Monday, January 19, 2015

2 weeks in - Testing

Hey Guys!

   Here I am after surviving my first 2 weeks back at LAIKA.......It feels Amazing to be back in the building.....and I was Overwhelmed with all its Glory.

First Off .......KUBO is going to be cinematic Awesomeness!!! You guys are gona LOVE it!!

Laika continues to Push the boundaries of what stopmotion is capable of.....and it will be like nothing you have seen before On the Big Screen....Pure AMAZING...


My personal journey-

First days are pretty easy......-  read the story - watch the animatic and Feast my eyes on the characters........

This is incredibly exciting. You are both watching-thinking as a { FAN - audience member} but then your mechanical brain is thinking?? How the heck are we gona do that??

Then I find out what sequence I will be working on.....

......and I got a Doooozy....... My sequence is chock full of ?? How the heck are we gona do that??

This is where alot of the MAGIC lies in stop motion.....the problem solving.....the hidden wires....the slight of hand. I cant wait to see how it all works.

Then....its onto testing -

I get my first Puppets that will be my Focus for my time at LAIKA....

On Paranorman.....I mainly animated Norman and Alvin for 95% of the time I was there. So I spent my time testing them before I hit the stages.....although you do get other characters that you have not tested ......the majority of the time you will animate your expertise.

On KUBO ....I am specializing again in 2 characters....And spent the first 2 weeks just testing one of them.

Pushing the puppets to the extents - Finding and staying in character in all actions - and testing for situations that are coming down the pipe eventually.

This is a very fun time and also very good for building confidence moving forward.

I was very filled with anxiety coming back to LAIKA since they are soooooo freaking amazing in what the do.....and also because this last year I focused mainly on  my CG animation and was not practicing daily in stopmo which is all these guys do at the highest levels.

so in short - I felt I was going to be - Not up to Snuff.

Testing is a way for me to find my footing and confidence before I start shooting film....and also get used to working on 1's which is a whole different ball game that animation on 2's like most TV shows . I am headed into week 3....with a few good tests under my belt and nothing but PASSION to pour into this film....

I'll check in as soon as I get my first shot assigned in 2 weeks!!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year ----- New ADVENTURE

Hey guys,

    I am happy to say that I am re- joining LAIKA for another Amazing Film.

KUBO and the 2 Strings-

    2 days Driving and I just pulled into foggy wet Portland tonight. After unpacking and feeling the Head cold my son gave me take the last of my energy I sit to blog.

It was another BIG decision to join this project due to leaving family - LA and a great CG job....but It was time again to tackle a HUGE film and tell An EPIC story as only LAIKA can!!

My CG job is very rewarding but since I lead a team of animators I spend way more time organizing and directing than I ever get to animate. It can be very frustrating to my animator heart but that's why I try to keep animation balance at home when I don't animate at work.

I was also talking to LAIKA way before the project was announced so we knew the project was brewing and that they would like me to animate on and shel had lots of time to consider and talk about the situation.

In the end Shel and Aedon were very excited again for me to join and be a part of the MAGIC!! And completely supported my return .

We have a very clear schedule of visits set and I am missing them already.

     so ..... as Monday-First Day-  approaches

 I am feeling TERRIFIED and THRILLED.....all together....Living LIFE.

       I will be working with the most talented Stopmo artists on the planet!! lucky me.....

                       more to come.... preparation for coming back to LAIKA and getting some practice I created some animation with my Dirk Puppet....

I sculpted the puppet a while back after meeting a child hood animation Idle Don Bluth at CTN .
 Don Bluth was KEY to my entering the arts and animation specifically- In our talking I told him I was an animator and that he was a HUGE influence. I am sure that he heard that a million times over the weekend....and I was just another face to forget. I wanted to change that by sending him an animation of DIRK in stop motion.

NOW I had a clear reason to finish the fabrication. Shel foamed and painted the puppet and we both made some simple wire armatures to get them moving.

here are some of the tests-
Grab and slam-
Grab and Slam WIRE from jriggity on Vimeo.
Sword Fight test-
Sword Fight1 test from jriggity on Vimeo.
Here a Noise-
NOise Test from jriggity on Vimeo.
Walk Strutsm from jriggity on Vimeo.
Run Test from jriggity on Vimeo.

