Wednesday 22 April 2015

Ultimate Image


Well here it is!
This is probably the most amount of faffing I've ever done with Photoshop to make an image look 'pretty'. Considering I know very little about the program I don't think it turned out half bad.

Its not quite what I originally had in mind. Due to being a few weeks behind on filming I had a limited amount of shots to choose from, none of which I felt were ultimate image quality. Instead I took a few quick snapshots of my character and put together this little number instead.

Company Research - Part 5 - Blinkink

Blinkink are a production company based in Soho, London. They create innovative and unique commercials, short films and music videos which combine various mediums including animation  live action. Some of their most recent work include:

'Barry the Biscuit' Boy made for Cravendale is a wonderful little advert which combines stop motion, live action and puppetry. This particular advert or should I say the 'making of' video was a big eye opener for me. I realized that the skills I have acquired from studying stop motion can be applied on other kinds of puppets and not only armatured characters. This advert has also led me in to using a small amount of live action in my third year film.

Blinkink also played a part in the John Lewis 2014 chrismas advert 'Bear and the Hare'. I immediately fell in love with this advert and its beautiful combination of hand drawn 2D characters and three dimensional stop motion sets.

Other examples of work from Blinkink include 'Marlyn Myller' from Mikey Please whom is also the creator of 'The Eagleman Stag'

 and 'Sandy' a short and cheeky and defiantly film directed by Joseph Mann

Its wonderful to see a company that are interested in keeping stop motion alive by complimenting and combining it with CGI, live action and 2D animation and by supporting aspiring young creators to make new and unique work alongside well established directors. I especially enjoy viewing work from Blinkink because their creations are always exciting and innovate an I never know what to expect.

Monday 20 April 2015

Company Research - Part 4 - LAIKA 

Despite the fact that LAIKA are relatively new to the stop motion film making they've quickly shot up the ranks and have become the leading innovators in stop motion technology. LAIKA initially started making films using CG their first film, a short, being Moongirl released in 2005.

LAIKA were probably the first company to make three dimensional printing and rapid prototyping their own and to use it on a massive scale this has allowed them to create ambitiously huge and complex films that would not have been possible to make using traditional methods. 

So far LAIKA have three feature films to their name each more exciting than the last.

Coraline (2009)

Paranorman (2012)

and my favorite so far The Boxtrolls (2014)

LAIKA currently has another film in production due for release in August 2016, Kubo and the Two Strings.

Very little information has been release about this latest project, all we know is that  'the new movie is a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan.'I'm very excited about it because it seems worlds away from the previous films. I cant wait to see how Japanese culture inspires their style choices and the animation itself.

There's a little more info to be found on the link below

First Look At LAIKA's Next Movie, Kubo And The Two StringsĀ 

I really enjoy that LAIKA aren't afraid of new technology's like three dimensional printing, they they;re fining new and innovative uses for it and that they are constantly pushing and improving the boundaries of the stop motion medium.

What a lot of people don't know about LAIKA is that they uses quite a bit of CGI to enhance their film. When I first found out that they use CGI to help create crowd shots and other complex scenes I initially felt that they were cheating a little. I soon released this was somewhat hypocritical of me. How can I praise the use of rapid prototyping in one hand and criticize the use of CG in the other, it's simply another development in their style of film making and animation.

CG crowd additions.Final shot.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Company Research - Part 3 - Aardman

Well of course Aardman had to make an appearance in these research posts at some point. Its very likely that characters such as Morph and Wallace and Gromit were my first introduction to claymation and stop motion animation, though as a child I'd never had imagined I'd be a stop motion student today.

Aardman is probably best known for its amazing stop motion feature films like Pirates!In an adventure with scientists, Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit and TV series like Shaun the Sheep but what many people don't know is that Aardman works with a variety of media including 2D, 3D, CGI, live action and puppeteering. They are also responsible for creating the worlds largest stop motion film (Gulp) and smallest stop motion film (Dot) as a promotion for Nokia phones.  You can watch them both here

What I like about these short films is that they push the limits of what can be achieved with stop motion both in terms of the technology and materials.

What I like most about Aardman is that although they are now using new technology's and materials such as three dimensional printing and foam latex as well as the traditional plasticine to create their puppets, they have managed to keep the clay like appearance of the characters very consistent and true to the 'Aardman Style' that we all know and love.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Company Research - Part 2 - Makinnon and Saunders

Mackinnon & Saunders are one of the world’s leading puppet making companies specializing in the design and construction of characters for television shows, feature films and commercials.

What I like about Mackinnon and Saunders is that they are teaming up with company's such as Fantastic Flying Films and are helping to create fun new series like Calamity Island from the creator of Koala Brothers, David Johnson. I found the pilot for Calamity Island utterly adorable and couldn’t  look away for a second.  I immediately fell in love with the stylized appearance of the characters and the addition of mischievous penguin adds a lovely quirk to the plot.

You can watch the pilot episode here 

They are also responsible for the puppets in TV series such as Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and the one I’m most excited about THE CLANGERS!  Its wonderful to see that these animations are being made and filmed in their original stop motion format and not horrifically recreated using CGI.


I first stumbled upon Mackinnon and Saunders when I found out that they made the puppets for one of my all-time favorite films ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’. The popular children’s book by Roald Dahl is a big happy memory from my childhood and I had to know more when I found it was being made into a stop motion feature film.

I'd be very interested in working for Mackinnon and Saunders because of the huge variety of projects and films they work on. I imagine each of which comes with its own unique set of problems to solve in innovative and interesting ways.

Company Research - Part 1 - Trampires Ltd

The first company I want to talk about is Trampires Ltd!

Trampires Ltd is a product of Immortal Pictures Ltd a BAFTA award winning stop motion animation company based in the UK, headed by Director & Producer Mike Mort. Having worked mainly in the world of commercials and TV series
 they are now working on something bigger and even more exciting!

The idea/charterer of Chuck Steel began well over twenty years ago in the imagination of Mike Mort and in 2013 ‘Chuck Steel: Raging Balls of Steel Justice’ a fifteen minute short film was released. Despite the fact it was part time project filmed in a basement the production values and overall quality of the film are brilliant. This short helped secure the funding for the feature film Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires due for release in 2017.

You can watch the trailer for the short film here

I’m really excited about this film as it's not often that a 

medium which is usually associated with children's films will be combined with more adult humor and themes.

The reason I'm most excited about this company is that I was lucky enough to attend three weeks of work experience at the Trampires Ltd studio and will be returning later on this year after graduation! I can’t tell you what I got up to but I can tell you that I learned so many of new skills, and got to work with some really very talented, inspiring and friendly people.I cant wait to apply the skills I've learned to my next project.

Check out their production blog here