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January 2008

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* Framepool, Insects, VideoMaker, SMW resource page ..... No tirade and no thumbnails this time. I need to chillax once in awhile and lurk too. There is a Video-Image clips service that is similar to BBC Motion Gallery, goes by the company name Framepool. They sell stock moving image clips, however they are generous to display their image library via small watermarked clips of all variety. No need to register to view clips. Just enter in their search. Here is one for still images reference and maybe handy for sculpting & puppet builders Insect Images.Org. This other one is VideoMaker which has lots of tips for general video/film making, and the principles of course, applicable to Stop Motion or if you are doing a monster on the loose B-Movies, combining Live Action with Harryhausen-esque . Then, a few months ago, FINALLY after some years online, our Stop Motion Works staff has debuted the SMW Resource links which will be a work in progress, so you need to occasionally check for resource link additions. Laters peoples. EDIT: 01.27.08

* Missed Opportunities & Deathly Silence from Stop Motionists? ..... It seems, I am seeing a bit more postings of Stop Motion related projects at the messageboard. I do not know if the Stop Mo Lurkers are responding to those postings via private emailing or messaging? You got this very interesting recent post by Rocket33.TV. They are looking for cutting edge content for a certain market. Absolutely no one commented on that post. Any Robot Chicken Stop Motionists out there? Seems like a ripe opportunity to pitch them. Also, you other experienced Stop Motionists; what about siezing the possible carrot, or you just going to be in continual lurking mode? Similarly, there are two studios, unbelievably, both near each other, in the in the state of Utah, USA! Lumenas Animation Studios & 2 and Candleman Films & 2, and it seems they are having a hard time finding Stop Motion people? Then look at this, Berlin Calling. There has been some discussion of Marketing & (the buzz word) Monetizing of Stop Motion. Have you all really taken a good look at all the past postings at the Jobs & Projects category? I don't know, maybe I am misinterpreting Stop Motion people or they are really just slow, introverted, awkward, not savvy in Social & Business interaction?

I always have said, Stop Motion (as a semi-income producing vehicle), unfortunately, requires one to have a somewhat portable lifestyle. That is the nature of Show Biz and/or life as a general freelancing artist. I completely understand the Life shackles that imprison us: Could be family responsibities, commited to geographic area, such as a house or one has a straight job that is consistent and secure but which does not quench the heavy thirst for creative outlet. I have that strong urge to just say Fug it all and leave all my comfort & securities and embark once again on journey of freelancing as a nomadic artist . I could, if I wanted, and really promote push myself .... but always, the devil of doubt, creeps in . It would take courage, to just drop everything and all that security in your quest to follow your bliss. Again, unfortunately, You Only Live Once (not Twice but would be a cool option). EDIT: 01.20.08

* A few Stop Motion books ..... Kind of January Blues feeling? Also recession fears in the air? Take notice how much your feelings & reactions are manipulated by mass media! Recession is part of the cyclical economy. What goes up, must come down or level off. A period of time to be in reality & to curb the public's excess materialistic compulsions. I do not feel in a profundity or tirading mood right now. Just doing a basic post announcing some hard copy books you might add to your Stop Motion collection. One is the 2nd Edition of Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation by Susannah Shaw. The other, a brand new one, Stop Motion: Passion, Process and Performance, by Barry JC Purves. Do not ask which is the best (general question I hear a lot at forum & email inquiries) about these books, or any other books or products. Each book has something of value. If you can afford your iPods or Cell phone services, do not whine to me that you are poor. A few dollars for Knowledge can save you much trial & error, and give you jump start (in reference to newbies/beginners). Hey, did I almost go into a rant??

* Stop Motion Closets: Pull yourself out of it & SEE the BIG picture! ..... At the messageboard, some trying to figure out an angle or strategy how to promote their creative works or maybe wanting formulas. In my view, Creativity cannot necessarily be boxed into specific steps or methods. It is an abstract thing, however, when you (or public) see it, you will know it. Getting noticed or making a living at it, can be difficult or challenging for Artists, in general (not just animation).

Obviously, everything that is 'Stop Motion' will NOT automatically be 'good'. Some 'have it' and some do not. Some looks crude & rough, and others are finessed & polished. Especially in the massive-ness of The Internet, there will be tons of crappy & mediocre stuff (not just Stop Mo). As the saying goes, the Cream Rises to the Top. Sure, many beginners or newbies, at StopMoShorts, for example. They need honest but diplomatic feedback & critiques. It does them no good, if one only says, "That looks great". I am part of SMS, and I suppose I should post comments there, but so much to do, so little time.

As I said, do not be myopic within just Stop Motion (introverted kind of group anyway). Get inspiration or motivation from OTHER than Stop Motion. This would include other animation techniques & styles, BUT also, look at what other Artists do & their philosophy about things. Some have serendipitously (maybe luck, timing, or planned, I don't know) made their own little niche. It is the uniqueness of their creative works which somehow has grabbed the attention of a niche audience. Just a micro-scopic few examples; some I posted at SMW here few years ago but you all have a tendency to get temporary amnesia: Guido Daniele Steve J. Lindsay Lisa Lichtenfels Bent Objects.Obviously, there are many other unique Artists/Creatives out there. Here in San Francisco Bay Area, a local PBS affiliate station produces a show which spotlights northern california artists. Not all of them are making a regular living at it, but they seem maybe, at peace, contented or fulfilled in pursuing & practicing their Creative outlets. TV program is called SPARK. You can watch the show segments online: Select the show episode > wait for next page to load > then on right side of page click 'More ....' to watch that particular video streamed clip (see note below) segment about the artist(s).

Addendum: Unfortunately, the Spark site using the (IMO) less popular Media format that requires a proprietary player, called RealPlayer which I hear is a bloated player for PCs. I have been using a no-frills freeware called, Real Media Alternative (for PCs). Play's the Real Media format and also, you can manually select WMV movie files into this player, and it will also play it. Comes with uninstall too. Also, 'unfortunately', as far as I know, there is no generic or alternative player that plays the Real media files on Macs EDIT: 01.07.08



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