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September 2006

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* Where is Randall William Cook? Years ago, a big loss of incredible talent in our Stop Motion Art/Craft but maybe by the will of the Greek Gods, he went on to kick some visual ass in the CGI Uncle Ray & Cousin Randy working together??world; Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Triology. An article came by my way but I do not agree with the author's spin of the CGI only aspects. What is interesting though, even though it is not about Randy Cook specifically, there are a few soundbyte quotes from him and also some revelation that I have not heard anywhere. Do you remember Ray Harryhausen got some deal with a B-movie type production company/distributor called Mindfire Entertainment? I originally posted that news in the May 2006 Blog-News. This new article I just read, reveals that Cousin Randy will be collaborating with Uncle Ray on the Sinbad Series. This is not even mentioned at Ray's Official Site. If that is true, then that is the absolutely best choice; Randy, an eclectic & renaissance hombre "talent" whose roots are Stop Motion. However, in my view, if it is any sort of serious homage to Ray's original works, IMO, it should be Real Stop Motion; not CGI. Hey, I am just a lone wolf crying in the wilderness . Here is that article, Pixels to the People. (If website forces you to subscribe to read article; clear all cookies in cache & open new browser window) Edit 10.01.06

* End of the World Omen: Foam Latex Shortage Yes, that was the initial impression I got when GM Foam Inc posted at the message board & Link 2, that there will be a severe shortage of a raw material that is used for Foam Latex. GM spokesperson, Gil Mosko gave us the bad news but he reassured usGM Foam that he secured exclusive deal with a supplier that provides the raw material. I did not know how to take that as good or bad? For years, GM has produced a high quality foam latex and I am very happy to hear of Gil's commitment to the continuance of GM Foam. However, as a consumer, it is also sort-of nice to have a few choices of products. That is just the nature of business & competition and giving consumers 'options'. If you are concerned about the availability of Foam Latex, you may want to visit or post at The Effects Lab Forum and Make-Up Artist Board and inquire what they heard. Also, here are the few other Foam Latex vendors, if you wish to contact them about future availability. You can continue to lurk and be silent, or, do something. Let them know, you are out there and concerned. You know, it is called getting involved & being Proactive Edit 10.01.06

Mclaughlin formula Foam Latex

Burman Foam

* Robot Chicken creator 'gots' a Major Stop Mo Flick Deal .... Maybe a snowball effect happening here? RC giving Adult Swim Network some pretty good ratings. Seth Green perhaps making some impression on the power people in Flick Village USA. Check this out, 'Chicken' Team Brings Stoopid Monkey to Dimension. I am usually cynical these days about many things. Stop Motion actually being considered by the Tinsel Town 'suits'? If so, then 'power' to those minority maverick 'suits' with the guts to go against mainstream Hollywood's formulaic & homogenized stuff. Edit 10.01.06

* "Grass Roots: The Movie" ..... Follow up to my rare mid-week extra news/blog posting below (no extra charge). I also posted at message board but minimal response . Grass Roots maybe could benefit in some added marketing tools such as an ongoing production diary/blog (like Kong is King) or maybe some presence on MySpace. The teaser trailer is somewhat pixelated. Could maybe have been in another better player format. When I look closer at Grass Roots website, I see that they are looking for investors. As usual, Stop Motion seems to always be struggling and fighting the "suits" discriminatory prejudice against our animation art/craft. Look at the mega-millions that is thrown at the plethora of CGI products. How easy for some big players, suits, or studios, with perhaps a maverick & trailblazer attitude, that could help finance this. If you are one of the rare & unique few, then click here. Edit 09.24.06

* "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" ....The news buzz has been around since earlier in the year. I am not completely familiar with the Furry Freak Brothers comics & Link 2.To me, this is certainly invigorating news with regards to Stop Motion. This unique animation project is going to be all Stop Motion .... off the wall, funky, ghetto look but high production values. Another excellent example of niche, targeting, thinking out of the box, and trailblazing with fresh-new material. Freak Broth'Grass Roots: The Movie'  Test Teaserers obviously not a family type movie. It is aimed at specific audiences. Who knows, it could become a Stop Mo Cult classic? (like NMBC) Would this kind of animated movie come out of Tinsel Town USA? I think not. Hollywood, is stuck in their orthodox film production system. Again, I say NICHE .... target your audience .... the Movie Art-House circuit market (Example: Triplettes of Bellevue), direct to DVD, Cable TV, etc. Take a look at the preview test-pilot teaser of the Stop Motion animated Freak Brothers. I already posted this before, but I know the internet age masses have constant amnesia. Here it is again The Rise and Fall of the Hit and I will repeatedly continue to post it, until it hopefully sinks in. Perhaps Freak Bros. might be a good omen for further validation of Stop Motion to mainstream suits. IMO, if Freak Bros were done in CGI, it would never-ever have that most unique quality & impact of Stop Mo. Official movie site Grass Roots: The Movie. Usually, I am doing my short blogs/news only once a week, but this Furry Freak flick got me jazzed and posting an extra, blog special edition here on Wednesday, just for you all

* Ripping Off Aardman .... A Stop Motion animation making its rounds online. This originally done by Aardman, however, someone just basically replaced a different soundtrack. The various online postings (also on YouTube) of this animation clip, do not seem to clearly state that it is from the Creature Comforts UK television series. Viewers are misled / misinformed. The animation of course, is good, but I did not find the replacement dialog / subject matter, humorous or entertaining (voices of President Bush & other Republicans). See it for yourself, Talking Politicians at The Daily Top 10. I posted some comments at their site. Edit 09.17.06 Tennessee also commented there.

