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FEBRUARY 2005

02.24.05
* I slightly changed the Stop Motion Works home page. I added some quick access links to give new visitors a faster entry into website. This website is small and from some emails & questions I get, it seems they have not even made an effort to go deeper into the site ......sheeeeeesh. Some of you that have your own Stop Motion related websites may find a link to your site on the SMW home page.That's okay, I will not accept payment. No charge Treat me nice, because I may periodically change those links

* Well, Robot Chicken premiered on Sunday. Mixed reaction from so-called pundits in the entertainment reporting media. I don't have Cable TV. I only watched brief quicktime clips of the fast paced skits. My reaction seems to be favorable to RC. Each episode only about 10 minutes long. This might work for this show ..... so audiences get a quick shot of RC and they don't get jaded .... audiences short attention span. Some discussion going on here. Some that have posted, liked it, others are lukewarm to it, and a few gives it a thumbs down.
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02.17.05
* If you scroll down to 02.12.05, you may or may not have read the piece about Seth Green's Robot Chicken TV Stop Motion comedy series in which the reveiwer did not seem too thrilled about the show. Remember, I am only delivering the message .... do not persecute me! Why did I ever take on this responsibility of being the Matt Drudge of Stop Motion!? It is a dirty thankless job but I suppose someone has to do it. Of course, I actually do not get paid for this Oh, what was I talking about? Ahhhhhh yes .... Robot Chicken. To be more positive, here are a few more articles about the show that are a bit more cheery ...... Toys with Attitude, A ' Chicken' that makes you cackle, and Fast, furious and totally loopy: That's Robot Chicken Starts this Sunday, Feb 20, 11:30PM on the Cartoon Network

* I just found a few more Stop Motion animation capture programs .... TePee Animator and Animaatiokone Studio. Last weekend, I did update StopMo Software & Tools page but if you go there again, you will see the new ones and once again I re-edited and have some new comments there. It's starting to look "Hella Good!" I removed Video Capturix which was not really designed for Stop Motion. In general, some of these animation capture-record programs cost very little and a few are actually Free. Even with the very affordable price of these programs .... I read & hear people whining in some emails or at forums I visit ..... BrickFilms Board (as example) .... some wanting almost every bells & whistles in a program but either say or imply that it should be reeeeally cheap price or free. You can see that it can be difficult for software writers to make profits in this very niche market. A few though, are very generous and donate their expertise at reasonable cost to YOU Stop Motionists. I think, without bragging too much, the frame grabbers programs listed here at Stop Motion Works, that are created specifically for Stop Motion and are of reasonable cost .... is the most complete listing as to what is available on the internet (as of today). I DARE YOU to find other programs that are just for Stop Motion, that is either for PCs or Macs only, and affordable and easily-readily available to the public. I think, I pretty much scoured-surfed the internet. As I said, only a few of these programs are free and some work pretty decent and other's are very affordable. Most of the pay-for programs offer temporary demo versions so you can test it first to see if they are compatible with your computer or set-up.. That is what I did with some of them. So .... just try the programs out and give them feedback so that they know people are interested in their Stop Motion software.
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Weekend edition -
02.12.05
* I suppose everyone here has heard of Seth Green's upcoming Stop Motion series called Robot Chicken? It is about to premiere very soon on the Adult Swim series on the Cartoon Network. Here is Animation Insider's Review . Unfortunately his opinion seems to be lukewarm. I do somewhat agree with reviewer, in that Stop Motion has to have many elements done correctly and especially, story & characters. For some reason, Stop Motion seems to be held to a higher standard than other animation mediums? (example: mediocre CGI seems to be tolerated more by the "suits"?) Robot Chicken uses toys & dolls, and simple miniature sets as backgrounds, props and animation puppets. Perhaps, to the reviewer, it gives the perception that Stop Motion has a more cheaper or cruder aesthetics? I don't know .... I am only pondering. Hopefully, it is just his opinion and the show will gain an audience and have a chance to survive. Robot Chicken will be on cable/satellite TV so maybe it will reach a more niche market. You will recall the fate of Drew Carey's, Green Screen (had some stop motion in it) which became victim of the ruthless TV ratings war and was cancelled. GS show was broadcast on the WB network which caters to a more generic audience.

