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©Erik Goulet
 

More about Erik Goulet animator and puppet maker extraordinaire!More

Stop Motion Animation News

Former Aardman and BBC execs launch next generation
Entertainment Company.

Jess Cleverly

Aardman Animations former Head of Broadcast Miles Bullough has teamed up with former BBC creative executive Jesse Cleverly to launch Wildseed Studios, a next-generation entertainment content incubator designed to attract creators looking for funding and expertise - and is calling on emerging and established creators to get in touch here http://www.wildseedstudios.com/sending-ideas-to-wildseed.html and have their ideas commissioned, developed, financed and distributed.

The company is adopting a portfolio approach to development – investing up to £10,000 into each of 50 new projects over the next 3 years, with follow-on investment available for projects that make a connection with an audience.

Wildseed has recently completed its first round of funding and has already invested in two projects. The first is a wickedly funny animated show for young adults based on the work of underground UK comic artist Ralph Kidson and features ‘God and Jesus’ where God explains his plans to Jesus for his latest miracle, ‘Animal Job Centre’ where an unemployed squirrel tries to navigate the vagaries of the job market and ‘Serengeti’ where punchy and loutish animals launch into foul-mouthed tirades against each other at the slightest provocation. The second project is a live-action sci-fi/horror web series from 19 year old creator Drew Casson – a 90 minute, special effects heavy horror sci-fi coming of age story, shot vlog style, about a small English Town being taken over by aliens with Drew’s usual layer of horror, stunning special effects and action. More projects are expected to be announced soon.

Wildseed describes itself as being platform neutral – putting great characters at the heart of everything it does and then looking to distribute projects to the platforms that best suit the idea. ‘A YouTube Channel will be a big part of what we do’ says co-founder and MD Miles Bullough, ‘but we are also working with creators who, for example, want to produce a mobile game first and that is really exciting for us where there is a great character at the heart of the game’.

Wildseed is planning its public launch for Autumn 2013 once its content pipeline is in full flow.

Targeting young adult audiences (13 to 35), Wildseed Studios is looking for ideas in four genres: Genre Fiction (Sci-Fi/horror/fantasy), Animated Sitcom, Character Comedy and then also comedy for Kids 6-11 in both live action and animation. ‘We have also set aside 10 of our 50 potential investments for ‘Wildseed’s Wildseeds’ – ideas that don’t necessarily fit any of the above genres but that we love and want to get involved with anyway’ says co-founder and Creative Director, Jesse Cleverly.

Before setting up Wildseed Studios, Bullough spent 9 years at Aardman as Head of Broadcast working on international and multi-platform brands such as Shaun The Sheep, Wallace and Gromit and Creature Comforts as well as setting up Aardman’s Rights and Digital divisions. Prior to that he was MD at comedy indie Absolutely which produced shows such as Trigger Happy TV, C4’s Armstrong & Miller, Stressed Eric and The Jack Docherty Show.

Cleverly has been running his own IP development company Connective Media for the past five years working with a range of blue chip clients. Prior to this he spent 10 years at the BBC in a range of editorial positions. He was trained as a script editor at BBC Films where he put the film Eastern Promises into development. He was then asked to join the team setting up BBC Fictionlab as Head of Development exploring the new formats, new platforms and new technologies which would enable storytelling in the digital age. He finished his time at the BBC working as Head of Co-productions and Acquisitions at CBBC. Prior to the BBC he was Head of Marketing at the Royal Court Theatre for Stephen Daldry where he commissioned the world’s first theatre website and launched 90 new plays.

‘Miles and I have spent the last 9 months working on our business plan and fund-raising’ says Cleverly, ‘and we have found that there are lots of incredible creators out there who are making original engaging content with huge potential, but who lack the resources and experience to take what they do to the next level. We aim to be the company that enables them to develop into the next generation of entertainment trail blazers’.

