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.."



Friday, July 4, 2014

My Short Monologue About the Brand New 'Morph'

Morph, ever since his premier in '77, on Channel 4 in the UK in Take Heart, Morph has become a beloved icon in UK pop-culture and to us in the Stop Motion community:)

If you haven't been living under a rock the past couple months, you know that Peter Lord and Aardman set out to Kickstart a Morph web series strictly for YouTube.  After being successfully funded, we haven't heard much on the new series, except for now!!  Today, Aardman released the new episode at 5:15pm UK time, which is the exact time of Morph's first ever TV appearance during Take Hart.  And today, with pleasure, I watched the first episode of the new series.  Staying canon to the 'homemade' feel of Aardman, I can say that by the looks of this episode, we're in for a treat.  This is an awesome present, especially for all you readers in the states, happy Independence Day y'all!!!

Brand New Morph: Twin Decks

Monday, June 23, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Aardman Will Create New Seasons for "Shaun the Sheep" and "Timmy Time" Exclusively Amazon Prime

Aardman, the incredibly talented creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and the Shaun spin-off preschool series Timmy Time.  Aardman has recently signed a deal for its content to stream exclusively in the United States on the Amazon Prime Instant Video service.  This deal will include new, Amazon-only seasons and specials for Shaun and Timmy, though Wallace & Gromit: Curse of The Ware-Rabbit won't have a debut on Prime because technically Dreamworks Animation owns the rights to the property.

Anyway, this is big news as far as I'm concerned and a great marketing strategy for The Shaun the Sheep Movie that's coming out early next year.  Not only will they be prepping viewers for the new flick, they'll also bring in new fans to the classic Aardman style.

The Shaun the Sheep Movie is due out March 20th, 2015.
The Shaun the Sheep Movie

Monday, June 16, 2014

Short Flicks: "IOA"

A vowel reciting speaking machine leads a miserable existence as a tool of a despotic singing-teacher. In a soliloquy it describes oppression, exploitation and beatings and complains that it is only needed for its functional performance. The analogy to conditions in the human working world is by no means coincidental...


IOA from Gabriel Möhring on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival Announces This Year's Guests!

This year, for its 6th edition, the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival (September 26-28th) will be featuring some of the most outstanding names and projects in the business including an inside, in-depth, BTS for Laika's The BoxTrolls!  Laika will deliver a special presentation and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios may show up for a while...

Anyway, featured below is your fix on the MSMFF breaking news...

VIP Access to LAIKA Studios and Behind-The-Scenes of The Boxtrolls

LAIKA (Portland, Oregon USA) is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious, creative, and courageous stop-motion studios in the world. They specialize in feature-length and short animated films, as well as commercials. The studio has produced two OSCAR NOMINATED stop motion films: ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009).

During their special presentation, you will discover the remarkable creativity of LAIKA, with a look at their latest project The Boxtrolls (in theatres 26 Sept. 2014), and be able to meet the original puppets from the production.

For more information: