Quit yer lion!

cheetah

Did you say “GIMME MORE STOP MOTION ANIMATION, POR FAVOR!”?

Can do.

Tropfest, the largest short film festival in le worlde is holding a 6-second #tropvine competition prior to opening for entries for the real deal… and there’s $5k on the line.

Yes please.

After the wild success* of the Winning Formula title sequence which saw Klaus and I become professional** stop motion animators, I thought I should give the method another crack. We found an appropriate dad joke, I printed and cut out a bunch of animals, took a ton of photos, recorded Klaus and myself doing the dialogue then edited it down and… Voila!

If you’d like to see an HD version of the video, click here.

* We really liked it.

** Yeah, you heard. Professional.

UPDATE: My Vine has been honoured as a part of the [official selection] for the #tropvine festival (aka the worlds shortest short film festival!) Woohoo! See all you legends at the festival this coming Wednesday 12 August in Potts point!

UPDATE UPDATE: YOU GUYS, I WON!?

Stop Motion Potion for an Animation Sensation!

claudia_pickering_pru_vindin_winning_formula_bear

In an interesting turn of events, I will have my first two feature length films completed within two weeks of each other… Although they were shot twenty months apart.

If the first film, “Winning Formula” (writer/producer) were a human, it would be in preschool by now. Probably painting macaroni necklaces, collecting cicada shells to stick in other children’s hair and singing the Good Ship Lollipop while masterfully tapping its foot to the teachers’ amusement. Or not. But probably – because there’s a ton of me emotionally jammed into that film in every aspect and I really did love those damn cicada shells with their clingy little claws and shiny little bulb eyes as a kid. The second film, “Frisky” (writer/director/producer) would know virtually nothing beyond the realm of it’s own mother’s bosom.

But hey, Winning Formula‘s pretty decent. Well decent in its quality, with a smattering of indecency in its content. (wiggle wiggle wiggle)

One of the many notches in my belt was punched by the series of animators brought onboard to tackle the title sequence and graphics throughout the film. I seemed to have a knack for hiring people with an ability to vanish. Slippery little suckers.

So after my third attempt at desperately shackling one down like a dateless sixteen year old on the eve of the year ten formal (that’s prom, America), I realised that none had really nailed the aesthetic we were looking for anyway.

In December of 2014, as I had just cast Frisky to be shot less than a month later, I decided once more to take the proverbial bull by the horns or balls or wherever one grabs a bull to seize control over its unpredictable nature. I was going to make a stop motion animation.

Fortunately, while I was back in Australia in October, Pru and I had filmed each other acting out the Winning Formula Title Sequence Script against a green screen (AKA a piece of green fabric my mum plans to sew into a dress that we pinned to the curtains in my mum’s bedroom), just in case the animator needed the reference images, which is what I used to create the polaroids. It’s all about looking after your future self, even if you don’t directly mean to.

There we were, Klaus and I, a couple of days before Christmas, at his parents’ house in Ohio, with no animation experience, just giving it a red hot crack. I had photoshopped some polaroids of the two protagonists, Liz and Tilda, marauding across the United States and ordered a few maps off Amazon. So between 9pm and 1am, with a giant block of styrofoam, an old cork board, a tripod (that we returned to Walmart the next day), some map pins and a brief discussion, we did it.

Our night sounded like this: “Hold. Click. Move. Hold. Click. Move.”, and looked a lot like this:

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But by sundown the next day, the spoils of our evening efforts and my hasty editing looked like this:

Massive thank you to The Greencarts for their legendary track, “Ride or Die”.

Stay tuned for the Winning Formula trailer – we had our special advanced screening in Los Angeles last night! And keep ’em peeled for more info on Frisky – to be screened in a couple of weeks in San Francisco! YEW!

Hey Girl…

baz

So it’s been a while. Internet – I apologise. My film’s in post-production which has stirred up a whole lot of work. Work which I deemed necessary to practice severe levels of procrastination to avoid. I achieved this (with honours) by completely re-arranging my house. In doing so, and moving a very large wooden cabinet from the kitchen into my bedroom, I discovered the reason why it may have been put there in the first place. A gaping big hole of peeled paint.

