Monday, September 15, 2014

"BoxTrolls" Take over Box-Offices 1# in UK and #2 in Mexico

The box-office numbers are in for Laika's The BoxTrolls overseas release.  In the UK it's in #1 with $3.4 million.  Laika's previous films Coraline and ParaNorman opened with similar numbers in the UK at $3.7 and $2.3 million.

The BoxTrolls opened #2nd in Mexico at $1.8 million.  Collectively, in Denmark and Sweden Boxtrolls made a debut of $260,000.  Taking Laika to new heights for best-ever Laika openings in those markets.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A "BoxTrolls" Featurette!

As is the 'norm' so to speak in our little world of Stop Motion.  Laika, the makers of the upcoming The BoxTrolls (in partner with Focus Features like their past two films: ParaNorman and Coraline) have in the past released little epic featurettes.  This years there's no disappoint with The BoxTrolls.  And it's embedded/linked in below...

A hashtag last year to spread the word for Laika was #WeirdWins for Laika's ParaNorman.  This year it's just simply #TheBoxTrolls! Enjoy spreading Laika love all over the interwebs! :)


Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi and based off Alan Snow's novel Here Be Monsters! comes Laika's The BoxTrolls, coming to a theater near you sooner than you think!

By the way, I've gotta say that it's good to be back after taking a month long break to get back into Stop Motion blogging again!

And the new poster....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nikon Releases a $4,000 Stop Motion Animator's Kit

Nikon has just made it a lot easier to make Stop Motion animation with their just-released Stop Motion animation kit.  The kit is being used by the internet Stop Motion artist PES, who's is shooting his recently Kickstarted Submarine Sandwich short film over the period of the next few months.

Their newly released kit includes the following:

  • 36.6Mp D810 DSLR
  • AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF_ED FX-format macro prime lens
  • Dragonframe 3.5 Stop Motion animation software and controller
  • EH-5b/EP-5B power supply and connector

I wouldn't exactly label this as a 'beginner' kit, it seems to be leaning much more on the intermediate/professional side of things when you take into account the $4,000 price tag.  The camera is a step up from the Nikon D3x that Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox was shot on, so seemingly 4k isn't so much to ask considering that it cost that amount for just the D3x camera body, not including a lens.

You can preorder the kit on their website:

PES unboxing the D810 'Animator's Kit':

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Short Flicks: "Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request"

Great news!!!!  The incredibly awesome Japanese cult-comic Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai is being developed into a Stop Motion feature!

And just to whet your appetite for more Usagi they've released a 7-minute proof-of-concept short film on YouTube that's posted below.  The film is made by Lintika Films on a shoestring budget.  The main workhorses on this project were it's director, Roel Robles, and the rest of this crew: Ray Gilberti, Fon Davis, Todd Fellows, Euisung Lee, and Lauren Vogt.  Planning a feature, Lintika is reportedly 'currently speaking with investors' to hopefully get the project of a feature film to get finally made.

If your looking for more updates on a Usagi feature keep up with them on their Facebook page and their Twitter.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Laika @ Comic-Con: 'Let's Bring Back Hand-Drawn Animation'

At Comic-Con, Laika's president and spokesperson Travis Knight dropped a big bomb on the audience, that he wants to make an entire feature film with solely hand-drawn animation.  The editor of Slashfilm reported this little bit of info:

"He says that every one of the Laika Stop Motion movie features small bits of hand-drawn animation composite, but he would like to one day do a whole movie in the medium.  It's seems like they don't have any definite plans but you could tell from his tone that it's something he's been considering for a while now."

I would personally love to see a studio get back into the game.  Walk Disney Animation Studios, after  abandoning the medium after their box-office bomb The Princess and the Frog pretty much killed any hand-drawn features in development at the time.  Plus, with the Laika branding integrated with the hand-crafted medium of hand-drawn animation, well, good things are to come is all I can say.  Good things are to come.
Travis Knight, LAIKA's President and CEO

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marty Cooper Shows Us What Happens When You Combine Normal Objects With Classic 2d Animation

Stop Motion artists/animator and really artists in general rarely get praise and credit for what they do.  But Marty Cooper was recently put in the spotlight after he got a lot of buss from his Tumbr and awesome semi-viral video, Aug(De)Mented Reality.  Using just an iPhone, celluloid, white-out, and a black Sharpie he creates short, imaginative videos by having his cel creatures react with real-world objects.  Adam Savage (host of Mythbusters) asked Cooper to come to the Tested studio and show him how he makes these crazy little shorts and luckily, for us he filmed it.

Aug(De)Mented Reality

Animating Adam Savage's workshop:

Laika Studios is Looking For a Bigger Facility

It's been announced that the Organ based Stop Motion company, Laika, formerly Will Vinton Studios,  is looking for a space that's around 350,000 square feet.  As mentioned in a previous press release from Laika, a space of this size could allow for potentially two feature productions to run parallel...

