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05.27.06
* Uncle Ray & his agent going for CGI 'pitch' ? I assume you heard .... Harryhausen Presents Mindfire Productions. Mark A. Altman is "CEO" of Mindfire Entertainment (website). I am all for B-movie genre, retro, nostalgia, etc., but IMO, at first glance, Mindfire does not seem the right venue for the caliber & legendary status of "the" Ray Harryhausen. The press releases say Mindfire will be using all CGI but in the "spirit" of Stop Motion? I do not know Altman; only hearsay. Obviously, you and I know that, only the aesthetics & style of real Stop Motion would do justice to the Harryhausen legacy. I can tell you though, with the impatient "suits", who mostly reject Stop Mo; one of the reasons might be that it takes time to get a talented Stop Motion crew together and especially one that is "Harryhausenesque capable". With CGI, it is somewhat of a "Plug'n Play" crew. The skillsets for Stop Motion much more difficult to locate the talented artists that still do it or are familiar with the Stop Mo production workflow. I can understand the economics & fast turnaround of using CGI, but it is soooo antithetical to the true art/craft of Stop Motion. IMO, if one is going to honor & pay homage to Stop Motion, just use the fricken real Stop Motion technique. Seems like a no-brainer to me. We "Luv Ya" Uncle Ray, but Caveat Emptor. P.S. Also read Nick Hilligoss' insightful comments Edit 05.27.06

* Celebrity Deathmatch Reborn .... premieres June 10th, MTV2 network. I just saw teaser clip of new version; Paris Hilton vs. Nicole Richie (QuickTime). Much more clean & polished look. I wonder if that will "add to" or "take away" from it. Not sure. Some may have liked the rougher quality of the older CDM. Cuppa Coffee in Canada did this re-incarnation. If you have any spare time, here is the story of CDM. Includes clips of some older CDM shows (scroll down that page & click on the 'numbers' on left of show titles).

* What Happened to 'Stop Motion Centennial Celebration 2007' ? You noticed, I deleted my previous blog about it. I just found out, that letter about the celebration, which was anonymously sent to me, seems to be a special invitation only for certain participants. The letter not intended for public viewing. Of course, I did not know that. I was attempting to get people buzzed about it. I wrote to the people behind the event, "to explain" but they did not reply. In hindsight, with all the big names listed in that letter, it seems to good to be true if this Stop Motion Shindig will ever happen. You would assume that they might also invite or notify some online animation mags or 'key' stop motion websites? Well, they did contact Anthony Scott (SMA.com). Remember, especially the Internet, do not believe everything. Perhaps I sound skeptical. We will have to just wait & see Edit 05.27.06
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05.20.06
* Clash remake, Coraline-Focus, Aardman-Distribution, Mike Johnson-CGI, Flushed Away Trailer, WDRE Director Dies .... Good ol' Uncle Ray a hard core Stop Motionist to the bone. He's polite but does not always endorse CGI Harryhausen Disses Clash Remake .... Laika has distributor for Coraline, division of Universal Pictures, Focus Features .... Maybe Aardman sees Dreamworks' USA, weak support of Stop Mo? The UK studio doing it themselves now Aardman Ventures Into Distribution .... Hmmmm, going over to the dark side? I guess, one has to pay the rent Mike Johnson to direct CGI feature .... Dreamworks/Aardman sterile looking CGI Flushed Away Trailer online .... Just past away When Dinos Ruled Earth, Director Val Guest.Edit 05.23.06

