subota, 13. listopada 2012.

The Blackheart Gang - Ringo (2004), The Tale of How (2006), The Tale of Then (2009), The Dinner Party (2010)

the household

Animirani filmovi o paklu iscijeđenom iz raja.

Tale of How:


THE BLACKHEART GANG: The Concise Overview of The Household

As another prelude to the upcoming series of interviews with the creators of The Tale of How, here is the official rundown of the Blackheart Gang's universe:

The Household is a fantastical realm deep within the earth inhabited by fantasy and extinct creatures like dodos, mammoths, teddy bears, talking pandas, sentient hills, and a white mouse who is an engineer. The function of The Household is to purify our bath water and to make soap.
Stories from the household are referred to as histories. The first released history, The Tale of How, is actually the second in the The Dodo Trilogy. In the upcoming history, The Tale of Then, we’ll witness the beginnings of Otto in the days when he was a lovelorn hill on a farm outside Prague in the year 900. In love with a goat herder girl who plants a tree on his head, Otto’s love ends in a tragedy that leads him to his ocean home from which we see him in The Tale of How.
In The Tale of How, we see the blossoming of the piranhas(Dodos) from the flowers of the tree planted on Otto’s head so many years before. Otto isn’t at all pleased and being insane, he eats the piranhas. We are also introduced to the very clever and wise Eddy the Engineer, a white mouse with flowers for a tail who sails around on a bunch of bananas and a spoon. With Eddy’s help, the piranhas escape Otto.
Otto has now become the island which is now known as Maurtius.
The Dodo Trilogy forms an intricate part of an even greater tale called, like the universe in which it is set, The Household. The third installment is entitled The Tale of When. The second trilogy will be The Bear Histories.

The Blackheart Gang Myspace

Interview: The Blackheart Gang - MR. JANNES

In the second of the Blackheart Gang interviews, we have Jannes Hendrikz whose responsibility is in essence to make Ree Treweek's drawings dance to Markus Wormstorm's music. He is the compositor, 2d-animator, cinematographer, and creative director of the team. Jannes recently left Blackginger (who created the 3d elements and provided the hardware required for The Tale of How) to freelance.

As well as providing generous answers to my queries, he has also kindly provided some exclusive stills and moving images from early in the production of The Tale of How.

From the perspective of artistic direction, is the look from the Tale of How something you want preserved or do you see the project evolving over time?
I am very much into spontaneous, interactive expression of our art forms. I see The Household project as a growing interactive medium. It goes wherever it needs to go and I follow. It’s about being attentive to its needs and letting it grow.

How important was Ringo as a foundation for the work you did in The Tale of How? What did you learn while working on it? And is Ringo set in The Household?
Yes, Ringo also forms part of The Household. Before we started Ringo none of us knew eachother that well; most of us had just met at the time. We wanted to do something, make something. I don't know. A type of creative chemistry just developed among us. At the time, none of us had any real experience; we just threw ourselves into it. Ringo started as a weekend project but we ended up working on it for another nine months. We didn't plan. Things just developed. I think that this is the basis of our working dynamic--the magic. We learned as we went along with it.

"We did have a few creative hiccups and we had to move on--we had to compromise, we had to collaborate."
Being a labour of love, you kind of need to offer everyone working on the project the freedom to express themselves so it gets really difficult to do what you want without overlapping with someone else's ideas. We did have a few creative hiccups and we had to move on--we had to compromise, we had to collaborate. This was the biggest lesson Ringo taught us and this secret lies at the base of our collective. Learning to collaborate opens up creative doors and solutions, and helps you to develop into a more mature artist. It helps you define yourself and your role. And this was the next lesson.

We knew that if we were to work on the next project we would have to define our roles. So before working on Tale of How we had loads of discussions about who wants to do what and what we'd like to achieve and how we can support each other in doing so. I had to be very sensitive to the needs of the people I asked to join. I really wanted to create an environment for everyone to grow. Ringo was an essential part of my growth.

