Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018

Aardman Senior Model-Maker Jay Smart Reveals Aardman's Puppet Materials and Plasticine Techniques for "Early Man" to Adam Savage of Tested

Along with the usual humdrum of press ranging from critic reviews and interviews with voice actors regarding British animation powerhouse Aardman Animation’s latest feature film – Early Man, a “prehistoric underdog sports story,” in the words of the film’s director Nick Park – has come by the way of the YouTube channel Tested something really exceptional and especially meant for stop motion enthusiasts – a deep-dive into the materials and plasticine techniques Aardman uses for their puppets presented by television personality and special effects aficionado Adam Savage and Jay Smart, a senior modeler at Aardman.

During Savage’s tour of the plasticine department, Smart gives Savage a demonstration of a system Aardman began developing for Chicken Run, their first plasticine-driven feature film, to methodize a system for mixing large batches of plasticine to produce a particular, standardized color of plasticine. The technique developed, it turns out, was to amalgamate several different …

Interview with Heather Colbert, Director and Animator of Ori Dagan's Jazzy Nat King Cole Homage "Bibimbap"

A stop motion iteration of Toronto-based jazz musician Ori Dagan straightens his glossy red bowtie and straightens his hat – the kind that jazz icon Nat King Cole often wore – as he taps his foot to the beat of a lively and blissful piano. Then, looking directly into the camera, he raises an eyebrow and begins to sing.

“He downed a sweet Bellini in the hometown of Fellini. He ordered fresh linguine with pancetta and rapini. But nothing could ever compare to Bib…im…bap,” Dagan reminisces happily in his rich baritone as the delicacies actualize out of midair, a glass of Bellini appearing in his hand and a pile of linguine raining down on him from above in Bristol-based stop motion animator Heather Colbert’s Bimimbap.


Bibimbap is Heather Colbert’s outstanding contribution to Toronto-based Ori Dagan’s “visual jazz album” for his album “Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole,” for which Dagan collaborated with many filmmakers and animators to create music videos for each of the songs on the…

Interview with Kangmin Kim, Director of Stop Motion Short Film, "Deer Flower"

The experience of childhood is something like existing within a waking dream. In childhood, as in particularly vibrant dreams, the distinct and unique experience presents itself to simply exist in each moment without explanation or reflection – to become fully and wholly enveloped in each and every moment, the option of operating outside of which is somehow nonexistent. In that special time in one’s life, moments simply are. And yet, childhood, like dreams, is a fragile and temporary reality. It’s not until one “wakes” from childhood, by entering adulthood, that one can reflect upon and appreciate the past and, in retrospect, realize just how odd and unusual certain experiences might have actually been. Korean filmmaker and animator Kangmin Kim captures this feeling beautifully in his outstanding short film Deer Flower.

Deer Flower tells the semi-autobiographical of auteur Kangmin Kim’s childhood experience of dealing with persistent illness and of taking one of the remedies his paren…

Interview with Mark Smith, Director and Writer of Stop Motion Short Film, "Two Balloons"

As I sit, listening to Peter Broderick’s moving composition for piano More Of A Composition, I close my eyes and envisage an enormous funnel cloud skimming across the crystalline face of an ocean – the skies are murky and unusually dark, lightning crackles, spider-webbing across the darkened skies before then vanishing, and still, after its gone, an electricity continues to hum in the air and I simply know that it’s going to soon strike again. And as the scene presents itself to me, I suddenly feel something similar to what director Mark C. Smith felt when he saw the same image as he sailed to a small island called Grenada along with his wife in a timeworn sailboat. For him, in that moment inspiration struck, and the idea suddenly came to him for his heartfelt stop motion film, Two Balloons. For me, I open my eyes and feel as I did the instant Two Balloons faded to black – as if I’ve just woken from a stunning and beautiful dream, one I immediately mourn not being able to see again f…