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Showing posts from October, 2017

Interview with Roos Mattaar, Key Animator and Puppet Maker on Music Video for Father John Misty's "Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution"

Donning a heavy winter coat, a young girl in a desert plants a protest sign among a forest of other such placards in the opening image of Father John Misty’s new music video, Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution. The words of her sign, “No big thing to give up the life we had,” – lyrics from the song – appear just as “Father John Misty” – the moniker of American singer-songwriter Joshua Tillman – sings the words, a motif frequently returned to throughout the video.


The stop motion music video, produced by production company Jacknife Films, creates an interesting and very unique tone, one that is the effect of the song and film itself, both of which are, in many ways, a celebration of a incredibly bleak future. This theme is one that is embodied throughout the film often in little ironies – a winter coat worn while romping in the desert, a skeleton rotting next to a sign proclaiming “life is sweet,” an enormous city populated only by rats and cockroaches.

The…

Interview with Sean Ohlenkamp, Co-Creator of "Oh My Gourd - A Halloween Stop Motion Pumpkin Carving Experiment"

Just in time for Halloween, stop motion animator Sean Ohlenkamp and photographer Robert Popkin have teamed up to bring us their spellbinding stop motion pumpkin carving experiment, Oh My Gourd, a special treat of a short film, many years in the making.

Two astonishingly talented animators, one stage – a wooden box with “character,” one black curtain, one all-pumpkin-themed soundtrack, several candles, and “dozens upon dozens upon dozens of pumpkins,” says Ohlenkamp, “cut, gutted, rotated, scraped, poked, slapped, and banged” were what it took “to make this stop-motion animation and the music that brings it to life.”

The film, a 2-minute romp through beautiful and extravagant pumpkin-themed stop motion effects, was made using several techniques that are not unknown to stop motion, effects that allow the medium to flourish and step out to be as creative and inventive as only stop motion can be. Casting aside the atypical Halloween iconography, Ohlenkamp and Popkin dive deeper, playing a…

Interview with Dina Amin, Creator of "Tinker Fridays" - Beautifully Animated Stories made from Dismantled Products

The old idiom “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” rings particularly true in describing the creative process of product-designer-turned-stop-motion-animator Dina Amin, as does another time-tested idiom – “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For Amin, her work is all about getting others to see the beauty that she sees in everyday, overlooked and forgotten items, proving that a second glance – and a second chance – can truly make a world of difference.

Amin, a stop-motion animator based in Egypt, began a little over a year ago to take an interest in salvaging products, whether broken or simply forgotten, to study them and learn how they worked. Everything from hairdryers to alarm clocks to PS3 controllers – anything with gears, motors, and intricate workings – captured Amin's interest, fascinating her as she began to embark on a journey to discover the innermost parts of these and legions of other items, eager to find out what made each of them tick. From scouring scra…

Behind the Scenes of "Robocop 2" at Tippett Studios and how "Jurassic Park" Changed Special Effects Forever

A depressingly large percentage of Hollywood movies boast a gratuitous amount of potential and possibility and yet, for one reason or another, often fall far, far too short to live up to the films they seem to have the potential of being. Although it’s a shame that many of these films have a stupendous level of production value and talent but are often often overlooked, as production value and talent are seen as secondary and supplementary to a quality story – the special effects work done on such second-rate films sadly go unrecognized the most often. An immutable fact stands strong – mediocre films, no matter the level of talent and amount of time poured into producing their special effects, are seen and remembered as nothing but wasted potential…or worse. Yet few box office bombs have had special practical effects work as groundbreaking, especially in the stop motion realm, and yet unfortunately remains unrecognized in every respect than the 1990 film Robocop 2, both an irrefutabl…

Making the Halloween-Themed Stop Motion SpongeBob SquarePants Episode, "The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom"

Animation studio Screen Novelties has once again teamed up with Nickelodeon to bring us a  stop motion SpongeBob SquarePants special – a Halloween-themed episode playfully titled, The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom. “It’s all done old-school stop motion style – articulated figures moved incrementally and photographed,” says Tom Kenny, voice of SpongeBob, “you put it all together and it looks like those classic, beautiful, old school stop motion specials that we all grew up with.”
Set to air this Friday, the half-hour long Halloween special is the second stop motion episode of the show, the first being It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!, which, also produced by Screen Novelties,  premiered back from 2012.
We now have some interesting “making-of” material, the first being a 5-minute-long behind-the-scenes video from The A.V. Club. The video features Tom Kenny touring the facilities of Screen Novelties, during which he visits several hot sets for the SpongeBob episode in the midst of being animated…

Interview with Raymond McGrath, Creator and Animator of Stop Motion Music Video, "Colour" by The Map Room

Across a fleeting breadth of nearly four minutes, animator Raymond McGrath tells a beautiful and poetic story, contrasting a black-and-white world with that of sublime, exploding color, as seen by a young boy peering into a View-Master.

The story of the music video is something of a tone poem, woven together from both the framing story of a young boy and five unconnected vignettes as seen in the View-Master, poetically illuminated by the light from the black-and-white world, bringing to life the stories inside of the toy. The visual story brings to life the music video in its own rite, channeling the music of the song – “Colour” by the indie atmospheric pop band The Map Room – in a similar way to how a View-Master does the light of the the real world. Over before you know it, the marriage between song and animation leave you little choice but to watch it again…and again.



The video employs a technique in stop motion that adopts techniques and a look very much akin to two-dimensional cel …