Saturday, March 28, 2009

Otis v. Bigfoot

from a beginner in stop motion, there' s an awesome claymated short shot on film -- its extremely crisp, has great animation, and also features wonderful timing.

the stats he provided on the film:
"Shot on Fuji Eterna 8553 (250t rated at 200) 510 feet or so.
Camera: Mitchell GC with JK animation motor (Thanks again Rick!)
Lenses: Nikkor 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 55 micro.
Processing and HD transfer: Alpha Cine Labs, Seattle.
The 35mm neg was scanned to one big uncompressed quicktime file, about 50 gigs.
Cut on Final Cut Express
Wire removal and clean up with Photoshop CS4

Total cost for film, processing and transfer was under $300 (estimated)."

i would've liked to seen a little bit more...but its a great short. check it out if you can on Patrick Neary's site.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tsk tsk

Mark Mayerson ran a piece on his blog Tuesday referencing a video showing Disney animation that was "reused," mostly during the 70s under Woolie Reitherman's reign. its not exactly news, but to see some of it side by side now is definitely worth a look.

and if you haven't gotten your stop motion fix yet today, count from one to thirteen with Milo in a segment from an early 90s Sesame Street. they always seem to have great, creative animation on the show (as well as puppetry):

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Brick of Bricks

The Magic Portal, for lack of a better description, is all that is BrickFilm. It is the beginning and the end. created in four years from 1985 to 1989 on a grant of $11,745 from the Australian government, Lindsay Fleay came to create what would be both the same and opposite to BrickFilm as we know it.

shot on film and using an optical printer, Fleay is able to get all kinds of effects and aesthetics that elude regular BrickFilms because, well, they're cheap. i believe its really a transcendent work and deserves to get more visibility. besides the fact that it includes many different types of animation (not purely LEGO), it stretches to tell a unique story that isn't pigeonholed by its LEGO-ness, which many BrickFilms are. part 2001: A Space Odyssey, part Tron -- The Magic Portal is a wonderful filmmaking experience that just wouldn't be attempted anymore. the camera moves and effects are like have never been seen before in the genre.

check out the story from the man himself here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

where the indie things are

the internet is abuzz with the debut of the trailer for Spike Jonze's troubled Where the Wild Things Are adaptation:

the well-publicized problems on the production included wholesale reshoots and literally changing the way that the monsters were portrayed. the trailer doesn't give up much on details, other than Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs being credited for the music. Jonze seems to be going for some indie cred here (along with the Arcade Fire song playing underneath the trailer), but he might end up misfiring considering he's adapting a children's book. the ten sentence book by Maurice Sendak has been in development hell for years, with Disney taking a crack at it (admittedly, only a test) with a combination of computer generated environments and cel character animation with John Lasseter back in the 80s:

only time will tell if its all been worth it. $115 million dollars worth it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Thousand Apologies

i've become entrenched in creating my stop motion monster and have neglected my internet responsibilities, if there are such things. first things first. the San Diego Comic-Con four day passes are already SOLD OUT. four months to the show.

and as you can see, Saturday is going pretty fast at 69%. it gets bigger and crazier every year, so if you've gotta have it, be sure to get yourself some one-day passes.

stumbled across this hand drawn Tim Fite video that's pretty rad, animated by the singer himself.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


was just taking a break from sawing and painting when i saw a very lovely stop-motion filled Coca-Cola ad on television. it was reminiscent of the work of Pes, but contained quite a bit of 3-D cutouts. it was actually Valerie Pierson through the always fun and original Partizan agency. check it out if you haven't already:

its no surprise to find out that she worked on "The Science of Sleep," which had some really innovative animation (if the story was less than satisfactory). what led to her work on the film? 2005's award-winning student film Pistache:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Who needs sex and drugs and partying when we can cook a meal and sit around and watch Netflix?

here's how i feel right now:

much apologies again for not posting. its my final week of school for the winter quarter. almost done with the main set. the POV shot is shaping up very cool. i'll try to post a test or two after next week, and then will resume a much regular posting schedule.

the only animation that i have to report on -- if you've haven't checked it out, Matt and Trey's sly skewering of the Disney business model debuted on Wednesday night, the first of the thirteenth season. call me crazy, but South Park hasn't lost its edge one bit. in fact, i think they've only gotten better over the years.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wat a Wonderful Day

apologies for intermittently updating the past two weeks -- i'm getting more and more entrenched in schoolwork and, for the most part, construction on my own stop motion film (which involves a ridiculously large scale).

