Hey Towelites! Do you love stop motion animation and monsters? Of course you do, who doesn’t? Well, have we got the thing for you!
DFAT: Where did this passion come from for this type of animation? Giving your background in concept art design, why not go with 3D animation?
DB: I’ve loved animation all my life – and just like everyone else – I grew up watching those Rankin/Bass holiday specials every year. I don’t know who said this first, but there is a saying that goes something like this, “no matter how real CG looks, it will always be fake. No matter how fake stop-motion looks, it will always be real.” I still prefer real over 3D or CG (computer generated) animation. There’s something really sincere about seeing a tiny prop or a beautiful costume and knowing that somebody made that by hand. As good as some of the computer animation is today, it still feels sterile and corporate to me. Anyone can make a stop-motion film these days, just grab a camera and go. You shoot puppets, or Legos, or bugs out in the grass. It is an art form that is accessible to everyone. But to make your own 3D animated film takes a load of computer equipment and software knowledge. My concept design background is built on years of designing sets for live action films, building study models of the sets, and developing illustrations of the sets, props, and costumes to get the crew on the same page. It doesn’t really have anything to do with 3D animation.
DFAT: How did you come up with the idea for a Monster show? Have you always been a fan of Universal Monsters?
DB: The Universal Monsters are awesome! I just really wanted to create something on my own terms.
DB: Thanks! I have considered that. Comics take a looooooooooooong time to produce.
DFAT: Where’s the music from for the kickstarter page? It was stuck in my head after watching it.
DFAT: When Can we expect the first episode?
DB: Early next year. It will be available online through outlets like Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo, VHX.tv, IndieHorror.tv, etc.
DB: Each part of the process is its own baby and I love them all equally. Right now we are building sets and puppets. It’s a very exciting time, as potential lies ahead of us. Of course when we start shooting, that’s where the magic happens. We move the puppets 15 times for each second you see on-screen. It may sound incredibly tedious, but it really is amazing to see the characters take on their personalities. And then we bring everything together in the editing process, where we cut it together and add music and sound effects. The whole process is fun!
DFAT: When taking everything into effect, how long does it take to have a complete episode?
DB: For this House of Monsters project, we are producing 2 six-minute episodes. So that’s 12 minutes total. We have a 12 week prep, a 12 week shoot, and 6 weeks of post production. We just purchased a 3D printer for the puppet heads but we won’t get it for 7 weeks. (arrrgh!!!) That is pushing the start of shooting into September. (double-arrrgh!) But we will use that extra prep time to make everything the very best it can be. 😉
DFAT: What was it like going through crowd funding with kickstarter?
DB: It was an incredible experience. We actually ran a House of Monsters Kickstarter last year, but it did not succeed. Determined to crack this nut, I spent a lot of time redesigning the pitch and we relaunched this past spring. Asking people for money is awkward, there’s no denying that. But at the end of the day, we presented our very best work, and it connected with people all over the world. I am humbled by everyone’s generosity and excitement to make this project happen. That part is magical.
DFAT: If time and budget weren’t a factor, what would your dream project be?
DB: I would love to do a feature film! Bring it on!
Thanks again so much to Dawn Brown for chatting with us here at DFAT! If you’d like to learn more about House of Monsters make sure you check out the website, Facebook, and Kickstarter Pages. Support truly independent art!
~ The CheriMonster
Wait… Shouldn’t I have a part in the show?!