You said you nearly had a nervous breakdown at the end of the nine month development of the Tale of How; what happened? Was it that bad?
Hmm...well...yes, it was bad. I wasn't exaggerating. It really took me months to recover. I had a full time job at the time at a visual-effects company that always had work for me. The day work was demanding. So I worked from 9 - 6. popped out for an hour dinner break where I would meet up with Ree. This was our time to see friends and loved ones before we return to Blackginger to work till 1 - 3 in the morning. This was the ritual for every other day, except weekends where we would work from 10 in the morning to late at night.

During this time me and my girlfriend bought a flat that we moved into. By the end of it...the last 2 months, my morale was at an all time low. I was tired and worn out. I had to focus myself to finish this thing that took over my life. My boss was complaining that my private life is interfering with my ability at work. My girlfriend at this point completely frustrated with the fact that I'm never at home and emotionally unavailable. The last weeks I kept on falling asleep watching renders, stared into space and when we finally finished both me and Ree didnt know what to think. We didn't know what to feel and then slowly, over the next few months, readjusted to normal life again.

The whole experience was very surreal. I suppose I just have a very intense way of experiencing life around me, I am very passionate. It's the only way I can explain why I push so hard.

Would you give us an idea of your workflow in particular, how you bridge the 2D and 3D in your work? And which software/hardware is/was involved and why? How closely did you work with Justin Baker in the development of the 3D elements and how difficult was it to preserve the look of Ree’s drawings?
I always composite in 3d space; it gives me freedom to play with depth and perspective but then again, I really didn't want it to look like a 3d movie, or like a 2d movie in 3d space. I wanted something authentic so when it came to using actual 3d renders, I decided that they had to look exactly like Ree's linework. Justin modeled and rigged the birds and then started playing around with different shaders. We went backwards and forwards till we found a treatment that worked.

Justin then started animating all the elements on a background plate (2k resolution) I supplied as a placing reference. The 3d renders would then be layered into my comp and the camera moves added. Justin had full freedom to animate the birds using his own interpretation of the story. The only limitations were technicalities or keeping within the story. Me and Justin used to work together at Blackginger, so we were already familiar with our own type of workflow.
We worked on duel 3 gigahertz Dell machines with 3 gigs memory. Justin worked with XSI and I worked with After Effects 6.5. XSI has amazing 2d shader capabilities and rendering in passes also helps. After effects is definitely the only package to use for a project like this. Other compositing packages will not be able to perform in the same way or offer me the same amount of freedom.

You’ve mentioned that each scene was made up of around 300 layers; what challenges did this present and what did you learn working with such a rich tapestry of elements?
One half of all the elements was Ree's drawings and the other half consisted of atmospherics (mostly video footage) and textures. The first challenge was getting my computer to process all of this. I basically broke each shot into 3 main layers: fore, middle and background. Whenever possible, I rendered out the frames of finished sets, and used them as proxies to be able to render a full shot. I also had to set my views to as low as quarter resolution to be able to preview the shots over the timeline.

"Having so many elements certainly slowed me down, but being able to chop and change and play at any point during the process definitely added to the look of the film."
Most of the time, I just had to render the shots at the end of the night before we left, to be able to check the animation I did during that night. Having so many elements certainly slowed me down, but being able to chop and change and play at any point during the process definitely added to the look of the film. You just need the time to be able to do that. Every shot was crafted and cared for till it felt right, and having all the layers available helped me work like that. In the end, we ran out of time, and some things just had to be left the way they were knowing that we did the best we can.

In creating what we now see as The Tale of How, were there any other versions of the composite before the final? If so, can you describe these?
Well, before we started on the prints, Ree gave me her drawings for page 1 (shot 1). I played around and tested a few ideas. when I finally felt I had something, I really wanted to test it out animated, so I downresed the psd, collected some video elements I had, and put everything together. this was a starting point that I felt happy with and got Ree and Markus to have a look at it. They loved it and thats where it went. In the following days I basically tested cameras and their movement, a few animation teqniques and thought about the workflow and basically made 5 variations of the first test render, and that was that. I knew that I had loads of time to think about the animation while composing the prints and things developed from there.

Are storyboards used at all? Why or why not?
No, we didnt use storyboards for Tale of How. We had 13 verses in Markus's poem and one print for each. The prints took us about 3 months then Ree had to start drawing on all the extra elements we would need for the animation and I started putting things together. We wanted to have more shots and angles but we simply did not have the manpower and time to do so, so we made each shot as beautifull as we could hoping that visually one would have enough to look at and that we could get away with the shots we had.

"I used this part of the animation to add drama and break the pace by using quicker cuts and camera moves unlike anywhere else in the piece."
We just knew that the first part of the story needed to be dark and eerie, and the second half, light and hopeful. We also didn't use the print for shot 8 (the part where the bird gets broken in half) because we needed to build a more dynamic and visually interesting picture than we had. I used this part of the animation to add drama and break the pace by using quicker cuts and camera moves unlike anywhere else in the piece. Our workflow was very much based on the prints. It will be very different for our next projects. We believe in the power of using storyboards.

How far off is The Tale of Then from completion? And what work has been done thus far? Likewise for The Tale of When?
We are planning to start by the end of the year. Now we are just getting our resources together, getting the story fine tuned, then do storyboards, animatics etc etc.--Lots of pre-preparation. We are giving ourselves a year of production time on the next one...all depending on resources. We might even work on the Tale of When at the same time, we don't know, we'll have to see how things develop over time.

What arts do you practice personally outside the Blackheart Gang? And which artists inspire you personally?
Well, the Blackheart Gang's been taking up all my time. If there were a few things I could wish for, it would be for extra arms, the ability to not having to sleep, and longer nights. ah...what I can tell you are my wants. I want to shoot documentries, I want to make puppets, I want to start a theatre production, make music.... sigh!

"Cooking is great because it involves so many of the senses."
As a video & film artist, I am quite removed from the final product. There's a long process to this medium. it rarely ever gives you immediate interaction like playing a musical instrument. Processing just takes too long. The other frustration is that it is a virtual medium. There is no real tangibility so I do long for a more hands-on form of expression. There is something I do regularly, and that is cook. Cooking is great because it involves so many of the senses. It offers so much variety to experiment with, and you can eat what you've made!

I am a lover of listening to sound and music. I can honestly say that I spend 70% of my time on listening. Sound is my deepest source of inspiration. I suppose it’s because it gives me full freedom to interpret it visually. I initially got into video because I visually wanted to create what I saw when listening to music. I like moody, emotional music. Some favourites at the moment include: Svarte Greiner, Dictaphone, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Apparat, Loscil, and the Shins.

I also draw a lot of inspiration from short films at the moment. Its such an amazing medium, such a huge variety of style, technique and experimentation. I am in love with moving picture, it’s enchanting, especially sincere storytelling, mostly without dialogue. Slow visual storytelling oh! I am very much into Russian animation from the 60's and 70's. The beauty, sensitivity and wonder of Miyazaki's films damn! His films always revitalizes me, reminds me of what's really important. Also, my brother gave me a collection of stop-motion by the Quay Brothers and I recently discovered the surreal and bizarre etchings by Max Ernst. Difficult to name specifics... cause I pick up little bits here and there, tiptoeing over what keeps me going.

