Made For This World - production still

Three-time Grammy nominated sound engineer and musician Fred Bogert takes the helm as we record our narrator Mark “Big Poppa” Stampley for The Robot Scriptures PART II: We Were Not Made For This World

 

(Published on July 16, 2014)
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In the desert…

We-Were-Not-Made-For-This-World-production-image-4

The Robot Scriptures PART II: We Were Not Made For This World – production still

Our desert shoot a few weeks ago went extremely well – now it’s off to the edit…

Director Colin West McDonald directs Costume Designer and robot, Tina Matthews

Director Colin West McDonald directs Costume Designer and Robot, Tina Matthews

(Published on June 18, 2014)
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The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot /// The Making Of…

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot – The Robot Scriptures Part III – Production Image

After a few long months of preproduction and a couple weeks of shooting the main production of Part III of the Robot Scriptures: The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot is done!  (read more about The Long Slow Flight here)  All that’s left now is the edit (never an easy task).

A little bit about the production…

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Colin in Outer Space

The outer space set was built using a giant roll of black felt and thousands of christmas lights obtained from the thrift store after the holiday season.  I set up a 270 degree semicircle of the felt and both suspended the Ashbot from the ceiling and had him spinning on a bike wheel.

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Colin West McDonald

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

The creation of the Universe

The Universe itself was made from a bicycle wheel too (Vintage Campagnolo for you bike nerds out there) and a cymbal stand from a drum set.

And then there is the Ashbot himself, made from anything and everything I could get my hands on.  A speaker, a bendy lamp, plastic toys, a light-up Halloween skull, binoculars, measuring cups, candle holders, and of course my heart and soul for three months.

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Ashbot… First Draft

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Ashbot under construction…

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Ashbot under construction…

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Ashbot

The piece was shot using a Canon 5D mark ii and a variety of lenses.

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot – The Robot Scriptures Part III – Production Image

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot – The Robot Scriptures Part III – Production Image

The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot will be viewable online in the near future.  Parts I and II of The Robot Scriptures will be out by the end of the year as well.

A big thank you to Tina Matthews and Megan Wollerton for their help on the shoot.

Colin West McDonald - The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot - The Robot Scriptures Part III - Production image

Beep Boop Bop – Colinbot

(Published on May 29, 2014)
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The Robot Scriptures Part III [trailer]

(Published on May 24, 2014)
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Paul Hornschemeier’s “We Were Not Made For This World” comic adaptation

PaulHornschemeierWeWereComicWEB

Panels from We Were Not Made For This World – by Paul Hornschemeier, in the anthology Project: Telstar, published by AdHouse books.

 

More big news!  I recently acquired the rights to adapt Paul Hornschemeier‘s comic We Were Not Made For This World for use in my three part film anthology The Robot Scriptures.  This news is very exciting as I have been a big fan of his work for a long time now.

We Were Not Made For This World centers on a lone robot in the future who has left his life at the factory in search of his creator in the desert lands outside his robot city.

Hornschemeiers story is to be part II (of three) of The Robot Scriptures.

It is a story about the transitional, the middle ground, the half way.  Yearning, longing, questioning, thinking, feeling.  It is about the gaining of knowledge outside human influence, striving to know why they (we) exist, where they (we) came from, what else is out there, exploration.  A yearning for knowledge of the unknown.  To make sense of it all.

And so I embark on the films creation.

I will be shooting the piece as a live-action short.  Tina Matthews, a wonderfully instinctive Costume Designer, will be working on the costume for the shoot, which will take place soon in the Great Sand Dunes National Park outside Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The film will be released towards the end of Summer 2014, after part III, The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot, is released (parts I, II, and III are being released in reverse chronological order).

Paul Hornschemeier is an incredible Chicago-based cartoonist known for authoring Mother, Come Home, Let Us Be Perfectly Clear, The Three Paradoxes, All and Sundry and Forlorn Funnies.

He’s been nominated for the Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz awards.

