Saturday, May 26, 2012

At the Mountains of Madness Project Update

Things are moving along with the ATMOM prop project, but most of what I'm working on is mind-numbingly boring.

The biggest issue I'm having problems with is, of all things, paper stock.  I originally commissioned the talented Danny Cruz to do the Dyer sketches from the exploration of the Elder Thing city (1,2,3,4) back in 2009.  I want to include the sketches in the prop set, but finding a printer that can do the run on textured art paper at a reasonable cost is turning into a nightmare.  Unfortunately, I'm close to exhausting my options and may be forced to run them off manually with a laser printer.  That would be a less than optimal solution.

A similar problem comes up with the expedition photographs.  Every single developing house I've contacted, and I've gone through dozens by now, uses branded photo paper.  I know I'm being picayune, but I absolutely hate having modern logos plastered all over the back of photographs that are supposed to be from the 1930's. 

I'm also working on finding good crates for the deluxe sets.  I need something made from unfinished wood with interior measurements around 9" by 13" by 5".  So far all the models I've sampled in that size class haven't been quite right, being either too flimsy or too heavy.  Ideally I want something constructed like a lightweight shipping crate that doesn't look too modern or overly finished.  That rules out a lot of the commercially available gift boxes and media cases. 

I may be acting a bit too anal retentive about this stuff, but I'd much rather take my time and make the final project truly memorable than rush to get it finished.  The deluxe sets in particular are something I really want to get right.

As always, your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.


Raven said...

"I may be acting a bit too anal retentive about this stuff...."

One of your endearing features, actually.

You do (whenever possible) expend the time, effort, and attention to detail, to get things right.

The effect of that expenditure shows.

As does its absence, for instance in the recent case of the hoax professor's students.

And I think every proud possessor of your artifacts appreciates the efforts you invested into the objets d'art they can now happily display.

(The author/s and owner/s of the clippings nationally exposed as hoaxes on Reddit and news media are now perhaps not quite so happy....)

So don't change.

You may in the end have to settle for what's available -- but first fight for what you want.

Propnomicon said...

@ Raven

Thank you for the kind words. What galls me is that the things I thought would be hard turned out to be easy, and vice versa. Sourcing resin casts of the star stones? Already finished. Finding rock borings that match Pabodie's conjectural drilling rig? Solved in two weeks.

Getting blank-backed photographs? Impossible.


Anonymous said...

Thinking about the issue with the paper... Maybe contact the fine arts department at a local college for some expertise with this. They're more likely also to be more amenable to non-standard jobs like this. Similarly, there are folks that advertise these sorts of skills on ebay and craigslist. Zazzle also. I don't see you being anal with this in the slightest. Merely passionate about end-product you will like.

Alex Kaeda said...

Last time I was at my local kinkos, they were using blank-backed paper in their printer. I can check in with them on Tuesday to verify that they still are.... if they are, id be happy to print photos and send them to you for distribution?

Mr. Primate said...

Agreed it's the attention to detail in endeavours like these that is so important to the final project.

Anonymous said...

Raven said most of the supportive things I was going to. So... double that.

As for the crates, I'd suggest poking around Etsy and seeing if there is someone making anything even remotely similar to what you want, then contacting them about doing a limited-run of what you need, custom-made. That's what I'm doing for some hard to find leatherworking stuff.

Handgrenadealien said...

Take all the time you need Squire. Somewhere out there are all the resources you need and everything will drop into place sooner or later. Bear in mind the artifacts you produce are things people want not what they need so I for one am happy to wait as long as it takes for you to source the bits and pieces you require.
Best Regards HGA

Lord Auron said...

You're not being too anal at all. Too anal would be whipping out a chromatic scanning tool and saying, "This tint of aging is 0.04% off the color I want!"

Seriously, all the things you've described are major make-or-break elements to the suspension of belief, so none of them, in my opinion at least, are "too anal."

Sparks said...

For the crates, you might do well to scour Army/Navy surplus stores and websites for old ammo crates. Some of them are almost perfect for what it sounds like you'd be looking for.

Raven said...

Somewhere out there is a photographic hobbyist making his or her own paper, without logos. Google. Advertise.

Alex Kaeda said...

Just talked to my local kinkos. The print-your-own machine is loaded with unmarkd photo paper. The manager said that most any kinkos should be able to print photos on unmarked photo paper.

christian lehmann said...

Trust your local doctor: you can never be too anal in this kind of endeavour.
Seriously, though.... ;-)
I understand your concern, specially with the photographic paper.
The French special edition of BTMOM came with a crate, lots of nice stuff, and a Starkweather-Moore expedition flag... made of.... ( I can't bear recalling this) plastic.
Be anal, be patient, be retentive; Try for the best you can find

Cullan Hudson said...

As a hobby of mine for years, I know I've developed in my B&W darkroom photographic papers without logos on the back. If you're looking for this degree of verisimilitude from these photos, I would eschew digital printing and go old school with someone who has their own darkroom. You can also buy an emulsion that can be used to prep most any surface, turning it into photographic paper. I did it once on some rough-toothed watercolor paper. Nice results. BTW, your props are FANTASTIC. It's like Lovecraft porn, if you'll pardon the expression.