Various instruments…

Posted by Jason Steele | Sunday 31 May 2009 4:56 pm

First, an update on the live-action video we filmed Friday. Filming went smoothly, and everything turned out great. I’m not sure if this is going to be a FilmCow.com release or an exclusive video for the upcoming FilmCow DVD, but it turned out SUPER-A-OK-COOL and I think it’s an amusing little short.

Anyway, for today’s blog post I thought I’d show you all my collection of musical instruments. A few years ago I started putting musical sequences into my movies, and that rekindled my love of playing music. Unfortunately I’m actually pretty terrible at playing music so I decided to start collecting a wide variety of instruments to compensate for my complete lack of talent. “Oh look,” people now say, “he has so many instruments, he must be some sort of musical genius.” I reply that yes, I am in fact a musical genius, and I immediately start rockin’ some Marry Had A Little Lamb on the pan flute.

SO. Here are my instruments.

1-harm-harp-kazoo

If you want to make some wacky sounds you NEED a jaw harp and a kazoo. I threw the harmonica into this picture as well because the harmonica is a similar size. It doesn't really deserve to be next to the kazoo and jaw harp. OH! I have an electric kazoo as well, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

This is an ocarina.  Like from Zelda.  I want to get a second ocarina.  Because the fingerings on this one are kind of difficult to remember.  Well, not really, but I'm a complete idiot so... so I want another ocarina.

This is an ocarina. Like from Zelda. I want to get a second ocarina. Because the fingerings on this one are kind of difficult to remember. Well, not really, but I'm a complete idiot so... so I want another ocarina.

On the left is a high quality quena, and on the right is a low-quality flute that was called a quena when I bought it but I don't think it's actually a quena.  It sounds alright though so I keep it around.  For kicks.  For fake-quena kicks.

On the left is a high quality quena, and on the right is a low-quality flute that was called a quena when I bought it but I don't think it's actually a quena. It sounds alright so I keep it around. For kicks. For fake-quena kicks.

This is a pan flute.  I do not think it is a great pan flute, but that is balanced by the fact that I am not a great pan flute player.

This is a pan flute. I do not think it is a great pan flute, but that is balanced by the fact that I am not a great pan flute player.

I am not sure that this is technically a "real" fife.  This is essentially an oddly shaped recorder.  I can actually play it though, so if you ever hear someone walking around outside rockin' some Yankee Doodle on a cheap plastic fife that's probably me.

I am not sure that this is technically a "real" fife. This is essentially an oddly shaped recorder. I can actually play it though, so if you ever hear someone walking around outside rockin' some Yankee Doodle on a cheap plastic fife that's probably me. Or some type of terrible fife demon.

This is an Mbira, or "thumb piano."  For some reason it is tuned to C# Major, which means I can't play it with nearly anything else.

This is an Mbira, or "thumb piano." For some reason it is tuned to C# Major, which means I can't play it with nearly anything else.

These are some cool shakers I got for Christmas last year.  You shake them and they make shaking noises.  Which is about all you can ask of a shaker.

These are some cool shakers I got for Christmas last year. You shake them and they make shaking noises. Which is about all you can ask of a shaker.

This is a washboard, in case I have the urge to play some old-school Dixieland jazz percussion parts.  Which I do.  All the time.  Unfortunately I can't find thimbles big enough for my fingers so playing it is difficult.

This is a washboard, in case I have the urge to play some old-school Dixieland jazz percussion parts. Which I do. All the time. Unfortunately I can't find thimbles big enough for my fingers so playing it is difficult.

This is a Xaphoon, also known as a "pocket sax."  It is the most difficult instrument I have ever tried to play, good god.  It probably doesn't help that it's the only reed instrument I've ever used.

This is a Xaphoon, also known as a "pocket sax." It is the most difficult instrument I have ever tried to play, good god. It probably doesn't help that it's the only reed instrument I've ever used.

I do not remember what this is.  It makes unbelievably annoying sounds when played.  You could make more pleasant sounds hitting various cats with iron mallets.

I do not remember what this is. It makes unbelievably annoying sounds when played. You could make pleasanter sounds hitting various cats with iron mallets.

I gots my own kindergarden percussion section!  WOOOO!

I gots my own kindergarden percussion section! WOOOO!

These are called "talking drums."  The drum pitch changes when you squeeze them.  They are actually really fun to play.  My father plays the talking drum in a Haitian voodoo band.

These are called "talking drums." The drum pitch changes when you squeeze them. They are actually really fun to play. My father plays the talking drum in a Haitian voodoo band.

I've got two tin whistles, because tin whistles are cheap.  I think everyone should have a tin whistle around the house.

I've got two tin whistles, because tin whistles are cheap. I think everyone should have a tin whistle around the house.

I can not describe in words my love for the melodica.  Seriously, go and buy yourself a melodica, you'll see.  It's like a piano... THAT YOU BLOW INTO.  HOLY GOD.

I can not describe in words my love for the melodica. Seriously, go and buy yourself one, you'll see. It's like a piano... THAT YOU BLOW INTO. HOLY GOD.

This is a wood bongo.  I think.  The right half is a different pitch from the left half.

This is a wood bongo. I think. The right half is a different pitch than the left half.

I do not know why I purchased this glockenspiel.  Oh wait yes I do - because it was cheap and is called a "glockenspiel."

I do not know why I purchased this glockenspiel. Oh wait yes I do - because it was cheap and it's called a "glockenspiel."

This is a cheap soprano ukulele.  It sounds pretty decent, but the frets aren't set up perfectly so it never really sounds fully in tune.

This is a cheap soprano ukulele. It sounds decent, but the frets aren't set up perfectly so it's never really fully in tune.

This is a concert ukulele, and is a recent purchase of mine.  This ukulele is amazing, and has actually convinced me to learn how to play it.  Soon I will be a ukulele master, and then I will be loved by all.

This is a concert ukulele, and is a recent purchase of mine. This ukulele is amazing, and has actually convinced me to learn how to play it. Soon I will be a ukulele master, loved by all.

This is a Remo hand drum.  You drum with it.  It makes a big drum-like sound.

This is a Remo hand drum. You drum with it. It makes a big drum-like sound.

This is the electric keyboard I use with my computer, it's an M-Audio Axiom 61.  Most of the songs you hear in my movies was composed using this.

This is the electric keyboard I use with my computer, it's an M-Audio Axiom 61. Most of the songs you hear in my movies were composed using this.

This is an electric bass my dad gave me, it's made by Ibanez.  Physically it is the largest instrument I own, at least until I buy a tuba.  I would love to master the bass and then join a rock band where nobody will ever care about me because I'm the bass player.

This is an electric bass my dad gave me, it's made by Ibanez. Physically it is the largest instrument I own, at least until I buy a tuba. I would love to master the bass and join a rock band, where nobody will ever care about me because I'm the bass player.

This is a cheap acoustic guitar.  I'm thinking about installing a fish tank inside of it.

This is a cheap acoustic guitar. I'm thinking about installing a fish tank inside of it.

Here is my electric guitar, an Agile AL-2000.  I do not know how to play electric guitar, but I figure standing around holding one is good enough.

Here is my electric guitar, an Agile AL-2000. I do not know how to play electric guitar, but I figure standing around holding one is good enough.

This is an EWI4000s.  It's an electronic wind synthesizer.  I'm not sure what to say about this one, other than "it is incredibly strange."  It's one of my favorite instruments to play, even though every noise it makes sounds like it comes from a bad Super-Nintendo game soundtrack.

This is an EWI4000s. It's an electronic wind synthesizer. I'm not sure what to say about this one, other than "it is incredibly strange." It's one of my favorite instruments to play, even though every noise it makes sounds like it's coming from a bad Super-Nintendo game soundtrack.

This is my old cornet, an instrument I started playing back in middle school.  It's one of the few instruments I'm actually decent at.  I do not play this cornet all that much anymore because I got a new one.

This is my old cornet, an instrument I started playing back in middle school. It's one of the few instruments I'm actually decent at. I do not play this particular cornet all that much anymore though, because I got a BRAND NEW ONE.

This is the cornet I got to replace my old one.  It's a Getzen 3850, and it is by far my favorite of the instruments I own.  It's also incredibly pretty.  I would totally make out with this cornet.  And perhaps have.

This is the cornet I got to replace my old one. It's a Getzen 3850, and it is by far my favorite of the instruments I own. It's also incredibly pretty. I would totally make out with this cornet. And perhaps I already have.

Well there you go. Those are my instruments.

Project Updates

Posted by Jason Steele | Thursday 28 May 2009 8:05 pm

Here’s the current line-up of stuff I’m working on:

Gods of Olympus – this is now in the animation phase, and should be released within a week.  This is becoming a favorite of mine.  It’s short, but filled with delicious custard.

I also have NINE other animated projects for which voices have been recorded.  There are going to be a lot of FilmCow releases in the coming month.

Tomorrow (Friday) I’m going to be filming another live-action short with my cousins Chris and Nick, and my brother Joshqua.  I’ll let you all know how that goes.

The Spatula Madness feature is slowly being worked on again.  I’ve moved all the project files over from my old computer, and converted everything to be compatible with the new versions of the programs I’m using to animate it.

As for the FilmCow DVD I mentioned in my previous post, we’ve now recorded commentary tracks for a number of movies, and soon we’ll be putting together the super-special features.  Seeing as there is actual interest in the disk, I hope to have it released by the end of July / beginning of August.

Special features for a FilmCow DVD?

Posted by Jason Steele | Saturday 16 May 2009 9:42 pm

It’s just the thing everyone is dying for: a DVD version of the videos on FilmCow! Only this time you pay money instead of watching them for free! That’s right, videos you already get for free on the internet, might one day be available to buy instead. Woo!

With that out of the way, we’ve been thinking about eventually putting together a “FilmCow DVD,” and have been brainstorming possible special features. What kind of special features would all of you be interested in seeing?

Right now here are the ideas:

  • Exclusive videos created specifically for the disk.
  • Two commentary tracks for each video (one serious, one not.)
  • Behind-the-scenes crap.
  • Deleted scenes / out-takes / etc.
  • Badgers.
  • Re-dubs of our old movies with entirely different story-lines.

So… if you have any ideas of what you’d like to see on a potential FilmCow DVD post them here! The plan is to make the DVD pretty cheap, and packed with enough special features that it actually becomes worth paying money for. Delicious, delicious money. Which will then be used to buy frisbees and pogs.

Charlie the Unicorn 3… in German!

Posted by Jason Steele | Monday 4 May 2009 12:40 pm

YouTube user “TheTrueBlacky” (Dennis Saemann, Rieke Werner and Birte Baumgardt) have put together a German-language dub of Charlie the Unicorn 3.  These guys have done dubs of a bunch of movies (including a couple FilmCow ones), and they’re all amazing.

Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4agW_9I3nmA

Der Seestern liebt dich wirklich!

Charlie video now up on HotTopic.com

Posted by Jason Steele | Friday 1 May 2009 5:29 pm

The video I made for Hot Topic is now up on their website.  Check it out!

http://www.hottopic.com/hottopic/LicensedGear.jsp

Sorry about the display size being a little small, I have no idea if they’re going to change that.