“An ascending star… [Hornschemeier] leaps into an elite group of current cartoonists — including Kyle Baker and Oak Park’s Chris Ware — whose versatility and verve push the art form into exciting new territory… Hornschemeier doesn’t simply push the panel edges of the comics medium; he designs entirely off the page, encouraging other creators to join him over the horizon.” – Chicago Tribune

For those of you interested in reading We Were Not Made For This World by Paul Hornschemeier – it is featured in the incredible comic anthology Project: Telstar, published by AdHouse books.  It is also in the award winning series Forlorn Funnies (#5).

 

(Published on April 21, 2014)
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Illinois

photo by Colin West McDonald

photo by Colin West McDonald

I came across this wonderful old hangar in the middle of rural Illinois and had to get my camera out…

photo by Colin West McDonald

(Published on April 2, 2014)
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Panoramas from the moon (thanks to NASA)

image from NASA

credit: NASA

Back in the late 60s and 70s when NASA was sending U.S. Astronauts to the moon, some unbelievable large format photographs were taken.  I was parsing through the Apollo 15 mission photos and came across some incredible panoramas I had to share…

Just a little inspiration for The Robot Scriptures

image from NASAimage from NASAimage from NASAimage from NASAimage from NASAimage from NASA
image from NASAimage from NASAimage from NASA

More of these images can be found via NASA on the Apollo 15 mission site (free to use and greatfully paid for by your tax dollars):

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/alsj/a15/  Thank you to Kipp Teague for doing most of the scanning.

 

(Published on March 25, 2014)
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The Latent Germ of Madness

The Latent Germ of Madness from Colin West McDonald on Vimeo.

A woman confronts death in the wilderness.

“In every parting there is a latent germ of madness” – Goethe 1788

Written & Directed by: Colin West McDonald
2013 / USA / Stoker Motion Pictures / 16:33


Woman: Anna Hebblewhite
Production Assistance: Andrew Maynard
Music: Arnold Dreyblatt
Title Design: Jeff Brush
Foley Assistance: Tina Matthews
Thank You: Ben McArthur & The Estate

Shot on location in:
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park – Tasmania, Australia &
Fiordland National Park – Southland, New Zealand

More about the making of the film can be found on this post.

The Latent Germ of Madness - a film by Colin West McDonald

 

 

(Published on March 18, 2014)
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Distant Universe Spins

distant universe spins Colin West McDonald

Sometimes you find real gems floating around the studio…

This one was a quick shot sketch from The Robot Scriptures.

(Published on March 13, 2014)
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Composer Arnold Dreyblatt scores my short film The Latent Germ of Madness

Arnold Dreyblatt Choose

Choice, 2013
LP, CD, Choose Records, Berlin
Selected by: Jörg Hiller Mastering By Rashad Becker Sleeve Design By Hendrik Schwantes Choose Records, Berlin


Aronld Dreyblatt
, the extremely talented American Composer and Fine Artist living in Berlin, Germany, has allowed me to use three of his tracks (from his most recent album, Choice [Choose Records, Berlin]) to be used to score my upcoming short film The Latent Germ of Madness.

I have been a listening to Dreyblatt for a few years now and am particularly partial to his use of unique instrumentation, unabashed playing lengths, and repetitive, trance-like patterning.  A wonderful voice in sound.

[from MIT, where Dreyblatt is currently in residence as an artist in CAST, the Center for Art, Science, & Technology]:

Arnold Dreyblatt is an American media artist and composer. He studied music with Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier and has been based in Berlin, Germany since 1984. In 2007, Dreyblatt was elected to lifetime membership in the visual arts section at the German Academy of Art (Akademie der Künste, Berlin). He is currently Professor of Media Art at the Muthesius Academy of Art and Design in Kiel, Germany.

