Tag Archives: H.P. Thomcraft

H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns

The other day I realized that I never officially posted H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns. I was always very happy with the way it turned out. I mean, it took freaking yearssss to finish, but it was worth it. The 16mm film looks good and I had a lot of fun doing the sound design.

You can view production stills from the shoot here, and here’s a description, followed by the movie itself.

H.P. Thomcraft sojourns to a cloudy living room in an undisclosed location of the nether-regions/places to weave three hazy tales of mystery and murk while playing a most deadly game of death. “H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns” is the sequel to the water-logged “H.P. Thomcraft’s Box of Tales.”

H.P. Thomcraft's Game of Pawns from Mike Gray on Vimeo.

MIFC # 1

Far too many years ago I started drawing a comic called MIFC and in a flurry of distraction and too much other shit going on lost track of it. This morning, while shirking work and listening to Kraftwerk and Monomer, I decided to start reposting it.

I have a folder on my desktop called “Write,” which for some time has become a repository for items I feel an inclination to return to.

Write Folder

In January, I started sifting through it. The 5 Stooges meet Frank Perdue was one document I found; a document I won’t be returning too ever again – that one’s on me Hollywood. The folder also has a bunch of pictures, some old, some new, half written poems, gifs of my dogs, a transcript of an off-color conversation between a friend and myself about starting a fanfiction podcast, a year old promo video for Goblin 1, meditations on coffee, and a folder with MIFC comics in it.

MIFC is a multi-storyline comic set in the ’90s in Salisbury, Maryland. If the comic does continue, I’m sure Ocean City will make an appearance too.

Before leaving you with the first installment of MIFC, a friend of mine over at Theology Girl started blogging again. Her stuff is always humorously philosophical; if that is in your wheelhouse, be sure to visit her site. Also, I’ve submitted H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns to a couple of festivals (9 so far). Some I’ve never heard of, some I have. If anyone has any other suggestions of fests to check out, let me know. I like existential challenges.

MICF # 1
MIFC # 1

  1. Goblin is a screenplay I’ve been working on with my business partner in Black Square Productions

H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns – 1 week only!

H.P. Thomcraft sojourns to a cloudy living room in an undisclosed location of the nether-regions/places to weave three hazy tales of mystery and murk while playing a most deadly game of death. “H.P. Thomcraft’s Game of Pawns” is the sequel to the water-logged “H.P. Thomcraft’s Box of Tales.”

I will be pulling the post down this coming Sun. in order to submit to festivals. I just wanted participants and readers of Protozoic to get a preview.

*** This video will be back on Protozoic soon! ***

See you soon!
See you soon!

Procrastination: HP Thomcraft II

H.P. Thomcraft II


Some years ago, the very end of 2010/beginning of 2011 to be exact, we filmed1 a sequel to H.P. Thomcraft. H.P. Thomcraft II was the incredibly original working title. Mike and I decided to ‘go big’ with HPT II (as I will refer to it from now on) and shoot it on 16mm film, with a Super 16 ARRI and a Zeiss lens2. Not only were we going to shoot it on film, instead of just getting it converted to video and color corrected, we were going to get it scanned and get the raw frames delivered in DPX format3. A couple weeks later, I got a drive in the mail with 270 gigabytes of files which contained our 20 minutes of raw footage. I posted some quick frame grabs to Protozoic 4 years ago, with the following text:

Here are a couple screen grabs from H.P. Thomcraft II. More soon.

Boy was that a lie.

The plan was for me to color correct the footage after Mike edited it using a process involving conforming the raw footage to the final edit using EDLs. If that sounds like a mouthful, it is. I eventually tested out the process and it seemed like it would work, though the color correction software, Color, had some stability issues. This was sometime around May 2011. I then waited for Mike to edit the footage.

aL and Max


Mike was pretty busy with things. I don’t recall with what, but it was some significant time before he got to editing together the short. So long that I forgot the process I had worked out. So long that the new version of OS X no longer supported Color, so I had to hold off updating OS X, which is the first time I had ever really done that.

I have an email from July 2012 from Mike stating that he was going to finish editing the footage soon. He finished a few weeks later. Around that time, I quit my job and moved to Ohio. I put off color correcting the footage because of that, and because I really wasn’t looking forward to trying to figure out the process again. Particularly since Mike had done a reasonably intricate cut with a lot of edits, which would make color correcting that more annoying. So I put it off for the rest of 2012. And 2013. I even managed to put it off all of 2014.

All through this time, I’ve held off updating OS X. I’m still on 10.7.5. I think OS X is on 10.10.2 now. That’s a lot of updates and it’s caused me no end of problems with a lot of my software. Moral of the story: Procrastination can have some unintended consequences. Don’t do it.

h.p. THOMcraft II


So I was talking to Mike this weekend that I should really get on it. I told him my worries about the complicated workflow we had planned and he said, “Color correct the raw footage. I’ll just re-edit it.” Well in that case… I had the raw footage all corrected a few hours later. We are in the process of transferring the 47 gigs of files over the internets as I write this. Mike thinks he’ll be able to edit it again in a couple of days, so H.P. Thomcraft II will actually get done shortly. I will take most of the blame for it’s incredible delay.

Maybe I can finally update my fucking computer now.

Pizza yo

  1. And when I say ‘filmed’ it, we did indeed film it. It was shot on Kodak Vision 2 50D and Vision3 200T on a Super 16mm camera. While digital is amazing, these are really some beautiful films and represent the pinnacle of the technology. Yes, I know Vision3 50D was released. I’m happy that I got to shoot something on these film emulsions before they all go away. 

  2. Zeiss lenses are universally acclaimed, but the Zeiss Super 16 conversion zoom lens we shot this film on was less than spectacular. Granted, a 16mm frame is pretty tiny and 1080p can really highlight some defects. Despite that, the Zeiss really broke down at the wider focal lengths. Of course, I tend to gravitate to wider focal lengths, so there a few shots which are mighty fuzzy. Also, one scene has a nasty flare right in the middle of the frame. I tried to correct it in post, but it was a pretty clumsy fix. I think it was a 10-100mm T2.2 lens, but I don’t fully recall now. 

  3. The DPX file format is pretty cool. It’s pretty old too—over 20 years old. Someone pretty smart came up with the idea of fitting the huge dynamic range available in film into just 10 bits using a logarithmic scheme instead of linear to store values.