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07.28.07
* Short Takes: Stop Mo selling Xbox, Domo on Nicktoons, Rick & Steve .... Somewhat ironic, Xbox has a commercial ad using Clay Animation methods. I assume you already know that Xbox is all video gaming using pure CGI 'puter animation, Moo Studios Makes Magic for Xbox & Behind the Scenes ..... Some Japanese character Domo-kun (never heard of it before), kind of like a SpongeBob (cult-like popularity), will be making some minor splash on Nicktoons Network as a Stop Motion character. Read Hello Kitschy, Link 2 & Domo Website. Kind of weird and cannot figure out the appeal of Domo ..... Finally, I did not know there was a Gay & Lesbian Network called Logo. A Stop Motion comedic shorts, Rick & Steve using hyper simple Lego-like puppet characters, has been airing. If you watch some to the R&S animation, it's mostly talking heads (dialog intensive), and not that humorous to me.

* Controlling your Product .... I know many of you are probably on an intoxicated high, engorging your brains especially from The Internet. In moderation, that may be good, however, IMO, there is also a negative darker side to it. I am not a Bible thumper, but amazingly, there is a prophetic reference to this info excess phenomenon. This seems to be the high tech obsessed culture today; give it to me NOW & free (the internet), and then gulp it down and it's spit out just as fast. The public hyper-quickly gets jaded, disinterested, and impatient; not willing to slow down and savor. IMO, the masses are being conditioned to ADD-like behaviours (not necessarily neurological causes).

Previously, SMW news posted about
Nick Hilligoss going Viral with his animated short, L’Animateur. I recently find out that originally, L’Animateur was only posted at StopMoShorts, then, the anonymous online Cyber Thieves quickly spread it all over the internet.You might think that this is favorable publicity but that could lead to overexposure and/or devaluing your product very rapidly, making it difficult to monetize it. Did Nick make any money from L' Animateur or get any offers to hire him? I am guessing, possibly not. Someone was trying to persuade Justin Rasche to reveal his current inprogress Stop Motion project (or the finished scenes). Remember Mike Bates? I thought he vanished but is alive & well. He just recently contacted me and says he has his new website kind of starting up. He will continue with his Stop Motion projects, however, he stated to me, he does not want to reveal so many spoilers.

As an Artist-Creator, if you heavily invested your own funds, sweat & time into your animated product, perhaps, initially only reveal teasers or trailers to keep the audience in suspense & wanting more. Do not expose too many spoilers. That may be my strategy. Sometimes I have said to myself, "Don't blow your WAD too quickly". Read the topic at
SMA.com message board, where myself, Nick and few others make some comments with regards to piracy. Marketing is a vast subject and can be brain frying. It is not a science, and probably more of an Art, involving some guessing, timing, maybe some luck,, etc..

Addendum: Of course, the Internet is a humongous voracious beast. One must get noticed. As part of a marketing campaign or for displaying portfolio samples, you want to show some of your completed works. You will be abandoned & rejected by the public if you attempt to keep all your work secretive. The internet is brutal and you got to play some of their game. The point of above commentary-observation, is to exercise control on some of your work, use strategies to grab attention, and have 'them' coming back. Updated: 07.29.07
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07.21.07

* Claymation Studio .... I have been hearing some minor buzz about this. It looks like an introductory, beginning-type Stop Motion frame capture program (for PC/Windows) to be produced by a company Honest Technology that primarily offers a variety of other software (that is not animation related). Usually, Stop Motion software is created by individual program authors who have a personal interest in the animation art and they sell their Stop Mo programs through their own websites. Honest Technoglogy looks like a larger company with some $capital$ behind it, they have a staff with various departments and also using their marketing savvy and distributing the software through many outlets (also Amazon), including an educational products distributor. Claymation Studio is supposed to be released around end of July. It has slick packaging and offered as CD software product. I assume, that you will be able to download trial version for testing. It does not have a lot of features as many of the existing programs & seems to offer only onionskinning (no frame toggling?) to guage the animation movements. Seems to be created for the general consumers/public, with just the basic features (for 1st timer newbies). Read this press release last month.This is the specialty educational products distributor that will also offer the Honest Tech product to schools.

Just some free speech
cogitating here: This is already known by some insiders in the Stop Mo biz. The specific word 'Claymation' was trademarked almost 30 years ago by the formerly known, Will Vinton Studio (now Laika). The description, 'Clay Animation' is the generic term that should be used, however, much of the media/news mistakenly use the trademark name. I just found out, about Genericized Trademarks. I wonder if this can be a loophole in some cases, for others to use trademarked names without permission? Edit: 07.22.07

