Herman, The Legal Labrador - A New Animated Australian Film


Latest entry: Entry 32, Friday August 12, 2005


Entry 16. By David, Wednesday October 15, 2003

Here's what I've been doing for the last three months instead of HERMAN:

So I reckon I have an excuse for not finishing the voice recording and getting stuck into the animation. That's next.


Entry 17. By David, Thursday November 20, 2003

So I've recorded almost all the dialogue now. Pauline, Santo, Kate, Jim, Adam and Loc all came in to do their thing. All sounds good to me, although I've only skimmed through what we got. The only problem is that we accidentally recorded over about half of Santo's dialogue, and didn't realise it until after he'd left. So I called him up and he graciously agreed to come back in the next day at 9am to redo it.

I got in my car at 8:15am to head into the city. It wasn't long (but still too long) before I realised that my front left tyre was flat. Very flat. Without a jack, I was very very stuck. Not having Santo's number, and it being too early in the morning for his office to pass on a message, I was having visions of Santo turning up at a dark, empty studio, possibly frowning. Thankfully, that was when he called me to make sure the recording was still on. Better make it another day, said I. Then Dad arrived with the jack.

A few people in my street have seemingly been irked of late by my choice of parking spots. Every time I park somewhere in our street, some motherfucker gets pissy. One couple (who used to park their car under a carport on their property) moved their car permanently out onto the street so I couldn't park there any more. Another guy asked me (nicely, mind you) to move my car from another spot because his wife, who apparently is unable to turn a steering wheel, had a problem getting out of her driveway ACROSS THE STREET. Some brave soul put an anonymous note on my windshield asking me to park elsewhere because I am making life difficult for their GUESTS.

Then my mysterious flat tyre, which, since it was unpunctured (it's back on the car now), could really only have been flattened on purpose. Conspiracy theories as to which neighbour did it, if any, abound in my household.

Well into animating the opening sequence of the film now. Will have it done (well, basically done) by next Tuesday to show people at Next Wave.

I checked out the Old Magistrates Court for the first time.

Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 10:19:34 +1100
From: David Blumenstein <david@nakedfella.com>
To: Hannah Mathews
CC: Marcus Westbury, Jake
Subject: Re: What's going on with HERMAN
So I've checked out the Magistrates Court. The room we're talking about is Courtroom 2, currently an echoey, cavernous space, a little bit decrepit but very cool looking. Nicole from Property Services told me that by May next year the room should be carpeted and repainted, so the "echoey" and "decrepit" should be gone by then.
The room contains a movable witness stand, plus a humongous judge's platform/canopy which is reputed to be the one under which Redmond Barry sat when he sentenced Ned Kelly (it's been moved here from the old Supreme Court). The screen I think will be easy to put up where the judge would sit, and the projector at the front of the standing room at the back. There's no pillars or other architecture to interfere with this.
There's one or two benches for seating, more of which can be taken from other parts of the building and put back in the room. The room looks as if it will seat somewhere around 50-60 once the benches are moved in, so not huge. Marcus wondered if a small capacity like this would be a problem given the number of people I'd be inviting along myself, but consider that the film will only be 20-25 minutes long: we could do three screenings in an evening, easy. 7pm, 8pm, 9pm?
Another possibility would be to do a screening at the courtroom, then one at Kaleide around the corner (which seats 180), but I like the idea of using the courtroom as much as possible (we would have it for the night, after all). Fri. night = courthouse, Sat. night = Kaleide?
Colin from A/V quotes the cost as $275/night, equipment (and GST) inclusive. Nicole said they just need an approximate date to pencil in. As I said to Hannah, my first reaction would be to go with Fri/Sat night (which would be either 21/22 or 28/29 May), but maybe there's a reason not to? Or maybe: courtroom premiere 21/22 May, then further screenings (Kaleide, Monash Clayton, Monash Caulfield, Melb. Uni, ACMI, ???) through the rest of Next Wave?
Mmm. Thoughts?

And today Santo came back to rerecord the stuff we fucked up last time. Sounds great. I also did my bits (Herman barking, mostly). Barking and making vomiting noises for half an hour can really take it out of you.


Entry 18. By David, Sunday December 21, 2003

Animation/background art is moving along. Here's screen captures!


Herman at home. Note visible back legs

Chuck (Adam Wajnberg), annoyed

In court: Danny (Loc Nghe) and Herman. In the gallery, Chuck and some old lady knitting

Prosecuting attorney Leonard Palumbo (Shaun Micallef)

Attractive assistant Sabrina Lloyd (Katrina Mathers)

An angry judge (Brian Millership)


Also been working on the exciting "end credits" music.

Ever since hearing Pegazus for the first time earlier this year, I've known that the only way this film could possibly end is with an explosive burst of unvarnished POWER METAL. That's why I informed the other members of METZENGERSTEIN that their services would be required for this very special project.

METZENGERSTEIN could be charitably described as an "experimental side project" for a group of otherwise disparate musicians. In reality, it is a cool metal-sounding name for a band that doesn't exist outside a rehearsal room. It consists of:

BEN SULLIVAN -- classy drummer, art-painter, bum.

JESSE Bear -- fruitfully employed in some field of biological research of which I have little grasp, Jesse is also a talented and modest (as opposed to "modestly talented") guitarist.

NICHOLAS CHARLES IVES -- boy do I love typing his full name. Nick plays bass.

and ME -- like all non-musician types, I play keyboards.

When METZENGERSTEIN gets together (extremely infrequently), what results is hard to describe. Ben and Jesse, as "gigging" types, are well-versed in band playing, with leanings towards da funk. Nick is an experimentalist, with one eye always on the Mike Patton playbook. And I enjoy playing stupid instruments, like kazoo, melodica or "the red thing" (one of those little keyboards shaped like a guitar that hangs on a strap round your neck). So everything we play turns into a 15-minute distortionfest in 13/4 with the Super Mario theme dancing around the edges.

While disorganised, this group is not lacking in chops (although I function much better in a "producer" role than as somebody expected to play notes correctly). So I called on METZENGERSTEIN to deliver some Pegazus/Motorhead/Deep Purple power metal to the floor. Having written some suitably metal lyrics involving dragons, hordes, wizards and a chorus stolen from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar", we got together and chiseled some marbled power chords into a song called "DOGS OF LAW".

Having recorded Ben's drum part with the production expertise of his brother Dan at the Sullivan studio downtown, I then got Nick and Jesse down to Rancho Del Animación Muy Impresionante to thunder and wail respectively. METAL VOCALS are last on the agenda. I tried to do them myself but they sounded both piss and weak. It has become evident that if this track is going to sound convincingly METAL, I'm going to have to keep my voice and my silly instruments off it. Thankfully, in the western world there is always a metal singer within one or two degrees of separation...


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"Dogs Of Law": The Music Video
Herman, The Legal Labrador Trailer
QuickTime (16 mb - SWEET)
MPEG-1 (10 mb - OK)
"Dogs Of Law" (End Theme From Herman, The Legal Labrador)
MP3 (192kbps, 6 mb)
Buy Herman crap at cafepress.com


About the creator
Making Herman
Latest entry: August 12
Press Notes (PDF)
Herman screenings/awards
The production of HERMAN has been kindly supported by
Next Wave