Now that I feel comfortable with the puppet I am ready to create the counterpart which will blow peoples minds  over the next few months as a side project.

    I will post the progress here

                talk soon.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I am Back!!

Hey Guys,

It has been a Looong time since I Have posted......and I am here to let anyone who finds it know...  I'm back.

We took a long break after Finishing Dogonaut's to just relax and enjoy the aftermath of our Huge marathon film making adventure. Dogonaut's has played all over the world and was received very well.

We do plan on Releasing the DVD with special features in 2015 as it ends its Festival Tour.....So I will be announcing that here when the time comes.

This last years News-

 I did not just lay around guys......there was plenty of Art-animation that was going on....I just was doing most of it  on the computer....

1. I shipped a new video game.

I was lucky also enough to work A Bunch on the New {SPONGEBOB - Sponge out of Water} Feature Film releasing in Feb.......Super very excited to take my grandma and little cousins to go see it.

I was lucky to do a few shots on the NEW Christmas {ELF} Special for NBC.....!!  Check it out!!

I also had the chance to work a good amount on an awesome NEW kids show from Amazon Studios called TumbleLeaf....

The show is for very young kids but it is chock full of charm and I enjoyed all my time working on it.

I have also been doing alot of CG work for a short film that I am collaborating with a group of Feature CG guys......I cant share anything from this yet.....but its gona be very fun to Share when the time comes and I hope the project allows me to pump up my Feature CG reel some more.

so.....that's the Update guys....and kickoff post ....

        I have HUGE news coming up in the next few weeks....and I will be posting regularly for the next

        talk soon!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Hey Guys!

It happened-

 We had our Premiere of ---- DOGONAUT'S ----ENEMY LINE---- this last weekend and it went great.

We had about 200 guests....friends and family for the showing of 7 animated films ending with our own latest.

We had a nice little push leading up to the day.....Me and shel getting the Videos ready - models ready - cleaning up broke down puppets and ships.....lots to do in Prep...

After getting all the details in order we packed up the car and were on our way the the Theater.

On arriving to the theater we met our Long time Art assistant Bridget Dash for some help setting up the tables and testing the projector playing all our films before the show began....

We have not see Bridget for a few years....she left to go work at WETA in New Zealand on the Hobbit...
so cool!!

      After Set up lots of folks started rollin in and we talked to as many folks as we could....
I really wanted to connect with everyone but it quickly became a Busy Situation and I unfortunately had to be quick in my saying hello.

People who came in got to see up close and personal the puppets -ships and props from the film....People were afraid to touch but everywhere I could I told them to reach out and squeeze them puppets....feel them ships.

Its one of the coolest parts of our get to not only watch characters come to life....

you get to feel them -smell them and sit right down into the little worlds we create for them.

....One of the most common questions we got from the crowds were?? Are these the same puppets that are in the film?

 YES--- The very exact ones!!

...... We kicked off the show with a small talk about the making of our film.....the many years and sleepless night to get to this point of finally sharing the film with all of our friends.

One of the MAIN Points I wanted to get across is that wasn't just this one moment-FINISHING- was The entire Journey of the film. All of the things we learned - the new friends we have made - the many moments creating art with our family - the GROWTH we both have made as film makers and artist's.

It was all about the Ride !! So much work and soo much Fun!!

We started the films.

All of the films played great and when DOGONAUT'S came up - the crowd greeted our film with Huge was sooo kind and love filled.

 The film played and was shared ---DEEP BREATH ---I was so happy to see the audience clearly understood our story and got all the beats we applied in  our film.

 We finished with a short Q and A ......
which was nice and and then talked to many more friends as we made our way out of the theater.

After making our way out of the theater we had a GREAT lunch with Shel's folks and our family.

We then proceeded to come home and Take a Much deserved NAP.....a 4 YEAR NAP...

   we have a lot of catch up to do!!!

              SO in closing!!!!

We are now excited to take our film on another festival Tour in the next year....visit our sisters and grandma's......Travel to some fun new places and Watch some good films.

 I am happy to announce we were accepted into our Very First film Festival

- The Austin Film Fest -

and we will be traveling there in mid November.

                 talk soon!!  and thanks for all the support guys!!


Saturday, September 14, 2013


Hey guys!

