Rise of the Machines and Old Fashioned Filmmaking

These past two weeks have found me engaged in an event that bares a striking similarity to Terminator 2. In so much as I have been fighting an increasingly difficult battle with technology. Just because the aforementioned technology isn't trying to physically harm me, makes this struggle no less profound and important. Indeed I'm at the end of my technological rope, but have one more effort I have yet to employ. I'll keep you posted. If this last effort doesn't work, I'll have to go to my employer with my tail between my legs defeated, but older...wiser.

I'm busier with projects than I have ever been. A few of these projects are yielding not only experience, but much needed funding. The funding being the final missing piece of the filmmaking puzzle. My experiences lately have been rewarding to say the least.

One of the films I've been working on has enabled CBP to play with something we haven't tackled since we were ten. Stop motion animation. The film is called Coffee with Ray and was conceived by Steve Giuliano a few years ago. This short juxtaposes the ubiquitous use of digital effects with the artistry and craftsmanship of practical effects. I don't want to give too much away, but part of this short has required us to build an armature for a stop motion puppet. The first draft of this puppet can be seen below.

I think any filmmaker will tell you that they adore the easy access of off the shelf software and digital media, but many of them will also tell you that they would jump at the chance to work in a style that isn't used very much anymore-like stop motion mixed with live action. I'm thrilled that we're trying this. Below are a few of our inspirations and I hope soon to have a video test to show you all.

As film continues to evolve and the process of visual storytelling becomes easier, we must never forget the techniques and artistry that have come before. I understand the bottom line concept. If it comes down to money, often the cheaper option will be employed. It does, in fact, take a lot of time and money for people to build and animate puppets or paint matte backgrounds from scratch. However, there is something beautiful and recognizable in the physical. We know it's artifice, but we also know that these things were crafted by the loving hands of their maker. It's this realization that strikes something inside all of us, making the shared experience of film a richer one.

-Rob Out.