Saturday, September 30, 2006

Georgie & Company, Part 2...

Blogger seems to be having some problems with uploading lots of pics at once, so I'm trying for smaller installments to get all these pics posted. Here are some closeups of Grandpa's handsome kisser (no drooling on the know you want to...) which was made out of Super-Sculpey with a separate lower mandible (also made of Super-Sculpey) that I formed over a single piece of aluminum wire, the ends of which were stuck into the skull where the jaw would naturally connect. I baked the whole thing and after cooling attached it to the freshly beheaded armature of Adam Wellsbrook (a.k.a. "Mouthless Boy") who was ripe for a new head anyway.

The whole thing was painted with acrylics, and then given a thin coat of latex and cotten (pigmented with acrylics the same color as the base coat) which I picked at and smooshed around to give it that mummified flesh look (or what I imagine it to look like, anyway). It seems like mixing acyrylic paints into the latex before it goes on the puppet seems to make the latex dry faster. Anyone else notice this? I didn't give Grandpa too many lines because with only one wire holding the jaw in place too many back and forth moves would have caused it to break off, and there was really no way to fix it without major headaches.

Grandpa's hands have held up really well, having been thru several films now in different incarnations. The fingers were made of twisted green florist wire, which I find lasts a long time without breaking, and in this instance I added tiny Super-Sculpey finger bones so that they would bend where the knuckles would be. I dipped the hands in latex (pigmented with acrylics) and they turned out pretty well, providing very fluid movements but NO grip strength at all. Holding props requires a small piece of Stick-Tac (the stuff you use to make picture frames hang straight) or Sticky-Wax (which they use extensively on ROBOT CHICKEN but I've been unable to find yet...) My only qualm is that they were a little long and spidery for the earlier films this armature was used for, but they fit Grandpa's spindly frame just fine...

More to come!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Georgie & Company...

Over the next few posts I'm going to attempt to make up for the fact that I always forget to take pictures of my characters as they are being built. I spend so much time reading the blogs of other incredibly talented artists like Grant Goans, Jeffrey Roche, Shelley Noble, and Mike Brent who DO take pictures that I get all excited and forget entirely. I took some pics of the puppets from GEORGIE'S WISH which I'll be uploading over the next couple of days to make up for my being such a slacker...

At the top of the post is, of course, the whole cast photo, posing with the oversized cake top that was made for the title shot complete with burning candles. I sculpted the cake top over an old metal candy tin that I had in my "Misc. Supplies" box, which always seems to have whatever weird item I need when I need it.

Silly Georgie! If your legs don't show, you don't get pants! You're lucky you have LEGS! Due to the insane time constraints of this no-frills production, all of the puppets (with the exception of one doberman pincer) were recycled or drafted from other projects. Georgie was built up over a puppet I originally made for DREDD MANOR that wasn't used (hence the "gingerbread man" legs). The shirt was made out of an old shirt that used to look good on me, but I think it looks much better on him.

Iiiiiiiiit's Grandpa! I have to say, I love this puppet the most. Not just because of his dashing good looks, but because it is my best-built armature to date, having played Adam Wellsbrook in DREDD MANOR, Episode 1, (and the opening scenes of the still in-production DMep2), the Mouthless Boy in the video for PUNDING, and now Grandpa. All his limbs have broken off and been reattached at least once, but the overall construction has held up really well. I've decided to retire him now, because a.) I really like Grandpa, and b.) I'm tired of fixing his broken joints, and it's just gonna get worse. If you ever come to my house, you'll find Grandpa resting comfortably in the Stop Motion Shrine of Coolness with other retired puppets and animation memorabilia (including one incredibly rare and highly collectible HALFLAND button! Thanks, Shelley!).

More to come...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Georgie's Wish" makes The Daily Reel's Top Ten!

