In the Studio Part II

Alright, as promised, a few snippets from what we have been working on.
These shots are really about the process we have been developing. I will post more revealing images when we have a full sample…

Paint Samples

These are all of our story-boards. This wall is the summation of the entire story!

From left: Michelle playing with 3-D layers, Rachael annotating the script, Devin sketching

In the Studio

The team behind the animated fairy tale portion of my film, The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga, is growing. Michelle Enemark as animator and Devin Dobrowolski as illustrator are both incredibly talented artists that I am so excited to be working with.

This week Michelle, Rachael and I all convened at Devin’s studio to map out the animation. We have spent several intense days planning, testing, and story-boarding the story from start to finish.

I’m posting a few pictures of us at work, but tune-in tomorrow for some sneak-peaks of Devin’s sketches.

Devin and Jessica discuss layout

Michelle running tests on layers and images

Rachael annotates the fairy tale narration

Devin is assisted by our intern Noreen who joined us for a few hours today

Video and Content Update

Just finished a general site update:
New project descriptions, some new ways to help, and new video content!
Check it out and let us know what you think on our Facebook page.


Just back from an exceptional three weeks at the MacDowell Colony, to find this incredibly good news waiting for me. A giant and unwieldy thank you to everyone at Cinereach for selecting The Vanquishing as one of the thirteen recipients of the Winter Grant cycle.
This is a major step towards completing this project and a monstrous ego-boost as well.
With the support of Cinereach my team and I will be diving into illustration, animation and music composition…
We can’t wait!

And congratulations to the other dozen projects that were selected!

Off to the Woods

I will be spending the next three weeks working on The Vanquishing at The MacDowell Colony. It is a tremendous honor to have been selected as a resident.
Check out the cabin where I will be working!

Did you know Jesus was a mushroom?

It may be a bit hard to swallow at first, but this book certainly promises to be an interesting if not confusing read.

Amazon’s description:
“In The Mushroom in Christian Art, author John A. Rush uses an artistic motif to define the nature of Christian art, establish the identity of Jesus, and expose the motive for his murder. Covering Christian art from 200 CE (common era) to the present, the author reveals that Jesus, the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, is a personification of the Holy Mushroom, Amanita muscaria. The mushroom, Rush argues, symbolizes numerous mind-altering substances—psychoactive mushrooms, cannabis, henbane, and mandrake—used by the early, more experimentally minded Christian sects.

Drawing on primary historical sources, Rush traces the history—and face—of Jesus as being constructed and codified only after 325 CE. The author relates Jesus’s life to a mushroom typology, discovering its presence, disguised, in early Christian art. In the process, he reveals the ritual nature of the original Christian cults, rites, and rituals, including mushroom use. The book authoritatively uncovers Jesus’s message of peace, love, and spiritual growth and proposes his murder as a conspiracy by powerful reactionary forces who would replace that message with the oppressive religious-political system that endures to this day. Rush’s use of the mushroom motif as a springboard for challenging mainstream views of Western religious history is both provocative and persuasive.”

Surprisingly, this is not the first book written in an effort to prove that Jesus was, in fact, a mushroom. Somehow, I’m still skeptical.

Tabletop Mushrooms

I just found a post on Design*Sponge about some fantastical table decorations. There is something inexplicable about mushrooms – a whole wash of associations that give them an irreplaceable aura. Studio Choo did an amazing job bringing those associations to life.

The Hermitage

We were just informed of a magical blog called The Hermitage, which aptly bills itself as “a phantasmagoria of fancy, a museum of myth, realm of the ridiculous and online home of Rima Staines, Illustrator, Painter, Maker of Things and Teller of Tales.” In the vein of our own project, Rima recently wrote and illustrated an essay about mushrooms, the forest, and the archetypal old woman within for Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies. Full text and images are available on Rima’s website. Enjoy!

Rima's drawing of Baba Yaga

New Year News

Though this blog has been relatively quiet as of late, have no fear – we’re still very much committed to The Vanquishing, and digging into the process of writing and editing. We also have two exciting updates to share with you.

First, we are pleased to announce that production of our third documentary, Pipe Fire, is firmly underway. The film will follow a year in the life of a family of traditional reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland, and our most recent trip to Finland – over the Christmas holiday – was a fantastic adventure and a great success.

Second, although we will still be posting Vanquishing related pieces here, we have decided to create a single, expansive Myriapod Productions über-blog where we’ll post updates on all our films and travels while also sharing a variety of guests posts from writers, artists, and kindred spirits. We have some exciting entries planned for the coming weeks and months, including pictures and stories from our recent shoot in Finland, so please be sure to visit the new site frequently!


After seemingly endless delays, our film finally arrived in New York from the lab in Poland. Unfortunately, it arrived in boxes that looked like they had been trampled by a full parade before being unceremoniously thrown in a pool. I have never seen anything quite like it, and I was incredibly nervous about the fate of the footage inside. I spent all day yesterday at the post-house looking through the negatives and, luckily, it seems that nothing was actually damaged. Miraculous.

Now that we have all of our footage intact and in the same city, I hope to actually get down to the editing process. Please stay tuned for more regular updates…