The Acts of Paul and Thecla!

Posted: October 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

For the past month or so, I’ve been working on a piece commissioned by the Tanho Center based on The Acts of Paul and Thecla, an early Christian text that wasn’t included in the Bible. The Tanho Center is pretty awesome. From their website:

The Tanho Center is dedicated to the exploration of the many discoveries of texts from the earliest Christ movements. By incorporating recently discovered texts into contemporary practices, we hope to signify exactly what tanho means in Coptic: “to make or be alive.”

Check out their website and Facebook page here. Their October launch is happening on the 20th, and I am flying out to Boulder with my filmmaking partner John Rogers to both debut our film, “Meet Thecla”, and present a workshop on the role visual media can play in exploring these ancient texts. Needless to say, I am super excited about this opportunity.

Below are some screenshots from from my work on the film.


Thecla hears Paul preaching



Thecla asks Paul to baptize her


Thecla confronts Alexander


Thecla baptizes herself

Not gonna lie… when I heard what the topic was for August, I was like, WTF am I going to do? Luckily, my wife is really good at thinking up stuff like this, so I turned to her and said, “Hey, the battle topic for this month is Exciting Trailers for Boring Subjects, help?” And she said, “Watching paint dry.” Boom. Done.

So, whose paint dried faster? Answer: They tied! The paint dried at exactly the same time. Purple is happy with sharing the victory. Orange wants a rematch. Perhaps we’ll see them again in a future battle.

One thing that I’m still not sure about with this one: In the video, the orange paint goes on the left side of the wall, and the purple paint goes on the right side of the wall. After the timer starts, there is a cut to the two painters watching their paint dry. Since it’s a point-of-view shot, the color scheme is reversed: Purple on the left, Orange on the right. I didn’t know if I should have kept purple on the right and orange on the left for consistency, or switch them for an accurate POV shot. I ended up switching them because watching it back with them un-switched made me feel funny. I wonder if that determines other people’s editing decisions.

I’d be curious to know if this made things confusing for viewers, or if it mattered.

Here’s July’s Rubber Onion battle entry… the topic was Mustache Problems. I used a voiceover from another participant’s entry from May’s battle as kind of a throwback/mashup, which was super fun. Many thanks to John Meathamski for agreeing to let me lift his VO! His original entry can be seen here.

I’m getting caught up on uploading my entries for the Rubber Onion battles… Here’s June’s entry: The topic was Handshake Fail. Once again, I thought that using stick figures would make things easier. Once again, I was wrong. It did cut down on the secondary motion of clothing, hair, and other stuff, but body positioning is body positioning. I’ve not done any kind of fight choreography before, so that was fun.

So I’ve been listening to the Rubber Onion podcast recently, which I highly recommend. Every month, they have an animation battle: Anyone can enter, as long as the content is 15 seconds or less, and is based on the month’s topic. The prompt this month is Angry Flowers. Here’s my submission:


Per current battle rules, I submitted it here on Instagram. It’s the first time I’ve done this, and I’m really enjoying it. It makes me kick out content quickly – and lets me see how quickly I can kick out content. If I have the focus, I can work fast. This is really good for me to know, and to internalize, considering some of the longer form projects I have in the planning stages right now. (More on that later).

It’s also great to be in contact with a community of animators! Under the #rubberonionbattle hashtag on Instagram , everyone comments on everyone else’s posts, whether they are works in progress or finished submissions. It’s a very positive, encouraging space. I’m enjoying meeting everyone, and seeing the creative and diverse spectrum of styles. I think animators are a unique breed in how we see the world, and this is a neat way to be in contact with part of the tribe.

Really looking forward to seeing how these battles inform my progress.

My two year project is finished! It is a wedding present for my wife, Elizabeth Perryman. It features our inner children and Chicago, her home city. I was able to show it at our wedding reception, which meant the world to me.

I learned so much from this project, and I’m really proud of it.

Almost complete. It might actually get done in time (and by “in time”, I mean by October 3rd, when I plan on showing it at my wedding reception as a gift to my wife). Murray is super excited.🙂