There's something to be said for being a repeat customer, all right: the good folks over at The Daily Reel have selected GEORGIE'S WISH for their Top Ten List, making this the second film by Red Hatchet to be so honored. The first was A WINTER'S TALE, which went on to be selected for the 2006 H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival taking place next weekend in Portland, OR. Thanks to all the folks over at The Daily Reel for giving me such a nice boost, especially after the insanity that was the shooting schedule of GW (and also for pointing out to me that GW is currently one of the Editor's Picks over at!) I promise I will grab more screencaps soon to illustrate the blog with when I reference GW (instead of showing the same party pic over and over), but for now I'd just like to flash my official Daily Reel Seal of Freshness, which I plan to have tattooed somewhere on my body. THANK YOU, TDR!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006


Sometimes an idea pops into your head fully-formed, in need of almost no alteration before it goes from your brain to the screen. Such was the case with my latest film, GEORGIE'S WISH, which I'm pleased to say is now finished and ready to inflict upon the world!

I got the idea for GEORGIE'S WISH about a week ago, and literally started making the puppets about half an hour later (this was in addition to finishing the PUNDING video, which has gone into overtime due to additional shots and set pieces that have been added to the original shoot). I didn't write a script for it, and only did basic storyboards to make sure the idea would hang together as a film. Now here we are, one week later, and it's done. When inspiration strikes, you just gotta go with it...

Click HERE to watch GEORGIE'S WISH, and please click on the ad at the end to support Red Hatchet Films!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Portland gets the Hatchet

So I've just learned (though it's not been officially posted yet) that the H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival will be showing THREE of my films over the course of the weekend: FROM BEYOND, A WINTER'S TALE, and DREDD MANOR, Episode 1. Is this happening? Do I get to see THREE of my babies up on the big screen on the same weekend? I think this is what they call an embarrassment of riches.

It may have something to do with the fact that Festival Founder Andrew Migliore believes that you can never have enough animated horror to look at...a sentiment I couldn't agree with more!

And in keeping with that theory, I'm pleased to announce the imminent arrival of my latest film, GEORGIE'S WISH. It began as a little joke in my head about a week ago, and before I knew it I was building puppets, sets, and staying up til three in the morning shooting them (after spending the day working on the PUNDING video, that is!). I haven't had time to grab many screenshots yet (much less post to my blog as often as I'd like) but fear not, they will be coming's one for now...
Stay tuned!

Friday, September 08, 2006

"Punding" pending...

Seems my posts lately have all been about stuff I've already done, and too little about what I've been doing. Here to rectify that are a bunch of pics from the "Punding" video, which is nearing completion:

The deadline for final print is September 20th, so I've got just under 2 weeks left. This fear of not making the deadline has kept my nose to the grindstone pretty hard, but it's been worth it. I put together a ruthless edit last night, just to try and get all the shots in, regrettably having to cut a few shots for time. Considering that the original storyboard was 80 panels and the song is only 3 minutes long (which comes out to about 2.25 seconds of screen-time per shot for those of you doing the math), it's amazing that more didn't have to be cut.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

FROM BEYOND makes daddy proud!

This morning I woke up to the news that FROM BEYOND was named Best Animated Horror Film at the 2006 Dragon*Con Film Festival! I don't quite know how to react because A.) I've never won anything, and B.) I wasn't actually there, so it doesn't seem quite real. In any case, it's incredibly exciting and I'm just thrilled beyond words. Dragon*Con has held a special place in my heart since my high-school days, and it's really an honor to be recognized by them for doing something I genuinely love. THANK YOU, DRAGON*CON!!!!

So who's coming over? I'm buying the first round!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Festival acceptance letters worth framing

I just got my official letter notifying me of FROM BEYOND's acceptance to this year's H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival, and it made me laugh out loud. One of the primary ingredients of any good Lovecraft yarn is the arrival of a telegram filled with dreadful portents. The folks at HPLFF have taken this concept and created what is no doubt the best festival acceptance notice I've ever seen. Check it out:

It's a little hard to read here, but it says:
I'm already in love with these people and I haven't even met them. Portland is gonna be SO MUCH FUN!! I can't wait for October...

In other news, the "Punding" video is coming along nicely, and today I got to show the dailies to the band. I was a little worried that they might not like it (you have LOTS of time to think about these things when you are clicking away all those frames) but my fears were unfounded. Both Luke and Margot were extremely happy with the footage they saw...they are both such creative spirits, and they see the process for what it is. I'm so happy they enjoyed the footage, as I've grown into a full-fledged boxViolet fan and want to give them a video they will enjoy having in their repertoire.