Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Competition Winner: Paraphernalia by Bridget O'Halloran

We would like to announce that the winner of our Christmas Competition is Bridget O'Halloran with her short film Paraphernalia. We were all totally amazed at Bridget's effort so well done! We look forward to seeing more stop motions from her in the Future. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspiration: New Gotye Music Video Clip - Somebody That I Used to Know

Most of you have probably already heard or seen this new music video clip for Gotye 'Somebody That I Used to Know featuring Kimbra but I had to share it again anyway! Animated using Stop-motion, it is directed, produced and edited by Natasha Pincus with body art by Emma Hack - beautiful idea.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I was so sad to read in the paper today that Sarah Watt passed away. She was an amazing Australian film maker and animator and I had only just finished reading her interview in the book 'The Divided Heart' by Rachel Powers which was so inspiring for artist mothers. 

Such a tragedy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Call for Entries: Christmas Competition


I have been thinking on this for a long time and have finally decided to have our first stop-motion animation competition for all our readers as a thanks for all your support and also to have a bit of fun! The idea will be for entrants to create a stop-motion animation up to a minute based on the theme "Hearts Desire" which can be interpreted anyway you like. The winners will be judged by our guest judges (yet to be announced).  Malcolm Turner and Helen Gibbins of the Melbourne International Animation Festival (which I am so excited about!). We recently interviewed Malcolm about the MIAF festival this year here if you want to check it out.

Malcolm and Helen have kindly offered ONE free Festival Pass to MIAF 2012 to go into our prize pool. This prize will unfortunately only be open to Australian residents (unless you can let me know if you want to fly over for it!) but all our other prizes will be open to international entries.

First prize will be a copy of  a great book called Basics Animation 04 - Stop-motion by Barry Purves (below). and there will also be some runner up prizes to be announced at a later date.

Part of the runner up prizes will be a copy of Mad Monser Party (1968) a Halloween themed children's film created by the Rankin/Bass animation house and written by Mad magazine's creator Harvey Kurtzman (with Len Korobin). 

I found out about Mad Monster Party through this article at Dangerous Minds which also has a great little clip from the film to watch.

Also a copy of the DVD Lotte Reiniger's Fairy Tales whom I discovered through our interview with Isobel Knowles. Lotte Reiniger was an amazing papercut artist/animator from Germany starting her work around 1922. Click here to watch a sample of her work from the film Papageno from 1935

There will be more details to come but here is a basic guideline for entries are:
  • The competition will be open to all our subscribers through the blog and Facebook and is for people of all skill levels.
  • Entries Close  Sunday 11th December 2011.
  • If you are interested in entering please make a comment in the post below or on our facebook page to sign up.
  • Your stop-motion animation can be made from anything - paper, textiles, plasticine, photographs, everyday objects etc - use your imagination.
  • Your animation can be anywhere up to 1 minute as long as you address the theme 'Hearts Desire'
  • Entries should be emailed to and should include a link to your video (through youtube, vimeo or whoever else you might use) and a short description on how you have addressed the theme 'Hearts Desire'.
  • All entries will be screened on The Creative Haven blog and facebook page for people to see, the top entries will be judged by our Malcolm Turner and Helen Gibbins who will accordingly choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
  • There are a variety of stop-motion softwares you can trial such as Dragon Stopmotion,  Stopmotion Pro, Stop Motion Maker or any other editing software like Premier Pro.

The idea is to have fun doing it, sharing it and hopefully win a great Christmas present in the process! So sign up now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Screening: It's a Jungle In Here - Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine

(Image Source: Melbourne Festival)
Thankfully, here is another great animation event in Melbourne that I won't miss (especially after being away for the Shaun Tan talk, Adam Elliot talk and the Peter and the Wolf Screening!)

We recently interviewed the amazingly creative Isobel Knowles here about her work. She had mentioned in the interview a new collaboration with Van Sowerwine (another amazing animator) on the animation It's a Jungle in Here. The animation will start screening this week as part of the Melbourne Festival at Screen Space  and run from the 14th to the 29th October - so if your in town get along to check it out if you can!

Here are some details about the work from the Melbourne Festival website:


How would you react if someone started behaving inappropriately, or aggressively? Do you try to pretend it isn't happening, or protest and take action?
This is the question posed by It's a jungle in here, an interactive installation artwork that inserts two people into a simulated environment and has them both create and respond to a series of increasingly unsettling encounters.
As the participants find themselves forced into the role of attacker and victim, a live feed of each participant's face is mapped onto the animated characters, channelling the tensions brought forth as the social compact begins to collapse.
Part psychodrama, part multimedia marvel, It's a jungle in here is a confronting tour of the fragile rules that organise our public lives.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Event: Desert Island Flicks - Shaun Tan

(Image Source: provided by ACMI)
Although this isn't stop-motion related - it is Australian and awesome so had to pass on the news from Australian Centre for the Moving Image.   So much great stuff happening at the moment! Details from ACMI below:

Desert Island Flicks October event
Castaway with Shaun Tan Unclassified 15+

Join artist, author and filmmaker Shaun Tan as he discusses his five favourite films in ACMI’s popular Desert Island Flicks event this October. Shaun grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, and currently works in Melbourne. His books, including The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales From Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed graphic novel The Arrival, have been widely translated and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has worked as a feature film concept artist on films such as Pixar's Wall-E, and wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning animated short The Lost Thing. In 2011, he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden for his body of work.

Join this Oscar-winning animator, author and illustrator as he talks through his most cherished cinematic moments. Desert Island Flicks presents a ‘who’s who’ of cinema, television, literature, sport, politics, art, science and culture, revealing their insights and personal stories into the films that moved them and why. 

Presented in ACMI’s intimate Studio 1 space each month, the event is a mix of key clips from the subject’s top 5 films in dispersed with chat, led by a host. By journeying through films in this way, the event often reveals fascinating biographical information, career influences and the philosophical insights of the guest of the moment.

Dates Tue 4 Oct 2011, 7pm
Location Studio 1
Admission Full $15 Concession $12 ACMI Member $11

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Opportunity: Lunch with Adam Elliot at Stables at Stones

(Image Source: Provided by Stables at Stones)

It must be the warm weather and the hint of spring as here is another great event to get along to for all you stop-motion animation lovers. We received the following information from Lucy at Stones of the Yarra Valley today.

Sunday, October 16

The Stables at Stones of the Yarra Valley is delighted to announce an exciting series of informal lunches featuring some Australia's most well-loved personalities. 

Our inaugural lunch in the gorgeous surrounds of The Stables on Sunday, October 16 will feature Academy-Award winning director and claymation producer, Adam Elliot. Over the course of the afternoon, Adam will have a chat about his career to date and answer a few questions to an intimate audience of just 50 guests. 

(Image Source: Provided by Stables at Stones)
Raised on an Outback shrimp farm by a retired acrobatic clown father and a hairdressing mother, Adam developed a truly unique style of storytelling through his fantastical use of the humble medium, plasticine. With such beautifully poignant, quirky films as Harvie Krumpet and Mary and Max to his name and a swag of international accolades including an Oscar, Adam has a fascinating story to tell.

Date: Sunday, 16 October, 2011
Time: 12pm – 3pm
Cost: $75 per head - three-course lunch, including an informal chat and Q&A with Adam Elliot
Bookings 03 97390 900 or email:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Screening: Peter and The Wolf with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at ACMI

Some great news from ACMI about an awesome stop-motion screening. See details below!

Peter and the Wolf (2006) (unclassified all ages)
A collaboration celebrating music and film this school holidays
Tuesday 4 until Thursday 6 October 2011

This school holidays, from 4 until 6 October, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) combine to present the film Peter and the Wolf, with Prokofiev’s magical music played live in the cinema by the MSO. Each event will also include a discussion of the animation style and main musical themes used in the film.

