Monday, December 23, 2013

A Screen Novelties Christmas Present, to Us!

I check my email and I see...

Property of Screen Novelties 
This gets an 'ohmygosh' reaction from me; which doesn't happen every day for one who loves his internet tidbits.  Oh, I almost forgot, I have been deprived my internet due to an ice storm that happened last morn, just thought I would throw that in there...

For those of you who know me personally, you will notice after watching this [Screen Novelties] is breaking new ground.  I have been saying that if Screen Novelties works hard enough they will be the next Laika.  I believe in you guys!
So anyhow check it out right here: http://screen-novelties.com/greetings-from-krampus/#.UrjRCNJDuuJ
Screen Novelties website: http://screen-novelties.com/

Thursday, December 19, 2013

10 Best Stop Motion Tidbits From 2013

10: Friendship All-Stars of Friendship, and that just goes for Stoopid Buddy Stoodios in general.
Friendship All-Stars
9: News about Aardman's upcoming Shaun the Sheep Movie.
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"FOAMY" by Citoplasmas

Toilet paper rolls and soap bubble, shaving cream and trampolines...
I know what your thinking and no, I am quoting a spell or have gone off my rocker.  I am merely just describing the Citopalasmas' team's new project, FOAMY, or of course you could just read this: "The story of 3 curious WC paper rolls discovering new things." could jus Yeah, I know, um I could of just said that and saved us both the trouble.

So anyway, this film is completely and utterly original unto itself.  It has the great YouTube Stop Motion artist PES' sensibility but yet something that has never been seen before.  But if we think about it for a second, empty toilet paper tubes!  Who would have thought!  I mean that there just always there.  Though, now that I'm thinking on the matter of toilet paper tubes being used for Stop Motion purposes before has been done once before, just not in the same way.  LAIKA sculpted the faces for the living trees in that scene in ParaNorman on toilet tubes.  That's it.  One example.  I believe that the folks over at Citoplasmas just opened up a new art form of using consciously shaped toilet tubes as living, breathing characters, a whole new array of Stop Motion possibilities.

Link: http://vimeo.com/citoplasmas/foam

FOAMY from citoplasmas on Vimeo.

Credits:
Voices by: Núria Parera, Carlos Puertas, Edu Puertas
Music, foamy theme by: Aleix Elizalde, Albert Riera, Pablo del Canto, Xavier Manjarin
Music, hard december by: Teru
Rig armatures by: http://www.kineticarmatures.com
In colaboration with: http://www.citoplasmas.com

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Fabricated" by Brett Foxwell Now on Kickstarter

Before I start this post let me start this post with saying 'Phil Tippets in the Kickstarter video!'  This makes me very excited for reasons that are very obvious.  Phil, pretty much did all the Stop Motion work in the s70 and s80 ILM films.  From building armatures to animating, he's done it all.

"Fabricated" is a short film that's bringing old fashioned Harryhausen techniques of animating Dinosaurs to life by using Stop Motion.  Which is a fantastic idea, in fact i'd love to see the comeback of Stop Motion Dinosaurs and monsters in Hollywood features again.  It would be great.  And Brett Foxwell is taking this on single-handedly.  Brett has finished the principle photography on the film, but, well I let him tell it:

"I did all of this myself, and at long last, photography is complete. The film is eighteen minutes long and it is beautiful. I have completed the final edit of the picture, and for the first time, watched it as a finished piece. It is wonderful, epic, otherworldly, cinematic,  
...and it doesn't make a peep. 
It needs sound design and music. A film cannot truly come alive without sound and this one needs a lot of detailed sound design and a musical score, as well as color-timing for the picture.
The budget is roughly as follows:
  • Professional Sound Design for a 18:00 stop-motion film:         $7000          
  • Original musical score for the film:                                               $3000 
  • Color-timing and fulfillment costs:                                                $2000
With this, I will be able to hire a sound designer, a composer and a colorist to complete the film. Any funds above this goal will help me to get even better sound, music and color. I plan to have the film fully completed by June 2014. "
So, as you can see, he needs money to start/finish sound design.  And I know, there's nothing more annoying than a half-baked project, trust me, it sucks.  As usual, I'm not going to push you to do one thing or another here, it's 100% your choice.

Brett's/Fabricated's website: http://www.bfophoto.com


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Annie Award Nominees (We Have Stop Motion In Here)

Stop Motion in the Annie Awards!  Hip, hip hooray!  Although, It's no surprise that the following entries we're nominated, it's just something different from wishing they we're nominated to seeing the up their with Disney and Universal.  Brad Schaffer, on behalf of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, is down there, so is some Stopmo student films.  It's good stuff, so check it out!
Best Animated Feature
  • A Letter to Momo - 
GKIDS
  • Despicable Me 2 - 
Universal Pictures
  • Ernest & Celestine
 - GKIDS
  • Frozen - 
Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Monsters University - 
Pixar Animation Studios
  • The Croods
 - DreamWorks Animation
  • The Wind Rises
 - The Walt Disney Studios
Best Animated Special Production
  • Chipotle Scarecrow
 - Moonbot Studios
  • Listening Is an Act of Love
 - StoryCorps
  • Room on the Broom - 
Magic Light Pictures
  • Toy Story OF TERROR!
- Pixar Animation Studios
Best Animated Short Subject
  • Despicable Me 2 - Puppy
 - Universal Pictures
  • Get A Horse!
 - Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Gloria Victoria
 - National Film Board of Canada
  • My Mom is an Airplane
 - Acme Filmworks
  • The Numberlys - 
Moonbot Studios

