By John Holdun on August 3rd, 2016
An article about Graveyard Swing
Last weekend I started assembling all the pieces of the saxophone ghost and discovered that my plan for connecting those pieces was not going to work. Now THAT’S spooky!
It sounds silly in hindsight, but here’s what’s not working: loops of thin-gauge wire glued onto corrugated cardboard which is, in turn, glued onto the body parts, which each way a few pounds. The loops are then threaded through holes in the correponding pieces, which are lined with tape. I tried this one and it all just fell apart. I finally realized that this salvaged-material strategy had hit its limit.
Cut to three days later, after my third trip to Home Depot in as many days. I’ve sliced open all the body parts of the sax ghost (luckily they’re all flat in the back) and shoved carefully-devised lengths of 1/2" PVC pipe into each of them. Wherever there were supposed to be points of rotation, there’s now a pipe or a socket. Everything is MUCH sturdier now. Should have done this from the beginning, AND I’ve still only spent about $100 on the supplies for all the props. There are no photos of the ghost surgery; it was pretty gnarly and I just wanted to get through it.
I’m still figuring out how to get some slack into the pipes (tonight’s hardware store trip is for a Dremel, but I am embarrassed to go to Home Depot again so I’ll find it elsewhere). The sax ghost is not where I needed it to be by now, but this new technique has been helpful in getting the trumpet ghost from 0 to almost done in about four days, which is very comforting!
Something else I accomplished this week: I vigorously cleaned my apartment. The mess felt like progress for a while, but it was getting unlivable and affecting my urge to keep working on this project. Now I’m taking care to set up when it’s time to work and then clean up after myself when I’m done, and so far the ritual is helping me get in the zone.
While working on the trumpet ghost last night I also Skyped with my friend Zander. Zander is an amazingly versatile artist; I originally approached him about painting the backdrops for the scenes, but he’s been running with the scenery at large and I’m so excited to see what happens. I’ve been so focused on the props that I forgot all about the sets, and getting a second brain in there is a big relief.
That’s all for now. I’m feeling the pressure increase but I also think I’m getting over a hump here, and despite this setback I remain optimistic. We’ll see how I feel a week from now.