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Previous News

JULY 2004

Special Weekend Edition - 07.31.04
* Here is one person's experience Quirky Artist: We're all Mad Here, who actually had a paid job doing work in Stop Motion! ....getting more rare these days especially in the states here.... earning money from Stop Mo. Last year, Margaret Meyer worked on the Davey & Goliath Christmas Special at Premavision Studio in California. You may have already seen these, but for those who have not, here are some production photos. I also did some work for the D&G project, which was outsourced to me, here. The D&G special is suppose to be aired sometime this year during the Holidays, but too early now to know what dates, or one can always contact Premavision.

* Have you heard of Lego Animation? I am kind of bewildered how this highly specialized animation niche using the Stop Motion technique, has a cultish like following of practitioners. I guess .... whatever floats your boat! It is very, very stylized and cartoonish. This is not a criticism but just me describing the Lego animation. There is even a just released Spider-man Lego parody. Even though I am not into the Lego animation mania, there is an informative site, Brick Films. Guess what ... everything you ever wanted to know about Lego Animation but were afraid to ask! I mention the Brick Films website because their resources link is very informative and can apply to just general Stop Motion Animation ..... many tips and how-to .... especially good info if you are beginner.

* Here is a short article that has some more brief, but cool quotes from Phil Tippett .... always cogent & truthful with his observations about the biz ....
"Nothing is more boring than spectacle," he says. "There is a tendency with technology to be stupid. Making things look real is about as far as the mechanism goes. Computers don't understand 'imaginary' and 'pretend.' Art doesn't have to be real; it has to be exciting and imaginative."
Read the short article ..... Troopers 2 Dvd Director learned from Star Wars

* I just wrote a brief overview about Strata-Cut Animation. What is that, you ask? Check it out ..... it will be at my Work Shop link and here is direct link to the article


* I am surprised this has not been noticed too much in the media. I had this article sitting in my files and forgot to post it. About a special effects studio in the San Francisco bay area ....mostly known for their work on the Matrix sequels and just completed some work on Catwoman. Here it is, Layoffs at ESC Entertainment .... about 160 people let go. As you all may know ..... that is how the general entertainment biz is. To be in it, you must have a certain lifestyle and always be constantly adaptable to change. I know it does not feel so good to lose any kind of employment. Entertainment market does not seem to follow the regular economic trends. If it is Stop Motion .... then you are really nuts! You almost cannot have a family, a relationship, own a house, and you must be nomadic transient-type chasing after work! Am I being negative? Well maybe ....but do Stop Motion or anything creative, because you are passionate about it and not necessarily just to get a paying job in the biz. I am not discouraging anyone and if you choose, follow your dreams or passion, but also, just in case, keep your day job!

Special Weekend Edition - 07.10.04
* Sheeeesh..... always hard trying to find Stop Motion related news topics here and that's why I sometimes need to go onto other topics in other special effects areas. Anyway .... really seems slow with Stop Motion buzz, however here's one ..... On PBS television network there is show called HIstory Detectives.... someone thinks a certain camera was used in the making of the original King Kong ..... the show investigates it and Ray Harryhausen makes an appearance. It is scheduled to be aired this Monday, July 12 about 9pm. Check your local stations & times (USA only)

* I recently making an attempt to revive The Animators Web Ring It was around for years and previously had a high membership but went through changes & ownership. I emailed some of you, an invititation to join the web ring , but response was disappointing Maybe Stop Motion people are just loners, closet-types, renegades, slackers, etc.??

* Here is an article about The Life Aquatic. This website, among their other movie buzz and hype they write about, they also like to guess or predict how a film might do. They even make a bold statement, "Insiders already have The Life Aquatic as a strong contender for awards consideration." It seems the writer has not seen the movie because opinions based on "insiders".... which could be from the studio's promotion campaign. Hopefully, Life Aquatic does have some success, especially a live action film that has some Stop Motion special effects (by Henry Selick's crew) to remind others that the technique is still around and viable. You should know, Disney is behind this film under their Buena Vista name.

Holiday Independence Day Edition -
* Hey... some at the Stop Motion message boards trying to beat me with news stories? You listening to me Eric Scott? About a week ago, I had the RonDexter.Com update ready to post at the news page here, but Eric jumped on it & stole my thunder If you go to website you will see vast amounts of general Movie Making tips & tricks from the incredible wisdom & experience of Ron Dexter. But, where are all the Stop Motion topics-links that Eric mentioned? Well, leave it to me .... I am getting to be a pro at digging this up ..... here you go...no particular order:
Stop Motion Studio Avoiding Film Mistakes D-100 Procedures Diopters/Lens Shades Camera Support Magnet Tiedowns Fireplace Effect Flying Shots Fake Travel/Moving Shots Nodal Cam Moves Lighting Units Handy Machinery Avalanches Exposure & Lighting Beam Splitter Blue Screen Dollies
The above are just general overview and not really step by step instructions ....mostly written text and only, some photos. Ron makes it clear on his site that you should have some intermediate knowledge about this as you may have difficulty understanding if you are a beginner. You might
Email Ron and find out why his links to his stop motion tips are on not shown at his site.

* Are you still holding out and too cheap to buy Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation ?? Shame on you ..... it is very affordable. Well, if you want a preview of the book .... at AWN Site there is an article Coat Hangers for Armatures by Susannah Shaw (book author) providing abbreviated version of some of the contents inside the book. Again, buy yourself a hard copy of the book.



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