Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Curse of a List Maker and Zombie Potatoes

I’m a guy that likes to make “to do” lists.

If a project is written down then it becomes official, it won’t get forgotten and it is on track to get done.


The only problem with this scenario is when items are added to the list faster than they are crossed off.

I have always joked that if I can have one good idea per day then my work is done and lately I’ve been having a lot of ideas….and many have wound up on the list.
Add a deadline to each project and then it becomes a stress list.

Deadlines are not a bad thing because without a deadline the “to do” items don’t get done.

What exactly are we talking about?

My goal is to reenter the job market, specifically video production after a ten year hiatus.

When applying for a job in television your biggest asset is your demo reel, a compilation of your best work that not only showcases your skills but also your point of view and creative genius.

My demo reel is very solid, segments from 17 years of experience but it is lacking samples of production using contemporary technology most notably motion graphics.

Fortunately I have access to the software and I am currently working on the missing pieces.

Over the last several months I have made a list of 13 different productions that I would like to complete…the projects include several mini documentaries, instructional videos and animated shorts.

My deadline is to have the work completed by the end of April.

Now I’m not totally unrealistic, the chance of completing all 13 videos on the list by my deadline slim to none...I just need to generate a nice sampling that can be sent to prospective employers.

This leads me to potatoes.

Brilliant segue I know.

One of the shorts I’m working on will include some stop motion animation…and because I am who I am the subject of the short video will be zombies.

Several years ago I had a great time making shrunken apple heads for Halloween and during the process experimented with doing something similar with potatoes.

The process worked although potatoes react very differently to the drying process.

An apple will shrink and shrivel while a potato tends to more or less fossilize.

As luck would have it we happened to have a bag of potatoes that were past their prime.

Using some simple tools I carved a variety of faces into the spuds then soaked them in a brine solution for a few hours to help draw out the starch and moisture.

The zombie spuds are now sitting in front of a box fan and slowly drying.

The taters have shrunk a bit and are turning a black color.

After the first night of drying I sprayed them with Lysol to prevent mold growth.

My guess is that they have about another week to go before they will be ready….I will update the progress of this experiment in the coming days.

Now I can cross “carve potatoes” off the list.

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