Animated Insanity with “Mad God: Part 2”

Can you imagine taking Fritz Lang’s Metropolis by the scruff of the neck, dragging it through a septic tank filled with toxic waste and owl pellets, electrocuting it, injecting it with dubious hormones, and irradiating its nether regions so that its secret inner organs grow tumours and swell to the size of rotted grapefruits before … Continue reading Animated Insanity with “Mad God: Part 2”

Secrets of the Boxtrolls

  Have you seen The Boxtrolls yet? If you're wondering how they made it (are those puppets or is it all CG?) check out the latest article on the Cinefex blog, in which I talk to the visual effects team from LAIKA animation studio and learn about the magic behind the movie. Here's a brief extract: In … Continue reading Secrets of the Boxtrolls

The Making of Basil’s Trump

Basil's Trump is a short animated 8mm film I made as a student with my good friend Roger Smith, way back in the 1980s. I've talked about it on this blog before, so I won't bore you by repeating myself (for a more detailed description - and to watch the film itself - use the … Continue reading The Making of Basil’s Trump

Revisiting Cinefex (34): Beetlejuice, Batteries Not Included

The cover of Cinefex #34 presents me with a problem. How do I describe the front cover without saying the name of the character out loud? What's that? It doesn't count if I write it down? Well, sorry, I just can't take that chance. Let's just say the scary animated snake-man comes from one of … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (34): Beetlejuice, Batteries Not Included

Revisiting Cinefex (32): RoboCop, Innerspace

With its modest $13 million budget and domestic takings of over $50 million*, Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop was one of the big summer hits of 1987. Its main character became a classic '80s icon - thanks largely to Peter Weller's compelling performance and Rob Bottin's remarkable costume and makeup effects - and is clearly represented here on … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (32): RoboCop, Innerspace

Knowing when the monster’s coming

When I reviewed issue #5 of the visual effects journal Cinefex, I had this to say about stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen: "I’ve always found it astonishing that the man who invented the Dynamation process (whereby models are animated frame-by-frame in front of a screen projecting a previously-shot live-action plate) never went on to invent … Continue reading Knowing when the monster’s coming

Revisiting Cinefex (21): The Terminator, Dune

Emerging from a wall of fire on the front cover of Cinefex #21 is the extraordinarily detailed stop-motion cyborg endoskeleton built by Doug Beswick for James Cameron's seminal 1984 science fiction film The Terminator. There's more fictional futurism on the back cover, in the form of the spice harvester from David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (21): The Terminator, Dune

Revisiting Cinefex (19): Gremlins, Buckaroo Banzai, Dreamscape

It's okay to read Cinefex in the bath. The worst that can happen is the pages go crinkly. But you'd better take care with this one because if you drop it in the water there's no telling what might come out. As if you needed any more clues, the giant close-up of Gizmo on the … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (19): Gremlins, Buckaroo Banzai, Dreamscape

Revisiting Cinefex (12): Something Wicked, Stop-Motion and Dream Quest

There's a creepy beauty on the cover of Cinefex #12, but there's a fair chance you won't recognise her. She's the Dust Witch from the all-but-forgotten 1983 Disney film Something Wicked This Way Comes. On the inside cover is a location shot of Dark's Pandemonium Carnival from the same movie. The main body of the … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (12): Something Wicked, Stop-Motion and Dream Quest