Ant Farm

What would you like for Christmas? How about an Ant Farm!

Fire ants

Ant Farm was written, shot, and edited over two days. Besides drawing on Dick’s discussion of his ant farm (also see Ant Redux, Rodent Bot Fly), it owes special debt to Dick’s discussion of torches in Forest Walks: 1, 2, and 3, and Dragon’s post, The Better TP Lantern. And by the way – Protozoic does NOT endorse or recommend anyone making a TP lantern as it is very dangerous.

In terms of movie-making, we’ve attempted to properly light the indoor shots. This was done with two fluorescent lights bought from Lowes for a total of 30 dollars. Considering the cost, we were pretty happy with the result.

We hope you enjoy Ant Farm and have a happy holiday.

Download here in Quicktime 6 format or below for Quicktime 7. The Quicktime 7 video is smaller and looks better but might not play on all computers.

6 thoughts on “Ant Farm

  1. Boys, that was awesome! A couple of my initial reactions:

    1. I love the voice-over at the beginning!!

    2. Tim did a fantastic job…very natural. Since I don’t know Brian as well, I can’t be as sure if he was as natural, but I can say for sure that he has a very clear speaking voice…very pleasant to listen to.

    3. Mikey, I love you, but it was nice to see someone else as the main focus. Tremendous job behind the scenes.

    4. Nice haircut, Tim.

    5. I like that y’all didn’t go into detail about the process of actually making the TP lantern fueled by “fire ants.” For those who had read the posts, the issue wasn’t belabored, and those who hadn’t are left with a pleasant sense of “Huh?”

  2. That was pretty awesome. I think the piece of dialogue I liked best is when dick’s beating himself up over the dead ants, bear just says “Here, help me get ’em out.” And dick’s suddenly just like “Ok.”

    Maybe it’s just my simple mind but that struck me as comedy gold right there.

    Also: Was that really TP soaked in lamp oil? How’d that part go over? Those flames looked pretty big. From a technical TP-lantern standpoint how did it work? And was that a piece of metal for the roof or a piece of cardboard? I couldn’t tell very well from the movie or the picture.

  3. Glad you liked it Pete.

    The lantern you designed worked really well. We used lamp oil on the TP lantern (though not that much oil). The top of the lantern was some type of metal. The one problem was inserting the TP role. We had to detach the wires to do that. I don’t know if there is an easy way around that though because the TP needs to be relatively secure. Another problem I wondered about was how long the coffee can would hold up under prolonged heat. We only burned it for about 15 minutes. Something perhaps to test in the future.

    All in all though, it was relatively easy to construct and very effective. It was also a lot safer than a torch I reckon.

  4. I don’t think the coffee can would have had problem sustaining the heat. I don’t really know, but I don’t think lamp oil would get all that hot. I suggested that we set the pole and can up somewhere it could burn indefinitely but Bear felt as destructive as usual.

    I hope one of the brothers makes a post about the production quality and methods of this as compared to Spontanious Combustion. If anyone wants, watch dialogue scenes from Spon Comb and note the difference in lighting, sound and scirpting/acting quality.

    Quite a successful short clip in many respects.

  5. If the torches we built at camp with kerosene are any indication I really don’t think you’ll have to worry about burning (or melting) through the can. It may tarnish and get rusty pretty quickly but should hold up for many a use.

    Actually the problem of getting TP in and out of the container was one thing I was concerned about. It seemed to me that you might really need a lid to keep the flames from going straight up to the pole (and potentially to keep rain out), and that the lid should be relatively secure to prevent it’s accidental falling off. Unfortunately nothing came to mind as a solution to the “secure yet easily removable” dilemma. Maybe I’ll think of something eventually.

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