anyway, i thought i'd share an old favorite of mine that got a lot of internet play back in the day. originally born in England, Philip Eddolls was raised in Ontario and attended the Ontario College of Art and Design where he produced 'Wat a Wonderful Day' in 2006, a primarily stop motion effort involving a simple, but effective story of a power-hungry bunny:

his latest work is for the National Film Board of Canada. named 'Git Gob,' its kind of a story that defies summarization. needless to say -- its weird, fun, and perhaps a little less narrative than 'Wonderful Day.' i love the ending:

check out more of his stuff if you dig it on his website. he's done a number of high profile music videos in the past couple years, some puppet and some animated.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

To Oscar, or not to Oscar?

there's a great conversation going on over at Cartoon Brew over the legitimacy of the Best Animated Film Oscar -- does it ghetto-ize animation into some kind of 'genre,' does it legitimize animation finally after years of "special oscars," or perhaps is it somewhere in between?

personally, i tend to look on the side of better exposure and recognition for the art form and the films involved. that said, i understand the argument in pigeonholing animated films to their own categories. they are still allowed to compete in the "regular" categories along with their live-action counterparts, but they are less likely to be included. its been almost two decades since 'Beauty and the Beast' was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

and on a completely different topic, here's a nice stop motion animated film that deals with the imperfect process of scientific breakthroughs, i suppose. its a collaborative effort from three students: Nino Christen, Maya Galluzzi, and Tabea Rothfuchs. the only that really bothers me about it -- the assistant in the film must've had the world's longest roll of film!

"Maggoty" from Nino Gabriel on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Get Happy!

for a studio that pretty much made mostly crap, Van Beuren had a hit or two. 1935's The Sunshine Makers is probably my favorite. its creepy, well designed, and subversive. to me, it really sticks out as a reinforcement of status quo. the sunshine makers batter the other side until they conform without a doubt. its scary stuff. and i dig it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Congrats Justin and Shel!

firstly, let me send out my hearty congratulations to Justin and Shel Rasch, who I believe are 5 for 5 in film festival awards. their film, Gerald's Last Day, has been enthusiastically received by the animation community as well as the the film community in general now. after the festival news comes the momentous announcement that their short film will be played on Delta Airlines flights to 10s of 1000s of passengers! and with that, comes (albeit) a limited engagement on Delta's website, that i strongly encourage you check out. its stunningly crafted and animated, with a pretty touching and, at times sad story to boot. the orchestral score is also quite impressive for an independently animated short stop motion film.

and on a completely different note, i've been checking out the state of webcomics on my free time. some are good, some are bad -- some are overly complicated with plot and dialogue, some are almost too simplistic in a New Yorker type of sense. one that seems to hit a few good notes every once in a while is Toothpaste For Dinner. here's a few of the simple and subversive panels i've enjoyed:

and, of course, life wouldn't be the same without Garfield. or, rather, without Garfield Minus Garfield. this is pretty indicative of my current state of affairs. you're not alone Jon!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You Never Cease To Amaze Me, MCLAREN!

"Love on the Wing" is simply an amazing technical accomplishment that would rarely even be attempted in this age of digital compositing. in 1938, Norman McLaren created his final film for the General Post Office Unit of Britain. essentially, an ad. but as anyone who's ever seen a McLaren film before knows, his works usually end up being much more abstract than your average product-pushing commercial.

the film involves drawing directly onto the 35MM film strip (a practice that would become a staple of his repertoire) and over a multi-plane and from what looks like at least a partially three dimensional background. being able to keep his drawings even somewhat registered must have been a nightmare without the aid of a digital framegrabber. truly impressive -- i believe George Melies would be in awe.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Super NSFWzorz

avert your eyes young children! generally considered the first pornographic cartoon, it was made as a collaboration of several different well-renowned studios in New York. reportedly involved were the Fleischer Brothers, Paul Terry, the Mutt and Jeff studio, and Walter Lantz (of later Woody Woodpecker fame). each studio would work on a section without telling the other studio what they were doing. watch out for impending bestiality.

supposedly, it was for a party in honor of animation great Winsor McCay.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Welcome to Animation Addiction 1.3!

once again, be sure to check out Sita Sings the Blues for free online here.

back when Windows 95 was first released, they commissioned some "Welcome to Windows 95" animations. Bill Plympton was first in line. its pretty creative -- and it encapsulates what they want your experience to be like with the program. whether it was or not is another matter entirely.

a much more lush video art wise is Joan Granz' take on the matter. she uses a technique known as clay painting, "working directly under the camera with colored oil based clay":

her 1992 oscar-winning short "Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase" is even more impressive, showing different famous works of art morphing into each other using the labor-intensive technique. granted, it may overstay its welcome, but its no less impressive: