Wednesday, March 7, 2012

owl post

For my last two wands that I completed, I decided to send them via owl post (of sorts).

I typed up a letter from Garrick Ollivander and created some owl post stamps from an owl graphic I found online.  The letter was photocopied onto white paper and aged with coffee, as I did with the mini Maurader's Map I made.








Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Healing Road - unfinished teleplay - Part I

For any RUSH fans what follows is an unfinished piece of writing that came about after I finished reading Neil Peart's book, Ghost Rider: Travels On the Healing Road.


Needless to say, I was moved greatly by Neil's story.  And as a writing exercise for myself, I looked to find a way of adapting his book for the television.  In my mind, I saw the book as a mini-series - not unlike the series Empire Falls which I believe I had been watching at the time this was written.  Indeed, I believe I had Ed Harris in mind as I wrote the main character of David.


My intentions were never to write a biopic.  I would never know anything at all about the private life of Neil or his family.  So instead, what developed was more of a fictionalized version of the book.  Many of the sentiments/emotions and situations were mirrored, but instead they are attributed to a family of my own creation.


Here is part one.  I hope you enjoy reading. 


P.S.  To my writing/actor friends - I know the formatting may seem a bit off, but trying to cut and paste from my original script written in Word  and putting it here in Blogger seemed to has made it all a bit wonky.  Sorry about that.




******************************************************************
PREMISE/TREATMENT:

The thread that is sewn throughout this teleplay is of the “ghost chorus” of characters similar to Neil’s wife and daughter.  Through his book, Ghost Rider, Neil mentions of how he thought often during those days of healing, of Selena and Jackie, and their responses to the situations he was facing, how he would speak to them, etc . .  . 

Through this film I intend to use my versions of Jackie and Selena as a type of Greek chorus for him.  Their frequent appearances as well as the replay of memories will help the story of grief and healing unfold. 

This will be a non-linear script, in that it will depend a great deal on flashbacks.

As with the book, we start off with the main character leaving to begin “the healing road”.  And as his journey commences through out the film, the audience learns of the reasons of why he must keep moving.

The large problem was whether or not to make this a true biopic (ie Ray, Kinsey, Beyond The Sea).  I am not that presumptuous enough to say I know enough about Neil Peart or of the true dynamics of his various relationships, other than what little was written about in his book to write a true biopic. 

Because of this, the main characters are re-named and this is in fact a fictional character, whose story is paralleled if not heavily based upon the experiences of Neil and his family as he recounts them in his book.


“Dedicated to the future, with honor to the past.”
Peart, Neil, Ghost Rider, pp.460.





THE HEALING ROAD

**** BASED ON THE BOOK ****
"GHOST RIDER: TRAVELS ON THE HEALING ROAD" BY NEIL PEART



“And some of those memories I was now trying to hide from, escape from, ride away from.
I could ride — but I couldn’t hide.”

Peart, Neil, Ghost Rider, pp. 24




PART I: REMEMBERING

Sunday, March 4, 2012

original slytherin wand designs

I am currently working on a custom Slytherin design for another friend.  Here are a few of the ideas I came up for her wand.  Again, more serpent related wands, as per her request.


Explanations of what you see:

1.) Brown wand shaft with multiple snakes wrapped around lower half.  Snakes would be raised above the wand shaft level ( like Hermione's vines on her wand).  Base of wand has a silver band and a round/ball base.

2.) Black wand shaft with one long brown snake wrapped around lower half. Snake, as number 1, is raised/on top of wand shaft.  Base of wand is a green (hint to Slytherin house colors) faceted sort of base.  Could also add a silver band above this to have both house colors in the wand. I would rub black paint into the etchings to give the snakes a black outline to stand out against the color of the wand shaft.

3.) An olive green/brownish color wand.  Entire wand would be covered in clay, then the 2 snakes would be etched into the clay.  The lower end of the wand has a thin black band, and then a kind of rounded arrow type cap base.