* Kiwi Stop Motionist gets noticed .... From New Zealand, an artist-animator-director named Tom Reilly won some awards in the past. Apparently, still getting some publicity mileage from work he did around 2003. The specific Stop Motion short (about 3 minutes) is Man with Issues. A quick soundbyte video clip with Tom, around June '07, Young Kiwi Animator goes off to Cannes. So, 4 years later after he made the original short, he can enter it at Cannes!? Reilly has a website, Suspended Animation and you can see his other animated works. I do not know about the quality of his other Stop Motion. To me, the Man with Issues looks like, the more interesting one.
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07.14.07
* Bad toys, bad toys, watcha gonna do when they break on you .... Witness
disturbing arrests of G.I. Joe, Barbie, Gumby, and Santa Claus. Other suspects include Teletubbies,
Mr. Potato Head, Paddington Bear, Energizer Bunny, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, M&Ms, Wallace & Grommit, Mr. Peanut, Budweiser Frogs, a Hollywood Raisin, Furby, and the Pillsbury Doughboy. I believe, Corky Quakenbush (aka SpaceBass Films) directed some of them. These appeared in the early days of Mad TV. Parodies for adult minded audiences. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Maybe that's what Stop Motion Needs? Instead of the muted silent lurking lifestyle we immerse ourselves in? We need to live on the edge, abuse substances, cheat, philander, rob, steal, etc. That's how it works in media .... "If it bleeds, it leads?". Good marketing for
us

* Miscellaneous: Uncle Ray schedule, LIO & Stikfas, International Stop Mo Studios .... Ray Harryhausen will be making his presence at the 2007 Comic-Con and the schedule at his official site.

I have the honor of being Stikfa-tized as one of the judges in the premiere
Stikfas Animation Contest. It is the first one, let's see how it goes. Give it time, things evolve, improve as one learns. Before they contacted me, my plan was also to use Stikfas for my practice animations, to re-oil my rusty Stop Motion gears.

I rambled in past that in this country we seem to be USA ego centric, everything supposedly revolves around us? We are big, fat, and wasteful too. Not very good role model or
example. Ahhhh yes, but I guess, the world is mesmorized by the glamorous cine-products, mainstream Hollywood pumps out.

I serendipitously found a couple of animation studios but not in USA. In the past, you may have misunderstood my position on Clay Animation. I DO NOT criticize the method. My only beef is, that the general audiences often mislabel all Stop Motion as Clay. With that said, I respect CLAY as a very unique sub-category of Stop Motion Animation. It can still
grab you. Marc Spess mentioned this studio about a year ago, which is in Spain, Potens Plastianimation and carrying on the Clay Animation style with very high production values. Then I found this other studio, StopTrick, located in Germany, also pushing the Clay Animation Arts. Both sites unfortunately Flash, but you need to browse their links & appreciate. Clay Animation is still most viable & alternative animation medium. So all you Suits, start thinking out of the box: 'Man does not live by CGI alone' Edit: 07.15.07
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07.07.07
* Kerwin Mathews gone at 81, July 5 '07 .... A character actor from the ol' school days of Hollywood with good looks, but to many of Ray Harryhausen's following & some of the general film audiences, Kerwin Mathews mostly known as the swashbuckling, Captain Sinbad in the Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958). The announcement of his death is kind of unusal to me; mysterious, sketchy and no details and almost zero online info about this. I remember Kerwin was supposedly living in the San Francisco Bay Area. About 19 or so years ago, I recall Mathews name was listed in the telephone directory and I think he lived maybe near the Noe Valley or Castro district, in San Francisco. I cannot remember, if he managed an antique store or some kind of small retail operation. No obituary posting here in SF. His death not listed at IMDb. However, some vague postings Link 1 , Link 2 and Link 3. At this thread, someone 'claims' that he personally knew Kerwin. If so, why not give more details, instead, we get a veil of secrecy or maybe he is not savvy on how to effectively report & announce.

One rule with the Cyber Virtual Internet, just because it is online & in print, do not believe everything you see, hear, or read. Use your commonsense, instincts, and investigative skills to corroborate and check. If indeed, Kerwin has gone to his maker, somewhat sad, his passing in such an obscure manner and not noticed by most of his peers in the biz. Or perhaps, it was Kerwin's choice to completely withdraw from the public spotlight all these many years? Barely a whimper of a
response at SMA forum. Some Links: 1 - 2 - Sinbad vs Skeleton Edit: 07.08.07

* Dr. Ethan 'Frankenstein' Marak, slowly breathing life into 'Brawl Magnet' .... Ethan, part of the Underground Stop Mo Clique / Rat-Pack in Tinsel Town, has for years perservered on a personal Stop Mo project. His patience is astounding. In spite of his many relocations (moving around), and other interruptions, he still has stuck with it. He even put up with me. It took me a little while to get his Brawl stop motion armature completed; delays due to my own schedule and other matters. Here, in somewhat chronological order from Ethan's, Angry Puppet Films Blog, are some links about the ongoing creation of Brawl Magnet: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 Then, if you have not already seen this, check out the teaser taste

* Miscellaneous: Studio Reel with good shots of Stop Mo rigs and 'Life's a Zoo' .... At YouTube there is a Demo clip from a studio (I think). About 1 minute into the clip, it is all Stop Motion. What is cool, you first see the shot, with all the puppet support rigs & wires, then immediately after, all are erased. Incredible, the power of digital tools & techniques when used in combination with Traditional methods, giving Stop Motion New Life & much more creative freedom for the Stop Motionist Take a look

Is there no stopping
Cuppa Coffee in Canada? What the hell is their secret in getting that quantity of Stop Mo work?? I am always hearing about their Stop Motion projects, commercials, TV series, and upcoming projects. Another one, called Life's a Zoo
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