Copyright Notice

This is to proclaim that all materials posted on this blog are property of and copyrighted by Image of the Mind Studios/Arthur Greisiger .
These materials may not be reproduced or copied without permission. They are posted here for you personal review only.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Gnomeville Arts& Craft Guild

For a review of the developing product lines please go to the IMS Product Gallery which is linked in the IMS Virtual Studio Header.  The products posted in this Gallery are for review to our business partners and are not currently being offered for retail distribution. Discussions on those subjects can be found there. AG

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Libretto & Score

I know there are some folks who are watching and waiting (as the Moody Blues said), so I thought I'd address the issue of the most recent and current focus of attention.

As I have said before, the Libretto is finished. It is fully Illustrated and you can see some of the artwork by Jency Latta posted here. The foundational Story-book text is complete, but needs refinement before it would be ready to publish.  My goal with the storybook is to locate a major publishing house to take over that aspect of the project. However, at the appropriate time I will continue to pursue the pre-press activities and there are certain aspects of publishing that I intend to keep in-house if I go to press with those editions. The items I will be working on first, in terms of publishing, are the B&W Coloring Book/Comic Book, the Insert edition for the Music CD, and the Illustrated Gnome Sized Edition of the Storybook.

Another consideration is an edition containing portions of the Libretto designed to be part of our puppetry product line. In addition to many other products that are in development, I anticipate developing a line of smaller puppets and providing a reduced version of the story as part of a puppet show which can be purchased  so that kids can enact the story with their own puppets.  Now I know that the current craze is all electronics, but I do think there might be a niche for puppetry if presented properly. That forum may be at the puppet shows when "The Gnomes of New Hope: Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure" is ready to be presented in that format to the public.

My current, and very concentrated, focus of attention is on publishing the score.  We have taken a hiatus from composition, partly because of the holidays and partly because because I have a need to produce the published edition of the score and that duty has fallen upon solely upon me to perform.   And so it is that I am daily engaged in formating and printing and evaluating  the score to all the songs in the show.  Certain items in scoring will need to be redressed at a future time, but I am reserving that to be a process which takes place with the maestro involved.

There are nineteen scenes in the show and some of the scenes have as many as seven songs in them. There are a total of sixty-five musical numbers, some of which are as short as twenty seconds with only about six songs that exceed four minutes.  The score is currently taking up two 1-1/2" binders, but I expect that to increase as I continue to print out the score.

I am producing the following material for each song - (1) Lead Sheet w/piano (2) Vocal Score (for solos, duets, trios, quartets) & Choral Score  (for quintets, sextets, and choral numbers), (3) A Conductors Score (containing all the parts in a linear timeline) (4) Orchestral Parts (for each instrument, arranged with consolidated rests).  I am also producing the recorded versions of this show to go along with the core materials and assist us in recording the lyrical music. The dynamics which were written into the MIDI files has needed to be removed for scoring, so the piano and vocal editions, which will be as an aid in recording the lyrics, may be somewhat devoid of the dynamics we developed in the composition stage of producing this work.  I am under the opinion that the earlier decisions made in shaping the dynamics will be redressed at a future stage of the recording and mastering process.

It is becoming critical that we upgrade our computer systems, but until that happens I am trying to work with what we have got. We are still using a Mac G4 & A G5 to do this work, but out material is starting to exceed the machine's capabilities, especially now that we are moving more actively into recording.  As I always say - I invite anyone wanting to consider investing to let me know.

More Later, AG

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The release of the story-line, production activity & business thoughts

Now that the scoring for the music has advanced quite a bit, I am beginning to consider releasing the story-line of The Gnomes of New Hope: Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure.

A Gnome-sized Edition of the story (in three volumes) is in the works and with the music nearing completion, more attention will be given to preparing the mechanicals for that publication. I will be posting the preliminary point of purchase material here for review as that becomes possible.

I reiterate that interested parties should contact me and understand that communications are effected by the volume of work that needs to be done overall. So a delay in communication on my part does not indicate any lack of interest.

As it stands now, the story-line is available to our partners in production: our investors, creative personnel, and people who visit the studio.  The Exhibition of the artwork is advancing slowly, as I am finding more difficult than I thought to select what portions of the show to include in the exhibition, but also I am quite busy concentrating on Piano Reductions and preparing to record the lyrical music. Our first release of a love song duet titled "Completely" is avaialble on the IMS Music Studio for you to listen to.

