Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sweet Coraline....

Just about two weeks ago I got an email that's kept me pretty excited since then - the promise of something special in the mail! It arrived and special doesn't begin to describe it. I can't describe how excited I was unpacking this package, and it lives up to every bit of hope! From the upcoming movie 'Coraline' (that every stop-motion fan is already a fan of from the trailers) this is a unique box sent out through the mail.

The outside of the antiqued box, numbered 11/50.

Opening it is magic! Inside is a key and the password 'PUPPETLOVE' to the website which unlocks a clip about the world from a puppets point of view - and great teasers for the puppets for the film. The letter is sealed with wax and, appropriately, a black button.
Inside the envelope is a letter from the Coarline Team.
"Since ancient times, strangers who work on feature films have sent strangers with great websites mysterious gifts in the hope that they can connect over a mutual interest and come to love each other. Some people think that receiving random gifts from strangers in the mail is illicit. Not when the gifts are awesome, right?"
A detail of the included photograph. Pay attention to the Other Fathers arms/hands...
Because here they are! They're 'JOINTED/WIRE/SILICON' and include the metal square tubing at the end where they'd join onto the puppet. An actual part of the film! I know stop-motion is so tactile but being able to touch a part of the puppet used is an amazing experience! Seeing the tubing on the end, and feeling the resistance of the wire in the fingers is a learning experience in itself, I feel like x-raying them to see how the finger wires are joined inside ;) I'm incredibly thrilled to have this part of movie history, and this box will find a prized place for display!

To quote from the letter: "Led by Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, this team has created the first stop-motion feature shot in 3-D. Based on the beloved best-selling children's classic by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a fairy-tale nightmare steeped in classic storytelling, craftsmanship, and the old-fashioned art of moviemaking magic. That means everything is handmade. Every leaf, drawer pull, and roast turkey. Even the rusty shower water."

I was looking forward to this movie already - now I can't wait!! C'mon February, and c'mon IMAX to show it here in 3D!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Winter is official, evidenced by the deer standing 6 feet away from me on the other side of the window, eating all of the bird seed out of our feeder. As long as I stay still, she doesn't seem to care that I'm here.
The downside to this (aside from -40C weather, blizzards and trudging through piles of snow) is that foam latex is now much much harder to procure! Having finally decided to take the plunge... well, putting the toe in the water at least, going for the 2 part no-bake to start with - I now find it's much more difficult in winter (due to that lovely below 0C weather). Hopefully the newest company I've emailed will have some good shipping news!

Storyboards are now about 60% done and going well. Much more work than I'd anticipated, but I know how much it's going to help to already have a feel for my camera setup of each shot before I started filming. In the meantime I've been researching the SMA forums for ways to animate the face -I can spend hours re-reading old threads there, very addictive! Hopefully late this week I'll be able to start testing and posting attempts. Can't wait to post photo's again!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

baseboards and jobs

Progress has been very slow! I was drafted to re-do all the baseboards at home (always a tradeoff for not paying rent!) On the upside, I have a shiny (though not horribly accurate) mitre saw out of the deal.
Job applications have been killing alot of time as well - filling out applications, faxing, emailing, dropping off in person, attending 1 hour interviews only to find out they've already filled the slot! It's a big time investment and I can't wait until I have a job I can tolerate, and maybe even enjoy every other Thursday. In the meantime the frustrations are fueling my need to get storyboarding done more efficiently. Yay for inspiration, however it may come about.