Sunday, February 25, 2024

Stopmotion (2024) ... A Thriller-Horror

Note - Any photos ... click once, then click again to enlarge or zoom in

Just released at select theaters in USA. Check movie listings such as Fandango, or other movie listing resources in your area or country.  Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the price to see 'Stopmotion' is $18.  for a  ticket ... OUCH 😮. It has been a number of years since I  actually went to a movie theater. Also, as you know, the Pandemic really hurt the movie theater business. 

UPDATE - Stopmotion will be later available for online streaming May 31 on Shudder which is a subscription platform. They offer a free trial. Phil Tippett's Mad God is also on Shudder. You can watch both then at your option, cancel the subscription.   

Overview (no spoilers) ....

"Directed by Robert Morgan ... it is a blend of live-action and stop-motion elements. It falls within the horror-thriller genre, offering viewers a chilling experience that combines traditional filmmaking with the painstaking artistry of stop-motion animation The film’s premise revolves around Ella Blake, a talented stop-motion animator who becomes consumed by the grotesque world of her horrifying creations. As she delves deeper into her project, the line between life and art blurs in increasingly nightmarish ways"

Movie length is 93 minutes. I see that  an Apple Macbook is what she (the animator) used. That is not a spoiler! You can clearly see it in this Trailer ....

My impression from the trailer ... it appears to have high production quality, with good horror-thriller filmmaking style. My only minor criticism might be about the movie title 'Stopmotion'. Perhaps gimmicky or a  marketing ploy to get attention?  Come on  ... the animation technique is the name of the movie? They couldn't be more creative with the movie title? I could think of better alternatives such as, 'Puppet Nightmares'. or maybe 'Animator's Terror Dreams'

The director, Robert Morgan has been creating indie stop motions shorts for many years. To me, Robert's work has somewhat of a  Brothers Quay, creepy style with that grungy &. rough aesthetics.. Here is one of his early stop motion shorts from 2001, that is not as grimy looking or shocking, but still has creepy vibes ... The Cat with Hands ....

The above is from Robert Morgan's Youtube Channel

Interview with Robert Morgan ....


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Thursday, February 22, 2024

'The Batman' - Stop Motion (Hot Toys)

Best viewed on your laptop or tablet. These are Instagram links and they attempt to force you to go to their site. To watch videos again, just reload / refresh this Stop Motion Works page.

This puppet poseable figure is modeled from the more recent version of The Batman (2022) as portrayed by actor Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne).

 In the first clip here, you see the finished stop motion animation ....

The second clip below is a time lapse, showing the stop motion behind the scenes ....

Stop Motion animated by Lawrence Becker. I am not familiar with him but in the past, I have sometimes seen his other animated works. Apparently, Lawrence has much experience in the traditional animated arts & crafts ... 2D Animation & Stop Motion. Here is his Sampler Times website 

These present day very realistic collectable poseable figures are astounding in the quality of execution ... the clothing, exterior suit & armor details, miniature accessory props, etc., especially the flawless exact replication of the human faces. I wonder if they scanned photos of  the real actors, then made 3D molds and cast in a resin plastic. I have no idea as to what kind of armatures are inside these figures.  I am taking a guess that the armatures are not made to withstand  the rigorous environment of stop motion animation for many, many frames. The armatures may eventually give-out or fail.  Collectable Figures are not necessarily made for Stop Motion.  Collectors purchase these figures in which they occasionally change the poses for display purposes.  

One sixth scale Batman Collectable Figure

One sixth scale Batcycle Model


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Saturday, February 10, 2024

MARK GUSTAFSON, 1959 - 2024 R.I.P.

On February 1, 2024, Director & Animator in the specialty of Stop Motion ... Mark Gustafson passed away as a result of a sudden heart attack. He was only 64 years of age.

Not much I can personally say about Mark but his close friends and co-workers can obviously elaborate much more about him. I casually knew him back in 1998 when I was hired by Will Vinton Studios in  Portland, Oregon USA, and I initially helped the studio with setting up their armature department and doing some basic armature construction and training of the small 4 person armature crew.. This was for the very first season of the,'The PJs'. When I did see Mark in the hallways or meeting rooms of Vinton Studios, talking & discussions with others ... Mark had a most relaxed personality and a low key, dry sense of humor.

Mark Gustafson mostly known in the the the Portland, Oregon USA which has now become a center of stop motion creation. Mark finally getting some international & public recognition on his  last film which was a blockbuster hit. Both Guillermo del Toro and Mark were co-directors of 'Pinocchio' (2022) which earned some awards including an Oscar for best animated feature ... a real rarity for the Stop Motion Craft.

OREGON LIVE, very much knows the creative animation culture in Portland, Oregon and here is a write-up about Mark's passing.Click >> Oscar-winning director Mark Gustafson remembered as irreverent soul who was serious about animation

CARTOON BREW, also did a good write-up Click >> Mark Gustafson, Stop-Motion Veteran Who Co-Directed Oscar-Winning ‘Pinocchio,’ Dies At 64

MARK GUSTAFSON, Bio / Credits, Click >> IMDB


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