Showing posts sorted by relevance for query zank. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query zank. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Zank you very much

Zank is ready. You might be more excited about this if you knew what "Zank" was, so let me tell you. "Zank" is a short stop motion animated film that I made a few years ago for the Flicker Film Festival in Richmond, Va. Every fall they hold an event called "Attack of the 50 Foot Reels" where participates create a movie from one roll of b&w or color silent Super 8 film. It's an in-camera edit and the filmmakers see their effort warts and all the night of the festival along with a crowd of one hundred plus folks. I've dared the task twice now, the first time I contributed a mini-documentary about my wife's painting called "Float" and then there's "Zank". I had been itching to do some animation and stop motion fit with the limited time available. I considered various ideas and roughed out some thumbnail storyboards, and that thing happened to me. That thing is the bad habit of getting too elaborate, biting off the big chew and never finishing the project, so I decided to try a different approach. Instead of trying to figure out every little detail, I'd just wing it. I had a "feeling" a definite "theme" was manifesting itself, so I gathered together some simple, pre-made characters to film (called toys) and over the next few nights wandered my way through the fifty feet of film. I finished well before the deadline, posted the exposed reel off and forgot about it until a few days before the event. That's when I thought about a soundtrack, what to do? At previous events, I'd seen folks do everything from live accompaniment on electric guitar to spoken word to just throwing on a commercial CD. As I had no particularly music in mind when I was shooting and lacking in musical skills my own self, I started hunting for a song. My criteria was: one - had to be around three minutes and twenty seconds long (the length of a fifty foot roll of Super 8 film projected at eighteen frames a second) and two - it had to be funky. What I wound up selecting was a Tom Waits song off "Alice" called "Kommienezuepadt" which met the requirements better then I could have designed. The night of the festival, "Zank" unreeled to lots of laughs and a big round of applause. "Kommienezuepadt" eerily matched the rhythm and feel of the animation, so much so that I had a hard time thinking about other music for the piece. I briefly considered looking into getting rights, but that provide beyond reach and I shelved the piece and life rolled on.

Fast forward to April 2004. I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland attending "Dead by Dawn". There I have the good fortune to met Neil Spencer Bruce; film fanatic, world traveler, blogger, and most importantly musician. Between b-movies and pints Neil volunteers to write, perform and record a new soundtrack for "Zank". The world is full of people who enjoy talking, in fact many of those same people believe that by talking about something, you have actually accomplished something other then converting O2 into CO2. Neil is not one of those people. E-mails started appearing in my inbox with links to copies of "Zank" with new soundtracks and every time I made a suggestion, WHAM Neil was on the job adding in his own good ideas until I couldn't remember the Tom Waits version. Yeah, Neil is that good.

So, without further ado I present:

note: this is a 5.82 Mb QuickTime movie. Neil will be hosting a WMV version soon.

I'm looking around for festivals to enter, so if you have any recommendations hip me to'em.

Thank's for looking and any comments are welcomed.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Zank Hits the Big Screen

My film "Zank" has been accepted to be shown at The Little Theater's Emerging Filmmakers Series. Here are the details:

The Weaverwerx produced short animated film, "Zank" will be shown May 22, 2006 at 9:15 PM as part of The Little Theater's ongoing Emerging Filmmakers Series.

"Zank" is a 3 minute, stop motion animation Dadaist journey featuring everything from a screaming nun to tiki mugs and a special appearance by the Buddha. It is the tale of one small beings journey to find peace and acceptance in a world filled with false gods and worldly temptations.

Originally created for Richmond, Va Flicker'’s "Attack of the 50ft Reels"”, "Zank" was transferred to video and polished up with new titles and a little editing. Featuring an original music score by Neil Spencer Bruce, the new version of "Zank" was completed June 2005.

"Zank" being accepted to this series is a solid boost to my morale. And to think that I nearly didn't submit my stuff. Yeah, it's true, I almost let that little old fear of rejection demon talk me into leaving that tape on the shelf. So if you are out there and you are doubting whether to throw your hat, poem, film, painting, whatever into the crazy arena of life, I say go for it. It's not enough to make stuff, you got to share it with your fellow humans, it is part of the dance.

I hope to see you on the 22nd. If not, you can watch "Zank" on the really tiny screen by clicking on the link to the right (maybe down the page a little, yeah, there it is).


Sunday, September 07, 2014

"ZANK" Rides Again!

