(Going back to talk about projects I haven't had time to cover...)
Back in December 2005 Gary and I went to see a great show that's become a Christmas tradition over in Sherman Oaks: SANTASIA!
For those of you unfamiliar with it, picture "THE KIDS IN THE HALL"
meets every Christmas special you've ever seen in your life and you get the idea. G and I have gone every year, and now we take along friends just to watch their (shocked) reactions. Although most of the show happens live onstage, they also have several filmed sequences that play within the show. So I was THRILLED when they contacted me about doing an animated short to include in Santasia 2007!
Santasia director Shaun Loeser had written a great little script (more of an outline, really) titled SAN ANDREAS SNOWMAN
, about two kids who set out to build a Snowman, with unexpected results. Despite my schedule, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Plus, it was an opportunity to build some cool puppets and utilize the costuming skills I'd acquired working over at Shadow Machine Films on ROBOT CHICKEN SEASON 3
The armatures were simple wire construction built up with cotton and latex. To give the bodies that unique winter bell shape I used...wait for it...styrofoam cups! The cups gave just the right amount of rigidity without adding unnecessary bulk to the puppets, allowing their legs to move freely. The heads were made of Super Sculpey baked and painted. I went with stick-on mouths and eyes to give 'em that Rankin/Bass Christmas Special-ly feel.
The snowman was built out of three styrofoam balls coated with artist's gesso and various prop parts. The super-simple set was cotton batting and a white skydrop, with a couple miniature fir trees to break things up visually.
The guys at SANTASIA really went wild for the finished short, and the audience response was HUGE the night G and I saw the show. Hopefully, we'll get to collaborate on more cool stop-mo projects with these guys in the future!
(To visit the SANTASIA website, click here.