Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from SMM

Hi Everyone,

We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years. Now is the time to kick back, drink some EggNog, and Eat till you explode. But in our case it's time to make PUPPETS!!!

Our little guy to the left of this text is our Camera Buddy for the Stop Motion Magazine Film Festival Ad Scheduled to be announced in January. Ooops... Did I let the cat out early.....

The Festival is planned for August 2010 and we will start taking entry in the beginning of January. There will be an entry fee and the festival is strictly Stop Motion and all it's sub genre's (Pixilation, SandAnimation, Clay Animation, Puppet Animation, Toy Animation, and Cutout Animation). There will also be prizes which will be announce sometime in March 2010.

Our Dino Buddy that you see to the Right has been an ongoing Stop Motion Magazine Logo Puppet for our title card and other promotions when we release the Feature Length Documentary "In The Shadows of Light". We hope to have all film production completed by June 2010 and the release date is yet to be determined. The Documentary focuses on Stop Motion Animators and the worlds they create in their Garages or Basements.

The Dino is a Brontosaurs that's a build up puppet using wood, wire, epoxy, mattress foam, Super Sculpey, Glass Beads, and Liquid Latex. The skins are sitting in front of the puppet in the picture above. There is also a Caveman and Cavewoman puppet that are already completed but aren't shown here in this entry. There's a ton of other stuff we would like to announce but have to hold off until a future date after the Holidays. But stay tuned, it's going to get exciting!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

SMM Issue #3 Decemeber 2009 Is Out!!!

The Decemeber 2009 Issue #3 of Stop Motion Magazine is now available for download. You can download it here:

In this issue:

Featured Article: Meet the Buddies of BuddySystem Studios

-Interview with Master Sculptor John Brown
-Harryhausen Exibit in Spain
-A look at "A Town Called Panic" the Movie
-Barry Purves new commercial with Loose Moose
-How to make a Foam Latex Oven

It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.

So can I play with puppets now mommy?

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Christmas is Creepy" Music Video on the Disney Channel and YouTube

The Music Video is final available for public viewing. It premiered on the Disney Channel over the weekend and now can be seen on YouTube.

One thing I did notice about the video is that all the timing for the Stop Motion is off. I believe this is due to the editor changing the frame rate and speed of the original clips. Also, NONE of the DIGITAL MOUTHS sync!!! Ahhhhh..... This has to be from editor not syncing the stop motion to the timecode of the storyboards and playing with timing to match. This could be the result of a clip that for some reason didn't make it into the final edit.

Since I'm so used to editing most of the work that is done in the studio I rarely have these issues, and if I do I fix them fast. It's often easy to forget that Animation Editors and Live Action Editors are two different animals.

I would like to add the Andy Signore is a great director and did a wonderful job on directing his first Animated Music Video. He's done lots of work in the past with big names and his talent always shines through.

If you want to see the behind the scenes you can checkout the video below.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stop Motion Set Destruction!!!!

It's almost time to say goodbye to our happy little snow land and hello to a new StopMo set.

In the next couple of days I will be dismantling the hills and removing the trees to make way for 3 simultanous Chroma-Key Green Screen StopMo shoots. So sad to see those lovely little tree say bye bye. But we have to move on.

So in saying good bye I thought I'd post some pictures of our lovely little trees.

The Trees are made from a Wood Dowel Center, Matresse Foam, Staples, Liquid Latex, WaterBased Spray Paint, and White Acrylic paint.
Good Bye Little Happy Trees........ Hello, Stop Motion Monster Building and Animation!!!!! WooHoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Foam Latex Oven Build Video

Here's a video of the Foam Latex Oven built for our studio. The plans can be found in our December 2009 issue that will be released on the 10th. Lots of fun to build and very useful for large numbers of molds that need baked at the same time.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Clips Finished!!! Time for the Holidays!!!!

The Stop Motion Animation clips are all done for the Fred Figglehorn "Creepy Christmas" music video. The Director of the Music Video Andy Signor (on the right) stopped by to see the final product and hang with our stopmo friends.

This was one of the tightest deadlines ever. 25 to 35 seconds of Stop Motion done from design to build and animation in 2 weeks. With help from Melissa Piekaar, Victor Akuna, Tom, and our new friend Valerie Rodriguez. We were able to pull it off. The biggest hurdle out of the project was the 5 days lost due to PayPal delaying our funds for materials. Oh well, we still pulled it off. I (John Ikuma / on the left) just couldn't sleep for five days straight to get it done.

Now it's on to the December Issue of SMM and Design, Sculpting, and Casting a 2 foot Stop Motion monster for a Film Festival Entry I was comissioned to make and animate. But First, I must sleep.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........................................................

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Latex Oven and the Baking Marathon

Today we are setting on a two day foam latex marathon. What needs baked you maybe asking. Well, (1) Frost the snowman, (2) Reindeer, (2)Rudolfs, (2) Fred Bodies. The oven you see above is a custom built oven that I personally made for the this build and will be one of the tutorials in the upcoming December 2009 issue of SMM. There will also be a timelapse video on YouTube of the frame and body building process. 3 Half days of blood sweat and tears and now two days of Foam Madness. Fun Fun Fun.... It's good to love what you do even when your fingers hurt.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Buddy Systems Interviews

Oh the joy of joys is a really good interview. Today myself and Melissa Piekaar (our new reporter and staffy) interviewed the boys over at Buddy Systems Studios in Burbank California. What resulted was an awesome interview and a great hang with some great people. They will be our cover story for the December Issue of SMM. We want to thank Buddy Systems for taking the time to meet with us and wish them the greatest of luck on their many under the radar projects.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas Production Video

Today I have put the final touches on some sculpts for an upcoming music video production. The artist is FRED from YouTube and the sculpture you see is his character in Chavant Clay. He will most likely be a foam latex puppet with either a resin head or a Sculpey Push Casting head. The cast of characters rang from Rudolf, Frost, and some forgotten Toys.

What this production will lead to is a few production videos and how to's on Foam Latex Oven Making and Sculpting Tutorials. Should be a ton of fun. Stay tuned for more to come.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ahhh.... Finally a way to keep an eye on what we are doing behind the scenes at SMM. There is constantly chaos on our end with deadlines, personal projects, and group organization. So now you readers can have a look at the crazy stuff going on.
Our December 2009 issue#3 is in production. Our featured article will be on a studio called "Buddy Systems". We also plan to have interviews with sculptor John Brown, sounddesigner Travis Powers, along with Highlights from the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival, and tutorials on chavant clay sculpting.
We recently shot some test shots of a Pixelation video that my be a micro web series on our YouTube page. The first one should be completed in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for the the updates.