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March 2006

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* Chill out .... got some clips for you ..... Nuke that cold leftover pizza in the microwave & grab some ice cold soda pop or fresh tall glass of milk. Here goes ..... "The Harryhausen" of so-so exploitative B-movies, Brett Piper (also here) and example here of an upcoming one that has some Stop Mo tease shots, Shock-O-Rama (latest Flash 8 needed). Next ..... Stop Mo Kong-like Excel Gum Ads (again, Flash format site, which I don't like) and also includes Stop Mo puppet heads comped/tracked onto live action bodies. There are 3 Gorilla ads in this series (at site, click on ape pic). Next ..... electronic press kit for the original 1996 The Neverhood video game & brief making-of (QuickTime). Various clips with & without dialogue. Intended for distribution to news media, at the time. It's a loooong 15 minute clip and don't fall asleep. Finally .....some of you regulars may know, the very ocassional message board member, Susanna Jerger (aka as the animator whose pricey SLR digital still cam broke). She has interesting vision and really pursuing Stop Motion as an artistic, individualistic, expressive and creative outlet. A sample tease clip (Quicktime) from her in-progress work (no sound yet). It is all indoor miniature sets & models, but it has a feel of, it being shot outdoors in sunlight.

* Do not cry or whine to me .... about Stop Motion's rough & volatile existence in cinema history, and to present day. Just deal with it, dude (or dudette). This animation art/craft is only for the strong and perserving dedicated few. 'Puter mouse clickers, need not apply. Stay with your sterile CG synthetic product and do not invade our territory with your attempts to "simulate" Stop Motion. You Stop Motion fakery thieves. As I repeatedly tirade about the plethoric cornucopia of other possible outlets for Stop Motion. I easily found a website, not about Stop Motion but covers the new breed & phenomenon of independent-guerilla type films in this high tech / internet age, Micro Cinema Scene and this is their News page. Bookmark it.

* LIO ... the Gandalf-like, Observator - Prognosticator .... was RIGHT! Remember, I blogged about the "Suits" Stop Mo prejudice in USA? There is suppose to be another major Stop Motion feature flick in the works, NOT in USA but from CANADA .... Newton & Leo to be directed by Jesse Rosensweet. I do not know who he is but he is suppose to have some notariety for a past Stop Motion short in 2002. Pacific Circle Productions in Vancouver, Canada is behind it, but I see that they do not have any online/website presence. My other prediction that came true (already) ..... DreamWorks just re-designed their website and has dumped & removed most of the references to the OSCAR® winning Wallace & Gromit Stop Motion feature. I made my keen insights in the 03-11-06 news/blog. Then coincidentally, about a week later, the following PR announcement at AWN, 03-23-06, DreamWorks Animation Site Revamped

* I am NOT Negative! ..... Obviously I let loose last week, but do not misinterpret or falsely spin what I said. I am specifically tirading towards mainstream's movie biz, discrimination against Stop Mo, especially in USA . In Europe or other countries, there is perhaps more of a historical puppetry tradition and 'maybe' Stop Motion might have more life over there but I am not sure. "Time" will tell what DreamWorks does with their relationship with Aardman. Most likely, DreamWorks will just quietly drop Stop Motion and no big news in media about it and it will be a faded memory. Just remember though, you heard it here first. We will now see how LAIKA Studio (Coraline) does with Stop Motion as they seem to be the only big Stop Mo players in USA and making some mainstream attempt at it. As I ranted many times .... humongous of possible OTHER outlets, venues and distribution for Stop Motion. It will be the independent market, educational, advertising, internet, music videos, cable TV and direct to DVD movies. Examples: Phil Dale worked on a few OSCAR® nominated animations. Phil is now undertaking an independent Stop Motion Short project and attempting creative ways to fund the project. Check it out, Fund my Short; consider donating. Maybe a possible OSCAR® candidate! Then this website I saw, a French studio (Flash site is in French & difficult to nagivate) working on a Stop Motion feature, Max & Co. or watch QT teaser clip of their work. Animation being supervised by Guionne Leroy and some Corpse Bride alumni talent working on it. This is a WEIRD one which is a Direct to DVD, Trail of the Screaming Forehead .... some small amounts of Stop Motion by Chiodo Bros. In this genre, especially the Fangoria-Horror type ... there are all kinds of B movie productions for direct to DVD release. Many are cheesey and so-so but perhaps good fun and an escapism. Others are attempts at serious or dramatic works within that genre. There are a PLETHORA of direct to DVD features being made each year, in all genre, subject & categories. Also, in other countries, perhaps some Euro "Suits" are more free thinking & daring and willing to experiment & explore Stop Motion. So, do not buy into the false perception of: "For Stop Motion to survive, that we need mainstream Hollywood". That will not happen. You got to be creative in trying to market and sell it. Do not expect $big money$ or regular income from it. You FIRST do it, because you are passionate about Stop Motion.