Peter and the Wolf, produced by BreakThru Films, is the Academy Award®-winning new animated film version of Prokofiev’s children's classic and is directed by the extraordinary animation talent, Suzie Templeton.

“My desire was to create a film, which works on many levels for both children and adults, exploring our fear of and fascination with the wild beast, and witnessing a young boy discover his own strength and integrity,” Suzie Templeton said.

Peter and the Wolf has been a window into the world of orchestral music for millions who have learned to recognise the distinct sounds of instruments associated with the story’s characters, and to appreciate the way in which characters can also be identified by clearly defined themes.

Twenty-seven musicians, conducted by MSO Principal Trombone Brett Kelly, will help bring Templeton's beautiful animation to life, with sections of the Orchestra representing different characters in the film. "Prokofiev’s remarkable music is already a great favourite, but combined with such wonderful animation it is sure to leave young people spell-bound and transported to a world both familiar, and very surprising,” Brett Kelly said.

Peter and the Wolf was made using stop-frame model animation, with state-of-the-art stills cameras. The film received its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall and has had many orchestral screenings worldwide, including a premiere performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra, attended by more than 9,000 people, and a special screening at Warsaw Castle.

Nominated for a BAFTA® and a Royal Television Society Award, the film won the Rose D’Or for Best Arts Program and collected the top two prizes at the world’s biggest animation festival, Annecy. In February 2008, Peter and the Wolf was awarded the Oscar® for Best Animated Short Film.

“When it comes to combining live performance and film in our cinemas, this is by far our most ambitious collaboration,” enthused ACMI Head of Film Programs Richard Sowada. “It’s rare to strike a balance between a film of such high quality, state of the art presentation and sublime accompaniment. A collaboration on this scale is really something special.”

The season of Peter and the Wolf runs 4-6 October at ACMI in Melbourne. For more information please visit or Tickets start from $15 and can be purchased through the ACMI website or via Ticketmaster at or 136 100.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Call for Entries: Collaboration with Daniel Louie - Post Graduate Choreographers VCA

I recently received an email from Daniel Louie from the Postgraduate Choreographers of the Victorian College of Arts looking for people interested in a project he is coordinating which could potentially incorporate elements of stop-motion animation. 

If you are interested here are the details - he needs a response as soon as possible as the project will be presented in November.

I'm putting a call out to anyone interested in working on a project that investigates the relationship between architecture, animation and live art/dance. 

Animation required will likely be short, looped material projected onto various surfaces of a building. Possible approaches could include working with stop-motion, photo collage, sketches, or working with light & shadow, to name a few.

The work will be highly collaborative and I will work in with your schedule. Presentation outcome in first week of November.

Feel free to contact me via  email at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview: Isobel Knowles

I first discovered Isobel Knowles when I went to a Craft Victoria talk called Make It, Design It, Fund It a couple of years ago. An Experimenta catalogue was circulated and flicking through stumbled upon Isobel's amazing artwork with Van Sowerwine called You Were In My Dream. I was really interested in stop-motion at the time and had experimented with using it in my own artworks but couldn't believe the amazing conceptual use of the medium in their work. This was also long before I dreamed of starting this blog so I can't believe I am here right now interviewing Isobel about her work and in particular the work that inspired me so much!

I think I had inspiration overload reading about Isobel's inspirations - so many great new people to find out about. If you would like to see more of Isobel's work you can go to her website here or her Vimeo channel here.

Tell us a little about your arts/design background

I was one of those kids who would draw and draw. I chose art in school wherever I could and started animating in my final year of high school. I went on to study Media Arts at RMIT where I got into making animations for installation in galleries and made a few short films as well. I started collaborating with Van Sowerwine at university and we have had a productive working relationship ever since.

(Image of Clara from the short film Clara (c) Film Camp, Directed by Van Sowerine .)
I made a music video for Architecture in Helsinki just after I graduated and during the production of it they asked me to join in and play trumpet with them. It was such a great experience but at the same time it was tricky leading a double creative life. I was shooting a short film, Clara, with Van and recording with Architecture in Helsinki at the same time and it was a difficult balance. The band took over and became a full time occupation for a couple of years. I had a great time and fell into making music videos because of all these music connections I was making. It was a lot of fun!

After I left the band I spent time overseas trading music videos for accommodation. When I came back to Melbourne I decided I wanted to do animation full time. I have managed to strike a good balance between artistic projects and commissioned work and I'm enjoying it immensely!

When did you first discover stop-motion animation?

Sesame Street! I loved that show to death. All those different vignettes made by incredibly talented animation artists!

I discovered stop-motion for myself when I started making animations in high school. The first few were pretty silly but for my graduating project I made an 8 minute alphabet with 26 different styles of animation to teach myself a broad range of techniques. There was a lot of stop-motion in there. Clay, cut-paper, objects, wire sculpture. I had a lot of fun with it.

Do you have any particular favourite stop-motion works or other artists that inspire you?

(Image still from Lotte Reiniger's Papageno 1935)
So many! Lotte Reiniger is my all time favourite paper cut animator. Suzy Templeton's Dog and her version of Peter and the Wolf are really beautiful puppet films. I loved Sinna Mann by Anita Killi. David Daniels stratacut animations are mind-melting. Yuri Norstein's Hedgehog in the Fog has the most beautifully made 2d puppets. Jan Svankmejer wins for amazing concepts. I love kids shows like Towser, Magic Roundabout, Gumby and Spanish cartoon Capelito. Fantastic Mr Fox was a very exciting addition to the animated feature film world.

(Image still from the children's series The Magic Roundabout)
(Image still from Yuri Norstein's Hedgehog in the Fog)
What mediums do you like to work with to create your sets and characters?

Anything really! You Were In My Dream had a lot of real tree branches which I loved the look of. Feathers, dried flowers, dried leaves. We tried to use as much natural material as possible and interspersed that with model making and craft supplies. I also love using cardboard. I recently made a factory set out of shoeboxes and felt. It was pretty free-form - just hacking away at cardboard with minimal precision, doing all measurements by eye. Van and I continued that lo-fi cardboard aesthetic with our new work that's in production now.

(Image of Isobel animating her factory in her collaboration with Cat Rabbit. Image source via Cat Rabbit's Website)
(Image still of a beautiful paper cut bird from You Were in My Dreams)
What has been your favourite stop-motion piece that you have worked on?

It's hard - like choosing a favourite child! I really enjoyed shooting You Were In My Dream. It was a collaboration with Van and I love working together with her on something big. I really loved animating the character transforming into various animals and the set was so pretty to look at all day long. But Clara was such a great project to work on too. We had decent funding so we got to use a lot of high-end equipment. We also shot it on 16mm and it was always such a rush at the end of each week when we'd take our roll of film off to be developed and watch the rushes from the week before.

Can you talk a little on the processes used and experience of making this stop-motion animation? 

I'll talk about You Were In My Dream since it's the most recent.

We originally wanted to make a 3d puppet animation like the ones we'd done together before but because of the animation needing to incorporate a live video feed of a face onto the animated character's face we decided that a 2d puppet would work better. We still wanted the sense of depth though so we made these giant sets full of the things I mentioned above and added a sheet of perspex with the cut paper 2d characters and sets to the top of that. I was really happy with how it looked in the end.

(Image still from the artwork You Were In My Dreams in use by Isobel and Van. You can see how their faces are projected into the stop-motion animation!)
(Image of a character in the process of being animated with the blank face which allowed for the projection of the viewers face to be placed there later when in use)
Our setup consisted of a custom animation bench which held the camera perpendicular to the set and had a tracking system for the set to travel left and right. The sets were 120mm long which gave us roughly three screens in length. It was important for the forest to feel quite big and like the character could run around and explore a large area. We had one set for the forest floor and one for the tree tops. We used a digital SLR connected to the computer and used Dragon Stop-Motion to capture and play back the animation. We had to use Flash for the interactive element.

