This is a production photo from one of the three shots that I animated for the "Machete" Brisk commercial. Photo by Dick Kaneshiro, who assisted with the animation for this shot. This is part of a multi-spot ad campaign, so more to come...
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L-R: Guido Muzzarelli, me and Bryon Caldwell outside of the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd after the crew screening of "Mars Needs Moms".
L-R: Guido Muzzarelli, me, Dan Fogler (who plays Gribble in the movie) and Bryon Caldwell.
Kong-sized billboard on the rooftop across from the Kodak Theatre building on Hollywood Blvd.
I just recently returned from Burbank where I worked on a stop-motion Christmas episode of the NBC show "Community". NBC is hosting the episode streaming on their site, and I've embedded it below. It was an incredibly compressed schedule for the amount of work (22 minutes in six weeks) but somehow the team pulled it off. I animated about 12 shots during my two-week stint on the show.
Unfortunately the contract the production company signed with NBC didn't give us individual credits, but they probably would have zipped by too quickly to read anyway. The production company has put up a credit roll on their website.
Here's a clip in which Joel McHale talks about his puppet:
Below are two production photos:
Coming to video on December 14th from Microcinema, after a multi-city tour with Director Alex Cox. The film, originally released in in 1986, has been remastered in HD with enhanced gunfire, blood splatters and more from the crew at Collateral Image. There's also some new footage, including three stop-motion animated shots by me.
Production photo of the first of the new stop-motion shots.
The final composite framed as a "trading card" in true 80's aesthetic.
Shooting the wide shot of George's skeleton.
Raw animation against greenscreen.
The final composite in trading card form.
The final close-up of George.
From the Nov. 1 screening at the Rafael Film Center.
2011.11.19 - at The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Los Angeles. L-R: Del Zamora, Alex Cox, Dick Rude, the moderator from UCLA who I will identify soon, Miguel Zandoval, James Fearnley, Sy Richardson. In the foreground are the puppets from the three stop-motion shots that I did for the new release.
Miguel Sandoval, Tom Bower and me with the puppet of Miguel's character from "Straight to Hell Returns"
Here's some more "Straight to Hell" links on the web:
Guardian UK Film Blog article on the re-release
Nardwuar vs. Alex Cox - audio interview
Alienated in Vancouver: Straight to Hell Returns! Alex Cox Interview!
FAQs on Straight to Hell Returns from Alex' website
To finish up this last run of dinosaur postings, here's a stop-motion T-Rex that I was contracted to do in 1996. The late Gairy Bialke did the sculpt over an armature by Jamie Haggerty which was molded and cast by Mark and Melinda Kendrick. I did the finish, which was quite extensive - lots of build-up work on the arms, teeth and tongue, then the paint job.
It was animated against bluescreen and sent to a company in L.A. for use in station I.D. for The Learning Channel. I've actually never seen the finished piece, so if anyone has a link to it please let me know.
You can see this T-Rex animated briefly, as the raw element and then composited into a cityscape by John Barrick, at the end of my old commercial demo reel.
This is the sculpt done by the late Gairy Bialke over the armature, which you can see below.
Jamie Haggerty whipped this out quickly for us, unfortunately we had to cut a few corners - the ankles were wire which was difficult but we didn't have time to redo it.
Recently dug up some old artwork that Ben Adams and I produced for a Portland, Oregon event in around 1989. Click on it to see it full-size. It was a freebie for an organization that was doing a concert called "Bash on the Bricks" but unfortunately they chose not to do full color for the posters so they didn't use our design, rather just some boring text in two colors.
Folks familiar with Portland may recognize the Pioneer Square fountain in the background, which is where the concert took place. The black negative space in was intended for text, the brick-shaped lines around the edges were meant to be dye-cut on the sides of the posters. It would have been a pretty ambitious print job. Ben helped with ideas, the layout and pencil underdrawing. I did the painting.
One of the lower budget spots that we did at the PDI/Dreamworks Commercial and Effects division (which was closed in 2002) was a PSA for McGruff the Crime Dog on how to deal with bullies. I did some character designs for director Larry Bafia based on the client's concept that the animation should mimic a videogame.
Click on the drawing above to see it at higher resolution, it's sort of a combination of character design and animation posing.
Here's the final spot, which ended up being done almost completely by one artist (I think mostly for budgetary reasons) - I didn't work on it as an animator but I enjoyed working on the design.
My old friend Justin Kohn recently invited me to participate in a fun project that he's doing along with some of his students from the Academy of Art. He's been making these bizarre mechanical creatures for awhile and we're finally putting them through their paces, animating them against greenscreen on the stage at the Ex'pressions College in Emeryville.
I shot for a day - it was quite a challenge as these are very heavy contraptions with a lot of moving parts. I only managed to do about 30 frames, but I think the results were pretty good for my first time with this puppet. I'll be posting more pictures and movies when it all gets put together.
Michael Stevenson just posted the raw footage up on Vimeo. The shot I animated is the third in the sequence and Michael finished out the animation after somewhere about frame 30:
Ken Priebe has just finished his new book, The Advanced Art of Stop Motion Animation and it features an interview with me and Larry Bafia about our work in the Vinton era of clay animation and beyond.
In honor of the incident report that my 10-year old son Edward got today at school for misbehaving, I present this drawing that I did for him when he was about 5. Fisher Price marketed these macho toys called "Rescue Heroes" to little kids and they would package an animated movie on DVD along with the toy. This is a little drawing that I made for him on a piece of cardboard, the toy is on the right. The two dust spirals were Ed's contribution.
If you want to see a drawing by Edward, you can find one on a t-shirt in my store.
...particularly for those of you who attended my little presentation on Friday, here are links to the three episodes that I've made so far of my stop-motion series "Mad Doctors of Borneo".
I just finished cleaning up this old California Raisin for display. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, I'll try to take a better one and replace it. If memory serves, I built this particular puppet and animated it in the last shot of this PSA for the Public Library: Raisin Rap
That's my hand that comes down and stamps the book in the last shot. All of the Raisins for the PSA were made using existing molds from "Meet the Raisins" - this Raisin is "BeBop." Vince Backeberg fabricated all of the legs for the Raisins, I think. I also animated the shot where "Red" says "Check 'em out." Hal Hickel, Larry Bafia, Brad Johnson and the late Bruce McKean also worked on the PSA. Sir Mix-a-Lot did the music.