Friday, April 25, 2008

San Francisco: Last Day

Today was my last full day in San Francisco shooting the last few demos for my course. More hard work animating puppets under hot lights...quite tiring but lots of fun. Today I was visited by none other than the tech editor for my book, Lionel Ivan Orozco, armature-builder for Nightmare Before Christmas and countless other productions, and master stop-motion guru behind StopMotionWorks! We have corresponded by e-mail for years but had never met in person before today, so we had very animated conversations over lunch about stop-motion and I signed his copy of the book. Very nice guy, and we got some nice pictures with our puppet creations (his are the beautifully crafted ball-&-socket armatures.)

Having done my job and ready to relax, my original plan was to get over to see the Pacific Ocean, but was advised that it would be way too cold in the evening and would take a very long time to get there and back. I was a bit disappointed at first to change my plans but was happy to end up at Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf instead. After all my hard work I treated myself to a nice seafood dinner followed by just wandering around the shops and soaking in the scenery. The pictures speak for themselves...I really want to come back with my family here someday. That was the only good thing missing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

San Francisco: Mel's Drive Inn

Today's shooting went well, despite some wrestling with the software I think it went OK. I was pretty exhausted afterwards; it's a lot of hard work teaching to a camera! So tonight I figured I would treat myself to my major destination for this trip...

The inside walls of the diner were covered with American Grafitti stills and George Lucas production photos...

...and classic ads & memorabilia.

Of course I had to stick with the classic 1950s All-American Mel-Burger, fries and a REAL Cherry Coke! Holy crap it was DAMN good...and I enjoyed it sitting right next to one of the little jukebox machines, continually popping in quarters for Sixteen Candles, Little Darlin, Green Onions and all my other favorite songs. I enjoyed myself thoroughly...this was the Shangri-La of all 50s diners!

Thanks George! My Cherry Coke and I salute you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

San Francisco: Puppets!

Today was my first long day of shooting, focusing on making puppets. I'm not really sure what the legal issues are surrounding posting pictures of the school studio, so I'll keep it mostly a mystery and just show some of the puppets I built on camera and some pictures around town.

Left is the prototype I built today, which magically turned into the one on the right which was already ready before I came.

Happy replacement heads!

Some familiar faces guarding the toy shop window.

A cool looking building...

...and Indiana Jones waiting for the bus.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

San Francisco Day 1: Lori's Diner

Greetings from San Francisco! I just flew in today and will be shooting videos for my online stop-motion animation course all this week. The past few days have been a whirlwind of building puppets and getting ready; thank God my lovely wife helped me pack or I never would have made it. Ariel was very sad to see me broke my heart. She's become rather attached to my Kermit puppet, and unfortunately I ended packing it (in case I have time for an additional live-puppetry lecture), so we had to find the baby Kermit to tide her over.

So far I've only been here long enough to grab dinner. I'm staying in the same hotel from a couple months ago, but for some reason I didn't know this place was right around the corner: Lori's Diner. (I had been to a different Lori's on my last visit, which was much smaller.)

I have a small obsession with 50's diners, and this one at Powell Street is totally swell...

"Bub, don't you know about..."

I'm not sure how 80s arcade games (is there any other kind?) fit in to the whole 50s theme, but I was quite amazed to see this Popeye game I haven't seen in ages.

But this was the real shocker...

Gotta love America...

Friday, April 11, 2008

My favorite people

"There's no vocabulary for love within a family, love that's lived in but not looked at, love within the light of which all else is seen, the love within which all other love finds speech. This love is silent."
~T S Eliot

Photos by Frozen Reflections, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Peanut Vendor on DVD!

I'm very excited...yesterday I recorded an audio commentary for "The Peanut Vendor" which will be on the next upcoming Thunderbean Animation release of Cultoons Vol 3! The evil monkey is being unleashed on an unsuspecting public to steal your children!

Special thanks to Gerard for helping me with the recording.

Pre-order on Amazon now!