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October  2008

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* Marc makes an appeal to Lionel, Mike B., Paul M., & Nick H. .... Casual visitors may not know who or what we are talking about and this is more directed to some of the Stop Motionists we 'Pal around with'. Okay, many of us are in a rut such as the mundaneness of daily life, including the onslaught on our senses (through media) about the incredible insanity of the world & society and especially these volatile USA & International financial times.

Went off topic , but partially to illustrate the humongous-ness of it all. We cannot fully control what is going out there (maybe 'some' impact), however the most impact you can make is, in your own immediate environment. Art, hobbies, activities and anything you have a passion for. It serves as an escape and nutrition for the mind & soul. Focus on that.

Hard for you to get motivated? Each of us are inspired or motivated in different ways to get our butts moving. Marc's route is through something he got involved with called MLM Goldmine. I am a little skeptical about it but you judge for yourself at Marc's YouTube page. It is pricey to join but Marc is smart & he can write off as tax deduction. For me MLM Goldmine not my style. I don't like to 'officially' join 'support-type groups'. Many years ago, locally in SF Bay Area here, a few people have persuaded me into the support group thing. For me, maybe too touchy-feely. But Hey, whatever works for 'you'! Marc is obviously motivated and making good progress. I have always been somewhat of a 'Lone Wolf' type personality and  marched to the beat of a different drummer .

If you are still being a lazy slacker & procrastinating up the wah-zoo, one way, is to get your 'Life' ORGANIZED. Believe me, it WORKS and it is a cheap investment. Do you remember what I posted some months ago at bottom of this page?? What, you forgot? Geeez, all you internet addicted out here seem to have ADD or amnesia syndrome! Look at Marc Spess' YouTube video. At around 6:45 time, Marc starts his appeal, then calls out to me (Lionel), Nick Hilligoss, Paul McConnochie and especially Mike Brent (get out of the closet! ). It also applies to all you other Stop Mo introverts. Marc, has stated in one of his videos, as to having a timid personality but amazingly, he seems to be overcoming it. Hmmmm .... he somewhat stole my thunder by starting these Stop Mo video blogs. That was my plan some time ago, doing behind the scenes about Stop Motion, but Marc beat me to it. I need to fire-up the propane torch under my frigg'n ass and get MOVING. Starting to get my YouTube channel going. EDIT: 10.27.08  (Yes, I re-edited my commentary, again. Just remember, I WARNED you all)

* Economic Times and the Movie Biz ..... The old perception has been that during tough financial/economical times, that the Motion Picture Business usually flourishes. Pundits say people want to escape and do not want to think about 'reality'. This is only one of many articles that has reinforced that during the years, Local movie theaters still busy in tough economic times. My observation is that old view of by gone past may not apply anymore in this era of High-Tech 'bread & circuses' diversions. When the early USA Stock Market crash occured way back in 1929, then the subsequent depression, the public's only primary escape means was to physically go out to a movie theater house and it is understandable back then, why movie biz attendence perhaps increased. Today, most everyone seems to be technologically wired, with either satellite TV dish or cable TV (with bells & whistles video on demand stuff). In the 1930's they also did not have the diversion-escapism of the compulsive/addictive time killer known as 'The Internet'. Then you got the online mailorder Dvd movie rental business and the mind numbing video gaming pushers. Why 'go out' by taking the time and effort to get in your vehicle or taking public transportation to a 'Movie Theater', then forking-out those high movie ticket prices?? Many now have the luxury of their 'Entertainment Centers' which includes the pricey large screen Flat Panel Hi-Definition TVs (all bought on 'credit') to indulge in our, 'We are in Denial of Reality' ESCAPISM . More different views, Survivors in Changing Video Industry - Hard Times how we get our kicks. EDIT: 10.19.08

* Article on John Dods ..... To former Amateur Special Effects & Stop Motionist wannabies who where consumers of the old Cinemagic magazine from many years ago, 'John Dods' is a familiar name and was a regular contributor to that mag. A multi-faceted Special Effects artist using cost effective means and former practioner of Stop Motion. In recent times, John visited the Stop Motion messageboard for a little while but seemed to have dropped out now. Maybe this is what's occupying his time that pays his rent/bills 'Avenger' oozes with Garden State talent

* What happen to the old 'Loose Moose Studio'? .... According to a news soundbyte article, Loose Moose has now been re-resurrected. Their 'about' page description, they call themselves the 'New' Loose Moose? What's up with that? Anyway read this article New Loose Moose and their new website which has been redesigned but looks like similar contents from their older site.

* NBC to rehash another version of 'Jason & Argonauts' ..... Never ceases to amaze me, the very stagnate & non-creative mind processes of the Tinsel Town SUITS. No Fugg'n originality. NBC already did a previous dull remake of Jason and the Argonauts back in 2000 which was from Hallmark Entertainment (boring!). Read, NBC nabs 'Argonauts' redo


* 'Stilt Walkers' by Alexis Van der Haeghe ..... Not much going on except for the insanity out there. You already know I sometimes briefly bee-atch about it here. I can sense the undercurrents before things happen . Oh, by the way .... do not get too hysterical about the Global Warming catastrophe (we do not yet understand ALL the causes of) that is suppose to be getting worse at some time in the distant future. More than likely, other more 'proven' human created events like economic/financial or  societal/world turmoil will do us in, BEFORE any ethereal 'Green House Climatic' thing. Yes indeed, a hellish roller coaster ride out there. Perhaps, consider praying to the 'God of your Understanding', that maybe it will settle down for the sake of the Myspacey generation who will inherit the mess. How I miss the less stressful & maybe simpler past. Other than the USA & other major countries collapsing around us (Koyaanisqatsi), everything else is just Fine & Dandy .

Maybe better to just escape? Take a look at this creative CGI piece (yes, computer animation) called Stilt Walkers (2006) by Alexis Van der Haeghe. He does not seem to have much of a current or updated online presence and I do not see any other project that he might be working on. Alexis created a unique piece of animation but nothing else that I know of. He just retreated to his closet? Hmmmm ..... I can just imagine this as Stop Motion. Of course the Stop Motion aesthetics would not be the same as CGI, such as different camera/shot compositions, other character designs/style, and alternate overall artistic direction, but nevertheless, would still be powerful & potent using Stop Motion.

* Updates / News on a few Stop Motion programs ..... 'I Can Animate' software now available for Windows PCs. For years, it was originally for Macs. The interfaceappears to be designed for easy use by the younger people and looks good for educational environment. My initial critique of it, would only be the price listing of the software by only listing it as British Pounds. Kudlian should make the shopping experience a little more user friendly. Why are the prices not listed in US dollars! Check out, I Can Animate. Available for free testing.

Then there is one that I accidentally found. No press releases that I know of. Kind of weird why they do not promote it more. So easy via Internet to get word of mouth going. It is called 'iKIT Movie'. This looks like more for younger users or for schools. They appear to be making it very easy for users by including a whole library of sound effects and easy export to some movie formats and I think, it also includes its own movie editor. Whoaaa, if it does all that, what a cool gift for the beginner. I am not officially endorsing it. Only you can make that judgement. This iKIT offers a free trial download for testing on Windows PCs. Give it a try and maybe let me know what you think or post at messageboard. They offer it for $99.. Do not whine to me about prices. If it has all those features, maybe worth it for your son, daugther, niece, nephew, etc. Take a look, iKit Movie

Every Stop Motion capture software has their own unique features ranging from beginner level, intermediate, to professional. Others are designed more for 'fun' and/or educational learning. It is up to you to test the programs. Most all of them offer a free trial download to see if you like it. I always get questions which is the 'best' one. There is no 'best one'. As you may already know, Stop Motion Works has a page/list of available Stop Motion Software which I need to update.

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