What have been some of the most important things both personally and professionally that you’ve learned while working on the Blackheart Gang projects?
As an artist, I’ve never learned so much, so fast. Working on these projects and being an artist, I suppose that my personal and professional life goes hand in hand so I've learnt that work is not about the end product; it is about the time you spend around that and how you deal with yourself and others in that time. Enjoying your work and staying true to it is essential. I know now that my self expression is an in-the-moment thing, and it’s at those times when I can truly experience myself and get to know myself and my abilities better... pulling your hair out in despondency, the height of accomplishment, the stress of a deadline or those flowing moments of spontaneity. -

Interview: The Blackheart Gang - REE TREWEEK

Ree Treweek is part of the trio that is the Blackheart Gang, a talented illustrator "with red hair, freckles and braces; she also has a very short temper, a ticking time bomb of sorts." She has very generously answered my questions and provided lots of unique imagery and insight in what is the first part of the Blackheart interviews on SiouxWIRE.
The Tale of How is available to download HERE and more information is available in previous posts HERE, HERE and HERE.
You grew up believing that a giant snake living beneath your bathtub would drink up all the soapy bath water once you had pulled out the plug. Can you share a little more about this belief and does it have anything to do with the description of The Household that says, “The function of The Household is to purify our bath water and to make soap”? And will we ever see “Rooster Bear” in animated form?
I grew up on a farm just outside of a small town called Kokstad. When i was younger a powerful Songoma (African Witchdoctor) called Ghotsa lived in the area. It was believed that he had control of a river spirit who took the form of a giant snake. When angry, Ghotsa could summon the snake out of the river. Outside of the water the snake took the form of dust Devils or great winds as he would travel by spinning his tail round and round.

"The plan is to begin on the bear Histories once we are finished with the Dodo stories."
When my brother and i were little and refused to get out of the bath our Xhosa nanny, Fabia, would pull out the bath plug and once the water began spinning she would tell us that the snake was appearing and if we didn't jump out we would be eaten by him. Terrified we would leap out of the bath. Not long after first meeting, Markus and I did a three page fantasy comic strip based on this experience. It was from this that the Household idea began to form. I then made up a book of a collection of drawings I had done over the last few months. After binding it myself, Markus went out to a coffee shop and spent the afternoon making up stories to the pictures .....research of The Household had formally began.(see the images throughout this article)

The Household is completely powered by our old bath water which turns a giant cog in the centre of the universe. Soap is indeed one of the main industries of The Household - in fact after the 100 yrs of madness the Piranha birds eventually make their way to Soap world and become soap merchants. We will definitely see rooster bear animated one day-he's kinda Markus's character that researches the Household. The plan is to begin on the bear Histories once we are finished with the Dodo stories.

"...if i were to describe him I would say he is a cross between MacGuyver, Buddha and God."
Focusing on the design of a particular element, Eddy the Engineer, the white mouse with flowers for a tail who and six legs who sails around on a bunch of bananas and a spoon. How did this design come about and do you create the designs freely or do the others have input or guidance into how the character should look?
Many of my drawings are unplanned. I pick up a pen, start drawing and get to surprise myself with what appears. Eddie and his family are the result of one of these unplanned wriggles. Eddie is definitely one of my favorite characters - if i were to describe him I would say he is a cross between MacGuyver, Buddha and God. His tail is constantly falling off and then crawls along the ground before burying its tip into soil and growing into a pink flower. Thus wherever Eddie wanders a trail of pink flowers remains. Eddie is the creator of the Household. (see the pic entitled Eddie and Family)

"I was fascinated by the attention and time placed on detail and the blur between fantasy, myth and real life."
Your work has been described as having characteristics of Eastern Art and Art Nouveau as well as being compared to Alphonse Mucha, Arthur Rackham, Adolf Bjorn, and Aubrey Beardsley. How did your style develop and who/what were your influences and why?
Since I was a kid I loved fantasy art. Early influences were African Myths, books like the Tales of Narnia, movies like The Dark Crystal and father fueled us with stories of the Spice Island races ...pirates, cowboys, diamond hunters ....
... later I discovered the art of Patrick Woodroffe, Bosch, Medieval art, Russian Folk art, Mayan art, Eastern art, etc... My style really began to develop after my first trip to Indonesia. The temples, puppetry and craft are incredible. I was fascinated by the attention and time placed on detail and the blur between fantasy, myth and real life.

