The dish was none other than Harriett’s favorite: peaches
and cream. The peaches themselves, though juicy and
succulent, were of no consequence. The cream, however, was
of great consequence. You see within it, in fact,
deliberately stirred throughout it, was the classic compound
preferred by kings and queens, hit-men and harlots,
Shakespearean lovers and ex-lovers: it was arsenic. A fatal
Harriett’s eager gaze rested intently on the bowl of fruit
and dairy placed before her. It was her one birthday
indulgence. Every year, only on her birthday, she would
request a bowl of filleted peaches, sliced side by side on a
bed of lightly whipped cream. She would sit alone in the
dining room devoid of all worldly distractions and consign
herself to the flood of memories induced by her favorite
Slowly she cut through the center peach slice. Plunging it
deep into the sweet cream, she paused and marveled at its
beauty. The way the pearly white oozed over her piece of
peach, the way it rested comfortably on her fork. The
anticipation of the first bite was always unbearable. Her
mouth began to water, her brow began to sweat, she could
almost feel the delicate balance of peach tartiness and
creamy velvet cascading over her tongue.
Without further hesitation, she took the bite. Immediately
her face relaxed into ecstasy. Savoring the chorus of
flavors, she fell back into her chair and allowed the rush
of memories to wash over her. She recalled birthdays from
what seemed a lifetime ago, the candles, the songs, the beds
of sweet cream, the peaches. Then she recalled the friends
she wished she had had. The parties of swarming children she
had dreamt of as a little girl. She remembered the stillness
of the dolls and teddies who attended her tea parties. She
remembered her quiet, empty bedrooms, the blank canvas walls
of her tents and the creaking wood of her cots. She
remembered the sirens…she remembered the war.
As Harriett felt her body collapse to the floor, her
scrambled mind flickered forgotten images of Winnie the Pooh.
Fractured scenes of broken jars and spilled honey… She
could see Rabbit pacing back and forth. She was confused, in
the distance she heard the rumble of bombs dropping and
warring gunfire…. She could hear the gentle voice of
Pooh-Bear muttering in her ear… ‘oh bother’.. he said…
‘oh bother’… ‘oh bother’… ‘oh bother’…
and then he stopped.
This is my short film, Sisyphus. I was inspired to create this film after my day job pulled me away from a vacation with my family just a few days before we were scheduled to leave. Instead of sulking at work that week, I decided to be productive with my emotions and film a 5-minute stop motion animation in my living room. Without a 1-year-old around to choke on the little bits of styrofoam, I had just a week to write the script, build the set, and shoot the animations. With some help from some talented friends, Brigid May, Karli Mackenzie Watland, Jonathan Chau, Julie Buchanan and Michael May, I was able to get the whole thing done. The editing and scoring process took roughly 3-months. After several film festivals, a couple awards, and a couple screenings on the big screen, I am proud to present the final product to you now. Please enjoy!
Eric J. Wright
Here are a couple pieces I did recently on LA’s Metro Blue Line. Most often, my sculpting makes people shy and standoff-ish… However, every once in a while, someone is bold enough to start a conversation and tell their life story. I enjoy indulging them and hearing their tales; here is one from yesterday!
A man came up to me limping slightly and took a good look at my bust. He then commented on how much he liked it, and that he was an artist as well. I thanked him and asked if he had any of his art with him. Excitedly, he opened his bag and began showing me his drawings. They were Wonderful! Colored Pencil and graphite drawings of his friends with a voodoo-New Orleans flare. His colors were vivid, and the composition of each drawing was spot on. I asked if he was on social media because I’d like to see more, but he replied “I don’t do technology.”
When I asked where he learned to draw like that, he said that he was born with it and that he was offered a scholarship in the 9th grade for art, but turned it down because he was smoking too much weed. Then he explained that a while back, during a 6-year period when he and his mother were living under the I-605 bridge in east LA, he got into some trouble. He didn’t say what the trouble specifically was, but he was offered a choice: Prison, or Military. He chose Military.
After being deployed to the Middle East, he came home having had, in his words “my leg shot off”. This explained the limp and his prosthetic leg. “I get around okay, but once in a while it gets jacked up, and then my stump hurts.”
Now, with his military income, he can only afford the most modest of living, but at least he is not out on the street. He currently resides in Baldwin Village or “The Jungle” as the locals call it. It is a neighborhood widely known for gang activity and violent crime. Apparently, just the other day, around 4am two people were shot to death just outside his apartment. Danny, the hero of our story, ran outside with his gun to see what was going on, but the assailants had already fled.
