Monday, March 30, 2009

Catching up...PULP CHRISTMAS




Back in 2007 I was given a chance to create a short called "SAN ANDREAS SNOWMAN" for the Sherman Oaks-based holiday comedy troupe, "SANTASIA"--a terrific and hysterically funny group of guys whose work I look forward to every Christmas. The guys liked "SAN ANDREAS..." so much they commissioned me to do another short for the 2008 show that was much more ambitious: a spoof on Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, "Pulp Fiction" to be titled what else? "PULP CHRISTMAS"!!

In it, two elf hitmen named Jules and Vincent are seen heading to a violent showdown with a gang of naughty elves who've made off with Santa's bag. It was a great chance to pay tribute to both "Pulp Fiction" AND the Rankin/Bass animated holiday classics that I watched growing up.


In my original sketches for the main two characters, Jules and Vincent, I wanted to try and create Rankin/Bass versions of the two actors, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, who played the roles in "Pulp Fiction", capturing their essences without making them too literal...

After sketching out the two leads, I went right to work making up the puppets...


The armatures for Jules and Vincent: Super Sculpey over aluminum wire armatures with latex-dipped hands and foam tape built-up legs and arms...



Supporting players getting there...


All of the puppet armatures in various stages of doneness:

The heads were all made of Super Sculpey with Magic Sculpt hair added on afterwards to get finer detail. All of the facial features (mouths, eyes, eyebrows) were stuck on with "Quake Hold" Museum Wax.



The finished puppets of the three elf characters who are going to get an unpleasant visit from a couple of elf hitmen. I watched all the old Rankin/Bass "Rudolph" segments on YouTube to try to capture the style but bring something original to the designs as well...

I took these three puppets to the recording session and they all had their pictures taken with the actors who would be voicing them:


James Elden as "Brett"...




Brandon Loeser as "Hermey"...




...and yours truly as "Flock of Penguins"...

Some stills from the actual film:


Jules...




Vincent...



Jules terrorizing Brett...



And here is the result! A lot of fun to build and animate, and another great collaboration with some of my favorite L.A. talent!



The best thing about this whole process was that the director of SANTASIA, Shaun Loeser, told me that I'm now a part of the group, and as far as he's concerned I'll be adding a new piece to the company's repertoire every year! THAT is the kind of Christmas present you can't put a price tag on!

More to come!

3 Comments:

Blogger jriggity said...

Kik ass post and Kik ass Piece dood!

jriggity

1:30 PM  
Blogger UbaTuber said...

Awesome! Can't wait to see what you come up with this year :)

9:33 AM  
Blogger Darkstrider said...

I dig it the most!!!

Spoofing 2 of my favorites, and perfectly executed. The best touch was quoting christmas songs instead of scripture.

7:40 PM  

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