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Friendship All-Stars of Friendship" Season Finale

"It's pretty bright in here, do you think?" "No, it is good reading level.  Ron." "Pretty cool that the sun is so bright.  But you know what?  I'm not afraid of my pupils over-dilating or anything."  Of course I'm talking about Seth Green's wildly successful Stop Motion web series, Friendship All-Stars of Friendship.  This show is hilarious, I'd say just as good as Seth's other projects for Adult Swim and work with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and up there with Portlandia and SNL.

The show was created by Seth Green, Justin Michael, Dan Lippert, and Harry Chaskin.  The premise of every episode is to put two celebrities, who have essentially the same job but have very different ways of doing those jobs.  This, put in a Stop Motion oven comes out with some funny stuff.  I am nerdy enough that I have watched every episode four times, but is well worth looking like a geek.

I have also shared a twitter conversation with Friendship All-Stars...
A. H. Uriah@kartoon_lord
Just watched the most recent @FriendAllStars. I'm stuck with 'Reginald on the beat' in my head for least 4 hourslstudio.com/friendship-all… - 01 Dec
Friendship All-Stars@FriendAllStars
Follow Follow
@kartoon_lord Then our work here is done!
08:06 PM - 02 Dec 13
Not much but still, incredible, that Stoopid Buddy and the folks over a LStudio care enough to reply to a fan-tweet.  This is all, of course, a segway to have you guy go over to lstudio.com/friendship-allstars to watch and enjoy the season finale put up their by Stoopid Buddy.

Video link: http://www.lstudio.com/friendship-allstars/lost-pet.html
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios: http://www.leagueofbuddies.com/

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"The Boxtrolls" Trailer 2 Including Behind The Scenes

I am so freaking glad I get something to post about today.  It's been a really dull Stop Motion world for the past months and some LAIKA awesomeness is just what I need to perk me up.  This film, (The Boxtrolls) looks like it will be the most incredible, detail oriented, picture LAIKA has produced.  What is so cool and interesting about the trailer is that they are promoting the fact that it's stopmo!  It's never dawned upon Tim Burton, or Wes Anderson or anyone else to include making of in the actual trailer!  That for me is the most brilliant marketing tactic I've seen in a Stop Motion film since Nightmare Before Christmas releasing internationally. The trailer has some sexy behind the scenes including armatures, making puppets, and other fun stuff.

I also think you might find it interesting to see the man behind the armatures blog:http://graham-skinnbones.blogspot.com
Link: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/focus_features/theboxtrolls/#videos-large
The Boxtrolls' official website: http://www.theboxtrolls.com/



Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Unsent Letter to The Stop Motion God Henry Selick

The following is my unsent letter to the Stop Motion legend Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and The Giant Peach Coraline, Monkeybone, The Shadow King, and upcoming A Tale Dark & Grimm).  I wrote this in early August of 2013, (before the news about him directing A Tale Dark & Grimm).  And Henry, if your out their reading this please let me know.

Dear Henry Selick,
My name is A. H. Uriah.  I am an enormous fan of your work.  In fact, your flick Coraline inspired me to write a blog dedicated to the art of Stop Motion.  My question is when can we see The Shadow King, or another Selick/Cinderbiter feature or production?  I read what you said about CGI animated films and how they are very much the same.  Also, I saw in May on Rotten Tomatoes that The Shadow King only had a 64% on how many persons wanted to see it.  This discouraged me; because it would seem that after Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox failed box office wise it has been a a slippery slope to get Stop Motion features funded.  In this current situation we are in it would seem that the only place Stop Motion is accepted is Adult Swim.  Will this gain a hunger for Stop Motion from the new generation? -Short answer: no.  I am working on a few indie Stop Motion TV show, and a miniseries.  Which I hope if we can get a great result for a small budget it would start to give producers for Netflix and Hulu faith in Stop Motion.  This is a big if, but other than that i'm not really sure what other route of action to take.

Upon reading this letter I realize it has turned from a question to a short history on the current situation in this point in animation history, to a one-manned hope to get a love and following from parents, children, and other audiences.  I wish to see productions from Cinderbiter in the near future.  Stop Motion has been dying for 18 years, since the release of Toy Story.  Why must the public, a large audience of children 2-12 settle for SpongeBob like terrible CGI movies by Dreamworks and other studios that are absolutely awful.  Anyway, my mind will keep throwing around this question for forever.

I hope this letter finds you well.

