Foxes and Cars

31 Oct

Heya folks!

I’ve been a bit ill for a few days so if you’ve been wondering, that’s why I’ve been away. Before I begin, I want to write down a few things I learned from the masterclass with Mark Gustafson. Use hard plastic foam for feet and pin down to fiberboard. Instead of magnets. This can be good for small puppets and maybe it will solve my feet problems (although I’m trying the magnets atm)

Nut and bolt for the neck, to hold it down properly. He used some kind of string mechanism inside the puppet’s head to pull ‘muscles’ and Quite neat! It was used in corpse bride. Okay then…
I’ve had a really nice day out today. First I walked a bit, strolled through St. James park and then Green Park, then I decided to go somewhere I didn’t go before so I took a different exit and arrived at some street. They were selling paintings by the sidewalk so I enjoyed those for a while. They were mostly replicas though. Then I crossed the street and sat in a random cafe, on the bar. I started noticing strangely beautiful old cars crossing the street. I thought it was some tourist thing, ride in an old car for half an hour sort of thing… But it seemed the drivers and the passengers were family, so something was fishy. Since the were all coming from a similar direction I decided to follow the stream to the source.
Well! It was hardly a challenge. The more I walked the more cars I saw. And man, what cars! They seemed about 100 years old. Of any variety and color. Hand painted and decorated, in beautiful shape, and all riding on their original engines! I affirmed that note when I saw a steamed-powered one. There was a guy in the back stacking up the coal!!
There was a huge variety, from the steam engine mini-bus to tricycles where the driver sits in the back and two passengers in the front.
Walking further up a few turns, I saw one who was stuck, so I spoke to him. When I asked if this was a race, he laughed and said the challenge is getting them to move at all. Later I saw it’s a trip from London to Brighton for “veteran cars”, which will be on tomorrow. He said the cars were mostly from private collections or museums. I caught the car’s model: Renault 1902.

[edit: I looked it up, here you can get a good idea of what the event is like.]

Anyway, after my excitement dwindled, I continued my walk, and went to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox. Suffice to say… I feel really sad for the artists. The story and directing is just… Well…
All the frames are so straight! Either extremely frontal or entirely profile. Very two dimensional. The camera movements never surprise you. There are far too many straight up close-ups to the puppets and well… The puppets are beautiful but they’re just not human, they’re not meant for extreme close ups, especially so many and so centered. Argh!
That said, a lot of things are stunningly beautiful. The furry puppets. The sets are just amazing. The human faces are very good too. The humans are maybe the most interesting characters. They have done great things with the lightning and mood, although it all just seems too red throughout. I miss something cool.
Especially after the masterclass I had with the Animation Director (Mark Gustafson) and the director of photography (Tristan Oliver). It seemed like the director was too specific and didn’t give them any creative freedom, which leads to this feeling of stiffness in some areas.
The story well… too many cliches on the characters. No clear points made.

Okay done killing that movie! I adore what the artist did do.

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Posted by on October 31, 2009 in Journal, Stop Motion


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