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Showing posts from March, 2018

Interview with Bram Meindersma, Composer and Sound Designer of Oscar® Nominated Stop Motion Short Film, "Negative Space"

Unlike practically every other medium, film has the unique aesthetic of being composed of the elements of sound and image, and, curiously, whenever watching a film, the two blend together into something of an impeccably hybridized concoction.

With as much influence as sound has over the audience’s final experience of any given film, composer and sound designer Bram Meindersma’s work on the Oscar-nominated stop motion short film Negative Space – directed by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter – proves an endlessly fascinating and extraordinary case study, as it uses sound – both its soundtrack as well as every other element of sound design – only sparingly and in subtle ways, one that could almost be called conservative. Yet it is perhaps just that component of its sound design that, at least in part, makes the film such a powerful one.

Perhaps the reason why Meindersma’s delicate work on Negative Space is so powerful is its thematic resonance with the film’s subject matter. The film poignantl…

Interview with Robert Shaw, Director, Writer, and Co-Animator of Stop Motion Short Film "The Machine"

Parables and allegories, amidst every other kind of story that can be told, have a unique and extraordinarily powerful quality that is all their own: They allow us – the audience – to learn lessons about and to see ourselves, others, and the world in which we live through a completely different lens – that of narrative. The best allegories and parables, in fact, have the unique ability to simultaneously act as conduits for important lessons and to also exist as literal stories, which gives them the unique ability to challenge beliefs and ideas held by the audience in a way that only art can do. Some of the most cherished stories ever composed, illustrated, and put on film are parables and allegories, and what makes them so exceptional are how powerful the lessons are that they teach.


Robert Shaw, in his haunting and beautiful stop motion short film The Machine – which he wrote, directed, and co-animated – is this kind – the best kind – of allegory. It manages to be the best of both w…

Interview with Heather Colbert, Director of Stop Motion Music Video for Mark Nevin's "Dolly Said No To Elvis"

It’s a beautiful thing to see an artist – whether budding amateur or an experienced professional – stand up for themselves when in the face of a “business” decision. It’s the moment when an artist who knows their own worth and the worth of their work puts their foot down and stands by their own fortitude, even when they know that doing so could very well affect their reputation, at least in the short-run. Yet, such an display of resolve in quite a large number of artists is so often – sadly, too often – a rarity.

For one reason or another, the bane of many artists seems their willingness to bend to external “business” and financial demands when it comes between them and their art. The reasons for conceding are often complex and intertwined. For some, it might be a decision that’s made for financial reasons and the simple fact that an artistic career can so often be a hard thing to sustain and take “seriously.” Quite simply, it’s rare to see an artist with a businessman’s tenacity, of…