"...I did mostly street art at the time...making little sculptures and paintings that I hid on road sides to surprise people as they walked to work in the mornings."
I understand all of the Blackheart Gang are self-taught; is that right? And would you tell us about the course you took (in regard to learning) to get to where you are today?
Both my grandmother and mother paint so as long as I remember I've entertained myself by creating creatures. After school I studied Fine art for three years...I did mostly street art at the time...making little sculptures and paintings that I hid on road sides to surprise people as they walked to work in the mornings.

After studying I traveled the East and Australia for some time and then found myself in Cape Town. Not long after I arrived I met Markus and we immediately inspired each other. We formed a once off group with some friends calling ourselves the Matchbox Orchestra. Over a period of two weeks we produced a shadow puppet show that we showed at a small theatre called The Armchair Theatre.

Not long afterwards Jannes (Markus's Cousin) moved to town. Markus introduced us to each other and we immediately hit it off and decided to make a music video together for Markus over a weekend . The weekend project ended up stretching into a nine month project as when we began we had very little idea of what we were doing - Jannes and I working obsessively every spare moment. It was really an experiment through which we developed our animation style and The Blackheart gang began.

In regards to your drawing technique, do you begin with outlines of the major objects and then add detail, or do you begin with the details and follow them? And what tools do you use and why?
I begin with the outlines, often drawing straight into pen when possible... I then do the patterning and detail. I generally draw all the elements as separates and then composite them together later. Usually i do all the coloring in Photoshop.

You mention that there were prints, animation, and sculpture on exhibition. How was sculpture used in the project? Or was that something created afterwards? And who created it? (If it was you, would you tell us about the sculptures?)
I got five beautiful sculptures made of different Piranha birds the last time i was in Indonesia. This was the beginning of an idea I've had for some time - to build a museum of the household. Since then i have been collecting and making relics for the museum. - old priest chairs, perfume bottles, Moroccan knifes, magical pieces of jewelery ....... I am currently making the bones of all the piranhas that the pirate piranha kills in the third part of the trilogy. It's going to take me some time but my aim is "find" a relic in every country I go to - eg. designing a carpet of twisted patterns of the household and getting it made in Turkey. Its kinda like a treasure hunt, a story though which to experience the world.

"It will be a heavily illustrated coffee table book that will come with a soundtrack and DVD of animations."
Would you tell us a little more about the exhibition itself and the upcoming book?
The exhibition will be styled like a natural History museum. Let me take a character to explain what i mean.....
The Pirate piranha (you can spot him in the animation, he's the one human legged eye patched guy) will be standing next to a wooden throne holding his Moroccan knife. Hanging around his neck is the pendant of poison which he used to kill the king. Around his feet lie bones of piranha birds he has suspected of plotting against him. Bird heads on stakes surround the throne. The throne is falling apart...we are in a tropical island type environment, the Piranhas are very tribal at this stage. A pirate chest overflows with loot on the side of the throne.

We will have installations like this for all the different main characters - the King, Eddie, the Priest, etc. There will also be maps depicting the route of the Piranha's 100 years of madness, maps of old Otto as well as old drawings of the creatures the piranhas have encountered, writings, sound installations, prints and of course the animations. In short a complete history of Piranhas will be on display.

The book will be like one of those old 'turn the page to sound' Books. It will be a heavily illustrated coffee table book that will come with a soundtrack and DVD of animations.

"I then begin by building up different layers of color with brushes set at very low opacities..."
Would you tell us about the colour palette you use and your technique for colouring? What attracts you to these colours and how has your palette changed over the years?
I draw everything in pen and ink first. I then scan it in and color in Photoshop. I generally use photo textures multiplied over the entire image to begin with. I then begin by building up different layers of color with brushes set at very low opacities....usually about 19%. I color by zooming right into the image at 200% In the case of the Household prints after drawing and coloring the elements for each scene I handed them over to Jannes who then composited the prints. In other cases i lay out the elements myself and usually bind them together but placing a texture or color over the image set at a low opacity.

Me and Markus work together on the concept for the stories...sometimes he writes to my drawings and sometimes I draw to his writing."
Outside your design/drawing, what other work have you done with the Blackheart Gang? How involved are you in developing the story and how did you come to be the “motivator”? Have you had time outside The Household and the Blackheart Gang to work on your own personal projects? And for which pieces that you created outside the Gang do you feel most proud?
I try to tie in all my personnel projects with the Household as its such an extensive project that we need an immortality potion to give us enough time to finish "researching it". Perhaps how i became the "motivator" for the Blackheart Gang is that pretty much every thing i do relates to the household in some way. My favorite piece that I've created yet is a picture i drew of BogWorld. I'm also having a lot of fun building relics in ceramics. I am slowly beginning to transform the inside of my house into a forest/museum scattered with pieces of furniture and relics from the Household. I live in an upstairs wing of an old asylum i have plenty of space inside to gather and grow things in. Me and Markus work together on the concept for the stories...sometimes he writes to my drawings and sometimes I draw to his writing. I also do commercial campaigns and illustrations...clients have included Virgin Atlantic, Levi's, Musica, HP.

PS. Any chance of a cameo by a cat headed peasant?
We don't have a cat headed peasant as yet - we do however have have a floating Cat Brain who belongs to Dr. Benjamin and his better bottom Claude. ...but I wouldn't be surprised if we bumped into a cat headed peasant some where in our wondering the Household.

Thank you, Ree. I'm looking forward to meeting you and the others at Otto's hill. -

Blackheart Gang: Tale of How

Tale of How

Epic. Beautiful. Weird. The Blackheart Gang’s “Tale of How” is a voyage through a surreal landscape (which the Gang calls “the Household”) populated with duck-like creatures being ravaged by a tentacled sea monster, Otto. In the end, a cute, mousey hero named Eddy the Engineer bursts onto the scene to save the day, making for a tidy little narrative that is both strangely familiar and incredibly odd.
If Hieronymus Bosch and Terry Gilliam had a lovechild, maybe it would resemble this video. The visuals are a lush and organic pastiche of 2D and 3D elements, with a hand-crafted attention to detail that makes every still a joy to behold.
Equally impressive is the soundtrack. Composed and recorded by The Blackheart Gang, the music was written especially for this piece, and its lyrics tell the story in a operatic style that is refreshingly original.

The Blackheart Gang

So who are The Blackheart Gang? The short answer: a collective of artists, designers and animators living in Cape Town, South Africa.
The long answer? Well, I think their own (decidedly adorable) words are the best description:
“Ree is a illustrator with red hair, freckles and braces; she also has a very short temper, a ticking time bomb of sorts. Markus is determined and strong, his heavy noble brow is set under a constant frown, he makes music and writes. Jannes takes all of Ree and Markus’ bits and pieces and makes them real. TOGETHER THEY ARE THE BLACKHEART GANG!
The Blackheart Gang is a well oiled machine, a collective of good friends with passion for the arts. Each member has their own sets of skills and talents that form an incredible collaborative dynamic.
Ree Treweek – Illustrator, concept and character developer for The BHG. Ree is 27 and works as a freelance illustrator.
Markus Smit (Wormstorm) – Musician, concept developer and writer for The BHG. Markus is 24 and has a musicstudio called SayThankYou.
Jannes Hendrikz – Compositor and Creative Director for The BHG. Jannes is 26 and works as a compositor and designer for BlackGinger Visual Effects.
We all live and work in Cape Town, South Africa.”

How did they do it?

