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  AUGUST 2009


* 'House 2' (1987), a Haunted House Comedy ..... Not low, low budget B movie or gory stuff, but production values similar to 'The Gate' movies ('87 & '90). What is cool 'trivia-wise' for special effects & Stop Motion aficianados, is, who worked on 'House 2'. We got Mark Sullivan who supervised some aspects of the effects and I think was involved with some of the Stop Motion and the other credit is Phil Tippett's Studio (before they went oveto CGI dark side) where the Stop Motion effects were executed.  Then there was Chris Walas & his crew who did the full size puppetry and FX makeup. Walas Studio been has been no more for a long time but they were hot & busy for awhile doing animatronics, puppetry, and makeup FX for ILM, Tippett and other films in the '80s & early '90s. Entire 'House 2' flick is on YouTube in 9 frick'n chapters. If you cannot wait to watch it all, the Spoiler scenes that are Stop Mo related are in chapter 5, including the first Stop Mo effects scene of an awesome Willis Obrien-like jungle/forest compostion with a brontosaurus in distance. Of course, the Stop Motion Effects were all too short and not enough for us Stop Mo junkies .

* Chiodo Bros. Studio do Stop Mo 'Uncle Creepy' Intro ..... This is likely not new 'news' to some of you as some others already posted elsewhere before me. This is tough brutal  non-paying volunteering gig I do here, maintaining my Stop Motion Works 'Matt Drudge' status. There are some upstarts & back benchers always attempting to de-throne me so that they can grab the Number 1 spot .

At a messageboard topic they were speculating if Uncle Creepy's mouth animation was maybe enhanced with CGI. You see, this is one of the reasons why sometimes I like to keep some techniques secret. Yes I know it's ol' fashioned attitude and I hate to say it, but with the onslaught of high tech saturation and information & media overload upon our brain cells, the 'MySpacey Generation' maybe kind of snot-nosed spoiled with too many 'bread & circuses' diversions and they get jaded & bored hyper-quick. IMO, the only way to hold  their attention is by NOT blowing your WAD sooo fast (LIOs Marketing Principle). You have to maintain some level of Mystery and keep them 'Wanting'.

Hey, I'm going off topic. I will reveal Uncle Creepy's smooth slick mouth animation. According to info online, it appears that the mouth animation was done via a silcone skin (pull-over mask-like) covered head armature/underskull with internal small jointed paddles and levers underneath the lips, eyebrows, and elsewhere.  The Stop Motion animator pushes & pulls on the external silicone face to position the internal jointed paddles that animates the lips and facial features (no 'extra complex' Corpse Bride screw driven geared heads). There you have it .... NO HIGH TECH Digital CGI was used for Uncle Creepy mouth animation. So, you are even more spoiled and bored now because you thought Uncle Creepy might have used some high tech sophisticated special effects computerized wizardry?? Geez .... you iPodified people .... I just don't know .  Uncle Creepy Returns - Mind Your Business: Uncle Creepy is BAAAACK! - Uncle Creepy Promo Behind the Scenes 

* Full length 'Jesus the Miracle Maker' on YouTube .... Originally released in 2000. To me, becoming a timeless classic but maybe not given enough recognition which may have partly been due to the Faith based story-theme. Many segments of our society being a very secular culture, however in spite of that, let us not forget Mel Gibson's, live action 'The Passion of Christ' (2004) .... powerful movie and worldwide box office success. FYI, there is a specialty area of Faith themed 'animation' which mostly consists of 2D animation styles and some produced with CGI, however, IMO so far, 'Miracle Maker' stands above them all with regards to higher production values and especially, much credit goes to using the Stop Motion medium as a powerful story telling tool. 'Suits', yes, I am talking to you Mr. or Mz. Suit ....  it is NOT always about hyper reality CGI homogenized eye candy empty calories excess, ad nausem. It IS the Story & Characters that is the foundation.

