Category Archives: Puppets, Props and Sets

Skeleton Girl and Twisted Tales Update

In celebration of the 5th anniversary of Skeleton Girl‘s New York premiere, our award-winning – and Canada’s first stereoscopic 3D and stop motion animated film – is now available for viewing in 2D on our You Tube channel here.

We’re also excited to announce that Skeleton Girl will be available shortly with sub-titles in Spanish, Mandarin, and French, and we’re considering other languages as well.

And, we are hard at work on the Twisted Tales for Demented Children trailer, as we move forward with the remainder of the stories. Photos here show part of the set and both Leo (director) and Alyssa (fabricator) prepping for the shoot.

If you’re interested in an exclusive behind the scenes feature on the making of Skeleton Girl, click here to purchase the Collector’s Edition DVD & Blu-Ray Combo Pack, which in addition to the film and behind the scenes feature, includes a pair of 3D glasses to watch the trailer in 3D as well as a limited edition Skeleton Girl button.

For more information on the Twisted Tales, you can visit our website here or follow our Bleeding Art Industries, Skeleton Girl, or Twisted Tales for Demented Children Facebook or Twitter pages.

 

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…and the credits roll

The film at the movie theatre is over; those of us who played a part in its making stay in our seats, moving our heads side to side as we try to read the names of the people who worked on the film as others get up from their seats and leave. Really, people? What’s an extra five minutes of showing your appreciation of a film by staying to see who the many, many people were that worked on it?

When we made Skeleton Girl and were desperately trying to complete it in time for its world premiere, I wanted to do the credits in a standard white on black rolling format for the sake of expediency. “Let’s just get this done” I thought. My partner and co-producer/co-director Leo wanted to animate the gravestones with the credits on them instead. Now, I think it’s one of the highlights of the movie. Why? Because we went the extra mile to make something better and we took the time to create a look and feel that was in sync with the rest of the film (3D, stop motion, and re-using props from the film). From a visual and creative standpoint, this was the right decision. To change the look to something 2D and flat would have diluted the whole experience we were trying to achieve. We also had some powerful music created by composer Tomasz Opalka to accompany the credits. We would not have risen to the occasion of trying to match his outstanding musical score had we cut corners and not animated the credits. The two work together to create a lovely way of wrapping up the film and the audience’s experience of it.

So, here we are two years later having the same discussion. Should we do a standard menu for the Skeleton Girl Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack or should we animate the menu? Although I hesitated, I should have learned my lesson the first time. Yes it will take longer, but the whole experience for the viewer will be better. We’ve dusted off the skeleton hand and the gravestones. They’re back, and will get their animated groove on just like in the film’s credits.

So, when you’re getting up and leaving the theatre when the credits start to roll, sit back down. You just might be in for a special, unexpected treat. And even if you’re not, imagine you’re one of the people who worked really hard on that film. Would you want everyone leaving the theatre? Probably not.

Check out this piece with Eugene Levy, “Eugene Levy and a Golden Retriever Defuse a Bomb” in which he addresses exactly this issue.

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Twisted Tales Resonates at Comic Expo

Brams TT side photo Continue reading


Mary has her debut at Comic Expo

We’re busy getting ready for this year’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo which starts in less than 2 weeks. Comic Expo has exploded into one of the go-to events of the year in Calgary. Now the 6th largest in North America, it attracted 60,000 visitors in 2013, a huge increase from its start 9 years ago.

When we first exhibited at Comic Expo in 2011, we were still working on our first film Skeleton Girl; Comic Expo was in fact one of the first public unveilings of information on our Twisted Tales anthology. And we got a great response. People were interested, intrigued – and surprised – that a Calgary-based company was doing 3D and stop motion animated work.

Fast forward to Expo 2012 and Becky and Leo were in New York at the world premiere for the film at Be Film The Underground Film Festival, where it garnered Best First 3D Film. The rest of the Bleeding Art team held down the fort at Comic Expo, promoting the fact that right at that time across the continent, Skeleton Girl was screening, in competition with other 2D and 3D short films from around the world.

At Expo 2013, people were back at the booth, asking about the film and where it was touring; and it was that weekend that we received the news that Skeleton Girl had been selected as one of nine short films across Canada to compete in CBC’s Short Film Face Off.

Now, with the 2014 Expo less than two weeks away, we’ll be taking pre-orders for a special Collector’s Edition of Skeleton Girl, and talking to people about the next film in the Twisted Tales for Demented Children anthology, Mary and The Looking Glass. In fact, people will get a sneak preview of a draft script if they attend the Have Your Say panel session scheduled for Thursday, April 24 at 5:30 pm – an opportunity for fans to give us their suggestions and feedback on where we’re going with the next installment. We’ll also have some props and puppets from both Skeleton Girl and Mary and The Looking Glass on display at our booth (see photo for a highlight).

Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo has done a commendable job with this event, bringing together so many different groups, artists, fans and more. It’s always a super energetic and inspiring few days and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. It feels a bit like we’ve grown with it over the past few years and to see the evolution of our film work through the eyes of people attending the Expo has been a really cool thing. Being able to talk to people face to face about the stories we’re creating and putting out there is an experience and opportunity like no other. And to be able to do this right here in our community makes it all the better.

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Behind the scenes making puppet clothes with costumer Kim Crossley

Cutter/costumer Kim Crossley built the dress for Mary, the main character in our next film Through the Looking Glass. Here she answers a few questions about her background and creating clothes for puppets.

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How did you get started making clothing for puppets?

My puppet costuming began in 1987 in Calgary when I met and began to work with master puppeteer, Ronnie Burkett. My first projects with him included creating a dinner jacket for a large muppet-style hand puppet of a bull, and a tutu for a large bird mascot he was building for a charity. From there, I moved on to smaller hand puppets, and ultimately his marionettes.

Can you tell us about some of the puppet clothing you have made?

Over 27 years and 11 Theatre of Marionette productions, most of them averaging about 36 costumes per show, it’s covered quite a range – three-piece suits, white tie and tails, jeans and t-shirts, leather bustiers, lingerie, negligees, vintage designer dresses, beaded/sequinned/feathered gowns, long-johns, onesies, tutus, cardigans, suede jackets, overcoats, pajamas, bathrobes, clown suits, armour… the list goes on.

Does any one project stand out in particular and if so why?

I suppose the most interesting and challenging projects have been costumes that “became” other things – a paniered gown that opened to reveal miniature puppets performing within the skirt, and a skirt that pulled up and transformed into a hot-air balloon.

What do you enjoy about making clothing for puppets versus humans?

Relatively unlimited access to the bodies for fitting, and usually not having to worry about closures and laundering since the clothes are generally sewn onto the bodies and do not come off (except for the strippers…).

What did you need in order to make the dress for Mary for Through the Looking Glass?

The designer Leo Wieser chose the style of the dress and the fabrics it was to be made of. All I needed in addition was a model of the puppet and some idea of what it needed to do.

Is there anything different about how you approach the making of clothing for puppets for a film versus for theatre?

Not really. I always try to create pieces with fine finishing and meticulous detail so that they may be examined at close range, and show well at a distance – hopefully, this comes across for both media.

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Muybridge motion studies used as reference for puppet shoes

Alyssa has been making shoes for the new puppet in Through the Looking Glass using Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies as reference; since they are solid shoes they are made to force the puppet’s foot into a stepping shape instead of having the foot dictate how the shoe bends. They are made this way because they are the anchor points for the puppet; each shoe will have magnets mounted into the soles to hold the heel in place. This is the kind of minute detail we need to think about when we’re designing and building the puppets as they move through their scenes.

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If you’re not familiar with Muybridge’s work, check it out. Born in 1830, Muybridge was an English photographer renowned for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion and motion-picture projection. He is known for his work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-motion photographs.


Welcome to our new blog

Thanks for visiting our blog site for the anthology Twisted Tales for Demented Children. This is the title we’ve given the series of 3D stop motion animated short films we’ve been creating. As many of you know, Skeleton Girl was the first film we made. You can find more info about Skeleton Girl at skeleton-girl.com. The next in the series is Through the Looking Glass. We’ve started building the puppets and sets for the film and are in financing mode to continue down this path, with plans to shoot in 2014. shoes1Oct162013We’ll keep you updated here so you can get insight into the process both from the artistic as well as the business side. If there’s one thing we learned with Skeleton Girl it’s that it’s one thing to make a film, it’s a whole other thing to get it out there to the festivals and market and distribute it. Hopefully through this blog we’ll be able to give some valuable insight into both. Hope you enjoy and please give us feedback, we’d love to hear from you. This is one of our behind the scene photos of shoes that are being made for the main character Mary as she walks up a set of stairs.