 In terms of the exhibition, I am very much interested in beginning to construct the cycloramas, which effectively would be models of the scenes in the stage show. Initially I constructed a 1/4" scale model, but now I find that this is too small. My current thinking is that the cycloramas need to be of sufficient size that the figurines will become toy items. I expect to begin by using our artwork, cut out to size and then advance into 3D sculpting.  This of course may very well lead us into the claymation film which I so much want to implement.  As I say this I remember that the scenes from the show where to be to core of the exhibition and that the Illustrations in the form of lithographs where to be the first stage in that process of making the exhibition.  Well, since I have begun to print-out the characters as free standing cut-outs , I expect I should consider this a good first step in implementing the cycloramas.

With so many things going on, it's not easy keeping it all straight in your head!

I am currently sculpting the head for the marionettes/animatronic puppets. The size of these heads is about equal to that of a small child, which leads to the expectation that the masks used for the puppets will also become halloween masks when the time comes. In terms of the puppetry, I have about a dozen skeletal structures which I plan on using for the marionettes and two dozen skulls which are being modified to support the chassis for the animatronic components of the heads. I am looking for a silicone gel to use as a sub-dermal element in constructing the facial movements associated with the mouth movements.

The staging area is coming together. I am looking at a more permanent green screen cyc on the upstage wall and the stage right wing wall and painting the floors to match that would give us the effect of an endless cyc at an angle.  I'm considering then using a dance floor and teasers & tormenters as a means of rapid conversion to stage blacks.  I have to deal with a roof leak before that can continue though.  I may have mentioned elsewhere that the green screen will give us the ability to integrate our puppets into the artwork from the Illustrated Story-book. Here's one illustration to exemplify that;

This image has already been posted elsewhere.
As an example, we are planning on producing  these lithographs
in a collection, one for each song in the show
as well as one for each scene.

The Illustrated Libretto is available for review to potential licensees of our product lines and film, television and theatre professionals.  I am currently preparing a DVD with all the production materials which will be made available to those persons who sign a Restrictive Covenant Agreement. That agreement will be posted here in the near future. Signers to that agreement will also be given access to the IMS Producing Partners site.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I will be gradually building this blog to serve as the primary location for Gnome Stuff, but as you may have seen, I still post on the IMS Virtual Studio site.

My recent thoughts are that I will focus more on refining the showroom for our products and manufacturing capabilities at the studio and less on pitching this project aggressively externally. That means that I will need to count on other participants to take this out into the world. My focus needs to be on securing the facility and production capabilities in-house. I continue to desire a solid publishing deal for the Story-book and distribution for the television programing. Of course this is contingent upon us producing good sample materials, which we are striving to do, but I need to plant the seeds for growth in these areas.

I did meet with the people at The Bucks County Playhouse to discuss this and I find that I will need to design a new approach to the sets to accommodate the limitations (in terms of wing and upstage space). It also seems that we will be needing to use the MIDI files to present the music in this scenario as well, for our orchestrations call for a 24 piece orchestra and at most they can accommodate 1/3 of the musicians needed for that.

So even though we want to premiere this show at the Bucks County Playhouse, I need to rethink the design.  My current thoughts are to trim the proscenium to give us the wing space we need for 3D sets, but I also realize the value in having a collection of drops available for other rentals (as in the second class run). So these are issues that need to be dealt with. The one advantage is that our stage in the studio is essentially equivalent  to the space at BCP, as well as MPAC. I do need to establish what theatres this needs to fit into for a run to Broadway via the out-of-town venues. I am leaning very strongly toward Boston and Hartford, and possibly including Albany in that scenario. But of course we will have to see how that works out. I expect that when the time comes I will travel to these cities to check things out.

That's all for today. AG

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Products from the Artwork

My recent discussions with Jency about our display needs have led me to print out a few of the characters onto our 12x18 watercolor stock. The end result is a very excellent collection of little gnomes, which I intend on creating as free standing displays for use in our Bookstore, Lobby Exhibition, and Backers Audition presentations.

I expect to also make a product line of smaller cut-outs for kids, so if you are a retailer or even a distributor of published goods who may have interest in this, please let me know.

Recording Sessions:

Thoughts on the Music

Recording sessions have begun for the lyrics of the music of "Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure". We are moving forward to record the Solos, Duets, Trios and Quartets.

We have over sixty songs composed and orchestrated with very excellent MIDI arrangements, of which we went to great lengths to make the MIDI instruments blend very well and sound like a real orchestra.  We anticipated that, in some circumstances, a presentation of the show in smaller theatres, along the parade route, or even for a sound track for our film work, would need quality recorded instrumentals. Not only because an orchestra would likely not be possible or cost prohibitive in some situations, but also as a means of creating the CD album and music that would work well as rehearsal material for our performers/singers.

We have had numerous comments about how good the music sounds, orchestrally. The most recent from Nathan Odhner, who is singing our Zach.  Nathan is also an active French Horn player who plays with the Bryn Athyn Orchestra, so as I was playing some of the music for him, while showing him our advancements in the puppetry shop,  his off-handed comment about how good it sounds, is a very big complement about how we managed to get a full sound from the MIDI.  This from a person who plays in an orchestra on a regular basis!  It gives me hope for the Boston Pops and other such performance opportunities.

What people will think of the music, overall, is another story.  I have played the music for numerous people and have had an assortment of responses.  Generally, the comments have been that it is very Gnomic in nature and  jaunty.  This is true, for it is intended to accompany the action on the stage and they are The Gnomes of New Hope who are at first all upset and worried about the humans closing in and finding Gnomeville.

Frankly, I have also sensed that in some ways, it was difficult for them to understand the music.  I believe this is from the fact that a person expects the music to tell the story, because it is musical story, but without having a foundation of what the story is, or who the characters are, or how they are relating to one-another, the listener is left out in the cold, so to speak. It is especially challenging when no lyrics are present to clarify why odd beats are taking place or why the orchestrations have an assorted level of complexity.

But I also realize that as instrumental music, the composite of the music in the show is at times difficult to listen to. Every song is well balanced for it's intended purpose and quite listen-able individually, when viewed in the context of that purpose. But without a full understanding of the show or knowledge of the lyrics that are intended to go with the music,  it can be challenging. This in itself makes me realize how important it is for us to get these lyrics recorded. For, what I feel is that; the insertion of the lyrical music into the composite of the show's overall musical signature, will give it the balance that I anticipated. There is a tension and relief that needs to occur and that happens when the diversity of the spoken, or sung, language is part of the listening experience.

I have had my concerns about the balance that needs to be reached in creating the theatrical experience for the audience. One of my basic tenets is that  the overall composite of the show is what creates the atmosphere and that no one element can stand entirely on it's own. Certainly there needs to be, and will be, musical numbers that can stand on their own without the show.

The first lyrical song which we have just recorded is intended to be such a song.  The experience of finally hearing this song, sung with the lyrics by excellent vocalists, is unbelievable!  Nathan Odhner is singing Zach and Justine Buss is singing Ferny. The song has taken on such a new dimension and both Shawn and I were brought to tears by it.  It gives me hope (from the Gnomes of New Hope) that our conception of how this music will expand into the full expression of what we imagined it would, will start to take shape.

 This first song is titled "Completely" and it is a Love Song/Duet between Zach and Ferny. It is actually part of the last scene in the show leading up to the Finale, but since it is a Love Song, which makes no reference to Gnomes, we thought it would be best to use this song as the one which might break some new ground,  help us promote the project generally and help us to raise the money we need to produce this show.  We intend to submit this song (and a few others) into a  song-writing competitions and use it to open up opportunities for us, partly by seeking distribution on the internet.

 I have found that the more mellow numbers still seem busier than they really are, because the lyrics are absent. These lyrics being sung, are intended to take the lead while the instrumental aspect of the songs are more in the background.  Of course, without the singers voice this cannot happen, and so the composite of the songs do not yet have the wide range of tonal expression that is designed into the score. It is clear to me that the tonal expression is derived in great part from the introduction of the human voice into the mix.

MORE LATER... AG

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Artwork of Jency Latta

A new page has been created specifically as a gallery of the artwork we are using for the Gnomes of New Hope and I am placing a link in the side bar.  It doesn't seem to want to add try this  The Artwork of Jency Latta

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Artwork for the Illustrated Storybook and Animation

Now that the Libretto is finished and fairly well illustrated, I think it is time to post some of the characters from "Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure".

We have a second edition of the show which is titled "The Stone of Wisdom" which will require an entirely different group of Gnomes, as it is part of the history of Gnomanity

 I will be gathering a representation of the citizens of Gnomeville and possibly a few scenes from the Storybook to post here.