(Image of Isobel on the right and Van on the left hard at work on the project)
The animation took a really long time. A lot longer than we'd expected. Van had just had a baby so I think we may have spent too much time tickling little toes! We animated about fifteen minutes worth of footage and because it's interactive and non-linear, people generally see two or three minutes at the most. It was important to the work, though to create a seemingly endless world of possibility. In addition to the fifteen minutes of stop-motion we had to animate a digital mask for the video to sit on top of the character's face. For every frame in the stop-motion we had to do a frame in Flash! So looking back it was an awful lot of work. Of course you never realise this before you begin!

(Image of a frog being animated bit by bit with a pair of tweezers!)
(Image of some of the many characters they would have cut out)
We were working to vague storyboards but most of it was on the fly editing decisions. Because we were shooting on a flat plane, though, we really only had the choice between long shot or closeup. I think this made it more manageable to shoot without a proper storyboard.

(Image of the final artwork being exhibited)
Do you think there is a resurgence in stop-motion animation in the recent years?

I think with digital cameras becoming cheaper and better, stop-motion has become more viable again. Consumer digital cameras are perfect stop motion tools so it's easy for anyone to try which is always a good breeding ground for new and exciting work.

After years of animation becoming predominantly digital and the 3d motion graphics developing into the default animated style, I think people are excited to see stop-motion again. There's still something very magical about an inanimate object moving around like it's alive that you just can't achieve in any other medium.

Do you prefer working on collaborations with other artists/clients or do you prefer creating from ideas of your own?

I like both worlds equally. I prefer spending the bulk of my time realising my own creative ideas but I love being able to make something that serves a purpose. It's like fitting a jigsaw together. Having constraints makes it exciting to find a solution for the challenge. It's also nice to be part of a creative community in this way. I've been very lucky with clients though, and pretty much find myself working for and with friends most of the time.

(Image Still from Isobels collaboration with Cat Rabbit. Source via Cat Rabbit's Website)
What are your future plans in animation? Do you have any exciting collaborations, artworks or music videos in the pipeline that you would like to talk about?

(Image still from a test animation on My Good Half . Isobel's collaboration with Anna Jeffries)
I'm working on a new artwork with my friend and collaborator Van Sowerwine. It's an interactive animation that is semi-stop-motion. The backgrounds are shot to camera and the characters are being done digitally. It's looking pretty good so far! We built a train interior and set up two enormous lazy susans with sets on them. The sets are cardboard renditions of garages, back fences and houses. Corrugated cardboard really does look like corrugated iron, especially when you do some texta tagging! We're exhibiting it in the Melbourne International Arts Festival at Screen Space in October so look out for it!

I'm also planning to do some more work with the wonderful Cat Rabbit which will be a delight I'm sure.

And a new collaboration is on the horizon with director, Anna Jeffries, who has written a script about some siamese twins from 16th Century Scotland. Hopefully that will get off the ground early next year.

I like how things have been developing so far and I'm sure finding it easy to keep busy animating! I'd love to do more short film work and maybe go work somewhere overseas for a while. Maybe Poland or Estonia. Seems like a girl like me could learn a thing or two from Eastern Europe!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Study: Animation at Victorian College of the Arts

If I ever have the opportunity I would love to do further study at the Victorian College of the Arts in Animation especially stop motion animation - alas my HELP debt is already big enough at the moment!

For those of you who do here is your opportunity to find out more. The following information was provided by Paul Fletcher lecturer at the VCA in Animation (see previous post for joining in on Paul's project) about upcoming open days and information sessions about studying Animation at VCA.

