Where have you been all month?

I don’t know, where have you been? I’ve been really busy. Here’s a photo of my apartment as of this morning:

My messy apartment, covered in props in progress

Some important things: there’s a ribcage on a post. I’ve spent some time getting stuff standing and getting stuff moving. I’ve been making pulleys and buying pulleys; I’ve been attaching battery packs to motors. None of it’s sturdy enough yet to just let it run indefinitely, but we have to hope I’ll get there soon?

Also: a giant pile of pieces! You’re seeing the bodies of three ghosts plus a big ol’ bass drum. The topmost one there I built last night, getting it from a flat piece of cardboard to a dimensional figure in a matter of a few hours, which is good but not great, considering it’s mid-October.

Tonight I’ll build the upright bass and get it drying on the porch. It’s colder out now, which is nice feeling-wise but not great drying-wise, considering it’s mid-October.

By the end of the week, the whole ghost band will be primed and standing. Some of them will even be painted and, like, done done. Last weekend I hooked up the band’s speakers and ran a nice test, getting each speaker playing a discrete instrument in the quartet. The final audio tracks are still TBD and I probbly need to splice some longer cables onto the speakers, but the tech is as good as done (which is nice, considering it’s mid-October).

Home Depot has replaced their Halloween decorations with winter decorations, which is strange and sad, but I bought a neat twinkling light on a whim that will give the ghosts a cool effect. Meanwhile, Zander is working on the backdrop for the crypt, like, right now. A complete scene 3 is finally in sight!

In running my motor tests, I discovered that the juggling skull gag is just too complicated, mechanically, to accomplish, given the skills I have now and the time I have left. I’m not getting rid of the trio, of course; I have another idea that I think will be more interesting, visually and narratively, but will be simpler to produce, Almost all of the work I’ve done on the gag so far can be reused; the only part I’m scrapping—the flying skull—is the part I don’t think I’ll ever get working.

Finally, I devoted some time last weekend to production design. Here are new sketches of scenes 1 and 2:

A sketch of scene 1, featuring a human reading a newspaper
A sketch of scene 2, featuring skeletons jumping rope

Rather than the original before-and-after concept for scene 1, the opening now focuses entirely on the “before,” while scene 2 is now entirely responsible for demonstrating the “after.” I’ve added a pretty simple prop of an innocent mortal, sitting in the cemetery reading a newspaper. Creating a 19th century newspaper will be a fun diversion, and will give me an opportunity to sneak in some subtle details that a lot of people will miss! That sounds sarcastic, but I love those minuscule, unexplained references in others’ work and I want them in my own.

Have you bought your tickets yet? If you haven’t, I recommend doing it soon! It’s mid-October! Get them right now!

Finally: are you subscribed to For What’s It Worth? It’s a really lovely weekly newsletter written by my friends Kate and Katy. I’d recommend it to anyone, but I’m recommending it to you in particular because they interviewed me a few weeks ago about this show, and that interview will be in next week’s edition! Get in there!

Okay, you now know roughly what today’s date is, which means I gotta get back to it. Spook you later!