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* Will Vinton .... where is he? We have not heard much from the man who cannot even use his own name for a studio! If you do not remember, to put it somewhat crudely .... Will was fired from his studio which was taken over by the owner of Nike. You can use Stop Motion Works Search if you want to find out the history of this. Anyway, check this out Vinton Joins Art Institute Speaking of Vinton Studios .... we originally first broke the news about Henry Selick getting the green light to go ahead with the Coraline project. You should read Marc Spess' interesting comments at the Stop Motion forum and you will see his sharp observations.

Weekend Edition - 09.18.04
* Dead as a heart attack ...no Stop Motion related news. Where all yous people out there?? You working on a Stop Mo project for a studio? Send me something. Hmmmm..... what should I ramble about? Oh here's one.... something that would have been cool using Stop Motion but of course, no way mainstream movie biz would do it ..... The War of Worlds. If you do not know already ....it is going to be re-made by guess who .... Stevey Spielberg and with main star lead ....Tommy Cruise. ILM of course will be doing all the special effects for Spielberg. Also, we know Tom is going to suck his mega-mega millions salary from that gig. Cruise Gets % Profits All very obscene to me ....snot nosed spoiled and I never-ever want to hear movie stars complain or whine how hard it is to work on a film. To me, Cruise is average actor and nothing unique to him that I see, but I know Studio Suits only looking at their box office charts/demographics. Studio's are stupid enough to pay it because they maybe do not have faith or confidence in the movie alone. Remember original Star Wars? Mostly unknown actors or actors that were not box office draw. Same with The Lord of The Rings....the actors were not big names but the strength of the characters and story were the primary successful elements. Guess what? There is a twist to this .... read this link 1 There is already another War of The Worlds filmed which is being done as a period piece done as a turn of the century story as HG Wells intended. Steven Spielberg's vision of WOTW, is set as a modern updated version? I am not so sure about that ..... sounds kind of boring ..... all comtemporary and futuristic excess via CGI excess and of course maybe inclusion of some political correctness? That sounds as bad, if King Kong were made as modern version? Fortunately, Peter Jackson smart enough to do KK as a period piece. Addendum: Tommy wanted to do WOTW so that is probably why studio suits are kissing Tommy's butt ...."anything that Mr. Cruise wants to do". Some supposed pundit-prognosticator-reporter also playing snotty-elitist link 2... saying the other WOTW was done on smaller budget and will not have wide distribution and also unknown actors. He may be right but it shows you the idiotic & myopic mentality of those in the biz. IMO, any artistic or creative genius or originality in mainstream movies sneaks through by accident and not necessarily by intentional design from studio suits (who do have influence on directors).One such recent film that missed or bypassed the Hollywood Formulaic self-imposed stupid rules, was the unique Passion of the Christ backed by good ol' Mel Gibson!

HOT off the Wire - 09.10.04
* Neil Gaiman's CORALINE is a Go! Much talk in the past about Henry Selick having interest in doing film adaption of story but nothing until now. Also, it was not certain if it was going to be live action combined with animation but from what I read, project will be All Stop Motion. Go here first to ScFi.com to read, then go directly to Neil Gaiman's Website and scroll down to about the middle of page where it says film news & stuff. Now the question that pops in my mind ....Will Coraline be done here in the USA or overseas in England?

* A little bit of focus here on King Kong, not necessarily Peter Jackson's remake but about.... Who owns or has the King Kong "giant ape" concept copyrighted or trademarked?? As best as I can figure, I've seen Kong name associated with these three entities: Turner Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and the Merian C. Cooper Estate (director/creator of original Kong story). I think, the original 1933 Kong film is now owned by Turner? Then we got certain products that say they are authorized or trademarked by the Marian C. Cooper Estate: Joe DeVito's Kong: King of Skull Island upcoming Graphic Novel-Story, and also this, Kong Art by Dave Stevens . Then there are Kong products authorized under Universal name Kong Neckties and here, but then, the Kong Movie Posters , I always thought those posters were licensed through Universal but they're categorized as Merian C. Cooper products? Then to add to the confusion .... at one time when Nintendo brought out Donkey Kong & 2 (at link, scroll down) years ago, Universal filed a lawsuit against them but the suit was thrown out of court because, apparently, Kong was in public domain for awhile because Universal's copyright expired? One more ....Jackson's/Universal's Kong remake is always hyped that it will be based on Marian Cooper's & Edgar Wallace's original Kong story? Sooo .... Who the friggin hell own's King Kong name, copyright, trademark ???? I got questions. You got answers? contact me, or maybe you might want to bring it up at the SMA Message Board. Just some other random links having products or services using King Kong name with the gorilla image as icon/logo.... King Kong Climbing Walls & Gorilla King Kong Treestands. If I searched more, I am guessing there might be many other products using Kong name. Slightly switching topic ....Here is a new website Kong is King (from the die-hard Lord of the Rings/Jackson fan base) about Peter Jackson's Kong Remake .... it's new so some of it still under construction. Then go here to John Michlig's Fully Articulated site .... a documentary called Eighth Wonder, is suppose to be in production but no updates and only minimal information about it. I think John posted at the SMA board awhile ago.