Sincerely,
A. H. Uriah

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Plasticine Pads: a DIY Project

Alright, I originally had invented this awesome title to get you guys all excited for Plasticine Pad.  It was something along the lines of "Plasticine Pads!  The Sensation that's Sweeping The Nation!"  Maybe I'm just lying to myself but I don't think that would have worked.

But now, what we're here for: an awesome DIY project.  So, as you may know, I use clay many a times in my Stop Motion projects.  And the other day I was melting down my Van Aken Clay on the stove.  It had reached boiling and this is when I decided it would be a good time to take it off the burner and let it harden.  So what do I grab for?  Cardboard.  Just a piece of cardboard.  The clay after being pored on the cardboard began to spread out and harden.  This formed great looking clay-grass.  And this is why I bring this to your attention.  It gives a great effect in a film for grass, or a countryside hill.  It also would work great for any type of terrine depending on which color of clay you use (I used a light green.)

I don't think I need to tell you how to make it.  All you have to do is copy my mistake.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"The Cycle" by Jessica Ashman

I'm not really sure what to say about this film.  It is a strange mixture of light sound color and character that it is very hard to classify it.  Over all it is incredible and well worth your time watching.  If I could have watched this or something like it in Biology I would have, because that's what it plays out like, a 70's Bio flick; but done way better than any Bio film I've seen.  It is also worth noting that you should check out Jessica's Vimeo channel, where there is plenty of cool Stop Motion to check out.


There is also an awesome behind the scenes time laps that I put the link to below.
BTS Link: http://vimeo.com/61997273

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Cardboard Arcade" Making Of & Storyboard Comparison

First of all I want to say thank you for all of your positive feedback with Cardboard Arcade.  I just want you to know that I do have two other projects that I'm working on right now (one in development and one in production.)  But I will try to stay in touch with y'all.

Anyhow, enough chatter.  Let's jump right into it!  This is the Storyboard Comparison between Cardboard Arcade and my many, many drawings: http://vimeo.com/79720168.

Cardboard Arcade Storyboard Comparison from SMG on Vimeo.

I did take a few 'making of' pictures.  But I took them near the end of production.  I only wish I had done a 'puppet making' time laps.  That would have been bananas!

Here we have the rigging behind the running puppet near the end of the film, with the monster chasing him/her (not really sure of the gender.)


Friday, November 15, 2013

"The Bear & The Hair" By John Lewis

Very often as we have seen in Stop Motion animation, ads bring some of the greatest breakthroughs in the medium.  The Bear & The Hair is no exception.  It combines 2d animation with a Stop Motion background and foreground, this technique is used in this 1930s Popeye cartoon: 1:36-


Which is a really old but great idea.
The Bear & The Hair link: http://vimeo.com/78740926
Blink website: http://www.blinkink.co.uk/#

John Lewis - The Bear & The Hare from Blink on Vimeo.

Behind the scenes video link: http://vimeo.com/78254514



Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Mooon" & "Tim Horton's Coffee"

Mooon, is a short film by James Kwan.  And, I don't really want to spoil anything for you but I will say it's awesome, and very original.  I also think that it is some of the best puppet animation I've seen recently.
Link: http://vimeo.com/jameskwan/mooon


The second short film I'm going to give to you to watch isn't a short, it's a commercial for Tim Horton's.  You don't have to watch far into it until you realize how much time it must have took to make.  Credits are as follows:
Chief Creative & Integration Officer: Brent Choi
Executive Creative Director: Paul Wales
Art Director: Andy Brokenshire
Copywriter: Jed Churcher Planners: Doug Poad, Chantaie Allick
Head of Production: Pam Portsmouth
Account Team: Scott Miskie, Renee Ray, Cameron Stark
Directors: Alan Poon, Eric Malika, Robin Nishio
Animators: Dale Hayward and Evan Derushie
Production Company: Common Good / Radke Films
Post-Production: Common Good / Alter Ego/ SAUCE
Production Editing House: Common Good / SAUCE
Production Music House: Grayson Matthews
Media Agency: MindshareLink: http://youtu.be/3IGg9Mlr_zY


I found both of these films on the Dragonframe Blog, and in case you don't know, Dragonframe is basically the industry standard for a frame grabber.  Check it out right here: https://www.dragonframe.com/store/products there is a lot of cool inspiring stuff for you to read up on.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Iron Man 3" Box Office Record Beat by Norway's Stop Motion Film "Solan and Ludvig"

First of all, I didn't find write the following article, Ramin Zahed for Animation Magazine.

