Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Final Project - Puppet - Sal

Sal is the secondary antagonist of the film and does not appear until very near the end, although he will be mentioned several times throughout. He is, quite clearly, very closely based on Al Capone and aside from the added 'S' to his name, he basically is Al Capone. His role in the film has changed several times, and at one point he was to be the central character, then he changed to the boss that the narrator worked under, (a role since allocated to Giovanni) then a rival gangster who was the narrator's ally, even lending him money. There was a moment during pre-production when I considered removing him from the film altogether, as I couldn't think of a decent role for him to play. Now he is the kingpin of the Chicago bootlegging racket (as the real Capone was) who offers the narrator a pathetically small amount of money ($1) for his stake in the speakeasy, then orders him and his associates killed when he (obviously) turns it down. So he's a massive dick, basically.
His puppet was made quite early on, and was the first to be given a body. Due to a minor oversight, his eyes don't move particularly well, as I concentrated too much clay around them, essentially 'boxing' them in, though I think I can fix this quite easily. I also forgot to take any pictures of the head as I was making it.
 Slanted trilbies were very 'in' back in 1927, apparently.
 His arms aren't very well made to be honest, I didn't use animation armature wire, so they don't bend as easily as some other puppets. Shouldn't be too much of a problem though, unless one falls off...

 I had no idea what colour Capone's eyes were, as all photos of him are in black and white, but I think they were brown. So I made Sal's eyes green, just because.
 He was supposed to be smoking a cigar in his intro scene, but animating smoke in stop motion without using CG (or with it) is beyond me.
 This picture was take about 5 months after the puppet was made, his arm fell off, so I replaced it with an updated armature and it's fine now, the other arm still has the old armature style however. I'll replace it if it also falls off.
 I based his outfit on one worn by Robert De Niro in 'The Untouchables"...
And on this picture I found of a statue of Capone that made the news because it was stolen from some mad old bird's garden.
I also decided to slim his face down a bit to make him resemble Capone a bit more, and added the scars that gave Capone the infamous moniker 'Scarface' (Capone actually had 3 scars, but that looks silly).

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