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November 2009


* Tim Ollive's '1884' test pitch/demo: How about Stop Motion?..... This was already circulating on the internet back in August '09 but I did not post it because at that time this does not appear to not have any Stop Motion effects. I just re-visited this and had an EPHIPANY! I shall elaborate. Tim Ollive as I understand it, is a known veteran model maker in the UK and practically created this test on his kitchen table. His purpose was to use it as a demo sales pitch for a fuller bigger project. Tim's thinking was, if a STUDIO would  fund this project, it would be done as CGI. Tim had worked in the past with Terry Gilliam and sought his advice. After Terry saw the demo, he said, paraphrasing .... the film need not be another CG Toon but instead, the Handmade Aesthetics would be a far better choice. In my view, Terry is 100% right. '1884' has that obvious Monty Python flavor but especially, that Karel Zeman/Jules Verne look & style or as today's popular culture calls it, 'Steampunk'. Tim used live puppetry, models, and home computer post effects.

As I stated, the buzz about '1884' briefly went viral during the summer '09 but I have not heard any progress about it. In my view, THIS WOULD BE A PERFECT CANDIDATE FOR STOP MOTION combined with live action puppetry, miniatures, models, etc. etc (mix it up methods). Where are all you SUITS who blow & waste so much cash on retreads/remakes and same ol' formulaic movies? Can you not see potential of this? Fresh & Original. Any executives at Laika looking into this?? Or how about some Stop Motion studios in the UK, Czech Republic, Australia, Canada, or SOMEBODY??

If you (yes 'you' reading this) work at a Studio with Stop Motion capability, pass this information on to them. Be pro-active and do something! Again, I know that '1884' could be an ideal vehicle for Stop Motion Animation. Unfortunately, in USA I can only count on one hand, ONE Studio capable of Stop Motion and all ready to go and you all know who they are (already mentioned their name). Again .... Hey 'Suits' can you not see the marketing cache of Stop Motion & Handmade (instead of another CG cartoon) in addition to Terry Gilliam's name as maybe producer of '1884'??  Test Footage & Details On Tim Ollive?s Incredible 1884

* 'Suits' Shameless: Mo-Cap 'A Christmas Carol' in Oscar ANIMATION category.... This controversy sprang up in past about the motion captured 'Beowulf' (2007). The Oscar People even violated their own animation eligibility rules (frame by frame) by allowing another high motion capture content, 'Happy Feet' (2006) to be nominated, then with the further audacity, they awarded it a winning Oscar for Best Animated featureSo, the Studio Suits behind 'A Christmas Carol' (2009) attempting to claim it as 'Animation created' and the Oscar/Academy board does not question it. This is a bunch of B.S.. At least James Cameron made a somewhat honest statement in a behind the scenes 'Avatar' (2009) promo on cable TV. Paraphrasing him, Jim says, 'Performance Capture' is NOT 'Animation'. Okay, so I agree with him about that but not about the almost $300 million 'Avatar' budget which on 'principle', I say, that is obscene. 'I LUV  You' Jim for the original classic Sci-Fi thriller 'The Terminator' (1984) and a few of your other early movies, BUT, these endless black hole movie budgets is sooooo out of control similar to our bureaucratic Government's wreckless spending us into bankruptcy. Here's the List of possible Oscar nominations for Best 2009 Animated feature. You can see a post/reply of mine last month at the Cartoon Brew Blog/Website (scroll to  bottom of that page). You will note that, as of this SMW News posting, no one (deathly silence) countered or  responded yet to my cogent arguement/points. Past article Is Motion Capture, Animation?

