Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2017

Aardman Co-Founder David Sproxton's Tips for Success in the Animation Industry, Part 2 (of 3): 4 Production Tips

Over the course of Aardman co-founder David Sproxton’s two in-depth interviews with Watershed’s Mark Cosgrove, it becomes blatantly obvious that his easy-to-listen-to, soft-spoken words offer an invaluable resource to animators and filmmakers alike in the way becoming successful in the business of animation.

In keeping with the theme of last-week’s article, this week signifies the second post in Stop Motion Geek’s series of articles on advice for animators and filmmakers accrued from Sproxton’s interviews with Cosgrove about the history of Aardman, wittily titled “Aardocs.” Last week, the elements of Sproxton’s advice that I chose to write about primarily pertained to pre-production, whereas this week I’ve chosen advice of his that pertain primarily to the process of production. His advice – posted below – span everything from importance of knowing your limitations to an excellent way to to build your skill-set as an animator or filmmaker to the value of creative and technical constr…

Aardman Co-Founder David Sproxton's Tips for Success in the Animation Industry, Part 1 (of 3): 3 Pre-Production Tips

“It all started at a kitchen table,” says co-founder of Aardman Animations, David Sproxton, about the beginning of his career in animation, “Pete [Peter Lord] and I met as schoolkids….Pete and I got to be great mates and we started playing and thinking up stories. I was always interested in photography and kind of, I guess, the process thing about films….One day we got out the Bolex, stuck it up on a stand and actually just cut images out of color supplements. We’d obviously watched programs like Vision On, which obviously used a plethora of styles. Cut out is the easiest thing to do. We didn’t really understand cel animation or actually how you drew stuff. We just moved stuff around and did stuff with chalk drawings.”

Earlier this year, Aardman, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their studio, released a conversation with David Sproxton that follows-up an earlier interview with Watershed’s Mark Cosgrove that was released in 2010. These mini-documentaries – cheekily dubbed “Aa…

Interview with Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Director, Writer, and Animator of Stop Motion Short Film "Bath House"

In art as in life, when in the thick of something – a chain of, at times, loosely connected actions and consequences – it can be easy to miss “the point.” It’s often only in retrospect – the moment when one can contemplate, assessing and reassessing an event, whether mundane or abnormal – when one can discover meaning and a “point” to events in life as in art. When in the thick of something, things often feel commonplace, moments of actual weight sporadic, chaotic, and adrift, lost in the moment.

Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s Bath House – a 15-minutes-long short film – perfectly captures these feelings of disorder and inconsequential consequence in the midst of the mundane and seemingly aimless. This mood is further accentuated in the film by a disquieting lack of a soundtrack, using dialogue only sparingly which perfectly accompanies Bahr’s incredibly lifelike puppets and animation, together harmonizing and bringing to life moments and an atmosphere that are rarely (if ever) captured on …

Interview with Katrina Hood, Prop and Set Maker on "Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)"

The little details are the ones that so often go unnoticed by the eyes of a viewer. Yet it is in those very details that the very spirit of art and where the essence beauty are found. Details guide the mood of the viewer, making them to feel and see everything that a piece of art has to offer – in film they often take the shape of costumes and sets and lighting, in paintings and portraits and sculptures they are often the smallest variations of brushstroke and color. The truth of this claim can often be found when the minute details are omitted from a piece of art – when a painting is devoid of color, a portrait of differentiation of subject and light, in a film of detailed costumes and sets – all of which amount to an overwhelming feeling of an unfinished work, or, at the very least, a sense that something quintessentially lacking, whether overtly missing or intangible in nailing down exactly what’s missing. For the production of the music video for American pop band Spark’s song Ed…