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12/02/2011 06:31:04 AM · #1
But it's not.

It's chiffon! (ok, I'm dating myself with a stupid commercial. Ignore that.)

I just wanted to give some background on my Tim Burton challenge entry:

It wasn't supposed to be a shoehorn. :)

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_985316.jpg

I thought you'd be interested in what I found out about the squirrels in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It was kind of silly at first. "Didn't they have squirrels in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?"

But when I started doing some research, it was fun and amazing. This is what I found:

He had a whole scene with real squirrels.

Then I found the article:

"Just as Wonka needed to use real squirrels to run work in his nut sorting room, the director of the film, Tim Burton, only the real thing would do for the movie. Burton’s wanted 100 real, live trained squirrels to appear in his film.

“When I found out what was involved, it was a bit overwhelming,” says Senior Animal Trainer Mike Alexander, of Birds & Animals Unlimited. Alexander had worked with Burton as a chimpanzee wrangler for Planet of the Apes, and was happy to work with him again, but he admits, “squirrels can be very tough, and training 100 of them was inconceivable.”

Burton and Alexander compromised on the number of squirrels and decided on 40 individual live animals. To give the appearance of more, the animals on screen were a combination of the live squirrels, skillfully crafted animatronics, and CG and multiple images. Alexander’s team of four trainers, in accordance with the Humane Society, spent 19 weeks participating in mostly one-on-one interaction with the animals.

While the little critters are intelligent, they can also be difficult to handle due to their independent and unpredictable nature. Alexander relates, “they’re not necessarily good at doing specific, intricate things. They don’t like to sit still. They’re hard to keep in one place. The first couple of weeks were spent in just getting the animals to come out of their crates and sit with us, nevermind any of the things they were supposed to do.

“We took baby steps,” he continues. “After they were comfortable sitting with us we introduced them to the props. We taught them to pick up a nut and put it into a metal bowl, which is not what they’d do in the movie but once they got the idea of picking the nut up and putting it into a bowl we could change the bowl to a conveyer belt. Once they grasped the basic concepts, they began to learn faster and things started coming together.”


Here's the scene from the movie:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- nut sorting

Here's Tim Burton's shot: (one of many)

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_986196.jpg

(btw, silly side note: he was obviously burying the walnuts -- look at the dirt on his nose! :)

Message edited by author 2011-12-02 08:06:08.
12/02/2011 07:00:51 AM · #2
I new it wasn't a shoehorn, I love that movie :) But I didn't realize all that other stuff. Very cool.
12/02/2011 07:21:02 AM · #3
It's a wonderful shot and an even better story. So sad that people scored it so low.
12/02/2011 07:31:13 AM · #4
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

It's a wonderful shot and an even better story. So sad that people scored it so low.


After the first day, I realized it was going to be low, so it really didn't matter. But I'm glad it pulled out of the 4s. :)

I just thought people would be interested in the back story. I think it's a hoot that he insisted on live squirrels, and not doing the whole thing with computer! :)
12/02/2011 07:31:40 AM · #5
even a wrongly perceived shoehorn is greeted with utter contempt.
whats most disturbing is that you have an endless, oompa-loompa-esque cadre of long tailed tree rodents to model for your shots- which don't get me wrong, are superb.
12/02/2011 07:36:09 AM · #6
I didn't enter this challenge because I knew that I couldn't do the subject justice. I suppose that when I think of Tim Burton movies I have a much different idea in mind, something odd with a touch of macabre. So squirrels certainly don't fit into the equation for me. So let's see, I'm sure there will be a Christmas challenge coming up. In the Capra classic "It's a Wonderful Life" I know there is a scene with Uncle Billy crying over the lost money and a squirrel comforts him. There you go another reason to use a squirrel image. Or if there is ever an Alfred Hitchcock challenge there is probably some scene in "North by Northwest" with a squirrel at Mount Rushmore. But seriously would that resonate with DPCers to the spirit of the challenge. I have nothing against cute squirrels but really?
12/02/2011 07:47:55 AM · #7
Originally posted by franktheyank:

I didn't enter this challenge because I knew that I couldn't do the subject justice. I suppose that when I think of Tim Burton movies I have a much different idea in mind, something odd with a touch of macabre. So squirrels certainly don't fit into the equation for me. So let's see, I'm sure there will be a Christmas challenge coming up. In the Capra classic "It's a Wonderful Life" I know there is a scene with Uncle Billy crying over the lost money and a squirrel comforts him. There you go another reason to use a squirrel image. Or if there is ever an Alfred Hitchcock challenge there is probably some scene in "North by Northwest" with a squirrel at Mount Rushmore. But seriously would that resonate with DPCers to the spirit of the challenge. I have nothing against cute squirrels but really?


