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DARK EARTH – Indie feature, HG Wells style Sci-Fi Fantasy

October 23, 2014

Peter A. Montgomery, a resident of UK/Scotland … I have mentioned in the past about this unsung most creative & talented artist filmmaker. IMO, he has pushed the boundaries of special effects without relying on computer created CGI. He uses practical effects, REAL puppets, props, miniatures, stop motion, and has especially mastered post production composting & blending of images to a high degree. Peter can do complex special effects at an unbelievable affordable cost. What he produces is based on ol school Harryhausen but again, pushes those techniques to the maximum & advanced modern level of visual imagery sophistication that will be accepted by today’s audiences.

This indie feature, ‘Dark Earth’ intends to use Peter’s experience, talent and directorial skills in overseeing this project. Peter is not doing this alone. He has assembled a power-house talented crew for this project. I suppose that I should announce here, that I will be coming out of semi-retirement and will offer whatever assistance Peter needs. Read all the details about this ambitious project ….

DARK EARTH at Indie-gogo

So, you are still not sure Peter and his crew can do this? Here is a random test sequence of shots that Peter did some years ago. As far as I know … there is no one else that I know of who has done complex herd stampeding scenes with Stop Motion. Only one example demonstrating how contemporary visual effects aesthetics can be achieved with pure creativity & resourcefulness. This is NOT CGI … turn up your speaker volume and go full screen ….

Special effects artists, animators, and fans talks about Ray Harryhausen’s work as inspiration … well … How about some moral support to Peter & his team? In my view, if Peter can pull off Dark Earth, this would be a true homage to the works of  Uncle Ray mixed with the flavor of Kevin Connor’s expedition adventure fantasy film and H.G. Wells Steampunk-esque … ol’ school traditional style effects combined with more advanced techniques.

Of course, the more important primary foundational element of this project is … a GOOD & SOLID story that is very much escapism entertainment, reminiscent of the retro & fun B-style movies. Even though, I realize you and  many fans mostly have an interest in the stylized puppet stop motion films (Nightmare B4 Xmas, The Boxtrolls, Aardmans, etc), please consider this project and/or your moral support would be appreciated by Peter …. SHARE Dark Earth Indie-gogo project with others to spread the word. All it takes is a few clicks of your mouse and again …  share!

Topics: Films - Shorts - Animation, Special Effects, Stop Motion | No Comments »

‘In the Shadows of Light’ Web Series Documentary – Stop Motion

October 6, 2014

It has been 4 years ago now, that John Ikuma of ‘Stop Motion Magazine’ wanted to produce a documentary, originally about the L.A. underground stop motion scene. At that time, many moons ago John went with Indie-gogo for a very modest crowd funding goal of only $ 2000. LOL … that may now be considered chump change! Do you see what today’s crowd funding projects are asking for now?? :o I would be in the poorhouse if I donated to all of them … but I digress!

Anyway … due to the interruptions & vicissitudes of ‘Life’ that all of us confront regularly, John regrettably had to delay his documentary. The good news though, John decided to take the project in a different direction and it has evolved into a web series documentary. I believe, but I am not sure … what John has already filmed, will be about 4 installments for the web series. I would encourage John, to maybe not conclude ‘In the Shadows of Light’ web series and it perhaps it could be an ongoing series with random episodes. John’s work with Stop Motion Magazine, does interviews, travels, visits studios, etc. So maybe an opportunity that this docu-style web series might be an extension or supplement to SMM?

Episode 001 is now available for your viewing assimilation. I like the low key documentary style. No over narration or over-production. Basically, the audience are visitors & observers. Be sure to let John know that you appreciate ….

LINKS: 4 Years ago – Indie-gogo, In the Shadows of Light & Stop Motion Works news post – John Ikuma’s Stop Motion Magazine

Topics: Behind the Scenes, Films - Shorts - Animation, Stop Motion | No Comments »

Old School ‘Front Projection’ Special Effects

October 6, 2014

Nice video clip below, summarizing and explaining the principle. Special reflective screen required behind the puppets, actors, or sets. From the front you project image. In the camera, the projected image is combined with the puppets or live action. Years ago a company that specialized in this called Introvision. One of a number of movies front screen projection was used, ‘Outland’ (1981). Ray Harryhausen used rear projection background image to combine puppets & miniatures. The image is projected behind the screen.With front projection is projected from the front. FP has also been used in past stop motion animations.

In my semi-older youth days in the 1980’s, I did design & build a front screen projection system for animation but never fully used it due to personal interruptions in ‘life’ I still have most of the FP system in storage including the now hard to obtain & maybe rare 3M Scotchlite FP Screens, sized for miniature stop motion stage work. With the newer digital cameras now having much exposure range like film cameras, I am guessing Front Projection could still be used. In the clip here, they quickly demonstrate which was shot with digital camera

LINKS: Front Projection - Introvision F Proj. not totally dead? Used in Still Photography

Topics: Behind the Scenes, Special Effects, Stop Motion | No Comments »

‘Capsule’ indie sci-fi short produced by Spielberg

September 23, 2014

This is stop motion Sci-Fi short. Its aesthetic style will be homage to space films of 1960’s and sci-fi films of 1970’s. They want to utilize special effects keeping it as traditional as possible. As far as I know, no live action and the characters will be stop motion animated.

They are close to their goal of $10,000. They need to reach it in 20 HOURS by Wednesday, Sep 24 2014 4:58 PM pacific coast USA time. If not, all donations so far will be lost. Why does Kickstarter create such ridiculous pressure like that? All or nothing? Again, I advise any of you filmmakers, artists, creatives, etc. … to shop around if there are perhaps alternative crowd-funding services that are not so restrictive.

I stated in title Spielberg will be the producer. Yes, that is true and I am not lying … Adam Spielberg is doing the producing tasks ;) And of course the other primary crew member on this animated project is Josh Mahan who is the brainchild & director of ‘Capsule’.

CAPSULE at Kickstarter

NOTE: Stop Motion Works is selective in posting crowd-funding projects. We are not able to post all the requests seeking donations. Also, our suggestion … perhaps consider an alternative to Kickstarter which I already posted reasons why. If we are not able to post or endorse your crowd funding campaign …. you can personally post your project here on Stop Motion Works facebook page. Our staff usually reviews all posts/comments. We thank you for your understanding :mrgreen:

Topics: Films - Shorts - Animation, Miniatures - Models - Puppets, Puppet Animation, Stop Motion | 1 Comment »

Guillermo Del Toro endorses makers of ‘Revoltoso’

September 13, 2014

Revoltoso is a grass roots effort by a Latino group producing an indie stop motion animated short. They are attempting to get additional funding through Kickstarter. Their goal $44,000. and I believe, they have close to $40,000. however their Kickstarter DEADLINE date ENDS tomorrow, SEPTEMBER 14. As usual with Kickstarter, if one does not reach the financial goal, ALL donations are LOST. I have always DISLIKED & never approved of Kickstarter harsh crowd-funding model … but I digress.

For the Revoltoso indie project, what is rare in my opinion … a mainstream player in the movie biz, Guillermo Del Toro was quoted as supporting the efforts of this Latino filmmaking group.

Guillermo Del Toro talks about Revoltoso/Cinema Fantasa

As far as I know, you do NOT see much of this from Lucas, Speilberg, Cameron, and other cinema celebrity or industry influentials. The mainstream movie biz is a cash cow mega-gazillion dollar industry. Where do they GIVE BACK or at the very least, perhaps a ‘few words’ of support or endorsements to Indie filmmakers projects? So much independent work out there with poor man’s or micro-budgets, and as usual … it is a struggle for artists/creatives but they persevere with their passion.

REVOLTOSO at Kickstarter


LINKS(related): Stop Motion Short: ‘Veinte Años’ from Cuba‘Junk Head 1′ indie short from Japan