You better have broadband internet connection to watch this. If your's is not fast enough, playback may slightly skip. Also, this YouTube special presentation has feature where you can turn off the background white page (light bulb icon). I was way ahead of YouTube. From the start, I adopted a black dark colored  themed website. It gives that Movie Theater  ambiance. To those negative critical emails I sometimes get from people who have black color phobia, I say, SCREW YOU . Many people do not. Ladies & gentleman and 'Kids', I present to you 'Jesus the Miracle Maker' I hope you got good speakers .... pump up the volume. EDIT: 08.23.09

* Premiere of  'John Ikuma's STOP MOTION MAGAZINE' ..... I already announced this  last month but well worth repeating for those of you that may have Vapor Locked Brain Syndrome (amnesia) . It has been in the planning stages for months and John persevered and did not give up. It will be a quarterly magazine that you can download (PDF format) for reading. Before the information overload medium of 'the Internet', John's magazine might bring back that nostalgic era of the ol' special effects & behind the scenes magazines of the past (and here) which were printed on real paper, and you took into the 'bathroom' & repeatedly flipped through the pages. 

John has been most generous in providing this magazine at no charge. He has another job that pays the rent/bills and volunteers his own personal time to produce this magazine. Donations welcomed but we will see if advertisers will help support his magazine.  Even though CGI & 'Puter Effects has dominated the mainstream movie biz, hopefully, any potential advertisers will realize that Stop Motion in other markets (including the Internet) seems to be a HOT commodity.

The August issue is now available. It includes interviews with Stephen Chiodo, Ron S. Cole, Justin & Shel Rasch, and Misha Klein. Go visit Stop Motion Magazine website and get it and subscribe to recieve notifications. Also, if you have a website or blog, I should not really have to ask you .... WHY DO YOU NOT PUT A permanent link or banner for Stop Motion Magazine? Come on peoples ..... use your marketing head. P.S. Misha said in the magazine interview, he was leaving the USA but did not say why. Well, I got the scoop on that. Read next news item below. 

 Where is Misha Klein? ..... I sometimes have rambled in past, the difficulty of maintaining employment in the Arts/Entertainment area (not just Stop Mo). It is competitive and can require much effort to get somewhat steady rate of gigs/work to live on. For those that do have employment in which you reeeeally enjoy, just remember that you are lucky. Everyone has different life priorities .... a 9 to 5 'secure joe-job' OR the thirst to explores one's inner creativity and try to make some income from it. Only for a select few who can follow that path which may require to have a nomadic type lifestyle. It is not for everyone. So, if you have a 'regular job', just remember, Stop Motion can be a fulfilling creative passion & escape like many other hobbies,  other activities or outlets.

Some years ago, Misha hung out in San Francisco for awhile. I assume, work in his chosen 'art' was dry around here and so he loaded up his wagon and went 400 miles south to Tinsel Town to join the L.A. Stop Motion Underground. Hang'n out there a bit getting a few gigs but then, hauled himself up to the Pacific Northwest, State of Oregon and got to be one of the select few Stop Mo animators to work on 'Coraline'. After that, Laika Studio project ended, many of the crew were left in 'Limbo' without any work.

Not one for standing still, the restless Misha has now become an international trekker and will be relocating or is already in the country of Spain to take on the gig, as Animation Director for the Independent international produced Stop Motion feature, 'O Apostolo'. Of course, me being the "Matt Drudge of Stop Motion" , and maybe I'm 'taken for granted' by many out here, I was already aware of  'O Apostolo' back in 2008. Fast forward to now, 2009. They changed some of their website info and it appears this Stop Mo feature production from Spain will now be done in 3D Stereo, and they will be importing some of their key positions & talent including outsourcing to Mackinnon & Saunders who might supply animation facial mechanic heads similar to 'Corpse Bride'. You don't know who Misha is? Misha 1 - Misha 2Misha 3

*  AUGUST SMW Random Cinema©:  

HiGH-RiSE (1980) Ol' School special effects (no computers) by Mark Sullivan
ASP 'Me' Music Video & Making of  /  'Minimalism' Viral Ad & Making of  Jürgen Kling


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