Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stop Motion by Barry Purves

So I received a delightful surprise in the mail today. An advanced copy (I think that's what you call it when it's not on the stands yet) of Barry Purves new book, simply called "Stop Motion".

It's a beautifully designed book, laid out wonderfully, with great care. Super nice to simply hold in your hands. And as expected the content is fantastic. Purves has such a great writing style. It's passionate, assumes an intelligent reader, and never hesitates to take the metaphysical aspects of the medium seriously. I'm also very proud to say I have a total of three images from my own films in the book. I'm super excited to be amongst so many legends of the medium, and thanks to Barry who supports indie productions as much as (if not more than) big studio stuff.

Anyone who has breathed life into a puppet through stop motion can attest- something magical happens, something mysterious and deeply rooted in what it means to be human, the moment one lays hands on the object to be animated. Purves feels this deeply, and explores it. No other author's stop mo "how to" books do this, and it's vital to understanding the medium deeply.

You can pre-order it here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Higglety-Pigglety Pop! - Update

From the creators of Madame Tutli- Putli comes this adaptation of the Maurice Sendak book. It's available on the Blue-Ray of Where The Wild Things Are (but not the dvd, so us poor schmucks are out of luck).

You can see clips here.

It features some wonderful puppet work (from what I've seen from these clips), and good on the NFB for working with a major studio (Warner) to create something artistically distinctive, but at the same time commercially oriented.

It was created in part through Concordia University in Montreal, through an Intern project. It's an exciting thing to see an educational institute strive to work with industry to create significant work. I'm personally a very big fan of schools reaching out to industry to forge stronger ties. It really helps industry, the school, and most importantly students.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Adam Pockaj-4th Year Film- Carol of The Elves

Another Sheridan graduation film.

Very twisted and funny story, excellent action sequences, super animation.

Carol of the Elves from Adam Pockaj on Vimeo.

Nathan Dickey-4th Year Film- The Landscaper

A very nicely done graduation film from Sheridan's Animation Program.

I worked as Nathan's Mentor throughout the process, and it was a pleasure working with someone so dedicated and talented.

This version is about 90% done, and the unfinished portions are actually a great insight into the animation process. His rough animation is very confident and energized, which really shows in the few "in progress" portions.

He's a great voice actor as well!


The Landscaper from Nathan Dickey on Vimeo.

Insights For Animation Grads

Mark Mayerson is no stranger to the exciting and sometimes terrifying world known as The Animation Industry.

He's just posted a piece of advice to animation graduates, and it's a very useful read (for animation grads, and art grads in general).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dan Seddon- 4th Year Film- Ducking Around

I'll probably embed a certain number of Sheridan graduation films on my blog, as I come across them.

This one's very charming, silly (love the duck's boots), sweet, and very very nicely done, in all ways.

Ducking Around from Dan Seddon on Vimeo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

David Lynch Interview Project-Update

I wrote about this project some time ago, but sadly it wasn't running very well, technically.

I'm happy to say that's been taken care of, and the project is well underway, with lots of interviews gathered.

The short interviews play very cleanly, and the image and sound quality is great. I just wish the title cards and credits would move along at a faster clip. The enjoyable part of this project is being able to take in lots of people's lives, quickly, and it lags a bit with slow editing (at times).

That being said, it's a wonderful and life-affirming thing.

It connects humanity, and appeals to the basic interest we all have in other human lives. A very simple concept, elegantly achieved.

Go watch 'em all!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1st Yr Animation Students

As part of my work at Sheridan, I teach the first year students. I cover Animation History, and I lecture for them on Story and Layout. It's a foundational year, in terms of animation skills and in terms of helping them form a mind-set for a life in this business. There's a lot of promise in this crew, no doubt about it.

So here they are- the future of animation (graduating in Spring, 2013).

Aren't they shiny and bright?!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Don Sahlin

Here's the link to a very informative piece on Don Sahlin, an American puppet maker and stop motion animator. Thanks to Mark Mayerson for the link (and Michael Sporn for continually posting such fascinating and diverse stuff).