Yup. I totally understand that. If you're looking for weird and quirky, it definitely doesn't fit your definition.

But unlike Uncle Billy's squirrel, it was in the movie. Just giving background that I thought was interesting, that people might not realize. I edited the original post and took out the information about the actual squirrel shot, so that it doesn't sound like a complaining thread. I just found the article fascinating, and there were people who didn't realize that there were squirrels in the movie.

Message edited by author 2011-12-02 07:50:45.
12/02/2011 08:01:09 AM · #8
Originally posted by vawendy:

But unlike Uncle Billy's squirrel, it was in the movie.


Wendy, this is not enough. Squirrels are in so many movies and documentaries, but you can't think that people know every scene of a movie (or movies). I remember the scene but this doesn't transform the photo of a squirrel in something related to Tim Burton. When we think about him there's almost no trace of squirrels at all. I love your shots, you're very talented (and sometimes you made wonderful comments to my pictures) but this time you made a mistake. :)
12/02/2011 08:08:33 AM · #9
Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by vawendy:

But unlike Uncle Billy's squirrel, it was in the movie.


Wendy, this is not enough. Squirrels are in so many movies and documentaries, but you can't think that people know every scene of a movie (or movies). I remember the scene but this doesn't transform the photo of a squirrel in something related to Tim Burton. When we think about him there's almost no trace of squirrels at all. I love your shots, you're very talented (and sometimes you made wonderful comments to my pictures) but this time you made a mistake. :)


Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)
12/02/2011 08:11:34 AM · #10
Originally posted by vawendy:

Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)


And yes, it is, it's interesting :)

I didn't mean to accuse you, you're a so nice person!

The fact is that from very good photographers like you I always want your best.
12/02/2011 08:19:22 AM · #11
Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)


And yes, it is, it's interesting :)

I didn't mean to accuse you, you're a so nice person!

The fact is that from very good photographers like you I always want your best.


haha, then you'll be sorely disappointed. I'm afraid my best sucks in many cases. :)
12/02/2011 08:33:53 AM · #12
Originally posted by vawendy:

[quote=Alexkc] I'm afraid my best sucks in many cases. :)


I definitely don't think so! :p
12/02/2011 08:58:58 AM · #13
When I first read 21.gif Alexkc's comment I thought he was kind of harsh but then thought about what he said and he makes a very good point. I think the squirrel photo was an interesting obscure choice that has an interesting story and it does have some merit but the photo does not tell the story meaning there are no other items in the photo to help relate it back to the film and comes off as being just a photo of a squirrel. Also being such an obscure part of what Burton did most people will never understand it until they hear the story. I know I always miss chances to elevate shots to the level like the winners in this challenge did, their level of detail along with good technical ability is what made the images so special. Knowing the story and how to convey it is a special talent.

Thanks for sharing the story, I thought the story was interesting and showed the level of detail Tim Burton wanted in his stories, something I know I need improve on.
12/02/2011 09:01:53 AM · #14
Hi Wendy. Didn't even think this was a shoehorn & voted it high because it is well done. Tim Burton would be difficult for any one of us normal people to understand at anything other than a handy oversimplified way, so maybe you more than anyone found some good footsteps to follow. That he used real squirrels to sort nuts in the movie went right over my head when I watched it. Oh well. This may be your best squirrel shot so far & that you used Tim Burton for inspiration is wonderful. Never give up!
12/02/2011 09:03:20 AM · #15
You appear to be starting to enter risky shots now and then.
12/02/2011 09:39:53 AM · #16
I knew exactly what it was.
12/02/2011 12:26:16 PM · #17
21_F.gif vawendy Personally I like your squirrel shot.
12/02/2011 01:08:06 PM · #18
I gave your entry a 5. Not because I thought it was a shoehorn, but because I didn't like how it was overexposed.
I also thought that it was unimaginative compared to the other entries.
JMHO
12/02/2011 01:23:58 PM · #19
Originally posted by Fiora:

I gave your entry a 5. Not because I thought it was a shoehorn, but because I didn't like how it was overexposed.
I also thought that it was unimaginative compared to the other entries.
JMHO


It was definitely unimaginative compared to other entries! Absolutely agree with that. :)
12/02/2011 01:57:55 PM · #20
Originally posted by vawendy:

You may think it's a shoehorn...


