I love stop motion animation. From the "realistic" school pioneered by Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen and Phil Tippett, to the "cartoon" approach mastered by Tim Burton, Nick Park, and Henry Selick. And thankfully I'm not alone. Three of this year's Oscar nominated animated feature films were created with real puppets, in real time, by stop motion animators: FRANKENWEENIE, PARANORMAN, and THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS. Long live stop motion animation.
Which brings me to the focus of this blog feature. We recently ran our first monster movie contest on our Facebook wall. The winner, by horror-phile and claymation artist Blair Vaux-Nobes, features some good old, down and dirty stop motion animation. Yes, it's crude; yes, it's bloody; yes, it's not technically a "movie;" and yes, we love it. We hope you like it too. To watch, simply click on the player above, and to read all about how Blair made it, check out the article below.
Congratulations, Blair and Midnight Heavy.
MEAT - shack
(fire & bone)
Created by Blair Vaux-Nobes
"Fire and Bone" or "Meat Shack" as I like to call it is a traditional stop-motion made music video featuring all the blood and guts you normally find in one of my animations.
Pictured above: a still from "Fire and Bone" aka "Meat Shack" by Blair Vaux-Nobes.
If you have seen any of my previous works then you will know that I generally make animations aimed at adults, normally filled with bad language and excessive amount of blood.
MONSTER MOVIE/MUSIC VIDEO
But all that aside, I was approached by an old school friend who plays in the band The Midnight Heavy. He had seen the work I had been producing and asked if I could put something together for one of their tracks. I was already throwing ideas together for an THE EVIL DEAD influenced project and figured I could always include a band playing in the attic.
CONSTRUCTING THE SET
So off to work I went constructing the set from old bits of timber I could find, ensuring the floor of the set was thin enough for my magnetic tie downs to work, as the magnets are fixed to the armatures' feet which are then held down by more powerful magnets beneath the set floor.
So, big wooden box made, I applied black spray paint to the interior to gain a dirty kind of look. I then cut out a hole for the door and simply put in a cardboard one held to the set with drawing pins then decorated with a black marker.
Pictured above: Blair displays his very home made set, as well as his very snappy and colorful car.
Next, a hole for the window which was then covered with 2ml glass and covered in sticky tape which would enable me to smash the glass in steps and have some form of control over its movement, which is obviously vital when trying to capture the footage in still photos.
One side of the set was fixed with a hinge in order to gain additional camera angles.
MAKING THE PROPS & FURNITURE
Boilers were made from plastic bottles and cans, pipes made from straws, and an old rusty mop handle found on a walk home from the shop also made its way into the upper attic room.
Beds and bookcases were created using plastic trimming which I cut to shape and glued together. Other items included tree branches, a milli-putt made record player and my daughter's odd dollhouse accessories.
Pictured above: The set for "Fire and Bone" as seen through the camera--the sort of room that feels made for something horrific to go down.
THE STOP MOTION PUPPETS
With the set made I started making the armatures using different gauged aluminium wire coiled in a drill to make the under skeletons. They were then shaped with plasticine and kindly wardrobed by my loving mother.
Pictured above: Armatures for the band members.
Pictured above: Blair sculpted heads based on the members of the band, seen here prior to their placement on the figures.
A few photos were taken of the band members and developed. Then magnets were placed into the band members' faces and also placed on the back of photos, so their faces could easily and securely be replaced.
Pictured above: Each band figure had a magnet mounted on their head for affixing the photo-faces.
With everything created now, using the Dragon stop-motion box with a canon 600D, spending a few hours a night, shooting at 12 FS and editing on iMovie, Meat Shack was complete.
It took three months to plan
The total cost was £40
Pictured above: Blair, the artist & filmmaker shows off his "studio."
Pictured above: Blair shows off his multi-tasking one-handed animation technique with a small Vaux-Nobes cradled in his other hand.
But with one project gone, another begins...
The second episode to my dialogue driven shock comedy…..
dead-shift episode two,
Watch dead shift episode one on my YouTube page.
WARNING: Channel contains content that may not be suitable for children. Parental Discretion is advised: MRVAUXNOBES@YouTube.com
also watch my other animations :)