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05.13.06

* The Return of LIO (producing Stop Mo) .... Ongoing and inbetween my real life and that can be mundane. To all of you who transmitting this silent energy pressure upon me (why don't you start doing Stop Mo, or blog, or post at SMA.com, instead of you just lurking & reading?), I am sort-of buying time, and putting online, some of the old stuff I did. Unfortunately, it seems much of the early Super 8 is lost and only some of it was home brewed/poor man's transferred years ago, to video. Last few months in the SF Bay Area, we were swamped with almost non-stop rain. Some of my garage basement fell victim from gutter pipe leak that goes into garage and out an underground drain, close to where I store bunch of stuff. The Super 8 Aftermath Devastation. I opened up the plastic reel cans and moisture ruined the film resulting in the emulsion being all mushy-syrupy and smeary. I just kept pulling the film off these few reels and nothing salvagable. I do not know how water got "inside" the can or maybe it was humidity. I am not that disappointed and do not have emotional attachment. It was all early stuff and rough (like the UFO saucer & alien clips); just more practice animation tests of bare armatures and some early puppets, front projection compositing tests, etc.. I look forward to the "present" and new stuff and to now fulfill all those nostalgic retro, Harryhausenesque-like scenes lurking in my mind and finally bring them to reality with hella better and cost effective technological 'puter tools, and my more advanced creative sensibilities and technical skills . I know .... you probably were curious at looking at old stuff. Whatever is left or I can find, I will see if I can post here. Nothing too exciting and pretty primitive.

* RAY HARRYHAUSEN: Gods & Monsters ..... Nice little recent write-up on Uncle Ray and still doing the tours and getting all the recognition he deserves. He was B-movie Creature-Monster-Fantasy Cool (while mainstream Hollywood mostly rejected him) .... BEFORE any of this CGI creature supposed photoreal & excess hyper smooth blur stuff, which Tinsel Town now, cannot get enough of. However, they do not know how to be moderate and no originality and they may run this current CGI flavor into the ground with their oversaturation & homongenized stuff (micro-rant). Read about the Stop Mo Godfather and know your roots.

* Batman: Revenge ..... A Lego Stop Mo parody-epic (12 minute short) .... It has been out since 2003 but someone just reminded me about it again. There is a "Stop Mo Lego" subculture, subspecialty, which I am not much into, but whatever forms of Stop Mo, explore your creative outlet! IMO, to watch this short, is kind of strange and contradiction with the Hollywood-slick production values mostly "borrowing" the original soundtrack from the actual movie but with the very simplistic Lego toy aesthetics. Check-out this short. If you are curious about Lego Stop Motion, here is a sampler .... Brickfilms website. A whole cult really "into it".
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05.06.06
* Mayday, Mayday .... Human's on destructive rampage .... I have evidence .... Alien first encounter with your government agencies. Your billions of tax $$ spent on high tech heat beam laser weapons. Okay .... just merely playing with your emotions. Found another Old Super 8mm experiment. Check it out. I do not have time right now to EXPLAIN in detail. I would rather have photos to show but no behind the scenes for this old stuff. Can you give me a break? All of you, just quiet & lurking and all this undercurrent pressure on me to "entertain" you. I DO NOT get paid for this. Geeez . Just briefly .... this done similar to Harryhausen Dynamation but using Front Projection method (not rear projection), with the Scotchlite retro-reflective screen and using glass beamsplitter to project background image onto the FP screen. I used old movie projector and poor man's attempt to project the single frame background images. Absolutely no pin registration and hence, the Shake-O-Rama raw grainy retro ambiance to it . Also, I am not sure if I violated the 180 degree rule for camera lines (do not tell anyone ). Again, all this done IN-CAMERA ..... no computers, no software.The weaponry ray beams done separately using cel animation and inserted on a second pass (backwinding film).

* "The Art of Stop Motion Animation" by Ken A. Priebe ..... Coming out soon. Ken posts at the message board once in awhile. Speaking to beginners or those that want everything for free, or who claim they are "poor"? I do not get it ... but you can $afford$ your convenient little cell phones, ipods, music cds, interactive gaming, etc.? Just shut your mouth and buy this book for your reference library. If you are seasoned Stop Motionists .... get the book just to have in your collection. The general public does not know the rarity of printed hardcopy how-to Stop Motion publications. Worldwide, I can count on one hand, these hardcore how to Stop Mo books. Look at Computer CGI Digital-Schmigital .... hundreds & hundreds of those books (yawn). Again .... do not whine to me that you cannot afford it. Just get the fricken book. Available for Pre-orders
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