Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shaun the Sheep Gets First Half-Hour Special

Shaun the Sheep, the beloved Aardman character is getting his first half-hour special that's due to premiere in the UK on BBC One Christmas 2015.  The title of the episode of it is Shaun the Sheep - The Farmers Llamas.  This makes me, a long time Aardman fan really happy in my sole.  It's also a great release time for Shaun because the special goes straight into production following the completion of Shaun the Sheep The Movie (which comes out in February in the UK).

Aardman's original press release went into the plot's detail and also announced that it's going to kick off a further 30*7 season of Shaun that will be released over the 2016 year.
"The new adventure will see the Farmer getting himself into trouble again – when he goes to market to buy pigs, mischievous Shaun goes along for the ride and gets the Farmer to return home with a trio of exotic llamas instead! Shaun is delighted with his prank and convinces the Flock that the Llamas are just what they need to spice up their lives. At first everything’s great fun, but soon their llama roommates get a bit too comfortable in their new home. They begin to take over and the Flock grow increasingly suspicious of their intentions. When things spiral out of control and the llamas install themselves inside the Farmer’s house, Shaun is forced to take action. With the help of a poncho and a set of pan pipes, Shaun may just be able to oust the intruders and save the farm…
Alix Wiseman, Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Aardman comments: “We’re all truly excited to be seeing the story of The Farmer’s Llamas come to life and we hope our global fans will enjoy this fun new adventure as we delve deeper into Shaun’s world.”
Kristian Smith, Commissioning Editor, Comedy added “Aardman are the inimitable masters of beautiful, funny and truly original animation which thrills all ages. BBC Comedy Commissioning is very excited to be working with them again to bring Shaun the Sheep in The Farmer’s Llamas to BBC1 for Christmas 2015″
A further 30×7’ episodes have been launched in the UK this year and continue to enjoy global success, with a particularly strong following in Germany, the Middle East, Japan and Indonesia. Shaun the Sheep is now firmly established as an internationally recognised icon with over 5 million fans on online."
Plus, it'll premier just after the Oscar nominations are in.  And It'd be pretty great if Shaun's first feature could be in the Best Animated Feature slot!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mackinnon & Saunders Case Study: The Invisible World Famous Puppet Makers

This is a really neat video that I found on YouTube this morning.  It's an interview with Mackinnon & Saunders.  They're the company who has pretty much been the go-to for Tim Burton's films for [Stop Motion] puppets, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a plethora of other famous puppets have been made there for Stop Motion features, television, and commercials.  So check it out below!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Laika and Focus Features Seal Deal for 3 More Features!

Fantastic news in the Stop Motion World y'all!

Laika and Focus Features, the team behind the Stopmo flicks The BoxTrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline, have announced a new three film partnership.  Focus, as before, will distribute the animation house's next the flicks with Universal Pictures International handling the overseas releases.

The BoxTrolls marks Laika's best opening ever at $17.3 million.  BoxTrolls is also one of the top contenders for the 2015 Oscar animated feature category (fingers crossed!).

Go read the full announcement here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

This is Very Possibly the Coolest Thing You'll See Today

Ever wonder what Stop Motion looks like between frames? - One of the lead animators on Laika's The BoxTrolls (now in theaters), Brad Schiff (ParaNorman, Coraline, Corpse Bride, and Fantastic Mr. Fox) explains the process in depth in this video...

This is a wonderful explanation of many terms you'll often hear in a Stop Motion production house: shooting on 2s and 3s, exposure sheets, modular sets, and lives (reference videos).  I will say that the people at Laika are truly special.  Very creative, wonderful, and all around great people.  They're a very good role model for a creative team of persons working on an animated film.

I absolutely love that the interviewer cannot wrap his brain around that there's only one animator on a single set, regardless of how many puppets are on set and the insane amount of work ahead of you.  Wait -You do this alone?  Brad once says something that I feel

"It's just the animator.  And his crazy mind.  And his puppets."

"The BoxTrolls" Are Now the #1 Family Movie in America