H.o.p. Art – Modeling Clay Creatures and notes on films you'll never see

H.o.p. should be blogging these things on his blog but he never thinks to do it. He’s been on another modeling clay kick the past few months. We have literally hundreds of his creations all over the apartment, most of which he fabricates intending to use in little films, but then he doesn’t get around to the films and he piles these things all on his desk and then knocks them off and his chair rolls over them so the majority end up broken with lost arms and legs and horns.

H.o.p. art - 2008

H.o.p. art - 2008

H.o.p. art - 2008

There are several more empty beautifully formed turtle backs on his desk.

Too bad we don’t know how to make plastic toys. He could do limited editions and sell them out in a week. Though not the ones above as they are based on a Mario game creature named Bowzer. And the below is based on Scab, from the game Spyro.

H.o.p. art - 2008

So, anyway, he makes many of these things for his movies but was he making a movie with them this week? No. You know what he was making a movie of…?

Last summer, he endlessly filmed the cartoon “Arthur”, editing in camera with other films he made of morphing shapes and colors, and carefully laying over all this Space Ghost sound tracks, the completed product a bizarre psychedelic version of “Arthur” that is quite long and to be must understood at all must be watched in its entirety and attentively, disparate clips dialoguing intentionally and humorously with each other to make a very out there kind of joke that takes 20 or so minutes to spin out.

“Arthur” repeated several times a day on television, and he knew what episodes would be repeating and in order to edit this all in camera, knowing exactly what he wanted, he would wait for the shows and sit through them and film the desired parts.

Not knowing what he was planning on doing with his films of “Arthur”, I thought it was crazy. Only when I sat with him and put all the parts together in Quicktime did I see that he had, from beginning to end, this all planned out.

Still, thankfully (as far as I was concerned), I didn’t hear “Arthur” all fall, winter and spring long.

Then the middle of this week H.o.p. started filming “Arthur” again.

“Why?” I asked. “Why are you doing this? You could be making your own films instead.”

Ah, but what’s he doing? Meticulously re-editing scenes in camera to completely different sound tracks. The “Arthur” music tends to be cheery and not so very dramatic. He’s re-editing innocuous scenes with dramatic music highlighting them. “See how music changes it?” he says to me. “Aren’t my choices better?” And he makes music as well for it on his electric piano, putting together a musical language of synth sounds articulating impending doom, anxiety, AHA and resolution.

So, he’s naturally teaching himself. It’s interesting. He does all these movies we’ll never put on line because it’s really all personal teaching material…he’s educating himself by filming other people’s things and re-editing them, teaching himself film pacing, editing, and how different music and edits can make entirely different moods.

Drives me nuts, totally crazy, H.o.p. with his little digital camera on his tripod putting so much energy and time into this type of thing when he could be working on his own stuff, but I keep my mouth shut…99.9 percent of the time and the other 00.1 percent doesn’t matter because H.o.p. doesn’t listen to what I say anyway.

Today, Marty had a day off from the studio. The plan was we would all do something together, like go somewhere, but H.o.p. decided he wanted to make another one of his radio shows, he and Marty not having done one in months. I didn’t feel like going down to the studio and sitting there for several hours, and had some website updates I needed to do for someone so I elected to stay home. H.o.p. got his bag and he went around gathering percussion instruments and different things he collects for sound effects and off they went.

They have just returned home and say things went “Great!”

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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