The morning I met Danny, he was on his way to Norwalk in East LA. He was headed to that same I-605 bridge to go find his mom. As he put it, “I’m a momma’s boy, what can I say, I love her! She deserves a better life, but just needs someone to help guide her and help her understand what that life is.”
Danny is an inspiration, continuing to smile through his perseverance. I hope things work out for him.[Top]
A little while back I used my set of a Ramen Hut as the background to finally and formally introducing our hero, Mr. Grimey. He has been through a lot so far, and deserves a theme-song. So here it is, hope you enjoy![Top]
Just wanted to try a Film Noir style short animation tonight. It turns out, it’s super fun to animate in monochrome, and a brand new learning experience! Lighting is key…[Top]
So I finally buckled down and created an actual set for my Stopmotion endeavors. This first set, is a Ramen Hut. I have plans for a very short film about ordering vegetarian ramen from a man labeled “King of Pork”, but in the meantime, we should at least play with the new toys a little bit!
Here’s the first little tester with the new set!
Also, as a little sidenote, a man on my train ride to work kept staring at me, saying in The Shining’s ‘REDRUM’ voice: “My mom can see inside my thing! My mom can see inside my thing! In my thing!”.
I’ve decided to submit this quick stop motion animation to a StopMoJam. The rules were that it had to be G-Rated, completely white screen to start, and a completely white screen to finish. I chose this! It was also the first time I used our new camera, built a set, used actual lighting, and had to deal with white balance, exposure settings, manual camera focus, and other such nonsense that I’m surprisingly excited to learn! Hope you enjoy![Top]
Today was a peaceful commute to work. Looking around the train, nearly all of us are on our phones, refusing to connect with each other. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, considering the number of crazies you find on the metro, I realized that we were all missing a beautiful sunrise. Staring at pictures of sunrises posted to Facebook rather than enjoying the one lighting our train car. Here’s a bust with David Bowie hair, a Popeye squint, and a Sherlock Holmes pipe. I call him, ‘perfection’.[Top]
The names of these posts might be my favorite thing. I enjoy titles that would make for excellent tramp-stamp tattoos, like this one! It’s okay if you didn’t laugh while picturing the words “Upper Cheek Wrinkled Skin Folds” tattooed above a buttocks; my jokes tend to be beyond even the most sophisticated minds… Nevertheless! Here are two new busts from my commute and lunch. You’ll notice upper cheek wrinkled skin folds in both, and a lovely red marble affect throughout the clay. The red streaks come from residual red modeling clay used as blood in a stop motion animation film I made with a buddy of mine. He and his business partners run a small production called Fun-Size Horror, and we recreated a version of the classic alien-gut-bust scene from the movie Alien. I can’t wait to see the edited version, and will absolutely post a link for you all to see once it’s finished. In the meantime, busts!
Look! I made a briny pirate!
It turns out that I love pirates, and I love sculpting them. Their faces, tattered by the open sea, are covered with scars and salt. I like to think that the nature of their work ages them faster than other professions. A pirate’s age is most accurately described in dog years.
Here are two more, less interesting busts:
This next one, simple as it may be, led to a lovely conversation with a professional welder.
I had to switch back to regular modeling clay after leaving my normal piece of clay at home. Nonetheless, I decided to sculpt a quick bust to get back in the groove. After completing him, the guy standing across from me smiled and asked if it was my profession; these shrunken heads are magical conversation starters. I told him no, more of a hobby, and he proceeded to tell me all about his career as a welder, his interview at another welding shop for same pay, but a worse commute, and how he stays ahead of the old coffee-guzzling-geezers at the shop by riding his bicycle to and from work.
Somehow, we changed subjects and I learned about his elderly and unwell father, whom he takes care of at night, and his pot-smoking, free-loading stepdaughter who has been giving him marital troubles by picking fights with him after he has indulged in spirits. Considering that he had recently been hit by his wife during an argument, and as a result, had moved out of his house for fear that she would falsely accuse him domestic violence, (of which he assured me was not true as he left knowing that if he hit back, he would certainly end up in jail) the man was in inspiringly high spirits. He was excited to go to work, and was ‘rolling-with-the-punches’ of his drama-filled life like a champion. We wished each other well and parted ways.
I hope he found our little 8-minute conversation therapeutic, and I hope he is able to maintain his positive attitude. He certainly put me in a good mood this morning![Top]