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MARCH 2004

03-29-04
* Some GUMBY News .... Gumby takes on Allen Iverson of the NBA! A spot done for the UGumby lives on !SA basketball team, Philadelphia 76'ers. According to this article, Gumby folks gave the 76er's a promotional discount rate! I APPLAUD Premavision for using creative lobbying and marketing ....that is the smart way to promote Stop Motion! It is not just the money but for the love of the Stop Motion art & craft. Other news ..... Robina Marchesi is currently in post production on an exciting new documentary titled Gumby Dharma: The Life of Art Clokey. Premavision also in pre-production on Gumby's next feature film. As they state, "We are on the cusp of getting a major distributor. It is going to be the best Gumby ever, and its production quality will be Chicken Run quality".
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03-26-04
* What a coincidence! After I posted my previous news item (see below), someone emailed me this brief sound byte from the Hollywood Reporter....
Stop Mo Series Lampooning The Real World
Seth Green will be producer (I don't know who he is). It will be on the Cartoon Network's late night line-up called Adult Swim. This is Frikken great news!! The series will be in the writing stages as of now, so obviously no word as to who, what, where, when ....regarding the actual production of the show.
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03-24-04
* Hey .... looking for a possible outlet for Stop Motion? Check this article out....
Cartoons for adults quickly finding audience
Stop motion still visually powerful and when done well, cleverly & creatively .... still pops out and can grab audience's attention. Unfortunately, IMO, the Stop Motion production costs, at least in the USA could be way overpriced and producers/suits not willing to do Stop Motion and just go for 2D or CGI. Example .... Stop Motion TV series,
The PJ's, done by Will Vinton Studio's ..... cost about $1.5 million per episode! Most will say PJ's did not get ratings which is true but my gut feeling says, the excessive cost per show might have been a contributing factor to its demise. There was also the interesting more edgy Stop Motion series, Gary & Mike, also done by Vinton Studios. I kind of liked it! Again, probably expensive to produce via the Americanized production method. Another factor .... in the mainstream broadcast TV market where they cater to the lowest common denominator of viewers, these prime-time more mature Stop Motion shows not as successful. Niche targeted marketing-distribution via Cable-Satellite seems more ideal for Stop Motion products. I think, if one is going to do Stop Motion and trying to sell it ..... it has got to be reasonably priced ..... reduce overhead expenses .... especially, too many producers-suits & middle people in a production, that jacks up the cost.
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03.20.04
Special Weekend Edition
* Over at the Stop Motion message board there is a post about Evil Dead-TomSullivan. I have mentioned Tom & Evil Dead in the past here. I know Tom very well as he use to live in San Francisco, years ago. At the SMA message boards there are a few links of photos showing some of his the old props & puppets used on Evil Dead 2. The photo of the Deadite puppet shows virtually all the foam disintergrated. To my surprise, I found some photos from way back when I visited Tom in Michigan, during the post production of Evil Dead 2. At his house, here are a couple of photos Deadite 1, shows Tom doing seamwork & fill in of the puppet and Deadite 2, him continuing patching the puppet. Then after it was all done, we went to Detroit for some bluescreen shots Deadite 3 Yes, that is me ....a very bad pic.....with hair, chubby, mustach-less and when my eyes where good (no eyeglasses). The Deadite puppet was cast foam latex .... the body and arms done as one, in an Ultra-cal mold ..... the wing appendage done in another mold .... and finally the head in its own mold. The wing membrane was slush cast pure latex in a flat mold ..... all then assembled together afterwards with lots of seaming, fill-in and patch work. Tom's website

* Regarding the ever secret nature of Stop Motion ..... such as a black-out on The Corpse Bride and then you got The Aquatic Life .....both having Stop Motion in them with the latter, mostly live action with Stop Mo inserts .....well I finally found some Frikken pictures .... unfortunately absolutely nothing showing any of the puppets but of the Actors/Cast who will be in the film .....click here and here
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03.10.04
* The very heart & soul and the uniqueness of The Nightmare Before Christmas was because it was Stop Motion. It would have not been the same if it were a 2D flat animation or a synthetic CGI version. Well, when it comes to desperation for greedy cash & profits, nothing is sacriligous. Here are apparently sreenshots of a Video Game based on NMBC theme .... all artificially pixel-generated with the sterile & sanitized look to it. I suppose Disney, gave permission to allow this. I need not say more.

* Outside USA and particulary in the Euro countries, as I have often said, Stop Motion apparently muchStop Motion is surviving! more appreciated. Here is an example .... you heard nothing about in the mainstream biz but I am exposing to you! What use to be part of Russia, in the country of Latvia, specifically the city of Rigo, there is an unknown (to us) Stop Motion specialty production house called, Animation Brigade Studio. In partnership with a Danish company, both are producing a full length Stop Motion puppet film, The Three Muskateers. At the same time, a behind the scenes documentary is being made, The Creation of the World. Mainstream Hollywood film biz does not give a rat's pink butt about Stop Motion, but hopefully it will have a chance to survive in other countries.
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03.05.04
* The MTV Original Movie, Monster Island premieres Sunday, March 7 at 7:00pm, Eastern Time, USA. Check your local TV schedule, as times may vary. It looks like a homage to B movies and will have Stop Motion special effects in it. Before the start of the production (months ago) I did talk to Rob Ronning who was responsible for the Stop Motion puppet fabrication. Rob did the work at Bowes Productions in Canada and here are some photos of the giant Stop Motion Insects. I was informed of a very rushed schedule to do the special effects. Seems like this is the usual case and somehow Stop Motion never gets a decent chance or time for quality work. I do not know the details about the movie plot.The cast seems to be mostly MTV'ish looking teenagers. The big names in it are babe model, MTV host, so-called actress, Carmen Electric, and also the veteran actor, Adam West as Dr. Harryhuasen. You can also see a trailer clip of it but they only provide the Real Media player which is not as common as Quicktime or Windows Media.
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03.01.04
* Well, as everyone knows, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King dominated the Academy Awards, winning 11 Oscars in 11 Categories. No awards for Acting in LOTR but I suppose, it would too much to ask, and at least with the Awards sweep, maybe some kind of positive statement by the sometimes political or favortism nature of the Academy .... recognizing a non-Hollywood film. I just wondered if the "suits" would have paid attention if LOTR were not such a monetary blockbuster. The original Star Wars was a big "cash cow" at the boxoffice and an example where the Academy shunned "genre" type films. The Academy perhaps slowly changing or being more open. Only person I recognized among the LOTR winners and could really relate to was, Randall William Cook who oversaw the LOTR animation and won his Oscar this time again ..... a Stop Motion Soul Brother who I hope will never forget his roots and history of our animation art/craft.

* Another winner that is veeeery Stop Motion related was .....from down under in the Land of Oz (Australia)....Adam Elliot's, Harvie Krumpet won an Oscar for the best animated short, beating out Disney and other big boys. Pixar, won Oscar for Finding Nemo as best animation. The other animation contender was Triplets de Belleville which was a brave and cutting edge entry but did not have a chance because, IMO, the general audiences (especially in USA) have been conditioned by years & years of Disney influence & domination in the USA, that "animation" is primarily for "Children". Triplets was more for adult entertainment. Hopefully, more offbeat or unique animation will enter the mainstream movie biz .... exposing the homogenized tastes of American audiences to different styles of entertainment. To all you "suits", that are only counting the profits, expand your vision and take chances. Give us something different from the typical Hollywood pablum. Every movie does not "have" to make $100 million in two frikken days. Of course, this is wishful thinking of me .... the "suits" do not give a RAT'S ASS about anything meaningful or of artistic merit (which sometimes sneaks through, accidentally ) .... it's ONLY about the CASH, baby.
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