As mentioned elsewhere, we are moving forward to construct our puppets, based on the drawings which you can see here. Our most immediate intention is to present the puppets against a green screen and then insert them into the backgrounds. (You can find one Illustrations, which shows a few more characters, here- Limited Edition Lithographs)

As you will see we have a very well developed product here and will be reminding you that we seek to license these product out to partners who are willing to provide a substantial contribution to our production expenses.

My goal with licensing is to gather our production funds from sources which I do not have to pay back. Therefore, I will be working to outline some of the product lines we expect to produce in house or license out for manufacturing and distribution to our partners.  Anyone who would like to come to the studio to look at some of our materials is welcome. I ask that you do so by appointment.  More later... AG

Puppetry, Marionettes, & Animatronics

We are moving ahead with planning for doing the stage show, scene by scene, with marionettes. We will be working the scenes out in the studio in front of a green screen, not only for the purpose of creating a television program, but also to refine the presentation of the live puppet show which will be licensed out to puppeteers who may want to present the show.  If you are a producing organization who is interested in puppetry, please let us know. We plan on working out the construction of all materials at Image of the Mind Studios, but then making the show available as a rental package to specific regions in the United States and eventually around the world.  That rental package will include all the materials necessary to put up the show according to the specifications in the script.

I am looking for a documentary filmmaker and television producer who may want to take on the instructional video which will accompany the package, but also work on producing a television special. We have a number of options before us, so that discussion is best left for another time and for persons who have expressed interest in being involved.

As always we are looking for investment partners. We anticipate developing an animatronic show for use in theme parks, but also are looking forward to setting up a storefront operation in New Hope, Pennsylvania at some point.

Realize that I am a conceptual artist and making these things manifest will most certainly require partnering with others who share this vision and are capable of joining forces to make some of more complex ideas come into reality. So feel free to dialogue with me on any of these subjects. AG

Recording the Lyrics

   We have begun to record the lyrics to the music of "The Gnomes of New Hope: Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure" in anticipation of submitting to The International Song Writing Contest. We are doing a Love song Duet titled "Completely" and will post that on the IMS Music Studio site when it is finished.

  Our first session with the vocalist doing Zach was beset with interface issues and so we have determined to up grade our recording equipment to bypass the interface.  As it stands now we are still using a MOTU 324 with a 2408 and I have been unable to patch the unit to give us a real-time feed on the mic signal while also feeding the music. So far I have been haunted by a delay I can't seem to get rid of.  We are onto other methods and are about to switch from Digital Performer to Garage Band for recording the vocals. We can then put them back into DP and go from there.  I will continue to post production updates on this site and keep the management updates on the IMS Virtual Studio or IMS Producing Partners.  AG

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Updated Introduction

Welcome to this site for The Gnomes of New Hope.

I will be continuing to transfer information about our production efforts to this site,
however, at this point the site is under construction.

For your reference: all older posts are moved to the lower portion 
and listed under the heading Archive. 
That is the case in all my postings when I update them. 
I do, however remove as much redundancy as I can.

The status of all the blogs hosted by Google is that;

After switching to Safari my editing capabilities are greatly improved and so I will be working to build this web site and move the relative postings over here from
The IMS Virtual Studio.

I do expect to be posting the color artwork from 
The Illustrated Storybook
and
 doing a layout for the 
Traveling Gallery Exhibition
at some point.

I will post when that happens on the IMS Virtual Studio and on Facebook.

Refer to 
for all postings on 
The Gnomes of New Hope
Zach & Zebby's Grand Adventure


Archive:
  • Welcome to the new blog for The Gnomes of New Hope.  Here I will be posting the Production Approach Summary, images of the illustrations, updates on the various aspect of production and links to relative other production elements.
  • Some of the postings will be open to comment by members of of the production team and others will be open to public comment
  • You will also find items for sale as I set up the PayPal and product catalog. Eventually this will also be the site where you will be able to buy tickets to the various shows which we are producing.
  • So keep watch here as this web site grows and the information abut the show is either moved or posted.

Transferring posts from IMS Virtual Studio

Well it's a new year, so I see that a Google search will bring up this page, which I never really finished building. 

That being the case, I ought to make an effort to transfer the posts from the IMS Virtual Studio to here, where they belong.

Here is a link to The IMS Virtual Studio where most of the information on The Gnomes of New Hope is (as of this date 1/10/13).  Once I have the posts copied over to here, I will create a link to bring you back here.

Sorry for the inept web page. AG