Happy Holidays from My Love Affair With Marriage! We spent Thanksgiving weekend happily working around the clock in our Brooklyn studio. In animation, holidays are work days without emails and other distractions - very useful when making an independent feature film!
Also, Writer/Director/Animator Signe Baumane was confined to the studio with a badly sprained foot.
Healing through elevation and animation
Three weeks ago in Latvia, at the end of a photo shoot, Signe jumped off the roof of a shed and landed awkwardly. The following day, she returned to Brooklyn in a wheelchair. Why was she prancing around the roof of a shed? "I am a mountain goat trapped inside the body of a middle-aged woman," she says.
Mountain Goat - photo by Kristaps Kalns for Diena, the Latvian national daily newspaper
Signe was in Latvia to work with the team of artists at Locomotive Productions who are coloring and compositing the film.
Colorists Vidaga Grīnberga and Inta Silanža; Signe with Compositors Georgs Harijs Āva and Artūrs Lācis
With great precision the Colorists digitally color Signe's hand-drawn animated characters. The Compositors place the finished colored characters inside the photographs of our background sets and seamlessly make them one. Both jobs require artistry and skill. The final film will have 40,000 drawings, so there's plenty of work for everyone.
Signe with Production Coordinator Inga Prauliņa, Colorist Andreta Strade and Producer Roberts Vinovskis
The Brooklyn studio and Locomotive Productions are linked by Q-Nap, a high-powered dedicated server which enables the Brooklyn and Latvian teams to send large digital files of animation to one another. We have named our Q-Nap Cūciņa, and rightly so. Cūciņa in Latvian means little pig, and of course in Italian it means kitchen. Our little pig is a constant presence in the studio. Day and night she snorts, grunts and makes little chewing sounds as she crunches the digital files. She's a soothing reminder that the film is indeed progressing.
Cūciņa, our link to Latvia
And sometimes we need those reminders. Animation is such a long, laborious process - we've been working on My Love Affair With Marriage for three years now with another three to go. With the help of Cūciņa, however, we are able to see some of the final images the two studios have been working so hard on.
Zelma in the classroom
Zelma, menstruation and the Mythology Sirens
Zelma and her Soul Mate
In the Brooklyn studio we have worked our way through Zelma's childhood, her adolescence and are now animating early adulthood when she meets Sergei.
Still from an animatic: Sergei and Zelma on the bus
We continue to build background sets:
Bare carpentry: The Soviet Hall of Ceremonies with stop-motion apparatus underneath
Texture them with paper-mache and paint:
The Morgue, three more coats of paint to go
Light and photograph them:
Intimacy lighting for a dorm room
As Signe continues animating and shadowing:
We hope you have wonderful holidays. We'll be here in Brooklyn celebrating animation style!
Love and thanks,
Sturgis, Signe, Roberts and the whole My Love Affair With Marriage Team