Salmon Deadly Sins
The idea for this film began to form in March of 2008 when I won an Ebay auction for 5900 salmon colored index cards; they were dirt cheap. At that time I was still working on More From Life and was constantly searching for packs of older index cards. I had started that film on cards that I had in storage for 17 years, but was running out, and the new ones you get at the store these days are a lot brighter white, and thinner. So that's how I came across the salmon colored cards, and that's why I started thinking about doing a salmon themed film.
Almost exactly one year later, with salmon animation ideas still perculating in my grey cells, I had the opportunity to tour the studio of the late artist Kent Bellows, in Omaha, Nebraska. The Bellows family had formed a non-profit and were getting ready to renovate the studio into The Kent Bellows Studio & Center for Visual Arts, but they hadn't started yet, so the studio was pretty much as the artist had left it. The tour was inspirational in a lot of ways, but the one part that relates directly to this film of mine is the series of painting he was working on at the time of his death - The Seven Deadly Sins. He had only finished two of them, but both were incredibly powerful.
I thought, wow, what a great framework for an animated film, it filled my head with imagery. I don't remember how long it took for this idea to bump into the salmon idea in my skull, but when it did, well, let's just say I really like puns. So, now we have Salmon Deadly Sins, a great title and it's a play on words. I've always liked looking for anagrams (rearrange the letters) so I plugged the title into the Internet Anagram Server. After sifting through nearly a hundred thousand possible anagrams, I chose seven of my favorites to use as subtitles for the seven chapters - the main titles, of course, are the deadly sins.
To begin making the film, I sketched rough ideas onto index cards, arranging them on a magnetic storyboard under the seven chapter titles and subtitles. I let the subtitles influence my doodles as much as the chapter title (deadly sin), so the outcomes were unique. The sin of Sloth, for example, has the subtitle (an anagram of Salmon Deadly Sins) "So Many Landslides" and the chapter starts out with a landslide.
As of this writing (April 2013) I have completed six of the chapters, over 4000 drawings, and am nearing the end of the seventh. It is now time to start thinking about the music that will accompany the drawings. Check back here for progress on that, or follow me on Tumblr.
Work-in-progress: a 45 second snippet, no sound yet.