* Animation: Story or Sizzle?... A commentary written by someone. You can probably guess I would likely agree with much of her points and she more calmly & thoughtfully expresses them (compared to my "tirades" ). It's a quick read .... check it out

* Online Ads-Campaign trend from Big Players .... Have you heard me say this before, Targeting & Niche? This one for Mazda. The ad done as trailer style, representing an ol' hobby known as Slot Car Racing (waay before 'puter & techy toys diversions). Some online comments says the ad uses some Stop Mo techniques. The Awesome Adventures of Wild Child. If you cannot find the movie clip link there, here is another posting at Google Video. Also, if you do not know already, Ethan "Angry Puppet" Marak and small crew recenty did a Stop Mo Ad series for for an online promotion for Levis Strauss Link 2. "Niche, targeting, niche, targeting, niche, targeting ...." Edit 09.16.06

* Before Corpse Bride (2005), there was Phantom Inventory (2004) .... I invite you to revisit this very rich looking, high productions values Stop Motion short made by French creative artists. No complex & costly internal armatured Mackinnon & Saunders geared heads. Shot, so dialogue is minimal and therefore, mostly visual. No need for CGI's fad dejour of sometimes excess barf inducing dizzying camera motion or showing off how they can clone a plethora of characters (crowd scenes). Good ol' "less is more" still powerful but overlooked by the Suits & CGI'ists. There are many different cinematic styles to tell story. Nothing against CGI, but combination methods (traditional with digital tweaking) can give superbe results too. In the past, some on message board were familiar with Phantom. Here we go, Phantom Inventory website (unfortunately, a Flash-heavy site). You can see the animated short there (28mb) and also, some good behind the scenes pics. You will need the XviD codec in your player. No problem installing in Windows Media Player, however for Macs (QuickTime) you have to jump through some hoops both codecs here.

* Stop Motion Works Studios/Artists link ..... SMW been around for some years now and as you already may know, some links here, I just never got around to it. If you only knew how much time it takes to keep a website fresh and alive so that it does not appear like a deserted cyber-virtual ghost town. Just minor maintenance too and especially a blog, can suck so much of one's time. Writing does not come easy to me. It is a strain sometimes, but I do it. Back to topic; I finally started adding something to the Studios/Artists link. In quickly putting it together, then doing some fast searching online, I am astounded & bewildered , that some top or well known Stop Motionists, do not even have at least, a minimal online resume or portfolio to promote themselves. Even though I relunctantly have been forced to use the personal-time-sucking-internet , I do realize that it is today's marketing, communication medium. It is so affordable or free (no cost), to have an online internet presence. Edit 09.09.06 Example of "Internet Challenged" Stop Motionists: Kim Blanchette, Justin Kohn, Trey Thomas, Richard C. Zimmerman, Kent Burton (& probably more I could not find) No online; personal, resume, or portofolio page. Geeeez ....they need to study-up on self-promotion!

* Not Stop Motion News: Kids Education & Teacher Unions .... In public schools, apparently, some of our kids not getting the best. Saw this report on ABC television network (USA) which was a re-broadcast but recently updated. It is about public education system in the USA. "Not enough money", the teaching "industry" claims, is the supposed cause of poor education. Did you know, it is almost impossible to fire a poor performing or slacker teacher? Also, they are generally against school vouchers and denying you "choice". You can see some clips or read the transcript Stupid in America

* Overcrowded Mainstream Movie Biz? I am not going to write-blog much in this installment. Soooo dead out here. I suppose more so with Labor Day Holiday in USA. Everyone doing their ritualistic behaviors, last minute rush traveling all over the country. Oh, back to the Flicks. Read this Too much competition for DVD dollars eventually spell the end for today's CG boom?

* Consumer affordable techy products competing with Theatrical Movies ..... How products such as home projection TV, Ipod type devices, Cell phones, etc. impacting the movie biz who are stuck in their orthodox ways ..... spending mega-mega excess millions on each film and they become shortlived, and less profit revenues. If you wanted to watch 'Superman,' which media would you choose now?

* Not Stop Motion News: "The Last Days On Earth" .... A two hour special pretending to be an objective documentary which aired on ABC-TV this past week. It was all a disguise, to make its sensationalized claim about Global Warming as our supposed most immediate threat to our extinction. Way before, any "warming" plague, I think, Terrorism or Economic and/or Government collapse is going to do us in, "first". Al Gore says there is no debate about Global Warming. That is not very "democratic". Lets present the full picture and other Scientific views. More commentary, The End of the World ? according to ABC News and Al Gore... Okay, I have nothing more to news/blog about. I did not even include any decorative thumbnail images. Why spend more time on this? Like I said .... eerily quiet-dead all around and at message board. I am leaving. Go entertain yourself ! Edit 09.02.06

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