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Previous News

MAY 2005

Memorial Day Weekend Edition - 05.29.05
* Hmmmmm .... party time, barbeques, picnics, guzzling beer, shopping bargain sales, etc. So this is Memorial Day ?

* Okay .... a little inside confession here. Printed words easy to hide behind and cannot always show the real feelings, emotions, or state of mind. I have had Stop Motion Works online for about five years. It was a means to stay in touch with the community and spread the word about Stop Motion. Also, in the beginning .... frustration with the onslaught of CGI shutting-out other styles-techniques and pronouncements by the ignorant media & studios referrng to Stop Motion as old, quaint, not viable. Other reasons and more significant, maybe Stop Motion Works was providing me with some micro-scopic purpose or little escape where I could have a mental break and allows me to be on the sideline of the Biz. I have sort of been in limbo .... wandering. No clear, personal & career direction even in adulthood. Enthusiasm fades in & out. People try to push me to do things. Even doing it, I did not get too excited. I was becoming very much a slacker. I do have a straight job that pays the rent and it does allows me time for other things. With regards to work in the Biz ....I have not really made a strong campaign to promote getting work. Only here at SMW, I advertised it minimally ....but no great effort. I only took on the very few job requests, only because I was asked. Anyway, the time seems right to get back to the hands-on work, not doing it for others, but only for myself and you the audience. I could not force it before and "it" had to happen of its own accord. StopMoShorts is also a positive factor in helping me decide to get back into this and also Nick Hilligoss, and in the past from Dan Anderson, both have ocassionally given me some motivational spark. You might also say .... "By the will of the Gods"

* Well .... now that I have exposed my soul out here, hopefully I did not make an ass of myself. It is great to see some Stop Motion specific Blogs popping up. Perhaps it also serves as a motivational tool .....like a flame under your butt .... putting it out there in the public ..... they are expecting results and you cannot fail them. I have no specific Stop Motion project that I am personally working on for myself. I have to play catch-up here, especially with regards to being online capable to display my works so I must finally cave-in and get high speed internet $$ I am also way behind in actual experience with software and there's a learning curve to familiarize myself with all that. However, my strong points ..... is that I got access to any killer armatures and that will aid me. Also, I do have a corner in my garage that already has been setup as a stage/animation/studio area and has been in mothballs for years. It was initially going to be for film using ol' fashion front projection compositing and now I have to refurbish the stage area for all digital. I need lower wattage lights and I will eventually convert the FP unit to maybe a manual camera dollying/tracking unit. As I said .... no specific Stop Mo projects. What I will do, to warm up, as I am learning and refreshing my skills ..... I will be doing tests & experiments ..... nothing exciting but could be informative and I will provide blog commentary and behind the scenes. I am not really a "sculptor" specialist where it comes easy for me but I can do it ..... especially the ol' school Harryhausen/Tippett style of creatures. I will do animation exercises just starting out with bare armatures, also I will do test digital bluescreen composites. You will see the raw behind the scenes. Also, the dollying/tracking unit I am kind-of jazzed about and I will also let you see my progress on that. At times, I may need your help when I am stuck . Just even doing the sound track might be a stumbling block for me. So my project might be titled ... "Watch LIO Stop Motionly Grow & Progress " ? As I said before, StopMoShorts providing impetus & motivation and also a venue where you will see my experiments & tests at Eric's website (miscellaneous entries) and somewhere along the way, I will try to do some official SMS entries too.

