Sunday, February 21, 2010

G.I. Joe Festival and the bloodiest StopMo in the World!

Yesterday I attended the GI Joe Festival in Echo Park. The event had many sponsors with the magazine being one of them. What I wasn't aware of and I'm sure many others that attended the festival were unprepared for was the total carnage, blood, and guts marathon that ensued. Originally I thought the festival would have a standard for over the top violence and assault. But after attending the festival I see that I was completely wrong. There were short films that completely would not have been allowed to be broadcast or shown without an NC17 rating even though they were cartoons. 

So with that I've requested from the festival director to place a warning on the advertisement of the festival. Especially since I had brought 3 kids under the age of 10 and saw many other children attend the festival as well. I'm sorry to say that since this wasn't advertised properly I am completely disappointed in the promotion of such an event and may pull the ads from the magazine if they aren't adjusted.

The truth is that this event could be very popular if it's advertisments are catered to the extreme gore audience or vise versa with it being catered to the kid factor. I definitely have a higher standard set for the Magazines Stop Motion Film Festival scheduled for August in Los Angeles and any animation that cannot be shown to children because of gore, violence, of sex will be rejected. Foul language would have to be under a review before a decision is made. 

Other then that I thought the Festival was fun with the music videos and some of the clips but the three episode "Evil Race" could have been completely taken out of the festival. 80 minutes with about 30minutes of Stop Motion without violence.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Total Puppet Failure!!!!

Yes it happens even to the best of us. That single moment of joy when pulling open a mold and it's instantly turned to terror and pain. Yep, you got it..... Total Puppet Failure!!!

To be honest this was the first time I had ever attempted a silicone casting in a gypsum mold. I've done silicone with in silicone molds. But I wanted to puppet blank cast in silicone for future molding purposes. So I like a complete idiot poured my first batch of DragonSkin into the mold, open the mold and found bubbles. Then I poured another one. But this time I completely failed and destroyed the UltraCal 30 mold. Let me tell you that sometimes professional advice is sometimes poor advice. I had gone the route of listening to an experienced puppet maker. Obviously they weren't experienced in DragonSkin Medium 10.

First off, Silicone Does Not Stick to Silicone once fully cures. I've often heard this from everyone but I have proof sitting in the workshop right now!!! I've also noticed this using GI-1000 that over spill in a mold will often not stick. The Dragon Skins first layer that was poured into the mold and left to cure completely does not stick to the second pour. Wow!!! glad I learned that one.

Second, Mold release in a spray can sucks on UltraCal30. Once again I've used this stuff on silicone molds but it's completely useless in the gypsum mold. The Silicone was fully cured for 6 hours and basically glues the mold together!!! Nooooooooooo.................

Third, My new mold making technique rocks. But using screwdrivers, pri-bars, and metal of any kind has once again proven to be a dumb idea. Chipping, cracking, and braking your mold that you've spent 12 hours making is so sad. I would post a picture of the mold and I could glue the cracks shut. But it's just not worth it. Thank god I love to sculpt and mold.

So, Zorg is temporarily destroyed.... Which is actually a good thing cause I was beginning to think he was too big. I mean 12inches tall is great for a GI Joe action figure. But not for the Zorg Character. The good news is also that I can recycle the silicone in future mold making. WooHoo.... Recycle.....

Now I'm off to make a monster which should take one day to sculpt, one day to mold, and one day to cast. That is if I can fit that into the other crazy stuff going on....... WoooHooo Sculpting!!!!!

Stop Motion Magic's Live Chat Interview John Ikuma

So yesterday I had the privilage of being interview by Marc Spess on Stop Motion Magics Live Chat. What was supposed to be an interview about the magazine ended up being a blabber fest from myself talking about my career, special techniques for compositing, and overall blah blah blah...... LOL...... But it definitely made for a fun interview and a great time. I believe its only up for about a week. You can check it out at:

-John Ikuma

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Issue #4 of Stop Motion Magazine - Now Available

Stop Motion Magazine Issue #4 is now available for free download at
This issue is a special tribute to Gumby and his creator Art Clokey. So many people provided interviews for this issue and we would like to thank all of them for contributing.
So don't wait, Download the issue and have fun reading.