VCA Graduate Course Information Sessions in Film and Television

There will be 2 sessions coming up on Tuesday 23rd August and Wednesday 24th August for people interested in undertaking a Graduate Diploma or their Masters. Next year the Graduate Diploma in Animation officially becomes known as the first year of a Masters by Coursework with the option to leave with a Graduate Diploma after the first year or continue into a second year to complete a Masters by Coursework.

General Open Day for VCA Film & TV

The general open day for all Universities and the VCA Film and Television Faculty is Sunday August 21st from 10 am – 4pm. At this stage a full Undergraduate Bachelor course specialising in Animation will go ahead but unfortunately wont be ready for next year (scheduled for the year after 2013!). However they will be running again a Foundations in Animation Course on week day evenings and some weekend days over 10 weeks between March and July.

Click on the image below to enlarge and read more about the Graduate Course Information Sessions:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Call for Entries: Hidden Creatures 2012

I recently received an email from Paul Fletcher who is a Lecturer of Animation in Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts. He is seeking contributions for an exhibition he curates yearly called Hidden Creatures.  The above film documents a little of this years exhibition at Bendigo and it looks fantastic!

Paul is looking for submissions of images, text, animation or sound to be considered for next year's Hidden Creatures exhibition. It may be possible for your entry to be animated in a an online movie, exhibition screen or projection.

The cut off date for submissions is 15th December 2011. To find out more and submit your work for the Hidden Creatures project follow this link.

Here is a little of what Paul has to say about the exhibition:

"WHAT CREATURE IS THAT ? Is an audiovisual Field Guide to rare and imagined creatures. A collaborative ongoing community collection of writing, pictures, sound and moving image related to acknowledging, caring for, and understanding the creatures of our imagination, rare and endangered creatures specific to our own environments and the creatures that are our ourselves."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Melbourne International Film Festival - Animation Shorts

If you missed the chance to see Melbourne animator Michael Greaney's film Aww Jeez at the Melbourne International Animation Festival you have another chance! His film will be screening alongside some other amazing international animation shorts (including stop motion animation) at this years Melbourne International Film Festival.

Aww Jeez will be screening on Saturday 30th July, 6.30pm at the Greater Union Cinema in the City.

We recently interviewed Michael here about his film Aww Jeez if you would like to find out more about his film.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Exhibition: William Kentridge at ACMI - 2012

(Image Source: provided by ACMI)
I have long been a fan of William Kentridge's work so I couldn't believe it when we received a very exciting press release yesterday from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image telling us that their major exhibition for the start of next year was to be William Kentridge's: Five Themes which will showcase the five key themes that has captivated his work over his career.

For those unfamiliar with William Kentridge's work he is well known for his stop motion animation artworks using his charcoal drawings about the social and political environment of his home country South Africa. To get a small insight into his style of work you can watch the following short film on his processes I found on youtube uploaded by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Here is some more information from ACMI on the exhibition:

From 8 March to 27 May 2012, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents William Kentridge: Five Themes, an exhibition by one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, William Kentridge.

Premiering in Australia after travelling to San Francisco, New York, Paris, Vienna, Jerusalem and Moscow, the exhibition explores five key themes that have captivated Kentridge throughout his career.

Well known for his stop motion films of charcoal drawings, Kentridge’s multi-disciplinary approach will be showcased through over 70 works ranging from animations, drawings and prints to theatre models, sculptures and books.

Born in 1955 in South Africa, and continuing to reside in his hometown of Johannesburg, Kentridge is highly regarded for a body of work that reveals strong links to the social and political environment of his home country. Tackling issues of colonial oppression, reconciliation, and the transient nature of individual and shared memory, his work deftly combines the political with the poetic.

“William Kentridge is one of the most significant artists working internationally today and we are thrilled to be presenting his exhibition Five Themes,” says ACMI Director Tony Sweeney. “An expansive and illuminating survey of Kentridge’s work over the past three decades, Five Themes reveals the full arc of his distinguished career and comes to Melbourne after a successful tour to MOMA in New York and the Albertina Museum in Vienna.”

