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.