Article: "Stop admiring Frankenweenie! Why stopmotion doesn't move me."

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"So take that, stop-mo snobs. Yours is the low-rent option"-David Cox

What is a "Stop-Mo snob"? I suppose stop mo people that think the only way to do a film is by stop mo? I suppose I am not one of those people. I currently have three projects on paper one entirely for CG, one entirely for stop-mo, and another one that is a mix. I love them all.

I was ok with most of Mr. Cox's article except for the subtitle "Preferring stop-motion animation is an affectation of the digital-disdaining classes. CGI does a much better, more effective job"-David Cox

To say that an art form is poor because it has low box office reciepts is just pityful.

A real good example of practical and CG is the movie Real Steal. Sure they needed lots of CG but they also built several practical bot puppets.



Strider said:

^^ Ridley Scott said exactly that - that CGI is NOT cheaper than doing effects practically and that there's something about having actual physical things there in front of the camera that CGI just can't touch. And he and some of the actors talked about how working on a greenscreen stage is acting in a vacuum and that shows in the productions where that approach is taken. He likes to give the actors something real to react to.

yeah when are we gonna hunt this guy down and put him in the stockades?

I'd give the article a tiny ounce of credit if it was at least written better. As most of you have already said, it's pretty much a load of crap. It looks like writing for the sake of writing, and not in a good way. He could have simply said, "I just don't like stop-motion," and it would have made a lot more sense. He probably wouldn't have been flamed so hard, either.

Like they say... "Haters gonna hate.

That's really cool!  The visuals were definitely the strong part of Prometheus (y'know, plus Fassbender).  It's too bad about the script, but great to see blockbusters still recognizing the advantages of shooting something real, and doing it so beautifully.

Strider said:

Hey, while we're on the subject of real-world craftsmanship, I've been wading through the massive featurettes on Prometheus, and I was surprized to learn just about everything was done practically - almost no CGI creatures. Lots of cable-style animatronics. Bravo Ridley! 



Scooter Milne said:

Like they say... "Haters gonna hate.

I would have actually been quite interested in hearing someone's proper opinion about why stopmo is not as attractive to the general public. Is it the feel? Or the themes that aren't child-friendly enough?  Studios do find it more risky. Why? Too arty?

Stop Motion doesn't move him, for he's a  true male: males don't play with puppets, they play with playstation only, amazing!!!!   

"a CGI does a much better.." think this guy never worked on stop motion, and never worked on CGI.

Wow Bianca - askin' the tough questions!  

Obviously most of us are biased in this - though I know some also do CGI work and probably have a more balanced opinion. But I guess it comes down at least in part to the things we've said in the past (for which Lionel has been the strongest spokesperson) - stopmotion is largely considered old-fashiooned while CGI is the new thing - all shiny and sleek. People who play video games are not only used to CG style graphics (and don't expect high quality from them) but I suspect they love the sense of movies merging with their games as the graphics for games continue to get better. 

I think there's also a very pivotal factor - that we're now deeply into the information age - it's a digital world now, no longer does the physical/mechanical drive things. The computer - the digital realm - virtual reality - motion graphics all over every TV commercial and show - we're supersaturated with it and with computers and the internet being more and more the focus of much of our lives and always being sold via the snazziest CG graphics available at the mopment people have become addicted to these high rsolution computer images - they love to go on Goggle Earth and see their houses from satellive views (ok, that's actual photography, but presented through a cool virtual reality interface that's totally interactive). So in a sense there's been a total paradigm shift from the 80's when most people didn't have computers to the 2000's when everybody has several digital devices. People are in love with the emerging/eveolving digital technology the way they once were with the trappings of the industrial revolution - trains planes and automobiles representing progress and fast modern living etc. Now it's the little digital drvices and the computers that give people a sense of a new freedowm and power and escape from the dullness of ordinary everyday life - and CG graphics are the perfect representation of that. 

.. And here I thought yu just posted this thread to start a fight and sit back and watch the fireworks! 

I think you're spot on with regards to the video game audience, a demographic which Hollywood courts rather desperately. 

But I believe there's another, somewhat related reason, too, which is the "Rudolph Factor." Many people associate stop motion with the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials. Despite some of the decidedly non-Rudolph animation out there, the impact of those TV shows on pop culture - American pop culture, anyway - probably has a lot to do with the public's perception of stop motion. Chances are, when they see stopmo that isn't cartooney, a good chunk of the audiences won't even know what they're looking at and probably don't think of puppet films. But the minute someone says "stop motion animation" in a review or something, up comes Rudolph again, wagging his shiny red nose.

Oh, well. "There's always, tomorrow, for stopmo dreams to come true..."


Strider said:

Wow Bianca - askin' the tough questions!  

Obviously most of us are biased in this - though I know some also do CGI work and probably have a more balanced opinion. But I guess it comes down at least in part to the things we've said in the past (for which Lionel has been the strongest spokesperson) - stopmotion is largely considered old-fashiooned while CGI is the new thing - all shiny and sleek. 

What - have they forgotten about Harryhausen??! Tippett? Nightmare before Christmas??!! 

That was my immediate reaction to your reply - but then, since today's stopmo features aren't creature-fests but what the public undoubtedly sees as children's cartoons, then I suppose you're right - they immediately jump to Rudolph, plus Gumby and Davy and Goliath. 

Also, it might have something to do with another point you brought up recently - so much stopmotion seems to be on the morbid creepy side. I think when parents are taking the kids they want nice safe Disney-esque humor and blandness - not the edginess and possibly nightmare inducing visions of Coraline, Corpse Bride or ParaNorman. 

I've seen a lot of CGI guys attempt stop motion and at best you'd think a 3 year old had produced the work. These types are the wannabe artists. who use the computer to do most of the skilled work otherwise done with a real artist's hands and mind. There are a few wonderful CG guys and girls out there that moved to CG, but the haters of stop motion tend to be envious of our artistic ability as animators. This is just fact, and I've seen it over and over. This article gets this reply, but gets nothing further from this artist. 

Sir, you are fired.

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