The Five Themes Thick Time: Soho and Felix

The first section of the exhibition features a recurring fictional character in Kentridge’s work, Soho Eckstein, an overbearing businessman with an uneasy conscience and his delicate alter-ego, Felix Teitlebaum. An ongoing work of nine animated shorts, 9 Drawings for Projection traces the lives of these characters during the last decade of apartheid in Johannesburg.

Occasional and Residual Hope: Ubu and the Procession

Inspired by the Alfred Jarry play, Ubu Roi, with its strong themes of corruption and cowardice, Kentridge developed a series of etchings in 1996 called Ubu Tells the Truth. The following year he completed an animated film of the same name along with some drawings. Exploring themes of truth and reconciliation, these works are also a commentary on the human rights abuses that took place during the time of apartheid.

Parcours d'Atelier: Artist in the Studio

The third section of the exhibition explores Kentridge at a crossroads in his career, putting the spotlight on his own art practice to expose the work that takes place prior to a film, drawing or sculptural work being created. A tribute to French film director Georges Méliès, Kentridge’s large-scale multi-screen projection 7 Fragments for Georges Méliès (2003) consists of seven films revealing Kentridge’s own creative process.

Sarastro and the Master's Voice: The Magic Flute

In 2005, Kentridge directed a production of Mozart’sThe Magic Flute for Belgium’s renowned opera house, La Monnaie. Inspiring him to create several films, drawings and theatre models, and a video projection called Learning the Flute (2003), this body of work sees Kentridge explore the contrasting states of darkness and light.

Learning from the Absurd: The Nose

The final section of the exhibition consists of a multichannel projection made in the lead up to Kentridge’s 2010 production of The Nose, for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The companion piece, I am not me, the horse is not mine (2008), is a room-size installation of projected films that examine Russian modernism and the repression experienced by the Russian avant-garde during the 1920s and 1930s.

William Kentridge: Five Themes is organised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Norton Museum of Art. Generous support for the exhibition is provided by the Koret Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

William Kentridge: Five Themes is exhibited exclusively in Australia in Gallery 1 at ACMI from Thursday 8 March until Sunday 27 May, 2012. Further information about the exhibition will be revealed in late 2011.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inspiration PES Films (USA)

(Image Source)
Some of you (or probably even all of you) may already know about the Director PES (aka Adam Pesapane) but I have only recently discovered him through our interview with MaricorMaricar who listed him as an inspiration and I can see why!

PES is a director of stop motion animation commercials and short films and his work uses everyday objects in such an imaginative and funny way.

There are so many examples that I would like to show you but have selected only a few for this article. If you are interested in seeing more of his work it can be found here.

Thanks to Sarah from PES Films for giving us permission to use these.

Game Over

The first short film is Game Over - I have no idea how he finished this without eating half of the set (the food bits obviously). There is a good interview here with PES talking to the Animation Show where he discusses his inspirations and processes of making this stop motion animation.

Western Spaghetti

The next short film is Western Spaghetti and I think this might be my favourite. I can't believe how imaginative this is with objects around the house - no need to worry about building intricate characters or sets!

The Deep

The last short film I would like to feature is PES's most recent work which is The Deep. Created for Showtime’s online series “Short Stories". There is an interview with Motionographer here where PES talks about the creation of The Deep.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MIAF: Cut-Out Sessions

(Image Source: MIAF)
 One last post about the Melbourne International Animation Festival I wanted to mention is about their focus on the cut-out technique.  They have 2 sessions the first is a talk by Anna Jeffries and Isobel Knowles about their new film 'My Good Half' which is currently in production - everyone who attends the session gets a free ticket to see the finished film! (More info here).

Animation 103: Making a Cut-out Film - My Good Half
Wednesday 22nd June 5.15pm

(Image Source: MIAF)
The second session is on Sunday the final day of MIAF which is a screening of 12 animations which focus on the cut-out technique dating from the 1940's to a seleciton of recent works shown at the festival. (More info here).

