Robot Monster AKA “Monster from Mars” is a 1953 black and white independently American made film. I was elated when Kevin Sean Michaels of Troma Ent approached me to make an animated logo inspired by Robot Monster identity bumper (animation) for his newly launched film company! (2003) For more info on the original movie click HERE.
Robot Monster was filmed in Stop Motion. A process of moving a puppet or object over and over in tiny increments one film frame at a time. Play the sequence back in real time and watch everything pop to life.
Ro-Man puppet was made by M W Gaiss and fitted with a wire armature so he could be moved. The coolest thing about this little piece is how Mike made the rock break apart. To achieve this he sculpted the logo first and fit it inside another piece of foam that was sculpted as the rock to be smashed. After finished, he had to cut the rock apart and reassemble it with animation rigging. In this case wires. As Robot monster beat the rock he could remove pieces in sequence along the path of the hidden wired. When played back the rock appears to be smashed to bits by Ro-Man. The peice was done in a few days time and on budget. Thus Troma and Kevin Sean Michaels were pleased with the out come.
Although a rather simple piece Mike states that this was one of his favorite animations to create. Simply because it was fun and playful with nothing too difficult to figure out. “ You can loose site of a stop motion film if rigings and shots get very complicated. You become concerned with a thousand different elements going on frame by frame and can get drawn away from the performance and the fun of what your making.”
Mike also states that the room he shot this in was very small and got really hot under the lights.
Tom Brokaw, Opie and Anthony
Everyone loves Tom Brokaw. Especially Opie and Anthony. This stop motion was made on a low budget for the Opie and Anthony animation festival in 2008. The festival was screened to a sold out crowd at the Roseland Theater in NYC and was well received.
M W Gaiss took the enormous amount of audio footage from anthony’s on air Tom Brokaw impressions and cut them down to about a 5 minute conglomerate of some of the best on air moments. Mike did al elements for this short piece from fabrication to the animation itself.
Tom Brokaw was sculpted from clay. To animate the face he was re-sculpted frame by frame. Inside Tome Brokaw was an armature machined by Mike. Clothing was sewn and wired up inside.
The set was green screened with foreground environments sculpted from foam and painted.
After filming mike cut, edited, added effects and backgrounds. Background music and sounds effects were added last.
The whole process took about 5-6 weeks. He got this in last minute to Opie and Anthony and made the shows top 10.
Mike even got to spend a little time on the radio a few days later.
Vampira, Created by the one and only, and most original purveyor of horror, Malia Nurmi