4.) A black wand shaft with 2 snakes (raised on top of shaft) of differing shades of brown ( here a reddish brown and an lighter brown) make a criss cross pattern for the handle.  There are black bands, and gold bands that also adorn the wand above and below the snakes.  The base would be this pearlized/semi opaque white rounded tip ( much like the end of the McGonagall wand the Noble Collection makes).

5.)  a dark brown wand shaft with a lighter brown handle color.  The snakes could either be etched into the clay or raised on top of it, but each ( I'm thinking 3 maybe if multiple  - would appear to wriggled straight up to the tip.  Or there could just be one snake ( either raised or etched in).  A dark brown band is above the snake and a dark brown flattened rounded base is below it.

6.) A reddish brown wand shaft with 3 (maybe four) black snakes wriggling up the shaft.  Below the snakes would be 3 dark brown rounded bands and a ball base of the same color

7.)A light brown wand shaft with a slightly darker (but still light) brown handle color.  Multiple snakes would be etched into the clay covering the handle.  I could rub both back and brown paint into the etchings to try to differentiate each snake.  Or I could either keep the snakes uniform ( all outlined in either all black or all brown).   Bronze bands are above and below the etchings of the snakes.  Then a black band and a faceted black base.

padfoot and moony

The next 2 wands I went to attempt were intended to be a matched set.  But I broke up the set to give them as gifts to two different people.

The first was the hardest, by far.  My own version of Sirius Black's wand.  I tried this wand about 3 different times.  My main issues were results stemming from the fact that I had to cover the entire wand shaft in clay to get the patterns on both the handle and the wand shaft.   The carvings would work out well on one side, but not the other.  And the clay seemed to shift and not adhere as well to the wood at times and my attempts to fix it, only resulted in more warping of the runic patterns.  I also found that the clay made the wands very heavy, so I attempted to shave off some clay in some versions.  Sometimes those shaving attempts were not as even as I would have liked either.  I also found it difficult to bake without marring the pattern in some way as well.  I will have to re-visit this wand in the future.






The next wand I felt really turned out well.  And that was my own version of Remus Lupin's wand.  The one you see below was my first try.  And I'll admit,  I was so pleased that it turned out so well, I was very tempted to keep it for myself. But I gave it away as a birthday gift.










Saturday, March 3, 2012

custom slytherin wand orders

The  next set of wands that were commissioned by me were for two separate friends.  One friend had been sorted into Slytherin on Pottermore.  The other was requesting a wand as a gift for her younger sister, whose Halloween costume was that of a Slytherin student.

Both friends gave me free creative rein - and the two designs I came up with here serpent related.

One design had a single snake wriggling up the wand handle.

The other one was a bit more deceptive.  The snake was etched into base of the wand, it's head almost eating it's own tail like Ouroboros.












Thursday, March 1, 2012

rush: sweet miracle fan video and treatment

I've mentioned it before on this blog that both I am my husband are big fans of the band RUSH.  A few years ago, their work in addition to a book that one of the band members had written inspired me to take one of their songs and write and film a fan based video for it.

After posting it on the interwebz, it became a hit among a number of other fans.  I thought I'd post  a link to it here as well.

And yes, the gal in the video is me.

Sweet Miracle Fan Video

Behind the scenes photos of video shoot

**************************
Lyrics:

"Sweet Miracle"

I wasn't walking on water
I was standing on a reef
When the tide came in
Swept beneath the surface
Lost without a trace
No hope at all
No hope at all

Oh - sweet miracle
Oh - sweet miracle
Of life

I wasn't walking with angels
I was talking to myself
Rising up to the surface
Raging against the night
Starless night

Oh - sweet miracle
Love's sweet miracle
Of life

Oh salvation
Oh salvation

I wasn't praying for magic
I was hiding in plain sight
Rising up from the surface
To fly into the light




Treatment 1 – Sweet Miracle music video

Darkness.  Silence.  Then the sounds of cards being shuffled:  Also sounds of the, birds, boardwalk.


Opening Credits are shown between random images of tarot cards


Scene 1: Young woman walking aimlessly on boardwalk.   Day is dark, overcast windy.  Ignored by people around her.  Seemingly despondent and trance like.  People bump into her, jostle her, unsympathetic, not seeing.  They are happy, jovial etc.  She seemingly sticks out like a sore thumb.  Still no one pays attention.  She is very ethereal in appearance as if she wasn’t really there - like a ghost?   