Labor Day Weekend Edition - 09.05.04
* Unrelated to Stop Motion, but only in that this involves the use of animation .... specifically 100% Cgi. This week, PBS will be airing The Video Game Revolution. What? I did not know there was one? Or maybe a perception being created by this documentary (that is purpose of docs .... the supposed truth but not always). Up to this point in my life, I could never endure more than 15 minutes (at the most) playing any kind of video games. Ad nauseam repetitive and mind deadening to me. There is an article by someone from MIT supposedly blowing the myths about video gaming and putting it in a positive light. I have no MA or MS Degrees and I bet, through commonsense alone, I can debate this "intellectual" and all his references to so-called "studies". Video gaming seems to be a hot industry .... all about money-profits ....but at what expense in the long term? Well ... I guess it does provide some employment .... at least that is good. Anything can be compulsive and our modern day culture sure has all kinds of other mental issues....seems more prevelant today where there is abundant leisure time and many are mesmerized by their computer monitors. The old truism .... everything in moderation ...but only a minority self-aware few can follow that priniciple. For those in the USA, click here to see if this video gaming documentary will be airing in your area. Hey ....Stop Motion related news is really, really slow and I had to rant about something!

* I have been a little occupied and also, it has been slow news, especially with Stop Motion specific buzz. If you got any, contact me With news here and my commentary, I sometimes go off topic on other areas of Film Special Effects but sometimes try to relate it to animation. Here is a new website, I think less than a year .... DarkStrider: Explorations in the Art of Stop Motion Animation. That is a mouthful and hell of a long link.... say that five times as fast as you can! Behind the site is Mike Brent, a long time positive force, participant-contributor at the SMA forum. Mike is certainly very good & skilled at researching and has been on the Stop Motion journey of discovery & self-learning. Mike is fascinated with the Euro style of puppet animation in the more purer form where characters are stylized-surreal (as puppets) and are not represented as photo-real as in the Harryhausen style. He has been doing some animation tests, building sets, acquiring equipment, practicing puppet fabrication, etc.. We are anxiously awaiting to see some results or more refined-polished completed animation works from him! You feel the pressure Mike!? Jumping on another item .....here are a few old timer websites that's been around longer than Stop Motion Works! (4 years).... The Art of Stop Motion Animation and Anthony Scott's website, have been on the internet about 5 years. Both those sites provided me motivation to start Stop Motion Works. Art of Stop Mo is a general overview about the Ray Harryhausen style of animation and has some good pics of some of the other masters who worked in that form of animation. Some of the resource links are dated & old but nevertheless, a good introductory Stop Motion site in addition to other sites on the internet about Stop Motion. I believe, site owner lives in San Fran Bay Area and we emailed each awhile ago about something but I forgot what we discussed. Addendum: Almost forgot to mention Marc Spess' website, Animate Clay which has been around as long, or I think even longer than my site.

* Here is the official The Life Aquatic website. It is a Flash site, so dial-up users beware! Film will be distributed through Disney's Touchstone division. Do not expect it to have wall-to-wall Stop Motion. The animation will be interspersed throughout movie with short & sometimes quick Stop Motion scenes. A few months ago, I actually got to see many of the unfinished, not yet composited Stop Motion animation scenes, filmed against bluescreen. There were primarily only two animators, but very skilled & talented ....Tim Hittle & Justin Kohn. The animation puppets were fabricated here in the San Francisco area. Very smooth and the silicone skins gives the puppets a unique and I suppose photo-realistic quality. Some Stop Motion scenes almost look CGI ..... I do not know if that is good or bad. Just imagine if the film were given a bigger budget for the Life Aquatic special effects .... more Stop Motion! If it were CGI .... I am sure the studio suits would have allowed a higher budget.



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