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NOVEMBER 2003

11.27.03
* From "down under" in the Land of Oz, a lone Stop Motion animator is getting a little bit of notariety. His name is Adam Elliot and is getting some news buzz about his Stop Mo film called Harvie Krumpet. Check it out .... a few links 1 - 2 - 3

* If you got some extra cash or into "collecting", here is an artist-sculptor that is offering some model kits focusing on some Stop Motion themes. They look very accurate and true to originals. These are "kits". There is a small model figure kit industry (aka nickname: garage kits) where hobbyists buy these kits and take great creative pleasure assembling, finishing and painting them. If you are not inclined to do all that or cannot do it, then you are out of luck. I do not know if one can buy them fully finished but that is a custom job and I am sure would cost more. One can also get special bronze paints-finishes and that would be an easier way so they would look like simulated bronze metal statues/figures. Enjoy Jim Davidson's work at Fantamation Studios
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11.24.03
* Well, like I said here in my comments from last week, looks like the newly published book, RayHarryhausen: An Animated Life has been mostly, favorably received. I just got my copy, and only started to read it. The book is thick & done on glossy paper and of reasonable quality. The book cover is from Clash of the Titans which some have said, might not be the best of Harryhausen's work, but it was his very last stop motion content film before he retired and perhaps that is one of reasons why this cover was selected. On the SMA forum, some have commented that the new information Ray reveals could have been more detailed. I suppose these naysayers are the real Stop Mo Technical Nerds who want to know everything right now! In the past, Uncle Ray has usually been secretive or vague about his methods, but many of the Stop Mo technically savvy, can take a close guess how he did them. In the book, he does explain briefly how many of the shots were done. The book does not have a lot of behind the scenes pictures showing the technical aspects, but nevertheless, the most revealing, Ray has ever been. MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT, is the layout & design of the book ..... the drawings are numerous and enlarged, whereas the good key photos of some armatures or behind the scenes are ridicuously very small .... not good. I would FIRE that book designer. Who knows how many photos Ray has hidden in his Stop Motion archives. I also, said that I am not sure if this would be the "definitive biography" about Ray. Here's an idea ...... some museum or something like the Ray Harryhausen Library with ALL of Ray's photo's (enlarged to poster size) and recreations of actual Stop Motion set-ups with narration by Ray. Kind of a historical museum of pre-CGI. That may never happen in the USA, but maybe somewhere in Europe ..... UK, France, Germany, etc.. Far more Stop Motion fans over there and greater appreciation of this Animation art/craft. Perhaps someone reading this can start this LOBBYING effort. Who was the guy that got Uncle Ray his Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame?
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11.18.03
* Keeping Stop Motion Alive ..... short interview article about Stop Motion effects in the movie Elf (sorry, no pictures in article) with quotes from the Chiodo Brothers & the film's director. For some unknown reason, I have not been to find any online photos of the stop motion characters/puppets used in Elf. Maybe this is intentional by the studio "suits". Since the movie has already been released in theatres, I think this secrecy strategy is kind of dumb. It sure does not help to advance the publicity cause for Stop Motion .....keeping it in the public eye (stop mo needs every scrap of promotion & advertisement!). IMO, just shows you how Stop Mo gets screwed in one way or another (typical of its checkered history in mainstream biz). One of the Chiodos says he is hopeful that there may be a little bit of comeback for Stop Motion.
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11.17.03
* Here is possibly a best kept secret product .... Foam Latex Paints .... not because anyone is intentionally hiding it but due to the "company" not really promoting or advertising themselves. Paint Specialities Lab in the USA. It is a small operation and they also custom formulate specialized paints for other materials.... art field, vinyl paints, leather paints, etc.. A few years ago, they use to have a website but it has long vanished. I could not easily get information about their paints. By email, I only basically received prices & just some minor technical data. So, doing my own journalistic research, I managed to find a bit more detailed information about their Foam Latex Paints. Also, here is very general company & contact listing that I could find at Thomas Register, links 1 & 2. Leo M. Bergman is the main dude, chemist, formulator, etc. that is behind Paint Specialties. Hey Leo ....I really love your incredible Foam Latex Paints but if you want to make your products more known or promote it .... you should get a website! Potential customers like to read about products/services on the internet.... especially those that are very difficult to find, like your's. Again Leo .... you have a unique service & also a great product for use in Stop Motion puppet fabrication process.
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11.12.03
* As many of you may already know, a new book about Ray Harryhausen is now in print. I am not sure if it would be called his "definitive biography" but it seems to have received favorable & positive comments at the SMA Forum. Here are some articles with some newer brief interviews with Uncle Ray.... links 1 - 2 - 3. Unfortunately, his book is only available from Amazon in England and I have ordered it from them (a little more expensive getting it overseas). As posted below in my 11.03.03 news item, there is an Amazon Book Request Form where you can suggest that they offer this book for USA. Remember, I am thinking about long term availability of book to wider audience to Spread the Stop Motion Word. Is is that time consuming or difficult for you to make a simple book request? I have made it easy for you to enter the book information (scroll down this page and SEE!) Do it now!