he stop-motion animated feature Solan and Ludvig: Christmas in Pinchcliffe has set a new box office record in Norway. According to the folks at Twitch.com, the movie has posted the second best opening weekend in a decade, with 174,000 tickets sold, exceeding 2013′s previous top openerIron Man 3, which debuted with 99,000 tickets sales.
The 72-minute movie (original title Solan og Ludvig – Jul i Flåklypa) is directed by Rasmus A. Sivertsen. A Maipo Film production, exec produced by Synnøve Hørsdal and produced by Cornelia Boysen, the film follows the lead characters Solan the Hedgehog and Ludvig the Mapgie as they try to save their town from the evil plans of Plosen, who has stolen Reodor the inventor’s powerful snowmaker.
Sivertsen’s movie features the popular characters based on the works of Kjell Aukrust, whose last movie was the 1975 feature adaptation Pinchcliffe Grand Prix. That movie has sold 5.5 million tickets to date, which is very impressive in a country with a population of 4.9 million.
I didn't know that this film existed.  I never heard it talked about on Twitter or an animation news website.  Also am utterly stunned by this number, 174,000 tickets sold?  That incredible!  Iron Man 3 is  a franchise, not a stand alone original movie.  And second, it's a 72 minute Stop Motion feature film, it has almost been proven in the past that you can barely make back the money you spend on making the film.  Let alone break a record.  I hope the success of Solan and Ludvig helps studios start to believe in Stop Motion features again.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/lhFKBmE99j8

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Cardboard Arcade" Is Here!

Guys I don't really know what to say.  But here it is.  The one manned flick that has been a passion project I have worked on for the past two and a half months; Cardboard Arcade.  Take note: i'm no God when it comes to sound design.  What can I say? -I'm an animator.  Not a sound designer.  So if you can get past that, here it is: Cardboard Arcade, fresh off the press...

Link: http://vimeo.com/79062258

Cardboard Arcade from SMG on Vimeo.
If anyone is interested in buying a puppet or prop from the film let me know.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Morph" Kickstarter Successfully Funded

Congratulations Peter Lord and the rest of the crew at Aardman!  You guys did it!  The Morph Kickstarter raised 75,000 Euros and counting.  There are still 19 days left until the project ends, you might want to consider donating, just think about the awesome prizes...  Any how, Morph is back and that's what counts.

Kickstarter project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1961548517/all-new-adventures-of-morph-from-aardman-animation?ref=category

Aardman website: aardman.com

"Sprint Commercial" by PES

PES, I could eat it with my eyes every day.  I mean this with the utmost sincerity.  How can you beat Stop Motion candy for your eyes? -You just can't.

Anyhow, here is another recent uploaded video from PES entitled Sprint.
Sprint by PES: http://youtu.be/iC6Wd15OIAI
PES' YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PESfilm?feature=watch
The PES website: http://eatpes.com/

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Boinx's iStopMotion for iPad Review

Before I jump into the review i'm going to say that Boinx is not paying me to do this review and the following is my personal opinion only.  With that being said let's get to it shall we?

Before we get into it I would like to show you some clay test animation that I made with iStopMotion...

Untitled from SMG on Vimeo.


The first thing that shows up when you open iStopMotion is a quick Stop Motion video which runs you through the key features of the app for instance: the capture button, playback, and adjusting your camera settings.  Let me say that this video is of the poorest quality of animation, it's just terrible.  But, if you stop to think about it, there is a good explanation for this; my guess is that Boink doesn't want beginners to look at animation that is the equivalent of Coraline and comparing their own work to it.

This app itself is very straightforward.  Directly below the welcome video is a plus button which if you tap creates a new project.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Aardman Launches "Creature Comforts" Youtube Channel

Wow, so much Aardman news.  First Shaun the Sheep then Morph, now Creature Comforts? -Thats just awesome!

As the title implies, Aardman animations has recently launched a Youtube channel for there classic Oscar winning series, Creature Comforts.  In case you are not familiar with Creature Comforts, I will give a quick run-down of what the basic premise is.

Creature Comforts, is based around the idea of interviewing real people candid, who live in situations similar to the conditions of an animal.  For example, there is an episode in which a Brazilian puma talks about living in a zoo; for this, Nick Park (who directed the Creature Comforts pilot) interviewed a Brazilian foreign exchange student, who was living at the time, under the same conditions as a puma in a zoo.  This forms a rather interesting and diverse animation series formed much like an environmental documentary.

Now that you've gotten the brief (thank you for NOT skipping over it ) you can go get your self a bowl of popcorn, snuggle next to your sweetheart (or pillow, they're the merge into the same thing after a while), and enjoy episodes of Creature Comforts.

Channel link: http://www.youtube.com/user/creaturecomforts?feature=watch

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dear Stop Motion Geek Reader...

Dear SMG reader,

There are a few changes and/or updates going on here at SMG that you should be aware of.  One main thing that you may have been wondering is why the dwindling posts?  Well, all the extra time on my schedule is currently being used towards my upcoming short film Cardboard Arcade.  Which I can assure you will be great.  But, it has taken way more time than I had originally intended.  At the start of Cardboard Arcade (beginning of August 2013) I thought it would be done and on the internet on Halloween, which was two days ago.  Now, the release date is November 10, don't worry you will be able to see it soon.  None the less, so far I've spent hundreds of man hours on Cardboard Arcade, and in case you didn't know I am the only one making the flick.  Which means all the sets were built my yours truly.  Every frame was animated by me (I finished animation today).  And all the sound will be created from scratch by me.

The second bit of news is the ads on the side banner.  That's easy enough to explain: I just recently joined Amazon Associates.

Note: I have a request for you, dear reader: if you need to buy something from Amazon, whether it's a DVD or pajamas, please buy this by clicking on the Amazon home page banner ad (which you can find by scrolling to the bottom of the 'Geek HQ' page) and then type in your product and buy it.  Simple as that, this way I can keep SMG up and running.

Thank you and yours very truly,
A. H. Uriah


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"All New Adventures of Morph" Kickstarter

Yes, you read the title right, Aardman has finally decided that they will bring back Morph in a new animated series.  Morph, in case you didn't know was created by Peter Lord and David Sproxton,  he [Morph] was one of the first and finest characters Aardman ever created.  In the very first episode of Morph the plot line was simple enough: Morph would plot about and tip things over on a desk.   This lovable character who was created 30 years ago is now making a comeback in British culture and cultures around the world.  Peter explains that they are an indie company who usually have partners for all their projects, but for this one they wanted to do something special: with having brought half of the budget themselves, they have decided to leave it up to the fans of Morph, both new and old, fund and be partners for this projects.  There goal is 75,000 Euros and there currently they have 4,926 Euros.  A few of the awesome prizes there offering include: a Morph print signed by Peter Lord, a Morph t-shirt, you Morph likeness (a clay model of yourself in the likeness of Morph), Google Plus Model Making hangout, and many others.  Please check out their Kickstarter page for more info and to watch the Kickstarter video: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1961548517/all-new-adventures-of-morph-from-aardman-animation?ref=category

Aardman website: http://aardman.com/


Making Morph: each Morph puppet is sculpted by hand out of clay.
Morph

Monday, October 28, 2013

"The Deep" by PES

I'm sure I've introduced you to the modern Stop Motion artist PES.  But in case I haven't he makes short Stop Motion films with everyday objects like silverware and light bulbs.  In the 2012 Oscars PES' short Fresh Guacamole was nominated in the animated shorts category.  And according to Wikipedia, PES is working on feature film.  Which I hope is true because his work is utterly and entirely beautiful.  This piece (The Deep) premiered on Showtime's Youtube spotlight channel in 2011 but now it's on the PES channel in

PES' website: http://eatpes.com/
PES' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theartistknownasPES
Link: http://youtu.be/AK18bdUEWSs

PES' "The Deep"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: Cracking Animation, The Aarman Book of 3D Animation

Cracking Animation is one of the very few book in the medium that covers everything on the subject of Stop Motion, it doesn't spend 240 pages babbling on about passion and never getting down to how to actually execute making a film.

The book starts with an intro by Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep) and is followed by a note by Peter Lord (founder at Aardman) then jumps right into the history of Stop Motion, including the history of Aardman.  Now we finally get the juice, by which I mean DIY animation studio.  Now the book breaks up into chapters that concentrates on essential skills needed to make a Stop Motion short, TV show, or feature film.  My personal favorite chapter is, what I believe is chapter 5 'Puppet Making.'  This chapter includes how they made the character Shaun for the Shaun the Sheep TV show, this is wire armature to final fabrication so, 100% start to finish.

Cracking Animation is a great mentor that will hold your hand through the entire process which is glorious. So if your just beginning or just dabbing with Stop Motion or you are an experienced professional this book will give you brand new insight on your project, and hey, might even open a few door that were closed before.

*Note: I never suggest taking one book and copying there business model entirely.  If you did that  you would just end up with a Wallace & Gromit rip-off.  But what I do recommend is to apply the information to your brain so that in the future you can critique your production with helpful tips and tricks from Nick Park, Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Steve Box and many, many more.

Overall score: 
Pros: Great insight on how Aardman executes an Oscar winning film.  Chapters including model making, puppet fabrication, screenwriting, storyboard writing, and lighting.
Cons: N/A
Amazon price: $26.09
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Animation-Aardma

Monday, October 21, 2013

DIY Stop Motion Wire Armature

One of the most requested posts for us to do is a 'how to' wire armature.  I decided that video-form was the best way to explain the process.

[Note] ii'm going to state that a wire armature is not the most efficient way to build an armature, a ball-and-socket armature is by far the best best way to execute motion with a Stop Motion puppet, but to build one takes so much more time and is very expensive.  But hopefully in the near future I can do a ball-and-socket armature tutorial.

Video link: http://vimeo.com/77250842

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Henry Selick Will Direct Live-Action "A Tale Dark & Grimm"

The ever-wonderful and awesome director of Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Monkeybone, Henry Selick is set to direct the Adam Gidwitz novel A Tale Dark & Grimm.  The script is being written by John W. Mann and Jon Gunn, who have also written the script for DreamWorks Animations' upcoming film B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworlly Operations.  

This, for me at least is not something I saw coming, I mean Henry Selick himself said that he hated Monkeybone and wasn't hasty to jump back into live-action direction.  But, as always, I'm game for anything Henry is up to, and I do love me some Grimm-like stories.  But this does lead me to one question, what the heck happened to The Shadow King?  But the answer to that I'm sure will come shortly.
A Tale Dark & Grimm
A Tale Dark & Grimm

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BBC Is Bringing Back "The Clangers" In 2015

The classic cult show The Clangers was originally created by Oliver Postgate first aired in 1969.  After being gone forty-five years the mouse-like creatures we all know and love will be making a comeback in 2015 announced the BBC.

The BBC also recently announced that CBeebies, US pre-school network Sprout, Coolabi, and Smallfilms are the ones who we can thank for making the revival happen.  It will be in classic British Stop Motion, so no CGI thank God!  The original series co-creator Peter Firmin, will be taking up the task of the lead puppet maker.  Oliver's son Daniel Postgate will supervise the writing process of The Clangers like storylines, scripts and that sort of thing.  It will be produced by Factroy Transmedia (Raa Raa the Noisy Lion), and Mackinnon and Saunders (who you know as the guys who made the puppets for Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Bob the Builder, and the list goes on and on).

Anyway, I'm very excited, as I am on anything Stopmo related.  I trust that they will stay true the the original material and keep it new and exciting for an new generation.  For more info about this vist http://www.clangers.com/

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Shaun the Sheep's" Mossy Farm Book Series

Aardman and Walker Entertainment are calibrating on a new book series for kid's based off the Shaun the Sheep characters.  The popular Aardman character Shaun the Sheep, who first premiered in the Wallace & Gromit adventure A Close Shave and then Shaun achieved his own children's television show also name Shaun the Sheep.  This has led to the upcoming Shaun the Sheep movie, but leading up to then is the 2014 book Mossy Bottom Farm.
According to the Aardman website Rob Goodchild, Head of Licensing at Aardman said this:

'We are delighted to be working with Walker Books at such an exciting time for them and for Shaun the Sheep. The Mossy Bottom Farm series will bring brand new stories and characters from Shaun’s world to a range of young fiction books. We know how much families enjoy watching the TV show and are sure they will take the same pleasure from reading these books together. ‘
\Walker Book's previous publishing achievements have consisted of Hank Zipzer, Tilly and Friends, and Abney and Teal.  the book will obviously evolve around the 'Shaun' characters like Bitzer, the Farmer, Timmy, and many more.  I hope that this is book series will lead to good thing for Aardman, but I also hope that Aardman doesn't assume the power that Disney has and decides to capitalize on all of there previous and upcoming successes only for the money.
MOSSYBOTTOM_HOUSEWIDE_SHOT_
Mossy Bottom Farm

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Monster Slayer" Live Action/Stop Motion Short Film

Monster Slayer is a short film written and directed by Caskey Ebeling.  So, just to start off, the first time I watched Monster Slayer I was blow away by how captivating and original the content is.  The film (for me at least) hits a Woody Allen/Wes Anderson feel, which is maybe why I like it so much.  The premise is this "Every morning, Ben is visited by a motley crew of imaginary playmates, products of his psychiatric disorder. Embodiments of the best and worst in Ben, these hallucinations both bring him comfort and create chaos. This forces Ben to make a difficult choice: continue to live in his fantasy world, or confront reality, by taking a pill that will destroy his imaginary world." The creatures include Lug, who is a harry one eyed beast, and Chip, a man/demon who turns on Ben once in a while.
It's a really great story with really great VFX, I should mention that all the effects are STop Motion and we're created and shot by the former Buddy System Studios, but who are now Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

After watching the film go and watch/look at the BTS pictures and videos, all of which I've posted below.
Link: http://characterproject.usanetwork.com/#!/monster-slayer?mid=172&tab=3

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Auntie Claus" Behind the Scenes Short Film

So, if you haven't yet heard about Athena Studio's upcoming project Auntie Claus well, you've missed out. A couple weeks ago Athena Studios announced that they would be produce a feature length Stop Motion animated film based off the children's novel Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera.  This topic is one of the most hot topics for us animation geeks right now.  Athena, is currently doing a Kickstarter for the film, so if you want to check that out go to the link right here.  Anyway, MAKE: Magazine recently published a making of video on their YouTube channel on the making of Auntie Claus and I thought I would share it with you.  It's well worth six minutes of your time to watch this, it also provides an in-depth look at the main character puppet.  Who knows?  Maybe Athena will be the next LAIKA.

MAKE: Magazine Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/makemagazine

Video link: http://youtu.be/M0YG3IIl1yM


Thursday, September 26, 2013

2015 "Shaun the Sheep" Movie Gets Release Date

The upcoming Aardman and STUDIO CANAL movie Shaun the Sheep Movie just got a UK release date for March 20th, 2015.
The film is going to be Stop Motion like the original TV show.  It is written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton.
JG_SHAUN_SCRIPT_CROPPEDWeb
Shaun the Sheep Movie
On the Aardman website they along with this information, stated the synopsis which I put below
Synopsis: When Shaun’s mischief inadvertently leads to the Farmer being taken away from the farm, Shaun, Bitzer and the flock have to go into the big city to rescue him, setting the stage for an epic adventure.
To this I say YES!  I really dig the style Stop Motion Aardman projects are shot, they have a home-made feel that, as far as I'm concerned, no other studio has accomplished in reproducing.  That is the Aardman seal and that is why Nick Park, David Sproxton, and Peter Lord's company will continue to thrive.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Cardboard Arcade" Test Animation

In this post I announced that I am making a short flick entitled Cardboard Arcade.  Today, I decided to do some test animation on a recently made puppet.  It looks a little rough, thats because this what I like to call a "practice set" it isn't painted (neither puppet nor set) and I didn't do any post-production on it.  So, you will see some wires and light changes, don't expect to see any of these things in the actual film.

Also, a quick announcement: due to not getting enough spare time to animate don't anticipate to see the film before November 10, but I'd love to get it out sooner if I can.

This puppet is made entirely out of cardboard, the worlds most useful material, hot glue, and wire.  And it worked perfectly, no regrets.  I used steel wool as the gravel that he's kicking up, and cotton as his breath.
Video link: http://vimeo.com/75050742
SMG on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user18787446

"Cardboard Arcade" Test Animation #1 from SMG on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Auntie Claus: The Movie Kickstarter

The San Francisco Bay located Athena Studios have come together the book's author Elise Primavera to develop a Stop Motion trailer which they will use to pitch the Auntie Clause Movie to a major distributor.

Right now they have a possible release date of November, 2016 which, for those of you who are slow means that Antha will be working there butts off to get you an Auntie Claus movie in the next three years.  This I can believe because if you look at Henry Selick's Coraline you will see that it took LAIKA three years to produce Coraline.


Anthena is trying to raise $38,000 in 25 days.  Currently, they have raised $8,000.
The films crew is listed below:
Jon Peters | Producer,
Brice Parker | Producer,
Kat Alioshin | Production Manager,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SMG's Next Project


So, no doubt you've wondered when you will be able to see some work from Stop Motion Geek.  Well, the answer is soon.

The project that I am working on is currently being call by my self The Cardboard Arcade.  It's a short piece full of senseless violence, none the less awesome, and is fueled by my love for outdated arcade games, you know the ones that you would have to jam down on the joystick to get PAC-Man to move.

I've been thinking about you guys and thought that you may enjoy so BTS pictures, well I don't want to spoil the plot but if you look under this type you may find the first few storyboard frames...


My process with storyboarding is simple.  I try to retain it's home-made feel and tend to say clear of storyboarding software.  You can see that my operation is simplicity it's self, all I use is a legal pad, pencil, eraser, and my brain.  Similar to Cartoon Network Studios, I don't write a script and go straight to storyboarding, simple and to the point.  Any story problems can be cleared-up later.

Since the only material I use in this project is cardboard, the next step to take is to design and produce the characters and prop that will be scene in the film.  Below, is an arcade game made entirely out of cardboard.  I'm trying to get an original taste with this film which is the reason I'm only using cardboard  and a designed box-like realism. 

Now looking at this picture over again I can quite distinctly see Gromits figure in the background, ans as always the wonderful book The World Of Wasington Irving.

So now you may have a brief look of my creative process in making a film.  I hesitate to show you more because it might give away the plot of this 2 minute piece.

I planned for this to be out by Halloween, but as I'm finding it difficult to find time to work on this it might be delayed.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Albert Brooks To Voice Villain In "The Little Prince"



.
Albert Brooks' name is added to the ever growing list of celebrities to join the voice cast of the Stop Motion film The Little Prince.  Joining other actors such as James Franco, Jeff Bridges Paul Giamatti, Benicio Del Toro, and Rachel McAdams.
"The Little Prince"

This is more news on the feature which I hope to see in theaters and doing well soon, as we now don't get to see much news about Stop Motion.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pumpkin Stopmo

I thought that we are nearing fall and that it's Friday the 13th that we should watch some zombie related video.  This is a very original video and idea, also using hundreds of pumpkins is a way better use of pumpkins than just gutting and throwing them out, whats also an interesting thought is that if this was done before Halloween the creator (and animator) would have about 300 pumpkins in their yard.

Link:  http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/7b26


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Frame By Frame: The Art of Stop Motion - PBS Short Documentary

As I first started watching this short documentary on Stop Motion, I thought that it captured the feel of making Stop Motion in a way that I haven't seen in a while.  Usually when you watch something about Stopmo they will say "it's very hard and cumbersome" basically say screw this, go and get Maya so you can go and do CGI animation instead.  It's nice to see something that says otherwise.

PBS description:
The magic of stop-motion animation has enthralled audiences for over a century, but with the advent of CGI, many thought it was at risk of extinction. Yet despite these fears, animators all over the world continue to manually create unique stories out of physical materials, be it clay, sand or paint, puppets or people. The amount of time and meticulous effort these animators commit makes stop motion uniquely impressive and refreshingly organic in a digital age, and have driven the art form's resurgence in film, commercials, and even on Vine!

Featuring:
Dean Kalman Lennert, Animator, Professor at NYU
Hayley Morris, Animator http://hayleymorris.net/
Mathew Amonson & Jeremy Bronson, Studio Noshttp://www.studionos.com/
Meagan Cignoli, Vine Animator https://twitter.com/meagancignoli

Link: http://youtu.be/wH_EaPc4Y5k

Videos from Studio Nos:
1)Pfizer eVisit - Agency: Kinky & Co; Director: Studio Nos - Mathew Amonson, Jeremy Bronson
2)Bloomberg BusinessWeek - Production Company: JWTwo; Stop Motion Animation Direction: Studio Nos
3)Cadbury Scream Eggs - Production Company: Blacklist; Director: Saiman Chow

Friday, September 6, 2013

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" To Be Presented At The Montreal Stop Motion Film Fest By Henry Selick

Henry Selick, the director of films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monkeybone, and Coraline.
Selick will be presenting The Nightmare Before Christmas at The Montreal Stopmo Fest this September, Animation Magazine said this:

The fifth edition of the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival will feature over 70 films in official competition as well as a special 20th anniversary screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas, presented by the film’s beloved director Henry Selick. The festival which takes place Oct. 18-20th at Concordia University’s J.A. de Sève Theater, will also include a special visit from Joe and Joan Clokey, owners of the celebrated studio that created Gumby.
The festival will also include a special workshop with Jamie Caliri, the mastermind behind the stop motion software Dragonframe, and two free family screenings and hands-on stations for everyone to experiment with stop-motion techniques. The Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival is open to artists and public alike and is an initiative of Erik H. Goulet, director of the festival and teacher in the Animation Department at Concordia University since 2001.
For more info see: http://www.stopmotionmontreal.com/
Monteal Stop Motion Film Festival Promo video link: http://youtu.be/Dl985jpt5fA

Looks awesome does it not?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Things Matter" #6th Stop Motion Geek Award

Thing Matter is all done with Object Animation.  And it is some of the most amazing and awesome animation as far as using dressers and furniture.  I must say, whoever rigged the characters was a genius! - I mean it takes me a hell of a time to rig a 9 inch puppet let alone a bed!

Dougal Wilson is the director on this awesome commercial/short from Blink Productions for John Lewis insurance.  They used the Arc Moco VOLO crane well usuing Dragonframe to animate, and as you can see, its awesome!  Now I think you can see why I'm giving this project an honorary SMG award.


Video link: http://vimeo.com/72487877
BTS link: http://youtu.be/_ULT9KQ4owg





Please remember to send me your choices for the SMG award and what project you think deserves one.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"I'm Scared" By Greg "Craola" Simkins Now On Kickstarter

I'm Scared is a Stop Motion short film based off work from artist Greg Simkins.  Greg, has painted some really cool stuff, like the paintings listed below
As you can see from the pictures, his creative design would be very original and cool in Stop Motion; or maybe you can't see this and have very poor taste.  Now this is only a spec of his work, if you would like to see more go to his website:http://www.imscared.com/.  They are trying to raise $65,000 dollars and they have currently raised $57,997, there is 5 days left before it ends.
"The Summer Vacation" - 24 x 18 in. - Acrylic on panel, 2013 SOLD "A Ready Defense" 16 x 20 in., Acrylic on panel - <p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial"> 2012 SOLD</p>

Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/c4toons/im-scared

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Producer For Will Vinton's CGI Film "The Quest"

Will Vinton - P 2013
Will Vinton
Everyone in the Stop Motion industry know who Will Vinton is.  80% of all animation fans know his name.  He has an Oscar for his short film Closed Mondays.  Also, he created The California Raisins, and directed The Adventures Of Mark Twain, inventor of Claymation, the list goes on and on.  Anyway, yesterday Gnosis Moving Pictures, which is a new Gaming Company has announced that it will be producing Will Vinton's new film The Quest.  

Will wrote the script with Peter Crabbe and Andrew Weise.  The visual design is going to be by Bruce Zick, it is described as being a absurd look outer space, the film will feature the voice of John Cleese.

I am very excited for this film.  But now let's take a look at the upcoming Stop Motion feature films: The Shadow King, The Quest, The Little Prince, Auntie Claus, Lenore, Hell & Back, The Addams Family, Shaun The Sheep, Mad God, Pinocchio, Goblins, The BoxTrolls, I'm sure that I've missed some but you get the picture.  That bit of news makes me very happy :).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Athena Studios Announces "Auntie Claus" Feature

Athena Studios released the following info: that they have gained the rights to and are producing a 90 minute feature film based on the book by Elise Primavera, Auntie Claus.  They told this on there Facebook page which you can go view right now (or after you finish reading this article) here: https://www.facebook.com/AuntieClausTheMovie.

The studio is in it's pre-production
stages on the film at the moment.  But they do have a list of the crew which I have placed below:

Brice Parker, Producer: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0662095/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1.

Tom Proost, Art Director: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0698682/.  His past work includes Art Directer on Coraline.

Pete Kozachik, Director of Photography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0468757/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1.

Tim Taylor, Camera and Lighting.
The Auntie Claus book story line is this: "The main character is Sophie, and 11 year old girl.  She doesn't get the meaning of Christmas; Her Aunt tells her that they are part of the Santa Claus family and she has to go to the North Pole to save Christmas."

The Athena Studios website: http://www.athenastudios.com/

Auntie Clause