This would obviously mean more films, and by judging by the way their features have been going, this could mean for some legendary projects.  Plus this would also add a job serge in the Stop Motion industry, meaning good thing to come for aspiring students of Stopmo.  Currently the company has over 300 employees for production on their latest feature, The BoxTrolls.

Laika's 'BoxTrolls' to Screen at Venice Film Festival

Based on Alan Snow's children's novel Here Be Monsters, Laika's The BoxTrolls will be screened out of competition at the 71st Annual Venice Film Festival on August 31st.  Several of the film's theatrical premiers will kick off September 12th in some international territories, the U.K. and Mexico being two of them.  October 2nd marks Italy's release.  Lastly, The BoxTrolls will rollout into American and Canadian theaters September 26.
“This is an incredible honor for LAIKA and our film,” said studio president & CEO and producer/lead animator for Boxtrolls Travis Knight. “To be singled out by one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals is an utter joy and an enormous validation for the hundreds of artists whose talents make our films come to life.”
The BoxTrolls

PES is Teaching an Online Class on Stop Motion Shorts

PES, well, you already know PES so I don't think I need to go into any details on his Oscar® nomination, or his upcoming feature film based on the Garbage Pail Kids franchise. He's just finished making an online video teaching course, an hour-and-a-half DIY if you will on how to make Stop Motion Shorts.  The course is now live on Skillshare.  He goes through the process of making, start to finish, on how to make a minute long Stopmo short.  An awesome opportunity for enthusiasts, intermediates, and people who've never tried it before.

Learn to craft a witty and surprising 1-second film. In this one-hour class, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker PES walks through his creative process for developing concepts, crafting narratives, capturing film, and editing a final stop-motion piece. This whimsical class is perfect for artists, filmmakers, storytellers, and marketers all looking to quickly engage and delight audiences.

Link to his Skillshare page:
An Online Skillshare Class by PES

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PES Is Kickstarting a New Film - "Submarine Sandwich"

PES, the Oscar® nominated YouTube artist is doing his first Kickstarter.  He is one of the most accomplished and widely-known content creators currently making internet videos.  His film Fresh Guacamole was the shortest short film ever to be nominated for an Oscar®.  Plus his short Western Spaghetti was voted Time Magazine's 2# best Internet video of 2008.  To sum it up, this flick, if funded, will be stupendous!

His goal is to raise $30,000.  Currently, 2 days into the campaign, he's already at over $6,500.

PES states, 'The only way for me to get my head and into the world is through this crazy process called Stop Motion animation.  Stop Motion is a way to bring inanimate objects to life.  It's an epic process to make a film like this.  Everything that is put on film is real.  It's in front of the camera. - There's no CGI in my videos!'  Honestly, I really appreciate PES paving the way for the rest of us creators by explaining Stopmo in a 4 sentence statement, in a simple, easy-to-understand fashion.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Animation Magazine Just Released an Exclusive Post Giving Us a Behind the Scenes Look at 'BoxTrolls'

Animation Magazine, an excellently written website for animation lovers and pretty much the Variety of animation just did an entire post showing statistics and pictures from the behind the scenes on Laika's upcoming feature The BoxTrolls.

Sony Pictures Animation are Developing 'Superbago', a Stop Motion/Live-Action Feature Flick

Good news in the Stop-mo world folks, Sony Pictures Animation has teamed up with John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner of Stoopid Buddy Stooidos are developing a full length Stop Motion/live action combination feature film, Superbago.

Towner and John Harvatine are attached to direct Superbago Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Eric Robinson are producing.

Hess, Ricky Blitt, Hubbel Palmer and Chris Bowman are writing Superbago, centering on a pair of superhero wannabes.  Towner told Variety that the film has 'offbeat origins.'

“This project started with a couple of buddies buying a ’73 Winnebago off Craigslist and making a short film near and dear to our hearts,” he said.  “We found a super supportive home in Sony Pictures Animation and couldn’t be more thrilled with the talented team surrounding the project.”
“‘Superbago’ will skew older than our last features but I immediately fell in love with the smart comedy idea behind it, which features two irreverent stop-motion characters dropped in a live-action world,” Raimo Kouyate said. “The incredibly talented creative team of directors John Harvatine and Eric Towner, along with the unique perspective of producer Jared Hess, will make this project like nothing you’ve seen before.”

Monday, July 7, 2014

McDonalds' German "Made of Love" Spot Produces Amazing Paper Stopmo Into the Commercial World

"Made of Paper - Made of Love. In exquisite craftsmanship and with great sensitivity the little paper figures life was breathed. Was realized the Papercraft Commercial together with the agency Heye, director Sinem Sakaoglu and the team of visual distractions Ltd.."