Dreyblatt’s musical and artistic practice has ranged from large multi-day performances to permanent installations, digital projections, dynamic textual objects, and multi-layered lenticular text panels. His visual artworks create complex textual and spatial visualizations about memory, reflecting upon such themes as recollection and the archive. A member of the second generation of New York minimal composers, Dreyblatt continues to develop his work in composition and music performance, having invented a new set of original instruments, performance techniques, and a system of tuning. He has formed and led numerous ensembles under the title “The Orchestra of Excited Strings” for over thirty years.

Needless to say I am thrilled to have one of my favorite composers scoring my short film.

The Latent Germ of Madness will be released publicly very, very soon.

Arnold Dreyblatt Choose

Choice, 2013
LP, CD, Choose Records, Berlin
Selected by: Jörg Hiller Mastering By Rashad Becker Sleeve Design By Hendrik Schwantes Choose Records, Berlin

(Published on February 20, 2014)
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National Geographic, October 1982

National Geographic October 1982

National Geographic, October 1982

 

A little A.I. inspiration…

(Published on February 13, 2014)
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The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot [trailer]

[trailer] The Robot Scriptures, part III: “The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot” from Colin West McDonald

An ash-collecting robot witnesses the collapse of the universe as he slowly drifts through outer space.

Coming Spring 2014.

Adapted from “Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot” by cartoonist Joel Priddy [pulpatoon.tumblr.com]
A Stoker Motion Picture // StokerMotionPictures.com

(Published on February 11, 2014)
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Screenwriter’s Calendar 2014 – Competitions and Festivals

photo by Colin West McDonald

Last year I created a condensed calendar of important dates for screenwriters:  Screenplay Competitions – 2013 deadlines (new year, new opportunities)

Well, this year, 2014, the Black List did it for me!  And, admittedly, much better…

Thank you, Black List.

HERE IT IS.

I like it so much I’m putting it on the sidebar… over there—>

For those of you who don’t know what the Black List is, it’s a pretty cool (and trustworthy) place to upload your screenplay to for feedback – like the social media platform for Screenwriters.

The Black List screenwriting screenwriters logo

(Published on February 4, 2014)
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Adapting Joel Priddy’s Comic into a short film…

Joel Priddy The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot

Panel from The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot – by Joel Priddy, in the anthology Project: Telstar, published by AdHouse books.

 

Big news!  Recently I acquired the rights to adapt Joel Priddy‘s wonderful comic The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot into a short film.  The comic is a short story about an ash collecting robot floating through space over the course of eons, slowly witnessing the collapse of the universe…

It will be part III (of three) of The Robot Scriptures.  I’ll be creating the trilogy over the next year or so (in reverse chronological order) conceptualizing an origin story for Artificial Intelligence.   

This particular story, though being quite simple, alludes to very complex ideas and theories – time, space, creation, seclusion. In the comic, Priddy has taken a simple 9 square panel format and ripped apart conventions and expectations through his use of composition and form, in many cases allowing the panels to be read both like a normal book (left to right, top to bottom), but also as a whole – really quite genius.

I’ll be making the film as a live action puppetry piece (yet maybe not what you’d think about as puppetry…).  That being so, I am currently in the midst of building a robot…  The Ashbot:

Colin West McDonald Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot

Ashbot… almost done…

 

Keep an eye out for the film this Spring… and Parts I & II coming later this year…

Joel Priddy is a wonderfully talented illustrator and writer in his own right and I highly recommend checking him out.

Another one of Joel Priddy‘s graphic novels, Pulpatoon Pilgrimage is no doubt one of the best out there – an honest and sometimes brutal account of the adventures and history of three unlikely friends.  The graphic novel won him an Ignatz Award in 2002 for Outstanding Debut and was also nominated for an Eisner for Best Graphic Novel.  His illustration work has appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, and Cricket Magazines.  Basically, his work is amazing.  check him out: http://www.joelpriddy.com/   http://pulpatoon.tumblr.com/

For those of you interested in reading the The Long Slow Flight of the Ashbot by Joel Priddy – it is featured in the incredible comic anthology Project: Telstar, published by AdHouse books.

 

(Published on January 28, 2014)
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