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AUGUST 2004

08.24.04
* I have heard of the name of Seth Green before and I posted some months ago 03-26-04, that he will be doing some sort of Stop Motion project for TV. Well, here is some latest information and it is still a little sketchy about what it will be about S. Green Launches Animated Series & Green playing with Dolls At the SMA message board someone posted this in July....Stop Motion Animation show in LA. Apparently, looking for people to work on a Stop Motion project and it seems to be related to what Seth Green is doing. If anyone has any more details, feel free to contact me. As always, I have an anonymity policy, to protect my "sources".
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Special Weekend Edition - 08.21.04
* Here is some more from New York Times about Team America:World Police. An informative, small three page article. When you go to the link, it will let you read only the first page and you need an ID & Password to read the other two pages. At log-in page, try entering testnyt for both and see if that works. Here is another short one, more about the politics of it Critics Choosing Sides on TA You may already know that the makers of South Park are behind TA. It looks like an NC-17 rating and they may try for the lesser R rating, but in either case, that may not diminish its impact at the boxoffice. This Puppet Movie Extravaganza is costing about $32 million to make. I suppose, that is so-called cheap by Hollywood standards. I am always astounded about the bureaucracy of mainstream moviemaking and I guess, that goes the same for our wasteful government bureaucracy .... Leeches, continually sucking $$$ out of us. Whoops .... going off topic. Sorry about that
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08.16.04
* Something of sleeper project that I never heard of before Team America: World Police which is suppose to be released this October. As far as I know, no one at the Stop Motion Forum has mentioned it yet. The trailer is a GRABBER and the micro-quick cut teaser scenes look really action packed and fun. Guess what? From what I quickly read, Team America primarily uses Real Puppets including the old classic marionette methods with no attempt to hide the strings! Looks like a lot of miniatures & model work....similar to the original Thunderbirds puppet TV series from the mid 1960's, but Team America being done in a more contemporary cinematic visual style in how scenes are staged and edited together. From the teasers, I cannot tell if any Stop Motion methods were used. It looks like some shots used some CGI and digital compositing work to enhance-tweak, but not to overwhelm. Very fresh and different visual style compared to the current hyper smoothness-slickness of the similar looking, fully computer synthesized CGI animated features. I was hoping some studio suits might start realizing this homogenization trend and perhaps, here is one breaking the mold and having the guts to be different with Team America. I did not have time to do more detailed research on this but if you find out any more info, buzz, etc...... post it at SMA.com !
Addendum: Someone just notified me that the work is being done by the very talented crew at Chiodo Brothers Studio , well know for their puppetry/animatronic work and mastery of Stop Motion, however my source does not think there is any Stop Mo techniques used in TA. Too bad, it could have enhanced it but I'm guessing maybe the typical rush schedule imposed by the suits might have eliminated Stop Motion which takes a little more patience and time.
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08.09.04
* Mainstream media has obviously been reporting on yesterday's death of Fay Wray at age 96, who portrayed Anne Darrow in the classic 1933 King Kong. Just think, Kong was first shown 71 years ago, and today, the strength of this iconic movie has somewhat helped keep Stop Motion in the public consciousness. Many media sources reporting on the Fay Wray news. In the past, I have heard her name mentioned in ocassional articles but I was always irritated that current photos of Fay Wray were rarely shown. Want to know how she looked liked recently? Here is an article Scream Queens: Fay Wray when she turned 95 last year. The photo they show says it was in the year 2001 so she would have been about 93 years old .... she looks pretty good. Let us thank Reuters news for their article King Kong Star: Fay Ray Dies and editors having the smarts to satisfy the public's curiousity how she looks now. Reuters photo of Fay shows her atop the Empire State Building and I do not know how recent it was, but she looks a little more frail compared to 2001 photo. Anyway, some of us would like to have a long life and Fay Wray certainly got maximum use! I hope I can achieve a similar goal and still have a sensible & sound mind at the higher end of my Gandalf-Yoda wisdomly years!
Addendum:
One of my ever vigilant underground SMW investigators just referred me to an
even better picture of Fay that was taken recently from her home in Trump Tower. She looks very mentally alert and a bit spunky!
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08.05.04
* Check out this website Art Gate Puppets These artisans located in Belgium seem very skilled, talented and capable of all manner of puppet fabrication. They certainly can do Stop Motion puppets and it seems they have done work in this specialty for some clients. Looks like they are pretty good at doing caricaiture puppets. Some are over 5 feet tall ....they use puppetry techniques similar to that of Jim Hensen. Remember the cool Lipton Brisk Ice Tea commercials ....Bruce Lee, James Brown, Danny DeVito, etc.?? ArtGate was not involved with those but I am sure the quality of their puppets would be just as good. Any studios out here reading this? You should inquire and get some price bids from them. ArtGate just became a member of our Animators Webring. Consider joining ... it is Free .... to individual artists, animators, filmmakers, studios.

* As you know, we in the States are addicted to CGI or at least that is what is being forced upon us, giving the audiences no other choices. You may have heard me say in past commentary, Stop Motion seems to be alive and well in Canada with Cuppa Coffee Studio taking the lead. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the new Vinton Studios. Yes, they have Henry Selick there, but it seems Vinton Studio's direction is CGI. Only The Corpse Bride seems to be their claim to Stop Motion but that is being made in England and not in the USA. We have not heard of other Stop Motion projects or commercial work from Vinton Studios. Anyway ..... back to Cuppa Coffee ..... they have a website about one of their Stop Motion projects A Very Barry Christmas. I do have to warn you that it is a Flash intensive website, so it will be slow viewing for those with dial-up internet connections.


 

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