  This has officially been the longest stretch without a post....We have been so freakin busy in all places of life........that I have not even announced here on our blog that our film is DONE!!

  And we will be premiering it in 2 weeks....wooo hoo!!!

  We decided on the premiere being at a Art house theater in Pasadena called the Laemmle's Playhouse.

Its a great little theater and It should serve the films well! We are showing 6 films in total and I have to say the Lineup is fantastic!!

We have FRED - by Misha Klein - This film was really THE piece of animation I saw that made me give stop mo a real go......I love this film.

We will also be playing The MOUSE THAT SOARED by Kyle Bell.
this is a film that played with Gerald during our festival tour and I always loved it!

 We have the Reward from - Mikkel Mainz Elkjaar ,Kenneth Ladekjaar -
This film just really captured me and inspired me for weeks after seeing it....I just want another excuse to watch it again and spread the word.
We also have the film - Dance for tour Life you Puny Human - from Justin Connolly.
Justin was one of our interns and we saw him go from young student to Working Pro- so proud of him.
We will be showing his Graduation film-

We also have some Pure Cartoon Magic from the guys at Screen Novelties-
The Flintsones-

and then to finish it all off we will be screening 
Geralds Last Day -

and the the MAIN EVENT being our FINAL Film   { DOGONAUT'S - Enemy Line }
4 years in the making and LOTS of artistic growth in the creation.....we finally get to share it.

Ill cover the event here and The DVD's and Digital downloads will be going out as soon as the premiere happens.

Last but not least - Here is a sneek special feature- the making of flea!!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We Got our MIX!!

Hey guys!
big update and MAJOR milestone for us.....we FINALLY got our MIX. It is the first film we have ever Created  that had a real Audio mix .
It was incredibly eye opening.....I always knew that doing things professionally would improve the quality of the film......I just didn't know how much.
With every tweak of the sounds....with every smoothing of a V.O. file or audio transition....this film got BETTER.....It was like night and day....listening to the final mix from the first raw files....if we had a larger budget we could have spent the entire day there.
..... Lesson LEARNED...ha!
Part 1 - 
We first had a good buddy of Robert Litton .....adjust the music a bit before we go into the final mixing session....
He brought up the Bongos on a couple of the music sequences since we really wanted to make sure we could hear is a quick peek.

Next we headed over to another of Roberts friends studios and did the FULL mix.

so....We have all the music -sfx and Voice over mixed. 
The only thing left now is the color correction which has now been put in motion. 
We are in talks with a color correction guy and studio . We really want to find the right guy and place for the job.....We should be able to make something happen in the next few weeks.
Here is a peek at the Making of Dober from the special features-
more to come...including a MAKING Fester the FLEA behind the scenes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

POST is getting Close!!

Hey Guys!

Our MUSIC is all wrapped up.....and tonight at 9:30 pm. we get to have our ears and our eyes come together for the first time since the scoring.
Our Next Big Task - The Voice over - is completely wrapped  and delivered to the Sound Designer - Check!!
After auditioning the entire family for Dober and Flea we ended up casting and recording our characters.
....I ended up doing all of Fester fleas V.O

......and our professional Voice Actor Friend - James Sie- ended up doing Dober's V.O.
Finishing and editing the V.O. was definitely another Big Task.....Bigger than you ever think it will be........but Shel rocked it out in record time.....
The coolest thing about it is that just like the music - the quality of the film just goes up sooo much when the characters start emoting. 

Some of the concepts and ideas in the film that I might not have been clear enough in communicating.....are becoming crystal clear now that we have the tonal shifts in the V.O in the mix.

Our last AUDIO Task was - SFX.
We also should have all of our Sound FX wrapped up by the end of this weekend....
.....We just got to listen to the first bits ....and are very excited to listen to more.
After all those elements are done we have a scheduled MIXING DAY where all of us will get together and choose the levels for the entire film.

 We will choose How each Piece of sound-music-sfx- will SOAR or  fade back a bit....... 
...its gona be a FUN is a clip of some flea V.O. noises.
We also recently got our Dober maquette's in from the molder...and they looks fantastic!! 
We will start painting them pretty soon....and I will share  progress pics here....
---- I have more fun behind the scenes videos for you peeks to come..
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