"ZANK" is a short stop-motion animated Super 8 film I made in the early 21st century. It's been in a few film festivals here and there through the years (you can read a brief history in past posts here), but lately "ZANK" has been in semi-retirement on YouTube and Vimeo. Recently I was invited to participate in an art exhibition called "That's Funny! - Art with a Sense of Humor" at the Charles H. Taylor Center in Hampton, Virginia, September 13th - October 19th. Besides "ZANK", I'll also have two bas-relief sculptures and a black & white drawing done for an underground comic book back in the 1980s, which I'll be writing about on my companion blog "The Reluctant Sadist and Other Wanderings in the Comix Underground"

I'm grateful for another opportunity to share "ZANK" with a new audience. One of my favorite things about the film is the great soundtrack by my friend Neil Spencer Bruce, a multi-talented musician and filmmaker. You can out more of his work on his web site.

Here's "ZANK" for your viewing pleasure.



PS - This is my 400th blog post! Thanks' for reading! :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

ZANK on Youtube

It's time to put ZANK out to pasture. For those not familiar, ZANK is a short, animated film that I did a few years back for Richmond, Va's Flicker Festival event "Attack of the 50 ft Reels". It was originally shot as an in-camera edit on super8 movie film. The version here has been tightened up a wee bit editing-wise and souped up with an original soundtrack by my good friend Neil Bruce. I entered ZANK in a few film festivals (mostly rejected), but was programmed in The Emerging Filmmakers Series at The Little Theaters in Rochester, NY where it was shown on the big screen. ZANK is a fun little piece for me, but it's time to move on to new things. Enjoy.


Monday, May 28, 2007


I recently found this cool site to upload video clips called "VIMEO". It's slightly different from YouTube in that the posted clips have to be original, no old TV shows or clips from Hollywood films. VIMEO clips lean more towards the "Artsy-fartsy" end of the scale which is fine by me. So far I have posted "ZANK" and the trailer for "Happy Walter" and "ZANK" has really taken off with 427 "viewings" (the quotes are because I don't know what constitutes a viewing, clicking on the page? clicking the play button? does the video have to run until the end?) in the first two weeks. Compared to YouTube, where "ZANK" was uploaded four months ago and has only been "viewed" 127 times. I'm afraid the HW trailer hasn't caught on much yet with the either site with only 3 viewings on VIMEO and 9 on YouTube so far. Check out the clips:

ZANK from Weaverwerx on Vimeo

"Happy Walter" trailer from Weaverwerx on Vimeo


Monday, August 25, 2008

ZANK will not die...

ZANK is a short animated film that I made a few years ago and features music by my pal Neil Bruce. You can watch it in it's entirety on youtube, or if you want to catch it on the big screen you're in luck if you happen to find yourself near Roanoke, Va tomorrow night (August 26th) as ZANK will be shown at The Grandin Theatre as part of their "Open Projector" night.

Long live ZANK!


Wednesday, December 02, 2020

52 Fridays - A Case Study in Good Collaboration

I've been creatively collaborating with my friend Neil Bruce for over fifteen years. Our first project together was on my short animated film, "ZANK", back in 2005 for which he wrote a fittingly zany music score. (Catch up on "ZANK"'s history here). Our next project was a few years later when I created a music video for one of his songs "A dream of life". Neil is an idea  and creative machine, and always has several projects going on, including a podcast called "There is Another Way" aimed at anyone pursuing a creative life, multiple YouTube channels and album projects. Check out his website for more information. 

Hal and NeilI'm grateful for Neil's friendship and particularly enjoy the creative sparks that fly whenever we get a good chat on. Through the years, we have generated more movie, art and music ideas than we could ever possibly finish in our lifetimes. Finding a good creative collaboration partner is as rare as finding a good romantic partner, both contain an element of mystery and chemistry that can't be explained or quantified. Collaborating is a tricky dance as there are egos involved, so care must be taken to honor each other's point-of-view, while talking honestly about the value of the ideas and whether they support the overall vision. Beyond the alchemy of idea creation, then there's the practicalities of crafting the ideas into a coherent plan and finally accomplishing something. For all of this to happen, all parties involved have to maintain communication and enthusiasm for the project until the end. I've seen too many projects die-on-the-vine because one person or another starts "ghosting" the thread and the project sinks beneath the waves of day-to-day life. If you want to get something done, you either make it happen or make excuses. The best of creative partners can help keep your creative life going, particularly when the well runs dry. Just as it is with a running or exercise buddy, it's easier to stay on track when you have someone to answer to and share each other's struggles.

Which brings us to my latest collaboration with Neil, his weekly music video project called "52 Fridays", found on his "Light Before Sound" channel. 

I have contributed four videos for his music on this project so far and will likely have a couple more before it is finished. 

If you find your creative life is stuck in a rut, then think through your circle of friends or people in your network who might be good to collaborate with and reach out to them and give it a try. You might be surprised where it might lead. Remember, you can go faster alone, but further together.

Thank's Neil!