Nah... I just think yer squirrely! ;-)
12/02/2011 05:55:48 PM · #21
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)


And yes, it is, it's interesting :)

I didn't mean to accuse you, you're a so nice person!

The fact is that from very good photographers like you I always want your best.


haha, then you'll be sorely disappointed. I'm afraid my best sucks in many cases. :)


*disbelieving snort* This from a Team Suck member with how many ribbons, now? And yes I got your ref to the nut-sorting room.

Now all we need is a nut-sorting room here to sort out the bad nuts from the good. *running to hide from trolls*
12/02/2011 06:24:21 PM · #22
Originally posted by snaffles:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)


And yes, it is, it's interesting :)

I didn't mean to accuse you, you're a so nice person!

The fact is that from very good photographers like you I always want your best.


haha, then you'll be sorely disappointed. I'm afraid my best sucks in many cases. :)


*disbelieving snort* This from a Team Suck member with how many ribbons, now? And yes I got your ref to the nut-sorting room.

Now all we need is a nut-sorting room here to sort out the bad nuts from the good. *running to hide from trolls*


You can borrow my squirrel!! He's really getting in my way of a shot the past couple of days.
12/02/2011 07:29:34 PM · #23
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)


And yes, it is, it's interesting :)

I didn't mean to accuse you, you're a so nice person!

The fact is that from very good photographers like you I always want your best.


haha, then you'll be sorely disappointed. I'm afraid my best sucks in many cases. :)


*disbelieving snort* This from a Team Suck member with how many ribbons, now? And yes I got your ref to the nut-sorting room.

Now all we need is a nut-sorting room here to sort out the bad nuts from the good. *running to hide from trolls*


You can borrow my squirrel!! He's really getting in my way of a shot the past couple of days.


In that case you just need to unteach him that being around you is a good thing. So squirt him with a squirtgun. I understand frozen fur gets old soon ;-)
12/02/2011 09:48:49 PM · #24
Originally posted by snaffles:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by vawendy:

Oops -- didn't mean this to turn into a "poor me" thread.

I just wanted to explain the inspiration, because I thought it was interesting. :)


And yes, it is, it's interesting :)

I didn't mean to accuse you, you're a so nice person!

The fact is that from very good photographers like you I always want your best.


haha, then you'll be sorely disappointed. I'm afraid my best sucks in many cases. :)


*disbelieving snort* This from a Team Suck member with how many ribbons, now? And yes I got your ref to the nut-sorting room.

Now all we need is a nut-sorting room here to sort out the bad nuts from the good. *running to hide from trolls*


You can borrow my squirrel!! He's really getting in my way of a shot the past couple of days.


In that case you just need to unteach him that being around you is a good thing. So squirt him with a squirtgun. I understand frozen fur gets old soon ;-)


She's in Virginia! LOL! The squirrel will just think it's getting a shower. ;P
12/02/2011 10:16:17 PM · #25
I marked the shot with a 7 (just didn't vote on the 20% this time to make it count but wanted to track my faves from the challenge). Loved that scene in the movie. It didn't smell of shoehorn to me. Be proud to have it in your portfolio as it stands on its own. It's possible that sometimes one gets lucky and the shot you take fits the challenge. Everyone has there own idea but to me shoehorns are where only the title reads as on topic but there is a severe visual disconnect to the shot, but here the title and shot do work together for this particular challenge. My interpretation... it'd be like taking a shot of a green unripened tomato and titling it "soon to be red" for a challenge for the color red. Ok, maybe I can see it but no beans. Or maybe taking a shot of a landscape for a portrait challenge. There's a hint of person there and you title it "if only I had a longer lens" hehe.

I liked the shot technically and visually it's a rather cute shot. You captured the essence of the squirrel and its nut. I'll admit Tim Burton films wouldn't come to mind when first viewing it but it's on topic as far as connection goes. I have no gripes but some pics in the challenge were definitely not (as the title cearly stated) and that to me as a Burton fan felt so much more wrong.

Many people tend to forget that Burton has a variety of styles. Just one is more pronounced than the others. I can bet that if the credits of some of his films were to be withheld it would be hard to guess Burton directed, produced or written it. And as we can cearly see not every movie that looks like Burton's style is a film he had worked on. So by no means was it expected we see only shots inspired by his darker films. I guess I as many had high hopes of seeing extreme creativity so kudos to all who had the guts to even enter this one. But simpler is better sometimes.

Message edited by author 2011-12-02 22:35:20.
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