Kerrville’s Zombie Infestation

I’m presently in a state of low level anxiety because of all the projects I have initiated, and others which I have committed to. This is all compounded by the fact that none are, as yet, terribly pressing, so I just keep letting much of these things slide, trying not to think about the wave which will crash sooner or later.

One of the bigger projects is Echo, a performance work being created by a San Antonio-based aerialist. I was somewhat taken aback when I learned some months ago that I had been attached to her Artist Foundation grant proposal. I am expected to provide video design and such.

With these sorts of presentations, I find myself spending dozens of hours just trying to figure out the best manner to set up the tech. We’re talking about live media manipulation, live camera feeds (probably two), multiple projectors (perhaps as many as four), and a fair amount of projected pre-recorded material. I’ve been trying to find the best way to get a camera signal to my laptop which I’d prefer to have set up at the back of the venue. A wireless HDMI transmitter sounds nice. My hope is to place a GoPro up on a rigging in the high ceiling and down to my computer. I’ll have to compress the signal with a BlackMagic encoder. But now another problem. My Mac Book Pro has only one Thunderbolt port. I need this to bring in the wireless signal. But the port is already being used for my output to the projectors. Now I could buy a new computer (those new MBPs have two ports), but I’m already pissing away tons of money into wireless transmitters, encoder dongles, and cables. So, I’m experimenting with networking two MBPs together and use a Syphon program to import the camera images into my VJ software. What an ordeal. So, once I get the whole workflow figured out, I can start shooting and editing the imagery.

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I had hoped that by now I would have wrapped work on the San Antonio segment of Gustavo Stebner’s newest Wappo project (a short web series to help promote a feature film). The other week we shot a couple days of scenes on downtown streets, a makeup studio, a River Walk restaurant, at a magician’s sideshow act, and at a cabin on some zombie-infested ranch outside of Kerrville. At some point in the weeks ahead we’ll pick up the scene with the San Antonio Film Commissioner. Drew had been unavailable earlier because he was in China, which is, of course, a great excuse.

Below are a few screen captures:

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Back in March just before the opening of my play, Tales of Lost Southtown, one of my co-stars, Pamela, gave me a little present. It was a Mexican version of Snakes and Ladders (or, properly, Serpientes y Escaleras) which she had picked up at Papa Jim’s Pet Shop and Botanica over on S. Flores. I loved the pastel illustrations of the game board, they had a style very reminiscent of those iconic Lotería cards.

I decided to create a play around the game. So, with Pam as a co-lead artist on this, we will produce it with Jump-Start Performance Co. in March of 2015. Laurie Dietrich will produce. She will also be helping in the writing of the script. It will be a devised work, created collaboratively by the cast. We’ve already begun to build the work. Expect to hear more about Jump-Start’s Serpiente’s y Escaleras in the weeks ahead. It will be fun, somewhat dark, and very strange.

 

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