Scene 2: As she walks by, an older man sitting at a table grabs her hand.  He waves to her to sit.  He spreads a deck of tarot cards to her.  Motions for her to pick 3 cards.  She pulls the 3 of swords. Obviously it mirrors her state of mind.  Then she picks the 9 of swords, And then: The Fool:








Meaning of cards:
3 of Swords: Sorrow, tears, separation of lover
9 of Swords – doubt, desolation, disappointment, death of loved one
The Fool - Important choice to be made in life


Disgusted, she moves to walk away.  The man motions for her to try again.  This time she pulls the Lovers.





Meaning of card: - The Lovers – Love, beauty, trials overcome


Confused and unhappy, she throws the card down on the table and runs away.  (Song starts the minute the Lovers card lands on the table and she runs away)  As she leaves a figure of a man, his face unseen, approaches the table.  The tarot card reader smiles knowingly as he shuffles the deck and presents it to the figure. The figure chooses a card for himself – the camera does not see the card.  It is pocketed as the unknown man leaves the table.


Verse 1:
I wasn't walking on water
I was standing on a reef
When the tide came in
Swept beneath the surface
Lost without a trace
No hope at all
No hope at all



Scene 3: The young woman is at the water’s edge.  The water laps at her feet. She is drawn to the horizon.  Something washes up and brushes against her feet.  She picks it up and turns it over.  It is a tarot card: Strength. 





Meaning of card: - Strength – Triumph of love over hate, power, energy, action, courage


She looks around, confused. The beach immediately near her is empty, desolate.   Others seem to be in the distance, paying her no attention.  Where did the card come from?


Refrain:
Oh - sweet miracle
Oh - sweet miracle
Of life



From above her on the board walk, we look over the “unknown man’s” shoulder as he gazes down to watch her.  She walks on.   He leaves in the opposite direction.


Verse 2:
I wasn't walking with angels
I was talking to myself
Rising up to the surface
Raging against the night
Starless night


Scene 4:  The woman continues walking down the beach as the sun starts to go down.  All around her, others are gathering in pairs/couples/families and walking away in the opposite direction.  Again all not noticing her, banging into her.   It is getting windy.   Her hair blows in her face. Something brushes against her cheek. She runs after it.  Another card:  The Moon:





Cut to shot of card to fade to shot of full moon alone in clear starlit sky . . .


 Meaning of card: - The Moon – Imagination, intuition, dreams


Refrain:
Oh - sweet miracle
Love's sweet miracle
Of life

Oh salvation
Oh salvation (2x)



Scene 5: Beach - night time.  Various groups are settled around bonfires.  The young woman is at one alone.  She stares into the fire and sees in the flames 3 cards hovering:


  


                               
She reaches out to them as they disappear. Frightened she runs away.


Meaning of cards:
The World -  Completion, reward, assured success, triumph in all undertakings
Wheel of Fortune – good fortune ,success, unexpected turn of luck, destiny
Ace of Cups – Abundance in all things, love, joy, house of the true heart, content


Verse 3
I wasn't praying for magic
I was hiding in plain sight
Rising up from the surface
To fly into the light



Scene 6: Still night. She runs past the fires and other couples.  She stumbles and falls in the surf.  We see someone come up to her and kneel in the surf to help her to her feet.  It is the unknown man from the beginning of the video.  He puts his coat over her shoulders.  She is shy.  He is tender.  She puts on the coat and inadvertently reaches into one of the pockets.  She is surprised to find a card. She looks at it. 


Refrain:
Oh - sweet miracle
Oh - sweet miracle
Of life ( 2x)



She drops the card into the surf as they smile at each other both slowly walk away from camera towards the fires and the people.  We see as the camera pans down it is: the two of cups:





Meaning of cards – Two of cups – beginning of a love affair/spiritual union, plans with a kindred soul, union, passion


The surf slowly takes the card away.  Pan up to the moon.  Fade out w/ music.
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