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Old Red Museum – Henry Miller Story

by DigitalDoyle



One of the biggest challenges for creating the AV stories for the Early Years Gallery in The Old Red Museum was the scarcity of related visual materials that were available from the mid 1800s. For this story all we originally had were the line drawings of William and Henry Miller and the story of Henry’s recollection. As a solution, I came up with the idea of creating scenes using 3D characters. Originally we were planning to tell the story using only still renders of the characters, since we had a very limited production budget.

But after my multi-talented wife and partner Darla showed me the beautiful and detailed characters she created and clothed in a 3D program called Poser, I just had to animate them a bit and bring them to life. Animation in version 6 of Poser was a challenge (I usually prefer Lightwave), but it was also a blast and I enjoyed it. I wish we’d had more time and budget, but we did the best we could with what we had.

Of the 170+ approximately 3 minute AV stories that we produced for the Old Red Museum, this is one of my very favorites. The fine voice work done by voice actor Dell Johnson was perfect for the piece. We were very fortunate to have a group of very talented voice actors, and they greatly improved the power and impact of all our stories.

During a meeting of the Old Red Museum’s Board of Directors, at which I’d been asked to take 15 minutes to show some of the AV content we’d been developing, I showed an early version of this story. The Board loved it, but was concerned that, at the end, I had left the mischievous Isam character unmoving after he hit the ‘ground’. There was concern that children viewing the story might think Isam was really dead. So I woke him up at the end to assuage that concern.

The Board originally gave me 15 minutes to show some of the stories; but they wound up keeping me for an hour and a half and then gave me a big round of applause when I was finished, which was totally unexpected but very gratifying. I love bringing historical stories to life!


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