* I recently updated the StopMo Software & Tools page and did some slight re-editing, fixed some old links and added a few more products with my comments ..... MonkeyJam, MotionMage, iStopMotion and updated a new link to ABC VideoRoll 2.5, a video editing program with many features (for PC-Windows), which to my surprise is still available (it is a free program) The original company that created VideoRoll has gone under and obviously there is no customer service to support it, but the software & some patches are available at the new link which has some download mirror sites for VideoRoll. Also, I updated link to the Sanyo IDshot camera. This camera with its video recording-to-high storage disk, can do true single frame animation without computer, and with firmware update, it adds a built-in onionskinning & frame toggling feature. IDshot also takes higher resolution (than video res) digital still pictures and then you download to computer hard drive and assemble the still pics in sequence using another program. Okay enough hyping of this camera .... I just always thought it was a unique cam and nothing on the market that is even close to it.
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02.10.05
* Do not panic, you Stop Mo Fanatics! Since today Wednesday, the Stop Motion Animation Message Board has been down ..... read Anthony Scott's notice If you have not done so already, you might want to bookmark Marc Spess' Clay Animation / Stop Motion message board and perhaps visit there too when you do your online Stop Mo addiction "fix"
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02.09.05
* Just a reminder to you all ..... that whatever I put here in News, is for all to share. I get my information from online and other sources and also my underground spies. Again, one of the headings for this page is NEWS ..... which is for YOU. Feel free to take it and post it on your site, message board-forum or whatever venue. You do not even have to say where you got the info from. The reason I bring all this up, is because lately, the StopMotionAnimation.com forum seems to be going through more frequent recessionary quiet periods. There are over 2000 members at the message board BUT only a microscopic percentage post anything. Those that do have some knowledge or experience, seem to have been slowly vanishing. Understandable that life, work, and family are first but it doesn't hurt to visit message board once in awhile and just say "Hi" or update or remind members that you are alive? My gut feeling says that Anthony Scott's message board probably is significantly helping to keep Stop Motion in the public consciousness and especially those who work in the business probably lurk there. SMA.com has been online since 1999. Sure, there is currently a brief comeback of Stop Motion in mainstream but it will always be an up & down cycle. Not mentioned as often is Marc Spess' message board which seems to be more active than SMA? Anyway, whatever message board you visit ..... Show some interest? There is no communication (it's a two way street) just by Lurking. The board is suppose to be a community.

* The 1933 original King Kong finally available on DVD? Someone notified me about it. Here it is CheezyFlicks.com. The website title does not seem to inspire confidence or kind of a put-down of films that you may not consider "Cheezy", however they put King Kong in their "Not so Cheezy" category. As far as I know, there is no "official" DVD release of the original King Kong, from whoever owns it. Kong has been available on Video and in the past, released on Laser Disc. I do not understand how Cheezy Flicks works or how they can have rights to produce DVDs of copyrighted movies and sell them. Cheezy Flicks in their About link say that they have state of the art DVD post production & duplication facilities. Is it possible that they are duplicating DVD copies from the King Kong laser disc? How can they can do that without sanction of studio? Maybe I am missing some information. If you have any comments or thoughts contact me or better yet, post this if you visit the message board where they discussed something similar King Kong 1933 Release? I could post it at the forum myself, but I am first reporting it here as news and I do nor want to shamelessly promote myself at the message boards ..... but ....I have been known to be guilty of tooting my horn sometimes
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02.04.05
* For you satellite or cable TV subscribers .... I serendipitiously discovered .... no more TechTV? I remembered watching it when I briefly tried cable in my "other life". I did like some of the shows. So now, ownership has changed and it's now known as G4TechTV with its focus on video gaming. An entire network just for that? Sheeeeesh .....Gaming. Something I never ever could get into it .... sitting your butt in front of monitor-TV and reacting crazily to your push buttoning manipulations. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. Whoaa, going off on a tangent. There is article segment at G4TechTV site called "Two Minutes with...." There is one on Ray Harryhausen and also at that link, a brief online clip of him talking.Hmmm .... the article interview seemed more than two minutes (but catchy-gimmicky title though). Marc Spess said I perhaps should have done a more detailed review of Uncle Ray's new DVD or have a points-star rating system. Good suggestion Marc, but I am trying to get a "life" ! There are plenty others who have 24-7 to write them. Here is one .... can you believe .... a 6 page Review of The Early Years? Very, very, very, detailed (too much?) and maybe spoilers for you. Personally, I want some surprises and in the moment unpredictability experiences. Here is another interview with Ray and he also does a separate semi-moderate length, review of DVD. This was just an opportunity that presented itself for me, to get privilege of talking to Ray! It was fun to do and I will think about doing interviews "sometimes" but it will not be my "career" .... too much other stuff to do and I have to pay bills & rent!

* Life after Vinton Studios? I assume you already know that Will Vinton himself is now completely divorced from his old studio (Nike king, Phil Knight now owns studio). An article As Animated as it gets about Will's current ventures. He is doing some teaching and looks like getting his own company off the ground Freewill Entertainment. I posted sometime last year about Will and site was under construction but now, it looks like there is more information.
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