Avast, ye lubbers! Captain Ahab welcomes ye aboard his seaworthy vessel for the duration of this voyage. Please sign the Crew Roster. Or just carve your initials into the fo'castle rail.
Ted... the wild man of SMA. He's a sort of rogue philosopher blacksmith fabricator.... ah, the list is too long. It was Ted who introduced me to the wonderful world of Czech stopmotion in the first place. I was already primed by Svankmajer and the Quays, but really didn't know anything about the rich history behind them.
He was trained as an armature fabricator in Prague at the legendary Trnka Studio and has learned his craft well, as witnessed by his work posted at Trikfx.
Shelley is the newest of my friends. I'm constantly astonished at her intelligence and creativity. She knows the honor and privilege of having worked with Julie Taymor, the 'most creative woman who ever lived', and is now working on a stopmotion project of her own that sounds incredible. I've sent her my original Unibrain webcam to get her started. She has introduced me to some fantastic things, including this sweet article How to be Creative and the endlessly fascinating website of F David Peat, who expounds on Quantum Theory in ways that make my mind reel.
who I am:
I'm an amateur independent animator by the name of Mike Brent.
I make my home in Belleville, a nice little town near the southern tip of
Illinois, more or less a distant satellite of St. Louis right across the mighty Mississip.
My other home is StopMotionAnimation.com; Anthony Scott's excellent
message board, where I'm known as Strider.
My main focus is on the Eastern European style of stopmotion known as Puppetfilm.
Now don't get me wrong... I love King Kong and all the Harryhausen movies...
I lived and breathed that stuff all through childhood and it's what made me decide
I had to become an animator in the first place... in fact in the early 80's I got a super-8
camera and did some creature animation with a friend. But the moment I saw
Street of Cocodiles everything changed. Here was stopmotion that was different from
the good natured fantasy of my youth, that was capable of dealing with deeper issues.
In effect, here was my beloved stopmotion as pure expressionism, in
a league with the greatest masters in any artistic medium.
People often ask me about the name of my site. I wanted something that would relate to my
username at the SMA board, but more dark and mysterious. That and I like to walk the streets
at night... it's the best time for creative thinking. No distractions...
no TV, stereo or phone. Nothing to do but think.
But enough about me....
this site is really a collaborative effort. I could never have done it on my own.
I want to dedicate this page to a few friends who have made it all possible.
The StopMoShorts Team
|Eric kindly set up my site for me and gave me my first crash course in writing HTML code.
He's also the webmaster of StopMoShorts and a helpful soul at SMA. He's amassed quite a knowledge of animation software, especially concerning digital still cameras and sound recording and seems to know a good deal about every aspect of stopmo from his research.
He has worked in a professional bronze sculptor's studio and garnered valuable experience there in working methods.
Inspired by StopMoShorts, Eric has now made several short films and is well on his way as an animator. He lives in sunny Arizona.
|Kelly is my partner in collecting. He started bravely ordering DVDs from incomprehensible foreign websites and after seeing his success, I waded in. Together we've amassed the collection that forms the heart and soul of Darkstrider.net.
His home base is in Atlanta, but he's currenly in LA working on the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken. Stopmoshorts was originally Kelly's idea, that we then fleshed out in discussions on the SMA message boards and through batch email sessions.
Kelly has been an invaluable help to me all along the way with technical advice and in fact he convinced me to get my first webcam and start animating.
|Jason recently graduated from New York University and completed his graduation film Illume. His production log and clips can be seen on his site Mind Over Pixels
Jason and Kelly are the techies in our group, having worked with every kind of computer known to man.
Jason is now working in "the Biz" and from the beginning has demonstrated the drive and professionalism required to make it big time.
|Nick is our experienced|
professional. He gives us
credbility and sets the bar
high. He concieves, designs, fabricates and animates everything in his films, and does it all exceptionally well, as you can see on his website
I think we
were fortunate to catch Nick at the right time.... he's wanting to break out of his position at the Australian Broadcasting Corp and start making short films of his own, so StopMoShorts offers him a way to experiment with the ways and means of doing so.
Nick taught me how to really use a framegrabber, and is responsible for my growth in my early tests. I have a few clips of his work posted on my video clips page.