Monday, September 05, 2005

Weaverwerx final arrives in the 21st century

There's an old saying, "The cobbler's children have no shoes." . That explains why I haven't redesigned or even up-dated the Weaverwerx web site since, well, ah,,, the 20th frickin' century. Lame excuses aside, check out the new launched Weaverwerx site and let me know what you think. Some (one or two of you, in other words my loyal readers) may notice that "Zank" is not represented in the "flicks" section. Well, old Zanky will be getting his own page soon, so look out for that development. I'll also be entering "Zank" into a film festival, the first since it was shown at the Flicker Film Festival. I'll keep you posted. OK HW

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Coming Soon - Zank

Putting the finishing touches on a short animated film called "Zank". More soon.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mystery Music from the Mind of Neil Spencer Bruce

My good friend Neil Spencer Bruce, composing maestro behind the ZANK soundtrack, has posted a curious Promo video for his next music CD called "11:53". Check it out:

Very intriguing stuff. Can't wait to hear it Neil.


Friday, August 15, 2008

A Taste of Fall and the July hiking report

I love this time of year. The sunsets are often so amazing they stop me in my tracks and I make sure to carry the camera with me so I don't miss capturing images like this. Reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting. It's been a coolish summer here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and that's good, facilitates the hiking. Extracted 55 miles out of July giving me 344 miles for the year, just 6 miles behind the average.

So, has this blog become merely a hiking report? Where's the film and art and travel stuff? It's in my life, just need to roll it down here to the glowing screen. For example; I've submitted "ZANK" to be screened at the Open Projector Night at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, VA. Not yet a done deal, so I'll keep you posted as things develop.

In art news, my wife's art opening went well in NYC. Good attendence and it was a blast to be in the City for a weekend. Our friend Lori whom lives there, was a great hostess and took us for a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge and fireworks Friday night down at Coney Island. You can check out a few photos here.

Finally, I've noticed I've been getting a bunch of hits from different parts of Spain, so Hello SPAIN!


Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'm not dead yet....

My how the time does fly. To the three people who regularly hit this woefully neglected blog, I apologize for the lack of words in the last month. Have no excuse. Have had the time and many things occur to me to blog about, just don't make the leap to keyboard. I'll make no promises to post more in the future, why kid each other right? I'd only do that to let myself off the hook, talk is cheap after all. Walking the walking is what counts, which is my ultra smooth segue to LAST month's hiking report.

My hiking goal for 2006 is 600 miles, down 50 miles from last year, so need to average 50 miles a month. Started the year off right with 51 miles, some a tiny lead. February has been tougher and it's looking iffy as to whether I'll hit the mark. Have started a new, full time job, so no longer have all that free time that I didn't when I was a "man of leisure". Even so, no excuses, there is always a way to accomplish the things that need to be done.

A "Zank" update. Have entered the lad into two festivals; The Brooklyn Rooftop Film Festival Series and Richmond, Virginia's James River Festival. I'll keep you posted on what happens.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

The November Hiking Report and more!

I know this post will come as a shock to the two people (Hello Neil!)
who regularly check out my blog to see if I've managed to drag myself
to the keyboard long enough to lash together a few coherent (or not)
words, but it is far past time to break the silence. First up, the
Hiking November hiking stats. Despite an interstate move and the
usual settling that occurs, I managed to bang out 56 miles, which
brings me to 607 miles year-to-date. That leaves 43 miles between me
and the goal of 650 miles for 2005. Shortly after moving to
Rochester, I discovered that we live within a five minute walk of the
Genesee River trail system that ties in with the 100 mile long canal
trails, so I'm confident those last miles will fall with no worries.
Already knocked down 10 miles so far for December. Had a fine, crisp
and cold five mile hike yesterday, the 24 F temps freezing my lip dog
and putting some solid color in all my cheeks. The trails are paved
and well-maintained, providing wonderful views of the city and the
river and I am thankfully to be living somewhere where the local
government sees the value in creating these paths.

So far, I am enjoying life here in my new town. When I mention to
someone that I've just moved up here from Virginia, the response has
always been the same, "WHY?!". They see the south as warmth and
sunlight and opportunity and maybe I'll be seeing things the same way
after I've been through the next five (or more) months of cold and
snow, but for now I'm enjoying the winter wonderland. Also, I'm
finding I feel more comfortable socially and culturally, there's
definitely more film and animation opportunities here. Attended my
first AIVF meeting here last night and was really impressed by the
work I saw and enjoyed the company. I'll be showing "ZANK" at the
January meeting and I look forward to seeing more of everyone else's
work. Lots of interest in horror films in the group, several people
working on or having completed shorts and one feature in the works,
"Fury" by Liz Lehman. Check out her web site Trillium Films
Liz told some great stories of filming in the big, scary, old Nick
Taheo's restaurant downtown here and I'm looking forward to seeing
that film.

To the future,