* DreamWorks Terminating Stop Motion .... I am bold enough to say it, where other's might keep quiet. Not much mainstream news media publicity about it except for some vague mention of it, online. I did not want to post this at SMA message board because I know many are optimistic or hopeful and believe that the OSCAR® prize going to the Wallace & Gromit feature, might generate more Stop Mo content movies. How many times have you heard me tirade in so many different ways? "Do not look to mainstream Hollywood for Stop Motion's survival." It is very "cold" how the non-creative "suits" looks at this. They do not give a rat's pink ass about any kind of artistic merit or quality of the films. It's all about the $bean counting$ numbers, i.e., only looking at the cash to be generated in a specific window of time. Read the article yourself, Animation Studio Is Nipped by 'Rabbit' and 1 - 2 - 3. Finish reading? You think I am nuts with all these past rants? I seem to be cursed with clearly observing reality in many aspects of life & world events, and man, am I ever getting soooo cynical. I said it before, a plethora number of times, "Stop Motion will maybe have better survivalibity and a niche in 'other' markets and venues but not, theatrical mainstream feature releases". I would LUV to be proven WRONG! We NEED directors, non-suits, independents, and studios with 'chutzpah'; those creatives who can think out-of-the-box and go against the current Hollywood pervasive mentality with their LCD formulaic movie products.This is my conjecture how the Suits are spinning it: They are linking DreamWorks' poor financial woes, to Wallace & Gromit and indirectly, to the Stop Motion technique; serving as their convenient 'balance sheet' scapegoat. If it were a CGI feature film that did not do as good 'as expected', do you think DreamWorks would trash & throw-out CGI? Can you now see the prejudice against Stop Motion? It has always existed since the Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen days. So, it seems Dreamworks might be thinking of 'dumping' Aardman & Stop Motion. Addendum: Were-Rabbit cost about $30 million and worldwide it made about $183 million. W&G budget seems to be "cheap" in comparison to the plethora of other obscenely, highly budgeted flicks. Movie Budgets Edit: 03.12.06

* Wreckless Abandon Studio .... Abandoned? A start-up studio some years ago with Stop Motion emphasis 1 - 2. They were located in state of Connecticut (USA). They acheived a little more publicity with the Davey & Goliath Mountain Dew Commercial parody in 2002. Their website www.wrecklessabandon.com, has vanished. You can only find fragments of their site at archive.org. At a framegrabber company's website, there are some very short small QT clips of Abandon's work, 3 - 4 - 5 - 6. As for the quality or finesse of their work.... I cannot really make any comment because I have not seen much of it, other than those micro-small fuzzy clips. I estimate that Abandon may have closed down sometime between '04 to '05 because that is the last time I posted in my news/blog about them .... May '04 News Archive

* SMW Article Page ..... I never really finished Stop Motion Works. A medium such as this, is never complete and always in flux, if one wants to keep "returning online visitors" . Two pages I never completed yet in the Library link; the Articles and Resources page. As it is, this site can take up my personal time and I do intend to work on those pages when my other "life" permits it. As a matter of fact, I finally did a very small start at the Articles page. Some of those links are already located elsewhere at SMW. Also .... to newbies (who probably don't read this news/blog anyway) do not whine & cry if you cannot find things at Stop Motion Works. It is not a big website and you have SMW Search and SMW Site Map.

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