This past week has been interesting here at Thunderbean. Shipping various things has taken over the little office, and I’ve been working at home on gathering and grading the films for Stop Motion Marvels, volume 2. This set is almost done in terms of film clean up, and I’m excited about finishing the color correction and grading in the coming few weeks. There’s some surprises on the set that I think people will be thrilled with— I’m thrilled and excited to share them soon.
I’ve also been (obsessively) gathering the rest of the films for the HD re-issue of the first volume of Stop Motion Marvels – there’s still things that need to be scanned for that project, but everything that *is* scanned is all cleaned up at this point. It’s looking like quite a few of the official sets will be finished within the next few months, along with even more of the ’special’ sets. It’s easiest the busiest year already for Thunderbean, ever.
As we’ve been putting together the various sets, we’ve also been scanning a lot of other things. We now have enough films for Mid Century Modern, Volume 3 to add to the series, featuring films from UPA, John Sutherland Productions and others. The pre-order is available here.
Here’s a few shorts from the original Stop Motion Marvels set that have found some fame on youtube:
I first saw The Automatic Moving Company when I was about 12. It must have been on a Canadian show about animation. I wonder if the other version (by Emile Cohl) will ever show up:
Mark Kaulser lent this wonderfully strange work print of a stop motion Camel cigarettes ad, and suggested I sync the Camel radio call out song to the beginning of it since he noticed that it had a similar syncopation. I did just that, and here it is, from a post a while back. It looks a bit like the work of Lou Bunin, but I don’t think it’s quite to the level he would make it. Doesn’t anyone know what ‘Mortera Productions’ was?
Horse Laffs was one of my favorite things on the set, but as of this writing, the collector who owns it can’t find the print to re-lend for an HD scan! I’m sure hoping it shows up soon since it’s such a remarkable oddity- and it may very well be the only print around on this film:
The Internet can give a remarkable life to a short piece of film or video. One of the shorts on the Stop Motion Marvels set was Len Lye’s Experimental Animation 1933 — or, the Peanut Vendor. This was the oldest telecine transfer on the whole set, done around 1990 with my Eiki 5-blade shutter projector. The film was part of a whole reel of stop motion shorts that were rented for a campus showing. This old transfer, from my 3/4” tape, seems to still be the only version of this short available anywhere on the internet. The new set will be a big upgrade, coming from a new HD scan.
I did a post about this short a while back, but since then, it seems, it’s found a wider and maybe even stranger audience.
My good friend Ken Priebe posted the short way back in 2006 below. It’s now had nearly half a million views, creeping everyone out for a full 13 years. What I’d really like to do is get that many people to see Len’s *great* films as well! There are 1,696 comments, and they are kind of a fun read (although I have to admit I didn’t make it *too* far down the list!)
This upload’s comments seem to think that the Monkey is adorable. I agree!
It’s especially funny to me that this film has developed a life of its own over the years, appropriated in various ways. Here’s someone that stuck outtakes of the Beatles singing the Peanut Vendor Song to Len’s film:
Here’s some of the usual sort of you-tube review from ‘Telsa Reviews’. I usually don’t like these sort of things since they tend to be basically contentless- but it’s sort of fun to see how it’s developed a life of its own.
Here’s someone’s take on the short in negative with some very strange things done to the sound:
And, finally, here’s Len Lye’s absolutely brilliant A Colour Box from 1935, taking cues from Fishinger’s experiments and creating many of the techniques that would later be made much more famous by Norman McLaren.
Have a great week everyone!