‘We’ve also had a great reaction to our plans from established creators’, says Bullough. ‘Our proposition of not needing creative control, offering a meaningful share of back-end and moving fast and fearlessly has struck a chord with people who have great CV’s already but are interested in working a new way.’

Wildseed is focussing on low-cost production with its early pilots. ‘Neither we nor our creators make money from our early stage investments – it all goes into the projects’ says Bullough.

Wildseed is looking for its early stage investments to deliver finished content that can be put in front of audiences to gauge their reaction. Where that reaction is positive there will be with greater levels of follow on investment to create projects that break out and establish themselves on multiple platforms including TV, theatrical features and stage shows.

‘For our investment-funnel model to work’, says Bullough, ‘we need just one of our 50 investments to turn into a breakout hit. That feels achievable given our experience, our test and roll out methodology and the amount of talent out there looking for investment and support. The key will be to create characters that the audience wants to be or be with and when we do, to be ready to exploit them across all media and all over the world.’

‘Working on our business idea, writing business plans, presenting, fund-raising and launching a start-up over the last nine months has been a thrilling experience’ says Bullough. ‘What has really been exciting though is the projects that we have been unearthing. Some of the people we are working with are at a turning point in their burgeoning careers we have been able to make a crucial contribution to what they do. This has already been as rewarding for us as anything we have ever been involved in professionally.’

About Wildseed Studios  - www.wildseedstudios.com

Wildseed Studios is next-generation content and talent incubator which will commission, create, own and distribute Intellectual Property; a new kind of entertainment company designed to attract audiences looking for fresh content and creators looking for funding and expertise to get them out of their bedrooms and give them a sustainable career.

The company has been set up by two experienced media executives: Miles Bullough, and Jesse Cleverly. Miles most recently ran Aardman Animations’ TV, Digital, Advertising and Distribution businesses and has executive produced multi-million dollar Intellectual property brands including Shaun the Sheep, the Armstrong and Miller Show, Trigger Happy TV, Angry Kid, Creature Comforts and Stressed Eric.

As creative executive Jesse has exec-ed award-winning series for the BBC, worked for Director Stephen Daldry as Marketing Director at the Royal Court Theatre has sold feature scripts to Hollywood and has run his own Creative Services company for the past five years working for clients such as Disney, France Televisions, ABC Australia and Aardman Animations.

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JackBoots On WhiteHall !

Jackboots on Whitehall looks like it is going to be a real fun stop motion animation movie. Due to be released any day now, it is a satirical alternative take on the historical events of World War II. In this alternative comical history the Nazis seize the UK capitol, London. The good old "Brits" have to band together at Hadrian's Wall (a landmark in London) in order to halt the German invasion.

The movie's creators and directors, UK brothers Edward and Rory McHenry claim this movie is the first feature to use animatronic puppets to assist in the stop motion animation process.

 

The cast (voice over) for the animation movie is impressive:

- Archived Stop Motion News -

NEWS -  The Gerald's Last Day - Stop Motion Short

 

( All Images and Movie content Copyright of Justin And Shel Rasch )

Geralds Last Day keeps winning awards..

The stop motion animation short by Justin and Shel Rasch just keeps on getting well deserved awards at animation festivals. Back in August Geralds last Day won the TAC.tv animation contest to follow on from a string of awards in this year including, Best Family film, Best Animated short and Audience choice award at the Big Bear International Film Festival in California. Justin and Shel are now working on a very exciting project about a crash landing on an alien planet.

....Archived Stories..Read More..

 

Geralds Last Day

by Justin & Shel Rasch 

Synopsis

Gerald the dog has been scheduled for termination by the dog pound at 5pm. Today is his last chance to seduce a potential adoptor..can he do it before his time runs out?  A short stop motion animated cartoon by Justin and Shel Rasch.

The background to the story - By Shel & Justin Rasch.

The story of Gerald's last day was sparked both by Jusin's observations of friends of ours who were looking for love, and a tendency he has to assign animals to people based on their visuals or behaviour.

We decided to shoot the film in Stop Motion Animation because after working in CG for so long Justin was frustrated that all of the artwork he created was intangible.., it doesn't exist in the real world and is in constant danger of being lost due to out-dated technology..it's completely dependant on electricity. He wanted to be able to hold his art once again. He wanted to get his hands dirty.

The Movie -

 

So we embarked on the HUGE journey of educating ourselves in the Stop Motion medium and eventually, to our surprise, falling Madly in love with it ourselves.

Character design, scripting and storyboarding the film were all similar to how Justin has worked on 2D and CG films in the past--but realizing these images in the third dimension was a whole new world. the time investment in Stop Motion is Massive. For each puppet alone there is sculpting, molding , building armatures, foaming, painting, and then maintenance ( and cooking up a whole new one every time it breaks, which crushingly often). But the sweat and tears are immediately forgotten when we get to see the Magic of these inanimate objects moving, thinking, breathing and coming to life onscreen without strings!

Animating around the physical limitations of the actual puppets was a big challenge for Justin, even though he's a seasoned animator in other mediums. 2D drawings and even CG models are not held to the laws of physics like Stop motion puppets, and not being able to refine a performance or go back and fix stuff was scary. Stop Motion is immediate and instinctual, improvisation plays a huge role. We go into every shoot with a plan but once the puppet hits the set it always change, the puppets take over and decide where they want to go and how they are going to respond to each other and the environment. This is incredibly exciting and terrifying at the same time to an animator who is used to being able to control every piece of a performance.

Gerald's last day is 10 minutes long and it took us three years to make. We made the film in our home. Justin animated in our garage at night , he didn't sleep for 3 years and if he did, it would have taken 6 years to make. Shel built the sets in our garage, cooked props in our oven, fabricated puppets at our kitchen table, and edited on the computer in our living room. Our entire family has been a part of it, our three kids have steeped in the art of it for all these years, our kitchen table is paint stained, epoxy-ed, exacto knifed, propasted, dented, and glued for ever now, and we're proud of it's battle scars.

In the process of making this film the two of us have developed a completely new Life/Art direction with a storytelling focus. We are committed to telling more stories in this medium. Last year we started a production company called Stunt Puppet Pictures and now have a few exciting projects in the works, including development on a Stop motion feature film.

We've put more heart and energy into this project than any other piece of artwork either of us have made. And it's been more rewarding. It's true Magic to see the images and thoughts that were just seeds three years ago materialise and take life of their own to tell Justin's story of how a chubby dog named Gerald finds love.

 

 

 

Justin Animating...one of those long nights..

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Stop Motion Archived News


 

 

 

For Immediate Release..

In order to celebrate the launch of the new Wallace & Gromit advert (for the UK Market ) npower are running a competition – http://www.npower.com/wallacescreen - participants will have a chance to win:

- a 42” flatscreen eco TV

- a Toshiba eco-friendly laptop

- three DAB radios; and

- two ‘money can’t buy’ Aardman claymations models of you!

 

Making the Smartpower campaign advert

•             The commercial took four weeks to shoot               

•             This is the first time Aardman has animated the new Penny character – who is a call centre operator for npower 

•             The material on TV was added after the character animation in the post production stage although it was shot at the same time as the rest of the commercial. It features a haunted house built from foam core, an animatable door that slams open in the “we’ve created a monster” shot, and extra gravestones and trees for the foreground

 •             The flying bats in the opening shots were produced by one of our 2D artists and were then added to the TV footage 

•             The opening shot of Wallace & Gromit watching the TV was created using 10 layers or plates, which were then combined in post production to create the finished sequence. The plates included the character animation pass plus various plates for different elements, the lamp in the foreground (which features sheep as a reference to the previous npower commercial “Insheepsulation”), and various lighting plates to create flicker from the TVs

•             The smart energy monitor was designed to make it fit into Wallace & Gromit’s world. The real monitor looks very modern so we had to “Wallace-ify” it by making it look metallic with rivets. 

•             Aardman used 31 TV’s in the commercial that took a day to rig into position. Some of them had miniature lights built into them which helped them look more like working televisions

 •             Gromit’s shadow as he walks toward Wallace with the smart energy monitor is in homage to Nosferatu 

•             Wallace is a bit soft when it comes to horror movies 

•             In preparation for the shoot Wallace was given a full makeover - his trousers were fixed, his tank-top repainted and he was also given clean teeth and new eyes. Gromit was also given a new nose and eyes 

•             The commercial is the first to feature the new npower logo


 

NEWS -  The 2009 Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival

 

Information and Regulations for the 2009 Montreal Stop-Motion Film Festival

1-   The Festival will be held on October 24 and 25, 2009.

2-   Only films using stop-motion animation will be considered.  The technique is defined as the movement of three-dimensional objects animated frame by frame. In the case of mixed media, a content of 75% of stop-motion animation is required for eligibility.

3-   Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2009

4-   There is no charge for entry.  Each film must be accompanied by a completed submission form to be eligible. In addition, please include the the following items for publicity purposes:

the director’s biography and filmography
2 images from the film
1 photo of the director.

5-   The director (or filmmaker) owns the rights to all original images, music, and soundtracks of their festival entry. 

6-   Three categories have been defined for this first edition:

Professional:        films commissioned or produced with funds

Independent:        films produced in an independent setting with or without subsidiaries

Academic:             the film has been made in an academic environment as part of a course or as an assignment.
 

7-   Only films made after the January 1, 2006 will be accepted.  

8-   If the film is in a language other then French or English, the festival will require a text document of the dialogue in the possible event of subtitle creation.

9-   Films can be sent in the following formats: DVD (preferred), mini-DV (NTSC), or digital files such as uncompressed .avi and quicktime. * **

*Please make sure the submission is playable as we cannot start troubleshooting films that are not working.

**The festival reserves the right to alter this rule for the final screening if a specific film is only available in a format not listed here.

 

10- Selections:  All films submitted will go through a pre-selection process. A committee will view all entries and decide which films will be screened.  All decisions are final and cannot be reconsidered.

 

11- As this is a competitive film festival, a panel of official jurors (three members of the film and television community) will decide on a single winner in each of the three categories.

12- Each winner will receive a stop-motion ball and socket armature, known as “little Henry”. The jury’s decision regarding the winners is final.

13- The filmmaker will authorize the festival to use publicity material provided and/or a short excerpt of the film (no more then 30 seconds) solely for promotional purposes on television. Still images from the production might be use on the festival website for promotion. *
*The films entered in the festival will not be digitized and made available on the Internet.

14- The cost of transport, insurance, or customs duties (if any) in both shipping and returns are to be paid by the director of the film. (The format accepted should reduce drastically any cost inherent to participation in the festival).
The films will not be returned unless specified. The festival cannot be held responsible for any damages to the film in transport.

15- It is understood that the film festival is held in good faith and if any problems should arise from the present regulations or screening of the films, the festival cannot be held responsible. Issues can be discussed in a friendly matter. After all, the goal is to celebrate and enjoy stop-motion animation! J

 

Are you ready to enter your film in the coolest stop-motion film festival?

Then please download the entry form, fill it out, and send it our way!

 

 

For entry Forms Follow this link  - In English   -  In French

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Erik H. Goulet has been active in the film industry since 1990. After studying stop-motion animation at Concordia University in Montreal, he started working for a rental business for film equipment before he was hired by an animation studio where he was a motion control operator. After 4 years of working on the commercial side of animation, Erik joined the Softimage team in 1998. In his spare time, he continues to produce puppet-based animated shorts and went back to teach stop motion animation at Concordia University , Montreal, Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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