Weekend Edition -
* Like the Jason character in Friday the 13th ..... Stars Wars may never die? Marketing and merchandising up the wah-zoo or up the ying-yang (your choice). The original Star Wars are classics .... but the prequels .... I just don't know. Yoda on your cereal boxes, Darth Vader hyping products on TV? Continuing to extract every micro-drop of $blood$ from it. Look at this too .... Lucas to Release All Star Wars in 3D . How many different Star Wars releases or versions? Special edition, golden edition, collectors edition, directors cut edition .... ad nauseum? Lord of the Rings did some merchandising but maybe with a bit more moderation & restraint. I do not recall seeing Gollum on cereal boxes or Gandalf selling Pepsi-Cola on TV? To me, it kind of cheapens the product. I suppose it has always existed but even worse now .... even more excess hyper-marketing .... voracious in your face capitalism .... and not principles or being classy. A few sample reviews here of Revenge of the Sith 1 - 2 , then this review by a Star Wars nerd but implying objectivity. I hear Ebert & Roeper both gave Sith a thumbs-up. They are the Kings of Movie Critiquing. You know, the Lucas Empire salivating about that .... $$$. Did you know, Sith has already been pirated? Read this Revenge of the Sith Online. My comments here are NOT necessarily, dissing or putting down Star Wars. You are wrong, if you see it as that. Just giving you a glaring example of the Current State of Mainstream Movie Biz. They all unfortunately, like lemmings, do it inTinsel Town.

* Sooooo .... Marc Spess is going Slick on us? He just gave us a preview of his upcoming fancy schamcy website. To me, Marc's website had sort-of a Milton Bradley'ish, kind of "for kids" website ambiance? I am most pleased that he is "Seeing the Light". No .... not a Cooooool "Black" website, but a darkish gray website which is "almost the way" IMO, that more subdued color scheme gives it a more serious business or credible kind of feeling. I am now speaking to the webmaster audiences out here .... please NO FLASH websites! I hate that, when we are not given a choice of Html version of site. If a website is about info, resources, etc. it should be quick to navigate through the pages. Sites with excess Flash .... mostly tells me .... maybe not much on it and trying to appeal via eye candy gimmicks to maybe compensate for lack of content. Even if the content is good .... Flash can be distracting (to me) and it really sucks for internet dial-up connection users. Remember .... worldwide.... most do not use high speed broadband internet hook-ups.

Weekend Edition -
* The most detailed review, I ever read. It's about the just released 2 DVD set of The Life Aquatic. Does he actually get paid to do these reviews or just an obsession-hobby of his. At the computer and glued to TV (watching Dvds) 24-7? It appears that most reviews done there are pretty anal retentive, even getting into image & sound quality. Well ...the website is called Digitally Obsessed. So that is a clue? Duh

* Knight's studio awaits a cue for next big step The article title says it all. Nike shoe mogul, Phil Knight who owns the new Vinton Studio .... he seems to be salivating to be like a Pixar or Dreamworks. Unfortunately, the mainstream movie biz market may get eventually glutted with similarly looking animated products. The article even kind of alludes to that. Audiences are fickled and getting jaded or bored more quickly. Movies today: Like guzzling down common Beer ...available by the keg-ful. Movies of yesteryear: Like sipping Fine Wine ....more rare to find .... you savor it & appreciate it and the experience is more memorable.

* Check out this quote ......"There is sure to be much talk of Lucas' contributions to the cinema -- both good (his reinvention of mythic archetypes under the guise of sci-fi) and bad (his success led Hollywood to its current obsession with chasing blockbusters)" .....Yeah, the eventual saturation with these genre wannabe blockbusters. They pump them out so fast & then dumped on DVD just as fast. I hardly ever go to movie theaters. Just wait a few months and rent it. Cheaper and I do not feel ripped off (ticket prices) by the "Hollywood Suits/Studios" especially if the movie turned out to be a dud or mediocre (homogenized & formulaic) You can read more here Lucas' effects wizards morphed biz approach Article somewhat butt-licking computerized special effects.

