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February 2007

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* Artists: Andrea Caro and Andre Masters ..... Co-incidentally, both have similar first names and are in the UK, but not related. However, both are creative artists, and most talented. Recently, Andrea Caro posted at the SMA message board. She is a musician, composer, singer, also including Film and TV scoring. Andrea has great appreciation of the animation arts and if project is interesting, she might consider collaborating. A side note; she is a big fan of Bernard Hermann! Listen to some of her works at MySpace (What if you're wrong, Nicotinia, & more). Her website, Andrea Caro: Composition with more selections of her musical artistry.

Andre Masters, a name unknown to me, until I discovered his new website. Apparently he has had prolific experience in the area of model making, but that description does not fully describe all his talents, including puppet making, molding & casting, miniature sets, large set construction, illustration & design and more. He also worked with the godfather of Stop Motion, Ray Harryhausen on a DairyLea TV commercial (1997). Andre's website, All HandMade

If any of you 'Suits', producers, directors, ad agencies, etc., are smart, wise, & forward thinking, you should give consideration to these, not well known yet, but verrry talented artists. For later online reference, I will be adding them to Stop Motion Works Studios/Artists resource page. Edit 02.27.07

* 'Davie & Golimyr' on DVD and 'Sneax Shoes' Ad ..... Believe it or not, an animation studio that does high production values/quality Stop Motion and is not located in the mecca of Hollywood, New York, or England. They are known as Lumenas Studios. I posted about them in past blog and they are also listed in Studios/Artists page. One of their finished stop motion projects, 'Davie & Golimyr' is generously being offered as a free download for your iPod (or similar porta players), but probably better to view it on your TV set if you get the affordably available David & Golimyr DVD.

The artist known as PES (he does not give his real name) has just done an eye grabbing Mike Jittlov style animation for an Ad. Low tech methods but IMO, most effective. CGI & Digital FX complexity excess, is not the holy grail and not always needed (You listening Hollywood?) It's originality & creativity, FIRST! Will the 'Suits' ever learn? Read, PES creates Human Skateboard. It has generated an interesting Sneax Shoes campaign. PES is also listed at our Studios/Artists page. Edit 02.25.07

* LIO Secret Revealed .... You remember I rambled-blogged about that? I did say, if you found out, you might say, "What the Fug? Is that it?" Well, it is your Loss if you cannot see the big picture & benefits. The 3rd Secret Element is, Blue/Green compositing; but not just using any painted chromakey blue/green surface or the typical cloth backdrop. There is this very 'engineered-designed' Blue/Green Screen foam-backed material, that amazingly reduces the hassle of lighting the chromakey background. It is more forgiving to light compared to other sufaces. The surface of the material is somewhat similar to velcro. What is unique, is how it reflects & diffuses the light very evenly with almost no Glare. I dig this type of passive technology, just using light reflectance-diffusion principles. It will never be outdated, get old, or you never need to get the latest model! For the best 'Bang for Buck' benefit, IMO, this screen is very Cool.

In a past blog, I did give you a general hint that this was posted July '06 at SMA message board, but not much attention paid by the members. Thanks to Tony McVey, who immediately took notice of that topic at the forum. Also, in-person & first-hand at his studio, I was able to see, touch, feel, & caress the background screen material.

Full description and product listing of this miraculous Blue/Green Backdrop material is available from the EEFX Company. Many available size choices. For myself, I purchased two colors Blue & Green, each at 5' x 8' size. Since I intend to do significant compositing/chromakeying for my tests-experiments, this aspect is critical & important for my production workflow. I do not want to waste time with producing compositing work and looking for methods or materials that will streamline the work flow (cost-effectively too).

P.S. This unique compositing screen does not eliminate the chromakey color painting of rigs and other objects which may be necessary. However, the EEFX material, IMO, significantly will help or reduce general chromakeying screen lighting issues, giving more consistent & predictable results. EEFX also sells chromakey color matching paints, or you can maybe have custom mixed at general paint store. It may not be exact but possibly close enough. Edit 02.25.07

* The 'Stop Motion Centennial Celebration' Replacement? .... Remember I posted back around May '06 about this? Some subsequent controversy about it. A mysterious letter was made available to me, announcing that event and it had a dream list of Stop Motion Hall-of-Famers: Uncle Ray, Jim Danforth, Phil Tippett, Henry Selick, etc.. The Chiodo Brothers were behind that Stop Mo Centennial event. I quickly 'heard' that they did not want the letter to be circulated, so I voluntarily pulled it offline. Apparently, the Chiodos discovered that it is very difficult to plan such an event that they envisioned, of that magnitude.

Well, here is another event and ASIFA branch in Tinsel Town are the sponsors. They are calling it, Stop Mo Expo and it is scheduled for April 21, '07. Why didn't they notify and provide Stop Motion Works with a press release? I accidentally found out about it. The online information about event is in PDF format. IMO, a mistake. It should be displayed as a Website for more user friendly access. This could be really big if they promote it more effectively and in advance, so that perhaps other Stop Motionists & Fans may participate or contribute. Stop Motion has to learn how to hustle & push their wares . Anyway, here is their contact for more details or questions. It is two months away and so you got time to plan and attend.

* Stop Motion Ads for Nascar's Daytona 500 ..... by the Coca-Cola people, will make its broadcast debut in the USA, this Sunday, February 18, 2pm ET on the Fox Network. Here is one of the online press releases about the Stop Mo commercials. No online teasers or previews of the TV ads that I could find, except for some still images here (large jpeg downloads).

* Large Files Upload/Download Hosting ..... This is NOT a YouTube video sharing thing for the masses. Someone tipped me about this cool online service. At times you may need to 'Privately' send, exchange & receive big files with individuals. Email usually has a megabyte size limit and the recipient's email may not be able to accept or download the large file through their email.

For example, you have an animated movie/clip that you think StopMoShorts might consider : You upload your movie to YouSendit and the file will be temporarily stored (& unaltered) at a private online web address for 7 days. With the free YouSendit 'lite' version, you can upload up to 100 MB. Of course, IMO, you should not have any movie clip that large (less incentive for people to view it) but first make attempts to use compression codecs to reduce big video files. It is assumed you have some sort of Broadband internet service for this work more effectively (dial-up would take forever) Here is Wiki's YouSendit overview/summary. Save and Bookmark YOU SEND IT

* Why aren't you 'Representing' Stop Motion? Dudes and/or dudettes, get out of your closets! Talk it up to everyone or everywhere or as the ol' saying goes, "The squeaky wheel gets the $Grease$" Get yourself a SMA T-Shirt .... a $ 5. coupon savings (expires 2/14/07). Since many of you seem to be introverted types , the shirts and other Stop Mo related promotional items/products could be a Chick Magnet for you .... a conversation starter; but you got to change your attitude; show confidence. We are cool .... renegades, underground, we have no fences, as free as the wind, march to the beat of a different drummer, etc. etc. Keith J. Brett's, Bride of Wire Studio Store has the tools that might help your social life (even without the coupon, you should 'represent') Edit 02.11.07

* Tinsel Town hoping Stereo flicks will get your $$$ .... They want you out of your house and inside the pricey movie theaters. In past blogs, I posted some articles about this. Is it just another carrot in addition to the current plethora & sometimes excess, empty eye-candy calories of "CGI & Digital Special Effects"?? You know how 'they' work; formulaic, LCD, homogenized. We shall see, we shall see. Read, 3-D: The Eyes have it Edit 02.11.07

* StopMoShorts for the 'Discriminating & Selective' ..... YouTube is for the masses. Yeah, some good stuff there but the comments can be negatively brutal . The loud mouthed YouTube posters are supposedly courageous under the cover of anonymity, however, they are nothing but Yellow-Belly fleeing cockroaches if confronted in-person. StopMoShorts does not post all movie/video submissions. They are verrrry picky. When you do get a privileged spot at SMS, you can be sure it will be noticed by your peers and the comments will be diplomatic, positive and constructive. We are here to "Pump each other up" (courtesy of Governor Arnold). P.S. StopMoShorts has been showcasing Movie Trailer/Teasers that have Stop Motion content and also providing brief background info. Check this one out; very B-movie but Fun, Planet of Dinosaurs (1978) Edit 02.11.07

* Sesame St. Characters in Stop Motion ..... Not coming from USA, but to be produced by a studio in Italy. See what happens? Hollywood obsessed with their one-trick pony CGI & Digital Schmigital Special Effects. Euro 'Suits' maybe smarter and more open to 'thinking out of the box'? Read, Bert & Ernie set in Clay, and this is the Italian animation house, MISSERI STUDIO Edit 02.11.07

* Ray Harryhausen & BlueWater make a Splash in '07 .... I got a press release from Blue Water Productions who publish high end & splashy graphic novel comics. A quote from Blue Water, "Each RAY HARRYHAUSEN PRESENTS comic will feature five pages of original artwork from Harryhausen's collection". Some of the comic titles are .... Wrath of the Titans, 20 Million Miles More, Sinbad: Rogue of Mars and others. The first issues suppose to be released in May (4 months from now) and I am not sure why the announcement is so early. Hopefully, Blue Water will also send out another press release 'later', to remind us.

* Dreamworks & Aardman Split .... It's all over the news now. To me, this is sooo old. I saw it coming long ago. Also, you will get the Dreamworks corporate line that Were-Rabbit was a box office flop and not profitable. Do not believe everything you read on the internet as Gospel. Many times it is "spin and hype". Compared to the general excess of CGI production budgets, making the Stop Motion Were-Rabbit feature was a bargain. One of many sound byte articles, Aardman Gets Flushed

* FlexiMusic revisited ..... Stop Motion Works announced it in Oct. '06 and also was just mentioned at forum, but with the constant deafening silence out here, not sure if this is worth my time trying to motivates all yous peoples! Check-out FlexiMusic. NO it's not a high end, Yamaha Schamaha Moog Synthesisr, or 'whatever' keyboard set-up, BUT maybe FlexiMusic might work as an introductory/starting out, background Stop Motion music/sound composer & editor that is cost-effective (cheap). It is for PC Windows and they have very generous free trial period.

Speaking of keyboards & music; this is not directly Stop Mo related but if you are a general gadgeteer build it yourself type; check this out on YouTube, Ghetto Talk Box (build yourself one) ..... then listen/watch this dude's keyboard & talkbox rendition of A Merry Talk Box Christmas (crank up the volume & get funky). AMAZING .... currently with accessible & somewhat affordable tools to the public; there is hella lots of talent out there. Hollywood Power People no longer are the GateKeepers of determining who or what talent is exposed to the masses. P.S. Hurry up Eric Scott! (of StopMoShorts Celebrity Fame ).I believe you got a tricked-out Yamaha keyboard set-up? Start learning it so I can use your services for my Stop Motion experiments Edit 02.04.07

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