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.

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