* 'Clash of Titans' (2010) remake trailer CGI (No Stop Mo) .....  If Stop Motion scenes were shot via Harryhausen Turbo-charged and especially, using current cinematography 'flavor' of dizzying barf inducing camera motion, rapid firing frenetic  hyper quick edit/cuts, and loud pounding & thumping tribal-like beat soundtrack musical score .... the Stop Motion combined with all the above, would have similar style/formula of the CG ladened effects genre flicks, which would provide the MySpacey, Video Gamer & Ipodified generation, their temporary FIX of visual eye candy 'High' . So, watch the TRAILER. After you see it, and if you are over-excited & sweaty, that means you are easily hypnotized and controlled  by the 'Suits' (using the cinema 'du jour' techniques I just described)  

* Robert Rodriguez 10 Minute Film School ..... I'm not a huge follower of him but he is reasonably okay in my book, compared to the orthodox Hollywood moviemaking culture. Rodriquez's original small independent film 'El Mariachi' (1993) gave him his first exposure shot at notoriety. Robert now likely given larger $$$ budgets by the 'Suits,' since his early low-low budget dirt cheap filmmaking days. This has nothing to do specifically about Stop Motion, armatures, making puppets, making miniatures, etc. etc.. If your goals are to be a creative filmmaker artist and you just myopically focus on the technical stuff, you will stagnate as a wannabie in a constant rut. You need to see BIG PICTURE. Look at all the stuff that is being uploaded by independents on the video hosting sites. Rodriguez's ramble is about 'live action' film making on the cheap when he made 'El Mariachi'. There is Mega Loads of similar info online  about low budget movie making.  

As I said, my Latino Bro, 'Roberto' Rodriquez, years later on the dvds extras, describes a few of the poor man's filmmaking methods used on 'El Mariachi' & other films. To me, its all commonsense & practical stuff. It is obscene to me how much these wannabie blockbusters costs. Since the current trend is now more Bigger Brother Gov't intrusion, how about a Tinsel Town Czar and let's CONTROL this 'Moviemaking Money, Energy, & Carbon Footprint Waste'?? One of my favorite Sci-Fi flicks was the original 'Terminator' (1984) directed by Jim Cameron. Low Budget but POWERFUL storytelling (the foundation of movie). It does not rely on bells & whistles up the wah-zoo special effects eye candy. There is a grittiness, energy, and  raw quality to the first Terminator. IMO, the subsequent sequels ibecame more slickified & hollywood-ized. Anyway, you might be able to apply some of the techniques that Rob uses to Stop Motion, specifically the method of doing multiple takes. For us Harryhausenites, where we need to combine live action with Stop Mo, these guerilla filmmaking techiques especially helpful for filming the actor. Watch, Learn and DO (don't just sit on your butts) 10 Minute Flim School Part 1 - 10 Minute Film School Part 2 - You are a Filmmaker - 10 More Minutes - Fast Cheap & In Control

Note: Do not point your fingers of accusation at me, such as "What about you LIO?" I say how about YOU, the Info Sponger? I know it's like an addiction for you. What do you do with all this orgy of info excess? Just sit on your ass? I have been online about 10 years as the Matt Drudge of Stop MoTM in my attempts to be a 'kick your butts'  motivational Gandalfic force for you closeted & lurking Stop Motionists. You are now being hammered by all the amateur & beginner CG'ists &  Filmmakers spreading all over these Video Host sites. Sure, plenty of 'Average' Stop Motion uploaded everywhere but you must raise the bar higher. Show them your stuff .... play to Stop Mo's strong points and especially, solid story & characters

* October SMW Random Cinema:  

> Peter Montgomery (the 'Brett Piper of the UK') .....Cool stuff. Dramatic, dark, gritty & intense He's good at trailers too. He's self-taught. Uses mixture of resourceful home-brewed Effects .... puppets, models, miniatures, stop mo, etc..Turn off room lights & volume high. Click > 1 - 2 - 3 

> Any Stop Mo Herds, Flocks, Crowds etc ?..... A simple tutorial Creating an Army Again, why almost zero, zilch, nada examples in Stop Mo?? If Live Action can be Cloned, it can be done in Stop Mo. Live Action here & here Stop Mo here & here  (NEED more Stop Mo examples)


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