Never one to resist a challenge, nor an opportunity to create a collage – particularly when that collage is of the great Barry Humphries (AKA Dame Edna Everage – Australian comedy royalty) – I rose to the occasion using a great shot I found in a 1970’s edition of Interview Magazine. As his new position was to be over our chopping block, I captioned it accordingly. How ‘come hither’!

Close Encounters of the Canine

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Collage Me If You Can. Wait. No. Collagic Park? Of the 51 Director titles that Steven Spielberg has listed on IMDB, you’d think I could come up with a great wordplay for this collage. Wait – Nope. Nothing. Not even a dog-related pun. Wait – Close Encounters of the Canine. THERE IT IS. Changing the title of this post right now. See you later Collage Me If You Can…ine?

So – the collage. It’s a young Steven Spielberg circa 1978 with his dog Elmer. The story on there is about loneliness.  And you guessed it, it’s pigment and water, white acrylic paint and black ink pen. The imagery comes from the book ‘Romance and Chivalry’ (not sure of the author – I’ll look into it – that’s not a promise though), a bag from the Museum of Modern ArtInterview Magazine (edited by Andy Warhol) and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine book by Max Wilk and Lee Minoff.

There was that day when mum was away in Adelaide and Tan picked me up from the hospital because I’d fallen down the stairs and broken my finger… I sat in the wheelchair because I had a bruised back and twisted ankle (and also for dramatic effect) using very colourful language when she came to the hospital. She dropped me home. The house was empty and I felt so alone. So I let all the animals inside. And I spooned the dog on the sofa.

Sometimes you’ve just got to get cuddling.

KarlLage

karllage

And I didn’t even plan the title. I swear. KarlLage?! Are you kidding me here? It’s a collage featuring a young Karl Lagerfeld? It certainly does appear that all of my linguistic Christmases have come at once.

Anyway, the collage – Again it’s pigment and water, white acrylic paint and black ink pen. The imagery comes from Interview Magazine (edited by Andy Warhol)The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine book by Max Wilk and Lee Minoff and some wrapping paper from the 60’s that I found. It’s about having to be stern when you really just want to carry on like a pork chop. Karl’s got his standard expression with a sneaky Mona Lisa smirk creeping through while he lays down the law.

Be a sport.

Please stop being so wicked.

KarlLage. I mean really.

Collage-mahal – Ducks by the pool

ducks_by_the_pool_collage

I can’t completely justify the title of this post aside from it being a witty play on the word ‘collage’ and I studied architecture for 7 years so the Taj Mahal holds some relevance for me personally…? Yeah I know it’s a stretch. There isn’t even anything remotely Indian in the above image. Sorry for not really being sorry and being rather pleased with myself instead.

Anyway, here’s a collage I made after heading out to the modern man’s Taj Mahal, aka Ikea, to buy more frames. Frames possibly made in India. And there’s that Taj Mahal creeping back in again.

Sorry. The collage. So it’s pigment and water, black ink and while acrylic paint. The images come from a magazine called ‘Interview’ from the 1970’s edited by the man himself, Andy Warhol. And they coaxed a little story out of me about the birds that hang around the house where I grew up.

How about dad when he used to chuck bungers at the sulphur crested cockys to stop them eating all the passion fruits?! Where did he even buy those? They were so noisy.

Yeah. The bungers and the cockys.

I don’t know how the ducks got away with leaving green poo around the pool all the time.

Way worse.

Mind you, passion fruits are pretty yum.

Duck 1: Ha! We get away with murder because we are so lovely.

Duck 2: I think it’s our appealing rounded bills. Duck bills.

Duck 3: We coined it and the platypus’ used it after that. They must be annoyed that we beat them to the punch.

Duck 4: Nah I heard that they’re ok with it.

Until my next eagerly anticipated collage word play.