Again, in their own words:
“To keep it short…Ree drew all the elements with pen on paper, scanned them, and coloured them in with Photoshop. Jannes would then build a scene with her elements in Photoshop, and prep the layers for After Effects. He would then build a 3d environment in After Effects, add live-action elements we shot, and animate all 2d elements. A lot of time was spent blending the 2d elements and live action to create a living world with depth and dynamics. Environmental elements like caustics and volume light helped to achieve this look.
The next step was to give the 3d guys a background plate to animate on. Justin Baker who did all the 3d work, modeled all the birds and developed shaders to look like Ree’s drawings. We wanted to maintain an authentic feel, so it was important for the 3d birds to look as 2d as possible.
Jannes would then composite the renders into his scene, treat them and do the final camera animation. Markus then composed the music and recorded the voice artists.
We really hope to inspire people. This project was about beauty, sincerety and passion. We want to share that. And hopefully, for just a moment, pull people out of the chaos they have grown so accustomed to.
We see The Blackheart Gang as a lifelong project. And we have a lot of plans and ideas for the future.
The Tale of How is one of the histories from The Household. Difficult to tell you much about it in short because it resides in Markus and Ree’s heads. But, it is huge, with many branches and we will probably be working on it for the rest of our lives.”

A little more…

To augment the depth of all of this creative output, The Blackheart Gang has created a couple audio files that are definitely worth listening to.
Second Half

The Blackheart Gang has recently returned from explorations in the darkest of the Household realms: the Bog, carrying with them many notes and images of what they saw there. Amongst these were 5 paintings of some of the wildlife seen there.
These paintings have been transferred into Polymer Gravure prints in collaboration with Warren Editions and are now for sale. This work consists of a series of 5 editions, limited to 10 prints each, signed by the Blackheart Gang and embossed with both the Blackheart Gang and The Warren Editions symbols. The prints measure 28×40cm, on paper that measures 53×63cm
The etchings sell for ZAR3200(shipping excluded) and payment is made through a trusted and secure pay site called Setcom. For your convenience there are currently two shipping methods available, Surface and Air Mail. Surface Mail takes 6 – 8 weeks, while Airmail takes a speedy 10 – 12 working days, but is marginally more expensive. Both are secure and registered with a tracking number, so it is possible to keep track of your purchase.
The Tale of How: Coffee Table Book
Following the success of the Tale of How animation, The Blackheart Gang finally got round to finish the final stage of the project by creating a coffee table book. The 40 page book includes a DVD with the animation, the print series and a biography of the author and the never before heard account of how The Blackheart Gang murdered the above mentioned author and stole his story.The book goes for ZAR400 (shipping excluded) and payment is made through a trusted and secure pay site called Setcom. For your convenience there are currently two shipping methods available, Surface and Air Mail. Surface Mail takes 6 – 8 weeks, while Airmail takes a speedy 10 – 12 working days, but is marginally more expensive. Both are secure and registered with a tracking number, so it is possible to keep track of your book. Here are some pics of the book.
We have come to the end of the First Edition of the Tale of How. There is still limited stock, but we have disabled the direct online purchasing of the book. We are consolidating with our stockists, so if you’d like to order the book, please contact Ree ( and she will let you know if we have any available.
Tale of How Prints
A series of 13 high quality unframed prints forms part of the Tale of How and the traveling exhibition that accompanies it. The print series, printed on archival paper, 60×70cm, has been limited to 30 editions, signed and stamped by the members of the Blackheart Gang.The print sells for ZAR2800 (shipping excluded) and payment is made through a trusted and secure pay site called Setcom. For your convenience there are currently two shipping methods available, Surface and Air Mail. Surface Mail takes 6 – 8 weeks, while Airmail takes a speedy 10 – 12 working days, but is marginally more expensive. Both are secure and registered with a tracking number, so it is possible to keep track of your purchase. The prints are printed and signed on demand, so please allow 5 working days before shipping takes place.