* Kind of slow for me with the news. Just busy .... and sitting my butt in front of computer does not contribute in helping me getting "real life" things done ! The message board .....I am trying to perhaps cool off a bit on, but sometimes I must reply to give more balanced viewpoints to a particular poster at the forum. I am not an expert on all matters of Stop Motion, but I can see if something is too one sided. Not fair to people who may be beginners or to those who are not sure of what they are reading is factual or hyperbole. It's good to be enthusiastic but at least present your POV with more balanced information and don't be too preachy! Switching subject .... I prepared a test page Digital Still Cams Overview. I rushed it out .... will fix any typos or errors later. Something I really did not want to get into. Too much confusion and subjective viewpoints about Digital Still Cams. Okay ....nothing else too exciting to report. So hard to satisfy you, the demanding public!
Edit: The above page will be changing on a, "as needed" basis. I just updated it right now. Some links added about general DSLR Longevity. I will post here in news whenever I update or revise that page.

Weekend Edition -
* As you know, in the past I have ranted many times about mainstream movie biz but have mellowed my comments and I do not do it as much anymore. It does not mean that have I changed my views. Perhaps I have given you a different perspective and made you aware how the entertainment media industry is pumping out a very controlled product to reach the lowest common denominator (the masses).You may not see much in the way of unique storytelling or different aesthetics/styles of moviemaking from the corporate studios. I suppose ..... worldwide in other countries .... they eat-up American entertainment, so I guess movies are further diluted and homogenized and are formulaic to tap into those audience masses as a source of more profits. Sooooo ..... do not look to mainstream for "breaking the mold" with regards to movies. If it happens .... it is by accident and escaped the "suits" controlling hand. Mainstream will not be your so-called savior (for you Stop Motionists). Many other venues now for distribution and niche marketing .... thanks to technology (which includes the internet). I do see the value of technological tools but used with wisdom and not abused. Maybe I am also speaking philosophically .... in the big gestalt world POV. Anyway, in keeping with this theme, here is a recent, brief but cogent article .... maybe kind of .... abuse of technology??
The Wrath of Tron: How CGI Is Ruining Movies

* Looks like Ethan Marak aka Angry Puppet is back in circulation amongst us! He has always been, somewhat low key/quiet at the message board and posted occasionally. Get this .... he probably has a personal life and maybe that his excuse? I cannot believe that .... putting Stop Motion second?! Ethan recently worked on the cult Stop Mo hit, Robot Chicken He has moved back & forth from Bay Area to Los Angeles so many times .... I have lost count. He now just finished another move and guess where? In Hollywood. Yes, actually in Tinsel Town!
Ethan has been working on his own, yet untitled Stop Motion project. He has been after me for so long to custom fabricate him a puppet armature. For some reason, he insists on having a LIO Stop Mo Armature? Finally, he cornered me and I am doing one for his project. Very interesting and funny character but I cannot say anymore. Anyway .... I do not know if Ethan reads my page here (if you don't .... shame on you) Somebody .... pass on the message to him, that he is the subject of a Blog! Also, that the armature is in progress but just a little delayed. Do not worry Ethan .... it will be done, even if I have to drive to Hollywood and deliver it to you personally! I posted here publically, and so, everybody will be waiting for it too The Return of Ethan ... he is now a Blogger at
Angry Puppet Films

Sunday is Almost Over & Back to Work on Monday Edition -
* The Stop Motion Software & Tools page was down for a little while. During website maintenance, I accidentally deleted it and had to put it back together and desperately looking in my files to find text copies of my reviews, then I redid the html codes & design layout. It is as good as new now. I added, two new animation programs .... one called Stop Motion Station and the other one is
I_Can Animate. I also added two other lip sync programs .... Papagayo and JLipSync. I even added link to DAR 200 So, go to the Software page and you will see additions and slight re-editing.

* Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is now out. How come I have not heard that there were some Stop Motion micro-scenes in this movie? These reviews mention it, Hitchin' a ride and Hitchhiker 2-1/2 stars Here is photo of Stop Motion in Hitchhiker Looks like something that will not necessarily advance the Art of Stop Motion. Kind of mixed reviews of movie. It is a Disney product so they may have put "their kind" of branding-flavor into it.



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