* I cannot believe it, searching the internet ....there is very little information about the on-going progess of "The Corpse Bride" but I found this detailed New York Times article about Tim Burton. The Director will be Mike Johnson and some of you may or may not know, our Anthony Scott, founder of the SMA website, will be Animation Director on Corpse Bride! Maybe he is a bit humble to mention it on the message board. Anthony, a truly die-hard Stop Motionist and very gifted in this animation art/craft and just a "good guy" who really deserves this opportunity! Anthony is in England now and he can still be reached at his contact email address and I assume he can still run/manage his website from across the world in the UK. Wish Anthony well or congratulate him!
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11.07.03
* Just got a few more details about the Bruce Bickford documentary, Monster Road. The Director, Brett Ingram, and other staff are working to enter it, into Film Festivals. In its initial showcasing/premiere, this will probably be the best way for people to see the documetary. You can be placed on an email list to receive status information about it Monster Road Update. Be sure to put that in your subject. Tell them that Stop Motion Works sent you!

* From the people that brought you that cool Stop Motion opening title sequence for Willard, Nirvan a production studio has completed a Stop Mo animated short that will premiere at AFI Fest 2003. It is called The Three of Us. If you are in the area, the show dates are Nov 8 & 10.

* From my "underground sources" ..... it has been revealed to me that the new movie ELF (opening today, Friday), definitely will have some Stop Motion done by the Chiodo Brothers.....some handful of scenes including the opening credit sequences. Also, supposedly, Ray Harryhausen supplied the voice for a character named The Narwhal, but my "spy" told me, it does not sound like him.
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11.03.03
* There is a documentary called Monster Road that is suppose to be released around the end of 2003. It is about a long time underground animator named Bruce Bickford. He does very, very non-traditional animation work .... very zen, free-form, organic or "trippy" imagery. Some admire his work and others dislike it. This article was about a year ago Unearthing Bruce Bickford. I do not know how the public will get a chance to see this but here is the latest from Bright Eye Pictures, the production company doing it. You could contact them for further information.

* A new book will be out this month, Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life Currently only available from Amazon in England. If you want Amazon in USA to carry this book, make your request here Book Request Form. Stop Motion needs all the publicity it can get before it possibly gets devoured by the CGI Beast! Do not just sit on your butt and do nothing! You do not even need to give them your email address (you can remain anonymous) A message needs to be sent in "numbers". Perhaps they will see that there is a niche market for this esoteric and arcane animation art/craft.   Here is info about book:
Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life
by Ray Harryhausen, Tony Dalton
Hardcover 320 pages
Publisher: Aurum Press; ISBN: 1854109405
Category(ies): Animation, Biography


 

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