Technique Focus: Cut-outs
Sunday 26 june, 4.00pm

Both sessions would be amazing to go to! If your unfamiliar with the Cut-Out technique here is a little sample below made by John Lewis for MIAF 2011.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Melbourne International Animation Festival Features and Interviews

(image source: MIAF)

For all you lovely folk visiting the blog for the first time we have been spending the last week interviewing all the Australian stop motion animation artists featured in this year's Melbourne International Animation Festival. Prior to this we also had the opportunity to interview the festival director Malcolm Turner! If you are interested in checking out any of these interviews please find the links below.
We hope everyone has a great week at the festival and goes along and supports it if they can!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MIAF Feature: Aww Jeez - Michael Greaney

Well we have finally reached the end of our MIAF features and are finishing up with Michael Greaney's film Aww Jeez. Michael's interview is an added bonus as he is currently overseas at Annecy for this very film (which is why we don't have any process shots or sketches!). He was kind enough to send us through a bit of info to share with you and some stills from the film.

Aww Jeez will be screening at the Melbourne International Animation Festival on Wednesday 22nd June at 8pm as part of the International Panorama Programs - Panorama #4: Australian.

Can you tell us a little about the story of Aww Jeez and some of the concepts and theme's within the film?

Aww Jeez is a short clay-animated film that takes religious dieties and puts them in a cheesy 50s sitcom environment. Essentially the story is; God is going away on business, but he doesn't trust his slacker son Jesus not to throw a party while he's gone, so he hires Satan, a former alcoholic, to babysit.

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The humor of the film is based around making light of religious mythology, while simultaneously exploring the way sit-coms utilise familiar characters and plotlines to create stories and explore ideas. The film really is my personal love letter to the situational comedy genre, so by using characters that almost everybody recognises, it allowed me alot of freedom to run wild, making a mixture of jokes at goofy sitcom cliches (like the flashy main character entrance) and more in depth religion themed humour. Fortunately for me I teamed up with an amazing sound designer and composer on the film named Ryan Granger who did an awesome job realising the kinds of theme music and audio cues which make sitcoms so fun and energetic.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired the look of the film? What made you decide to use stop motion animation instead of other animation techniques?

When I set out creating the look of the film I really wanted to pick a medium which I felt would properly capture the look and feel of a three camera sitcom. Clay-mation was the perfect choice for this, as it allowed me the opportunity to construct sets and control all the elements within, such as lighting and visual compostion, while still maintaining a stylised real world look.

Could you talk a little on the process of developing the main characters and how they came to the final result on screen. Did you have many different prototypes? How did you make them?

The characters are all constructed on several different layers. To begin with I built an armature, which is a basic wire skeleton, for the puppets. The next step involved sculpting the puppets heads out of an amazing little product called super sculpy, which is as malleable as plasticine until it is baked, which makes it completely solid. The final step was to sculpt the rest of the puppets body out of coloured plasticine.

Funnily enough developing the main characters for the film was actually one of the things that took the most amount of time within the build stage of production. I really wanted to build stylised puppets that where still immediately recognizable as the deities they where based on, so this stage was a loop of sculpting, revising and reworking until finally reaching a functional puppet I was happy with.

Another important part of the final realisation of the characters was the voice actors involved. Darcy Prendergast, who played Satan, and Josh Thomas, who voiced God, gave some fantastic performances that really helped to bring those clay puppets to life. In both cases I had both of the guys screaming like maniacs into a microphone trying to get the right kind of insanity I was looking for.

Are there any future projects you can tell us about - stop motion or otherwise?

I'm currently working with the amazing crew at Oh Yeah Wow which is a Melbourne based studio, on a wide variety of projects including stop-motion and live action music videos and commercials. As well as being in the process of writing my next short which will be a rather politically incorrect clay-animated musical comedy.