Fabricated was shot between the years 2005 and 2016 in 8 different apartments in the cities of Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and Oakland.
Engineering jobs and Chicago scrapyards provided me with piles of obscure and beautiful mechanical detritus, which I then re-engineered and sculpted into new forms and uses. The creatures were fashioned in a similar process. Found elements influenced the design and were then incorporated into, or discarded from, the finished construction.
To move the camera, I used a modular motion control setup of my own design along with a great deal of 8020 aluminum extrusion. The extrusion provided a solid and expandable frame upon which to build the set and mount the camera, lights and rails to keep me from bumping things I didn't want bumped as I reached over the set thousands of times while animating.
I soon learned that world-building is no simple endeavor and that much real estate must be covered to make the world convincing. Rebuilding the set for each new camera angle and reusing elements allowed me to stretch my resources, but led to some very lengthy build times.
The animation setup and lighting were also tedious and time-consuming affairs. Finally, the animation sessions typically took 2-3 hours for one second of finished animation.
As a result, shooting this film was often a difficult and frustrating process, with countless hours of repetitive work. That said, there was nothing more satisfying than finishing a shot and watching a static scene and stiff creatures come magically to life.
I would often watch a 6-second shot looping for 30 minutes after completing it at 5am, mesmerized by the spectacle I had just created.
This is a short collection of behind-the-scenes video and experimental animation sequences:
The dinosaur creature, Rex, was the first to be built and it was his design that embodied many of the concepts of the film. The genesis was a shard of bone and teeth I found on the Florida coast. One day I looked at it from just the right angle, and a tyrannosaur looked back at me: