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February 2010


* Laika Studio catch-up info .... I figure, I should include this before finishing off February month. Seems quiet up there in Portland, however there is some buzz about  some Laika Stop Mo projects in the works. These days, I do not pay much attention to 'Awards' in the flick biz. The big awards are mostly a 'mainstream media' affair. With 'Avatar' as example, being praised up the wah-zoo and Tinsel Town salivating & slobbering over it. If awards are won, it's mostly used as publicity hype. Not saying that is bad, but it is what it is. 'Coraline' of course has been nominated, and I think but not sure, also 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' (both stop motion) and other nominated CGI animations in the competition. You can search yourself about the nominations & awards stuff. I have not been in keyboard talkative mood at SMW here or messageboard. Life & stuff and outside things kind of impacting me and including the general pessimism out there, I sense. USA here and worldwide too. Unpredictable times upon us. I have a strong urge to return to the less complicated past. Not to give up though and we should be engaged & fight .... but I digress. Back to subject. Here you go Oregon Business: Laika  'Little White Lie', 'Here be Monsters' & 'Paranorman' from Laika


* Motion Control, Stereo 3D, equipment for Stop Mo .... Not necessarily for the Poorman's or Newbie Stop Motionists but for projects with some reasonable budget and desiring to be 'Cost Effective, by purchasing 'off the shelf' tools & equipment instead of the higher expense of having equipment custom designed & fabricated from scratch. For those going with the, in my view, the possible gimmick of Stereo 3D, there is a Digital Still Camera adaptor/unit for single frame stereo 3D animation photography. Good for the 'All Puppet' Stop Motion. Obviously, you cannot use it for 'live action' Stereo 3D recording/filming such as Harryhausen-esque (combining puppets with real people). I know though, that 3D Stereo seems to be the 'Flavor for the Moment' and perhaps provides more distribution markets. So, instead of custom building all the motion control equipment, a possible option for Henry Selick when he comes back to SF Bay Area (see previous SMW News below) for various motion control equipment, as an example, everyone take a look at the SC Stereoscopic Stepper and here. The Stereo Stepper, they say, integrates with some of the top Stop Motion frame grabber programs. Henry, as your 'production consultant' , I would suggest, perhaps a return to the roots of cost-effective and resourceful filmmaking philosophy ..... like the ol' days of 'Nightmare Before Christmas' Part 2  Part 3. It IS the 'creative end product' that is of primary importance and not the Mega-Million $$$ publicity hype of many of today's Tinsel Town's obscenely excessively budgeted features. General website of Mr. Moco


* Henry Selick: Stop Motion might return to San Francisco Bay Area .... There was a period where Stop Motion was hot here for a few years. Actually I believe, that Art Clokey was the seed that started it in the Bay Area. Read latest issue of Stop Motion Magazine. Gumby series seemed to have established a methodology of Stop Motion production. At the ol' Premavision Studio back then (in Sausalito, CA), I recall the entire walls covered with shot by shot storyboard breakdown. Ever since, any behind the scenes shots of the few major all puppet Stop Motion features, those productions followed similar technique and they also plastered the studio walls with the shot by shot breakdown. Anyway, looks like Henry has a few projects in mind and article hints that he might come back to San Francisco area. Read article at Variety  P.S. Tip/suggestion ..... San Fran may be pricey .... try the 'peninsula' like in San Mateo county (easier commuting/parking or public transportation access) EDIT: 02.17.10 

* Stop-Motion Ace YouTubes Himself to Hollywood .... I already and plethora of others in the online world already gave him plenty of publicity, so he doesn't need any more help from me. This is about the Canadian creative Patrick Boiven who is 'virally known' for his Stop Motion animations of  poseable TOY figures. He is not just into Stop Mo but does other independent personal creative works. The article though, did not reveal if he is making any kind of reasonable  income from his Stop Motion works. Just because something goes viral  on the internet, that does not automatically translate into success aka mega-dollars. However, it might buy you some brief moment of notoriety and it's up to the person to attempt to pursue that window of '10 Seconds of Fame' phenomenon which seems to be rampant now on the internet, with the onslaught and bombardment of 'new media' onto our cerebal cortex aka 'Internet Orgasma Rama'. Read article at Wired Magazine

* Lessons From This Week's Viral Video Successes .... This appears to be a website about online marketing. They also do weekly reviews of a cornucopia of online clips/videos and they attempt to give you certain formulas or supposed secrets. Now if everyone followed their advice, wouldn't we all have hot viral videos? Of course not. It's kind of like Financial consultants (so-called expert pundits) giving you advice about the Stock Market (& there are no guarantees). IMO, it's partly an unknown factor, the timing of video release, what's immediate & now in the culture, then especially the creative originality or element, and other factors. I do not think one can exactly quantify or formulize what makes something hot & successful in the 'Creative' arena. Read article at Reel-Seo

* February SMW Random Cinema:  

> Tracey Snelling does miniature creations-installations. Doesn't work in Special FX or film biz some smart directors might ask if she would work on Stop Mo projects? Watch

> Behind Scenes Frog Toad & Friends (1985) & Runaway Ralph (1987). The overseer & director was John C. Matthews a very much, home brewer, do it yourselfer, and cost effective creative problem solver Website


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