Bristol-based stop-motion animation studio Aardman Studios is working on its first project for Netflix— a new 30-minute special title Robin Robin, which will debut in time for Christmas 2020. The “mini-movie” tells the story of a bird, who is raised by a loving family of mice, after her egg rolls into a rubbish dump.
The announcement of the special was followed up with the news that Aardman’s A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is joining feature slate. Netflix has picked up the sci-fi/comedy sequel for the U.S., Canada and Latin American markets from StudioCanal.
Bloodied, bruised and left for dead a man will stop at nothing to exact gruesome revenge on those who wronged him. Aggressive, raw and unrelenting FILTH is the latest short from award winning director Adam Ciolfi. Having built its reputation on the festival circuit with 11 major awards along with 19 nominations FILTH is now unleashed on the public.
From beginning to end, FILTH is the work of one dedicated individual. Inspired by the film noir movement of the 1940’s and the classic Universal monsters of the 1930’s, director Adam Ciolfi spent 2 years bringing this dark and violent story to life.
Production began in November 2016 once the finishing touches were put on the script. A full year was devoted to pre-production, designing and building the characters and sets, drawing the over 300 storyboards and recording the vocal performances. Another year would be spent at the animation table, putting the characters through their paces one frame at a time. The epic fight scene that closes the film took 3 months alone to animate. The last shot went before the camera in September 2018. An accelerated post production followed with the film completed in December 2018.
An extremely successful festival run began in January 2019. In the 11 months that followed, FILTH would go on to earn 11 major awards, receive a total of 19 nominations and screen at over 30 festivals.
As FILTH made its way around the globe Adam spent the year in preproduction for his next short film. Animation on FROM HELL HE RIDES is set to begin in January 2020. This time taking inspiration from the spaghetti westerns of the 1960’s FROM HELL HE RIDES continues Adam’s penchant for mashing horror and classic cinema.
Adam Ciolfi – director of FILTH’s lifelong fascination with stop motion animation began in 1975 when at age ten he discovered the work of Ray Harryhausen (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) In 1977 he attempted his first film with a lump of clay and a Regular 8 camera. By 1985 he and his siblings had produced 26 amateur short films.
THE LADY OF NAMES (2011) took 14 years to complete and would go on to screen at over 60 festivals worldwide, taking home the award for Best Animated Feature 9 times. He followed that up with the multi-award winning and critically acclaimed shorts BROKEN (2014) and HIVE (2016)
If you’re a fan of stop motion animation, then you’re a fan of Rankin/Bass. The studio is best known for 1964’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But in 1967, Rankin/Bass did the ultimate monster mash-up with Mad Monster Party.
Though it was originally released in spring and contained no overt mention of Halloween, Mad Monster Party featured every creepy creature associated with trick or treating. Count Dracula, the Mummy, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Werewolf, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, skeletons and zombies populated the stop-motion family comedy.
There’s an excellent article from the website Decades that discusses this often overlooked treasure that features Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller, as well as the impact it had on other pop culture interpretations of the famous characters in its story.
Further, there’s a link to a “Making of” short feature on Youtube. I always love those things.
Oh and Happy Halloween!
Michael Tharme has been working on his Wildlife on Mars project for some time and is gearing up to push for completion. He's made some extremely impressive puppets using the build-up process that the pioneers of stop motion invented. Plus a few new processes as well, but of course with new modern materials that is to be expected. While Mike does have many places he resides on the internet, his blog is quite a lot of insights into his ambitions and thoughts on the finer details of puppet and prop making. You can find his blog right here. Below is his messages to us which explain the above video as well as what his plans are for the film. You can also find links if you'd like to help out.
"...there is a video of my talking before hand but the pitch trailer kicks in at 2:30. So the pitch trailer consists of all my test footage shot over a month, these where to see how far I could push my puppets armatures but also to see where issues might occur in the animation performance and the latex skin as the puppets where build using the build up process. The heads are made in cast polyurethane resin. Both puppets use a ball & socket armature with aluminium/ copper wire in the lips, fingers, eyebrows, eye lids and tails of the creature.The finished animation (which should be 5 minutes long) will be sent to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation to celebrate Ray's 100th birthday next year."
"The project, Wildlife on Mars, has been in development since 2012 when Ray first saw the original storyboard and wanted to see the finished film. This is a passion project as well as keeping a promise to Ray that I would make and finish this film for him. There is a GoFundMe for donations to help out with my travel expenses to get me into university to finish this film for my Masters Degree, so any form of donation is great welcomed."
The Bricks Arcade channel on YouTube released this funny little Lego Halloween short. It's already got over 70,000 views in the few days it's been up! There are many good aspects to it, including the animation, effects and even camera moves which are very smooth. It's definitely worth a watch.
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