Production Stills + Making Stuff 3!!


Video editing is going really well. There was certainly a learning curve with Final Cut Pro, but I got the basics and have pretty much laid out my clips. Now I must go in and add effects and color correction to give it that finishing touch of pro-ness. I’ve gotten some good feedback from Towers, and am super stoked to finally be releasing my work soon.

On that note, I’ll be researching stop motion festivals to see if there are any I can enter and maybe get some exposure.

Here’s some stills:
SingSkull short Black _7

witches curse final_307


A few posts ago, I was developing a skeleton for my skeleton, but never followed up with what I did, so heres…the rest..of the story(with journalistic tone):

Making Stuff! – A Skeleton’s Skeleton 2nd attempt

-Desk Lamp

Firstly, I chopped off the bottom of the desk lamp and turned the remaining upside down, which gave me a strong metal gooseneck that was posable and bendable…and most importantly, did not move without me knowing. Then I drilled the lamp into a hunk of wood to give it a wider base to allow the gooseneck(and thus mr. Grimm) to bend down low. and Lastly, I glued Grimm to the Goose, ’cause hey..whats good for the Grimm is a Goose that ganders.

Badda-Bing Badda-Boom! I had my Grimmward with strong metal bone structure who could jump when I said how high? Heres some pics:





It’s Been A Whiiiile! (Yarled like that one song)

Hello fellow pineapples!

well It’s been a long damn while indeed. last post was like, sooo last year! like, Ermahgerd! Anyways heres a quick update, followed by the pickup from the last relevant post.

-The Studio is gone! literally, it has been demolished by Trimet(local Metro) and will be turned into a Metro Transit Station. :/ Heres a picture of the demolition(see if you can spot Wesley Snipes!):

The old Studio being demolished!
The old Studio being demolished!

-I’ve set up a small animation studio in my basement to finish up the last shots for the video. Things are shaping up well, and I’m pleased to announce that I’m done capturing my footage!

-I now have all of my clips imported to Final Cut Pro and have started editing the final product! youtube rocks for FCP tutorials! ‘…What an age we live in, eh snake?!’

Look for a few upcoming posts, including:
-Making Stuff – A Skeleton’s Skeleton Part 2
and of course:
-The Premier of Tower’s ‘The Fields’ music video!!!!

Welp, we’re coming up on a year since I started this blog, and about a year and 4 months since I got serious about doing stop motion. Pretty Freaking exciting! I’ve learned much on this journey, and I have quite a few ideas I can’t wait to work on for my own music videos…but I’m also quite hankering for producing music, so after this videos done, you can look forward to future posts about all that noise! after all, this is the stopmotionMUSIC blog.

Au Revoir for now!

Making Stuff! – A Skeleton’s Skeleton 1st attempt

So I found this old halloween skeleton chilling in a box of old junk and I went berzerkers! it had charm and character like only an old, dirty skeleton could have. A lot of skeletons these days are much too clean and smirky to star in a heavy metal film.

Only problem was that it was designed to hang, and had no support system to stand on its own. So, I decided to give ol’ Grimm a new lease on life(?!?), by building a skeleton for him.

This was my first attempt using the following:

-scrap wood
-aluminum wire

Firstly, I wound up 3 lengths of aluminum wire using my drill. normally I wind 2 lengths for the arms and legs of my armatures, but figuring this was a much bigger and heavier puppet I used 3.

secondly, I drilled holes in the wood and glued the aluminum wires into all holes creating a posable and bendable skeleton body. (see pictures)

and lastly I glued Grimm to the skeleton.


ol’ Grimm was much too heavy for the aluminum wire to support. It was like a body builder with a huge torso, and stick legs…he could stand for short periods of time, but would inevitably collapse.

and…Stop motion rule number 1: The animator is the only entity that should move anything whatsoever on the set. So when gravity and weight pull your puppet’s pose into a hot mess of a pile, animating is not possible.

so, Back to the drawing board! stay tuned for 2nd attempt.

TAKE THE POLL! What do you think I used for my second attempt?!

Paranorman Review

Paranorman is 1 part zombie thriller, 1 part goonies, and 2 parts fucking awesome. I was invited to a pre-screening by a friend who works at Laika (thanks Christina!) and I went into the movie only with an expectation of seeing some awesome stop motion, and a seemingly decent PG zombie thrasher based on the teaser trailers I had seen on the olympics and online.

What I got was the best stop motion action and storyline I’ve seen since Nightmare Before Christmas. Norman is the underdog that talks to dead spirits and has quite quaint relationships with most of them, but when the town he lives in is besieged by zombies from a witches curse of long ago, him and his team of modern goonies must save the day.

The first half of the movie sets up what seems to be a typical “misunderstood kid saves the day” zombie flick, and when the zombies attack, the classic 80’s eerie synth-bass lines in the music drive the action like a throw back to “Return of the Living Dead”…it was awesome! but about halfway through the movie, nuance sets in and you realize these zombies have a story of their own, and are more terrified of the ways of modern society than society is of them!

Simpsonian Mob mentality takes over the film as the townsfolk go nuts, the curses origin story takes center stage as Normans abilities become his most powerful tool, and absolutely mind blowing visuals meticulously labored over reach a crescendo with each passing frame.

So many spoilers I wont divulge! but needless to say, I highly recommend it! I saw the film in 3D, which was an experience in itself, but would like to see it again in stunning regular D, as I’m not much of a 3D proponent, because it forces your perspective…but that choice is up to you my friend! enjoy the flick!

….oh and might I just say, I loved Normans dead grandma, she was so sweet, hilarious, and heartwarming!

Making Stuff – Eyes!

For eyes, I like to use small pearl beads. Just dab some paint on the eyelet hole however you want your character’s eyes to look. blue, green, iris, no iris, big small….or better yet, make many designs so you can animate them!

Why paint the eyelet and not the smooth part of the bead? answer: eye mobility. by using the eyelet, you can animate eye movement easily using a small pin. Just insert the pin into the eyelet and drag the pupil whatever way you want your character to peer!


here’s some pictures of me painting a set of 12 or so beads that will animate to look like a small red pupil enlarging to a large bloodshot eye.


Supplies…The Infinite Search for Bollocks

If you don’t work for Hollywood, chances are your budget is bollocks, and you have to find your materials behind the used teapots and broken plumb pipes of thriftstores and flea markets.

I find myself at Goodwills and Salvation Armies probably at least 2 to 4 hours a week. Luckily I inherited the genes that drive me to commit such time to shuffling, digging, comparing, and zoning out/in all in the name of  A DEAL!!! My dad would take us garage sailing quite often when we were young, and the Tanque Verde Swap meet…well lets just say I’m quite familiar with and comforted by bassy Tejano music, yards and yards of tailpipes strewn on the ground, the smell of make-shift donkey carousels , cheap – fresh produce, and eegees….sigh! ❤

well…ahem, anyways….back to the deals. while this drive is useful, it also can be quite a curse, and frustration can set in at any moment, especially when you’ve spent half a day looking for a particular pvc pipe piece to complete your DIY Camera dolly, or perfect cut of thin sheet metal to stand your puppet’s magnetic feet upon. Not only that, but trying to keep a thousand different pieces of material in mind whilst searching for THE DEAL can also be quite a task….just last week I was walking through Goodwill repeating in my head…(Detachable Camera Tripod, Tap Light, Metal, PVC…  Detachable Camera Tripod, Tap Light, Metal, PVC…Detachable Camera Tripod, Tap Light, Metal, PVC).

Funny thing is…its always that which you’re not focused on, but which is equally important or useful, that presents itself at these moments. Why…check out what presented itself just as I was repeating my material mantra for the hundredth time!(Fig. 7 – 3 yards of Paper Grass!).

So if you’re an independent film maker with a bollocks budget, don’t fret! just be prepared for long hours in your local thrift stores, and pray for those moments when the perfect item rears it’s head.  I haven’t yet visited, but if you’re in the Portland area check out SCRAP!a local volunteer based rummage store for craft items.

Fig. 8 - Cut & Paste Instant Grass
Fig. 8 - Cut & Paste Instant Grass
Fig. 7 - Grass Mat!
Fig. 7 - Grass Mat!

Cleanliness is Close to Godliness….Especially when Clay is Invloved

As they say, Cleanliness is close to godliness, and when it comes to stop motion with clay….thats fucking so true.  Because basically when you’re animating, you are playing god. its your own little world that you’ve created, your own characters you’ve built, your stage, story, lighting, and actions. You are manipulating every aspect of this world, creating every moment of ‘life’.

Anyways, in setting up my animation room, we’ve built 2 tables out of 1 big table tennis table. This table was found in the downstairs of the building in which Rick Duncan’s recording studio is located, and it had probably about 3 years of dust collected on it. So! it took me about 25 minutes to clean off these tables….spraying, and wiping, and spraying and wiping(Fig. 23). But for good reason, because as I’ve learned while building my puppets, clay is like a living, Morpheus (if i may coin an adjective?), blobby, peice of tape that will hold any peice of dust, dirt, hair, or grime it comes in contact with….and while i like a little dirt for realism (after all this is a witch burning), you must be careful when touching that clay. Try to look at your hands before you do, and have a bunch of wet wipes on hand while building your characters and animating! ….this is another great thing I learned from  Ms. Shaw’s book (see blog 1), but kind of dismissed it until I was in the thick of it.

Keep it clean my pineapples!!

Fig. 23
Fig. 23
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