Dem Bones: The Movie

Yeah. I know. I have a thing about skeletons.

I blame my fascination on stop-motion animation master Ray Harryhausen. Even if you don't recognize the name, I'll bet you've seen his work -- and if you haven't see classics such as The Golden Voyage of Sinbad or The Valley of Gwangi, you've missed out on some great old-school animation. The fighting skeletons Mr. Harryhausen created are probably part of the reason I write (and read) fantasy -- they intrigued me as a kid, and that led to a search for more of the same, and now here I am.

The photo of the skeleton above is taken from a short movie I made this afternoon. The skeleton is a five-dollar Halloween prop that normally sits on my writing PC. I spent half an hour adding some stiff wire to him, so that he can stand and pose.

The thick wire (flexible aluminum antenna grounding lead, actually) extends down about half an inch below his heels. I drilled same-diameter holes in a scrap piece of plywood, and that became his stage. Hang a scrap of red velvet on the wall, and viola, the stage is set for DEM BONES, a short (very short) film about a dancing skeleton.

I took 104 still photos, moving Mr. Bones a bit between each shot, making the little film. Putting the still images together as an animation was easy -- I imported the photos and then used Windows Movie Maker to stitch them together with a 0.2 second display time for each frame. Add an opening sequence and some credits, and it's a wrap.

But let us dissemble no longer! Watch the movie by clicking here for the DEM BONES video on YouTube.

Or just press PLAY below!

Yeah, I know, don't quit your day job. But it was fun, the animation actually worked, and you get to see a short movie rather than read yet another tearful entry in the 'writing is hard' parade o' writer's blogs.

I'm still working on the new Markhat novel, which is going well. It's fun, having an established stable of characters to draw on, and then introducing someone new. Without giving away too much, Markhat finds himself running afoul of the new and improved City Watch, now run by a man named Holder, who is no fan of Markhat and his casual approach to proper police procedure. 

The rest of the gang is back as well. Or at least the ones I didn't kill off in the upcoming book, BROWN RIVER QUEEN. Ha! See what I did there? I know. I have a thing about skeletons, and money. Mostly money.

Hope you enjoyed the film! I've got to get back to work, so until next week -- DEM BONES!