Seeing as it is Monday, I thought I’d show you all a few more production photos from our Nimue statue run. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things in the world is to see things being made. Whenever we print a new sketchbook I always visit the press a few times during production. Ostensibly to approve the print proofs, but really it’s to see the huge machines working and pages piling up, lining up. etc. In this case there aren’t machines doing the work, but in some ways I think this is even cooler. Much more like Santa’s workshop, which is appropriate for this time of year.
Well, as the holiday season is officially opened and all, I wanted to catch everyone up on that swell mermaid statue. Things at the factory are going well, and the first wave of Nimue is nearing completion. Everything has been running smoothly and on time, we’re happy to report. For everyone who got in on the pre-order, your statues will be the first to ship when completed. We did the whole pre-order so that we could gauge what ratios we would need of the different versions – blonde and green. Once we understood those ratios we closed the ordering and went into production. As soon as every last mermaid has been painted, numbered, boxed, and the pre-orders have been delivered, we’ll open up ordering again. By waiting for completion we’ll know exactly how many statues of each color remain in stock and we’ll be able to load those numbers into the store’s inventory.
When that time comes we’ll notify everyone through our Facebook page and this blog that ordering has opened again.
Anyway, here are a few photos of the work in progress. Happy Thanksgiving!
I’ve always loved Mermaids, and I’ve always kept an eye out for a great mermaid sculpture wherever I go. Particularly when I show up in places like San Francisco, Seal Beach, or the Outer Banks, where mermaids abound. I’ll always run across a couple in little shell shops or maritime bookstores. But I’ve never found the one I’m looking for – the right combination of fluid, cute, sexy, and hopefully with some sea friends nearby. But you know what? I’ve never found her. The ones I stumble across are always lacking something – they’re sorta stiff, or have rather dire faces. Sometimes they’re pretty good, but attached to a lamp or a wooden sign that has beachy witticisms like, “In dog beers, I’ve only had one.”
So I’ve never found my mermaid. Till now.
For all of you who may have had a similar experience, I proudly introduce Nimue, the mermaid sculpture I’ve been looking for.
Nimue (“Nim-way”) is the first collaboration between myself and Anders Ehrenborg (www.andersehrenborg.com), who sculpted her. Anders works in New Zealand, which means he’s beset by mossy trolls and tiny glowing sprites that play tricks on him, stealing his coffee mugs and enticing him with bewitched objects that if touched, will enslave him to the fairy kingdom for a thousand years. Imagine. Even with all that distraction and danger, Anders created this object of fluid beauty that, as far as I am concerned, finally got it right.
How many sailors would have given their last weevily biscuit to capture such a creature in their sea-chests? Anders based this sculpture on a mermaid drawing from “Sketchbook 3.” However, credit for this goes entirely to him; translating a sketch into a dimensional sculpture is the realm of genius and witchcraft, if you ask me.
Also, I owe the creation of this to Jessica Steele, who is also a creature of the deep. She spends most of her time with dolphins and sharks, and was sick and tired of my whining about the failings of seaside shell shop mermaids, and thus pushed me to find a way to produce one that will keep me quiet. Her notes and advice were invaluable as Nimue took shape. Jessica knows all things in the ocean, and kept me properly focused on fins and scales and hair that maintained fluidity.
Nimue is a limited-edition resin. She is 7.25 inches tall, and comes in four versions. Blonde hair with blue tail and blue shark, green hair with green tail and grey shark, and a topless variant of each, for those that like their mermaids without shells. The baby manta ray is a slightly darker blue on the green version. Jessica named the fat baby shark Clarence.
So that makes four versions to choose from. I’ll post the topless variants tomorrow. The ones pictured here are the prototypes, and they will be in San Diego if you happen to pass by our booth (which is #5534, just like last year). We will be taking pre-orders in our online store. Statues will ship starting January 2014.
This is a video that gives you a glimpse into the recording of one of my favorite pieces of music for the movie. It’s a marching-band inspired number that gives the opening hunt sequence its football vibe. During January of 2013, Alan Silvestri recorded the first half in Abbey Road Studios in London, and the last layer with the USC marching band in California. See if you can hear some quotes from “Tusk”!
Just a teeny tiny post this morning, as I’m driving back to Los Angeles today. This moment is in the finished movie – I included it in the blog because of the second panel, into which I included an extra arm and hand. The intention was to get Eep and Guy tangled, and I just couldn’t get enough activity with four hands. So I added one. That one extra set made the drawing work, I think, and communicated the intention more clearly to the animators.
Here Grug is about to be trampled by a pack of Liotes – a creature that is a combination of Lizards and Coyotes. Grug is chasing the Liotes, who are in turn chasing a huge flightless bird, who is carrying the egg that Grug wants. In the midst of the pack, Grug slips. After being trampled, one of the Liotes lingers for a little payback, then moves on. Moments later Eep streaks past, easily passing the Liotes and reaching the huge bird.
The Liotes developed a lot of personality in the early boards, which they retain in the finished film.