Sunday, February 24, 2008

Corky Quackenbush jingles his keys in response


Some time ago (Thursday, July 19, 2007 to be precise) I did a post called Cheap Ripoff Post in which I posted some YouTube links for the Clops episodes that aired on MADtv, directed by Corky Quackenbush. I really dig these little flixks! I'll repost those at the bottom in case you missed them or want to revisit. But that's not the focus today....

Someone (no idea who) posting as Anonymous responded under that original post thusly (I always wanted to use that word):

"Anonymous said...
Roy T Wood and Kevin Coil (and some others?) pretty much animated/lit/set up cameras/supervised these without much input from Corky other than him jingling his keys at them! True Story"

Well today Corky responded. Here's what he said (I wanted to repost here so it isn't buried way back in my archives):

"Corky Q said...
Hey, that was a fun trip down memory lane!

Darkstrider, I appreciate the appreciation for the details we put into Clops, and the same for the "handmade" quality of all the stuff I did for Mad TV.

But I have to laugh at "anonymous'"
comment! I usually don't get credit for "key jingling" but he (or she) obviously doesn't know anything about me or my operation

Kevin Coyle and Ray Waad (as I affectionately know Roy Wood) did contribute a lot to the MADtv stuff in varying degrees, but, for instance, Roy wasn't even around for many of CLOPS episodes... Kev was employed at Space Bass Films much more consistently, and though he probably worked on three of the five CLOPS his talents were spread among one of many projects we had going at the time.

You are right though about them not being solo projects - television is unforgiving when it comes to deadlines - it would have been impossible to deliver the more than 4 dozen short films I produced and directed for MADtv without the help of the many talented artists with whom I have been privileged to work, Kevin and Roy being two out of dozens.

I am proud to have been the person who gave Kevin, Roy and others their start in the business. My long time friendship with Kevin was how he moved into stop-motion animation from the art department of major A-list feature films (will he ever forgive me?). Kevin's brilliance is obvious in my films, mostly in the area of set decoration. So much of the detail in props which you noticed came straight from Kev.

But it would be inaccurate to give Kevin and Roy all the credit when there were many others who worked hard on the CLOPS episodes.

One of the wonderful things about stop-motion animation is that usually the people who work in the field are multi-talented. Everyone seems to have done a little bit of everything in the creation of a stop-motion film. Most everyone has some specialty, but they can also jump into almost any position in the crew.

Kevin, for instance, though his forte (in my opinion) was his keen eye for detail in sets and props went on to animate tons of stuff (including some CLOPS characters) at Celebrity Deathmatch and The PJ's among others). Kevin is also a talented director.

Kelly Kucharski, Katy Bowen, Emerick Conrad, Christiane Cegavske (who has also single-handedly created a stop-motion animated feature which continually screens at festivals, wins awards and gets great reviews), and Cameron Gray all have names as fine artists, but joined me in the creation of CLOPS, either making props, sets, and puppets, animating or all of the above. Brett Johnson, Michelle Darnell, Shannon Wade (now working in the art department of major network TV shows and features), Lorelei Pepi (who, last I heard, is still a fantastic college art professor), Simon Lampard (who would take time off from his main gig as a commercial location scout to come and play with us), and Tim Johnson (who has become my associate producer when he's not doing voices, acting, producing live-action) - all of these people not only made contributions in various degrees to CLOPS, but to making the grueling work of churning out ultra-low-budget animation out, on schedule and on budget, and still making it award-winning stuff - making it so much fun!

And of course, so much credit has to go to people like Fred Howard who built the sound tracks from the ground up, and Greg O'Connor who wrote and recorded the "Bad Toys" rip of "Bad Boys"... not to mention the incredible cast I got to work with ad-libbing and riffing off marvelous scripts by the likes of my good friends and writing partners Blaine Capatch, Spencer Green, and Mary Villano, among others...

All I did was direct ("key jingling," I guess)... oh, and build props and sets and lighting design (specifically my favorite part of stop-motion fun), animate, edit, and produce... oh, and to come up with a way of animating video to give it a "reality" look, which had never been done before... nothing more than any other stop-motion dude would do...

But to me, the heroes of the whole thing were the show's producers who pretty much gave me carte blanche to do the shorts the way I wanted from start to finish. Never before or since in the annals of television has one person, such as myself, been given the freedom to take the material off the lot, and with no oversight of any kind, create the film that I wanted to make the way I wanted to make it, turn it in a week before it would air, and see it broadcast pretty much unchanged (except for those dang censors!)!

Thanks for giving me a chance to give credt where credit is due!"

5:20 AM
(Heh... I included this because it's just cool that Corky keeps the same nocturnal hours I do!)

Not a problem Corky! Glad you could come in and straighten things out.

Ok, here's the link to the 1st Clops episode on YouTube... once there you can easily find the rest. Enjoy!!

Let's go deeper into MTP... + Prometheus' Garden (delayed AGAIN!!!)

Click the above pic to see a cool blog I just discovered about character animation. I haven't really looked at it yet aside from this one post, but it looks interesting. I've added a link under Blogs - Other (since it's not technically stopmo).

Great interview with Chris and Maciek about Tutli-Putli and their work in general. What really fascinates me is that they say, now that they've become the finest animators I'm aware of, they don't plan to do any more stopmotion films!!! Wha!??!?! Wow... talk about a one-hit wonder!!! Also, loads of insight into the film, might help if you're trying to figure it out.

Also maybe you noticed that Brighteye Pictures still hasn't listed Bruce Bickford's Prometheus' Garden for sale yet!!! It's been pushed back a few times now, and it's driving me crazy!!! He posts only very rarely about it, and in between we must suffer through long bouts of complete silence.... but hey, it means he's working hard, and that's a good thing.

What he did post in his last blog entry was the addy for his upcoming site where the release will now take place: So far, if you try it you get a blank page that says only "coming soon". Frustrating!!! But being impatient I did a little snooping.... I tried on a hunch typing in "/store" after that addy, and lo and behold: You can also see he's releasing a new "Collector's Edition" version of Monster Road.

Here's a direct link to Prom's Garden with full description: Prometheus' Garden + Luck of a Foghorn DVD.

So.... I'd say it's a pretty good bet we'll see the actual release of Prometheus' Garden with the documentary Luck of a Foghorn on March 15! It was exciting finding this, but it feels kind of naughty.... like I found a secret gate into the garden and I'm not supposed to be there yet.... hope nobody tells!

Also, it took me about 2 and a half hours to make this #$%^@@@** post because my *@$@!!$$ computer shut down on me about 15 times.... but this frustration is at an end at long last! I finally took the plunge, went to the Apple Store website and configured a sweet new iMac that will be delivered soonest!!! It's been well over a year since I was able to do any animation with this paperweight.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Short wall

Click the pic, go to Flickr, mouse over the Notes

Welcome to the short wall of my set. Ever been in a bar that looks like this? This is a space that has a lot of history.... it's been used for other things in the past and still bears the markings from those earlier incarnations. The lighting here is horrible... it looks a lot better than these pics show.

I have ideas for cheating the size of my set. For instance, this wall is 3 feet long, while the short end of my set table is only 2 feet. More on that in future installments. I'm having massive computer issues... it's literally crashed 6 or 7 times while I was trying to put this post together! So I'm signing off now... wish I could post more, but it's starting to flicker again....

Monday, February 04, 2008

Winter wonderland


It seems I get the photog itch a lot in the winter. Just about this time last year I posted pics of the killer ice storm that snapped trees off all over town and killed power for millions in the midwest. That was far from pretty... more like a photoessay of destruction. This year things are different....


Rather than an ice storm, 2008 kicked off with a beautiful snowstorm... 6 thick fluffy inches of the stuff!!! Um... not that you can see it in these top 2 pics, but the next one down, yeah....


Tonight it was a balmy 50 degrees or so (not sure exactly, but I wasn't wearing a coat when I snapped these shots). With piles of snow still all over everything, that makes for a lot of mist. Which makes for great photography! If you care to see some of the latest shots I've been taking, check out the first 3 pages of my Flickr site. To see the big version of a picture, first click ont the thumbnail to open the medium size, then click on "All Sizes" along the top.