Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tour of Stop Mo Class

Here's a video that gives a little overview of how the stop motion class at Sheridan works. I'm pretty proud of it, since it sees 120 students learning an intro to stop motion every year. It's required a lot of planning, organizing, and energy from me, and lots of support from Sheridan to see it happen.

We've also had the great people at Cuppa Coffee Animation help us with puppet armatures. Without their help, we wouldn't have such a great course.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Update on Nerdland Premiere

Regarding my friend's show that needs your votes... if you follow the link in the posting below, you'll find the film. You can easily watch it, and make a comment.

But what you might not notice is that there is ALSO a vote button. The web page has a very bad design, in that you can barely see the vote button. It is beside the name of the show, in a column of show names, on the right side of the page. It's a very light grey button, that says "vote" right beside "Nerdland".

I think it's terrible that a poor web design might reduce the show's chance to succeed, especially since so many fine people have worked so hard on it.

So if you've already watched it, go back and find the vote button. If you haven't watched it, watch it.. and vote for it!

Robert Zemeckis Must Be Stopped

Short of inflicting personal physical violence on the man, please help the world of motion picture storytelling and humanity in general by stopping Robert Zemeckis.

His most recent mess is a mo-cap monstrosity that pillages a classic holiday tale- Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. I've seen the trailer, and that is more than enough. It's WRONG.

Stop Zemeckis by not seeing this film. Ever. And by telling all your friends to not see this film. He is not making movies, he is making atrocities, and trying to pass them off as "the future of film making". If it bombs, he might not get to make another.

I have never used this blog as a place to call people to action, but I can't stop myself now.

The fate of motion pictures is in YOUR ticket-buy, DVD renting, PVR-clicking, and downloading hands.

I have had it with this guy. Please stop Robert Zemeckis.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

24 Hour Stop Motion Student Film!

I love it when students have the guts to go for something on their own. When a student doesn't wait for a class to catch up, or to be given official "permission" to make something... he or she just goes for it. That act of "going for it" is always inspirational.

Recently in the Animation Program at Sheridan, the students initiated a "24 Hour Film Challenge". It wasn't for marks. It wasn't for credit. It was because they love animation, and want to become better at it. Those that accepted the challenge locked themselves in a room for 24 hours, and animated. Most did drawn animation. Above is a stop motion effort.

This was created by 3rd year animation student Jen Bamford, who seems to have been officially bit by the stop motion bug. The animation isn't perfectly smooth, and of course the trial version software has a watermark on it (student budgets). But you see through those things immediately. The film has a character in a great situation, one we can all relate to. And the creative use of materials (wire, tinfoil, papertowel), with simple but effective lighting, is great to see. So often students get tied to the idea that a puppet MUST look a certain way (ala Coraline, or NBC), when in reality a puppet can be anything. And an animated world can be anything (in this case, paper towel!)

This student's animation will get smoother. Her overall tech will only improve. But what is already there in this animation is a sense of story and development between characters, and a sense of tone and atmosphere that's instinctively very solid.

AND- it was done in 24 hours.

I think this idea of making an animated film under this time constraint is a fantastic learning experience. The final product won't be polished, but that can actually mean there's a manic, primal energy to the piece. It's so easy to take that energy and life and see it stamped out through the careful work of refining an animated concept. It's encouraging to see something raw, and lovely.

As a teacher part of your job is to (hopefully) inspired students. It's a great payback when on their own, students return the favour to their teacher.

Coraline Script

Well, I think the title of this posting says it all.

If you want to download the script to the film, click here.

Thanks to Mark Mayerson for the tip...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nerdland Premiere- Help It Succeed

A friend of mine has created a pilot, through Cuppa Coffee Animation.

Cuppa Coffee is Canada's mega stop motion studio.

The show is called Nerdland, and the time has come to support it online. With online support, votes, comments, and so on,the show just might make it into full series production. That's an incredibly difficult thing to achieve.

Please do your part to help! Go here, and watch it. Then comment, and vote.

This is from Ted, the creator:

"... Nerdland, an animated pilot I created and codeveloped with the fine people at Cuppa Coffee Animation is set to premiere on line at http://thedetour.ca/ on Friday the 13th of November.

It will run for the week,and will be open to comments and votes. As far as I know, Nerdland is the only stop motion show against a sea of primarily flash-animated pilots, so we stand out from the crowd right out of the gate, so I hope that adds to our appeal.

Nerdland is the strange adventures of a group of twenty-something nerds (Kevin, Jarhead, Patty and the Beast)trying to survive in a decidedly nerd un-friendly world. The message of the series is that we are all Nerds, each in his/her own way.

Any comments you make or votes you cast would be greatly appreciated. Many talented people worked very hard to make Nerdland, (and the other pilots too for that matter) and developing the show from the ground up with Cuppa's guidance was a lot of challenging fun for me as well. I hope you like it. Given Nerdland will be premiering on the internet, positive comments would be refreshing, since most will just be insults a curses from angry loners.

We could use your support, so write in and let them know what you think! Unless you hate it, then write in and lie like crazy! Seriously, I hope you enjoy it.

Also, if you could pass this email along to friends a coworkers as you see fit, the more comments on each show the better for everybody. The pilot project offers a great opportunity for the public to voice an opinion on what we watch.

Thanks in advance for your help in this

Ted Heeley
Creator/co developer

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Potter Puppet Pals

These clips are all pretty killer. I don't know much about who is making them, and posting them. But I love how they are essentially puppet shows, that use some camera editing to make it a bit more punchy.

They are all darn funny. This one really tickles me.

And I don't really even like Harry Potter.