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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