Thursday, June 3, 2010

Video adaptation of Look At All The Happy Creatures: Chapter 1

Chapter One: Prometheus and The Cathode-Ray Tube

Much of this project has been dictated by circumstances. I could get the book published fairly easily, but I'm afraid it will be heavily redacted, so I decided to offer it for free online. I designed a site that I was really happy with and all was right with the world. However, knowing that people are unlikely to read big chunks of text on a computer screen, I got the idea to make a video adaptation.

A woman wrote to me after reading the first arc of the book and said very nice things before adding, "I could see this done up like Avatar." I was very grateful for her praise, however, I'm not a fan of CGI. I even worked commentary into Chapter 10 of the book about my feelings on CGI. What I really want to do is puppetry, but time and budget constraints rule that out, at least for the time being.
Here are the Umpa and Tangerine puppets ready to go:
Once I knew I was going to do something animated for this, the options were unlimited. I was no longer dictated to by circumstance. I could do anything I wanted. ...But I didn't quite know what that was.

I made these character designs in Photoshop back in March of 2008:

Then in March of 2010 I did this design of "Bobcat Bill" in Illustrator:

Then, after making this album cover in April out of a 30-second sketch underlaid with a collage, I knew I had found the style that was right. It's simple but emotive and kind of raw. Plus, it leaves plenty of room for the imagination to play. To me, part of the magic of reading books is that you create the characters' faces in your own mind.

So now, in the video you have something very minimalist, both in illustration and animation... it feels like an old "Reading Rainbow" to me. Very story-book.

I hope you like it.

I'm going to try and alternate, so you'll get a few chapters of the book every two months and a new video every two months - which translates to one or the other every month.

PS: f you want to read ahead, we currently have the first 23 chapters of the book online at

I don't know if you can tell by the first chapter, but the book incorporates all of the things that interest me, which are basically all of the things we talk about here on the blog. Everything from conspiracy to synchronicity to the nature of consciousness and the fabric of the universe.

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