The Tale of Then (2009)


In the The Tale of How we met a giant octopus who had a tree growing in his head, the terror of the Indian ocean , OTTO THE MONSTER! Who’s lonley past time was to devour the innocent dodo’s who lived on his head. We saw the dodo’s unite and with the help of a little white mouse, we saw them escape the clutches of the terrible be-tentacled tyrant and sail off into the sunset on their mother the tree… then we saw the titles. At this piont many of us laughed and some of us cried… and this was very odd, because you see, without the few key facts that will be presented in The Tale of Then, nothing that happened in The Tale of How could possibly have made the slightest bit of sense. And this is why, you see, as The Tale of How is the second part of the trilogy, the figurative deep end as such, it relies exclusively on the first part of the story, The Tale of Then.
After the critical acclaim received by the gang’s short film, The Tale of How, the gang will now endevour to explore the story further by starting work on their next project The Tale of Then. The Tale of Then is a tragic love story with a difference, as it tells the tale of a hill who fell in love with a girl.
In The Tale of Then we explore the character of Otto, we’ll learn of his dark past and how he got to be such a grouch. But most importantly we’ll learn about the tree that grows on his head. It is a story of love and loss and the tragedy which lies between the two. A story of a girl and the silent hill who loved her. His name is Otto…and for years he watched this young lady as she herded goats on his head. As the seasons came and went his interest became fascination which soon grew into love. He longed for her so that even a peach pip, carelessly disregarded by the girl, became the subject of his eternal embrace. The tree that grew would watch her, blades of grass would caress her, his rivers cease to flow when she grew near. But alas! In the autumn of her life she grew old and she no longer walked on the hill. When she finally past away, she was buried inside of him and the tree turned red and lost its leaves. Fueled by her cold blood, Otto’s love turned to madness, and howling his loss to the moon, Otto tore his ancient body from the cruel earth. The earth shook as he raised high on his tentacles, engulfed in rage, Otto lay her city to waste and fled into the ocean… and this is where The Tale of How begins.
We intend to have the music composed and performed by an Orchestra and to hire a team of ten illustrators and animators for a period of nine months….and together endevour to transcend all previously set boudaries to create something so simply unique and beautifully monumental that it will forever be remembered as a monument of creative excellence!

The Dinner Party (2010)

Whilst wondering in delusion lost in the far reaches of the Household, the Blackheart Gang stumbled across a seemingly unlikely gathering. This was a strange party of Arabella and Christian Netherwood, the white steed known as The Enduring Red Fountain, and a posse of the Piranhas. Here too they encountered another weary traveler who went by the name of Salvador Herrera. Salvador carried with him a moving-picture-capturing-device, and so the Blackheart Gang, unwittingly spurred on by the hearty jollity arisen within them at the sumptuous gathering, urged him to capture the experience all in the name of fun and posterity. The gathering was not as keen on this idea. And so, while the Blackheart Gang managed to narrowly escape with their lives, Salvador was never seen again.
In the scurry to escape the wrath of the gods, the recorded material was severely damaged, so what you see before you is a reconstruction of the event, created by the Blackheart Gang as a tribute to their unlucky friend.

“The Lord made a big mistake,
To make the world from layer cake,
He cast a spell to see it bake
So tides will swell and plates will shake.
So if you ever wonder why;
Moun-tains erupt and fishes die;
Beyond the clouds beyond the sky;Beyond the oven is a watchful eye.”

-Christiaan Netherwood

The Molotian Bog

Sea Orchestra - United Airlines animated ad by Shy the Sun - Ree Treweek and Jannes Hendrikz
page8 by Ree Treweek
page7 by Ree Treweek
page30 by Ree Treweek
page31 by Ree Treweek

Relics from the Bog

 Fresh from their recent explorations in the Bog World comes this brand new series of sculptures. All hand crafted from wood, and hand painted, these sculptures will form part of The Blackheart Gang’s soon to come traveling museum.  In the mean time, have a look at these pictures.

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