Monday, July 31, 2006

DREDD MANOR, ep.2, sidelined...

After a couple solid weeks of working on DREDD MANOR, ep.2, my computer has suffered some sort of nervous breakdown. Actually, this is its SECOND breakdown, after having one about 2 weeks ago. So, production has been shuttered temporarily while I go thru the excruciating pain of not being able to work while it's being repaired.

A few people have asked me if the dark, hooded character that the hapless Adam Wellsbrook sees at the end of DREDD MANOR, Episode 1 is the Countess Von Dredd whom he was on his way to meet when he was attacked by the giant wolf-creature. I won't spoil the fun by giving away any major secrets, but I can tell you there are several OTHER suspects on the horizon, such as the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Malverse (pictured above), to name but one. You'll just have to check back and find out!

More to come, I hope...

Friday, July 28, 2006

OBJECTS AT REST creates visual wonderment

Nothing gets me going like an artist whose work grabs me by the eye as well as the brain. Atlanta-based animator Grant Goans is just such a guy, and his work is truly a visual feast. It reminds me of a cross between the Brothers Quay and the mask & puppet work of designer/director Julie Taymor, whose work has inspired me for years. The characters he creates are both archetypal and specific, a very difficult combination to achieve.
Not only does his website offer great pictures of his work, but Grant has included unbelievably detailed how-to entries that I've started going to regularly for ideas and advice. I urge anyone interested in stop-motion or just incredible artwork to check out his studio, Objects At Rest. Definitely check out his online animation tests, which show some of his models (in various stages of completion) acting out simple scenes set to classical music. The disembodied pair of legs walking across the screen is my favorite! If I ever move back to GA I'm asking Grant for a job...

In other news, my director from the "Shrimp & Cookies" music video, Michael Wormser, has invited me to do animation for another project. However, THIS time the video will be ALL stop-motion (as opposed to a live-action/CGI/stop-mo combo), which means I'll be much more directly involved in the overall production, and not just a hired gun brought in for the last bits. It's an exciting prospect, and the band seems to like our initial ideas. Look for more news on this in the coming weeks... :)

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I first heard about David Popolow's film, CIRCLE OF FREAKS, when it was in competition against VALLEY OF GWOMBI at the Dragon*Con Indie Film Fest last year. Luckily for me, David had posted his film onto his website, Right Brain Animations, where I proceeded to watch it about 30 times. Afterwards, I wrote to David and told him that he had inspired me to pursue a stopmotion animated horror project of my own, and the result was DREDD MANOR.

David's a totally great guy, and I'm thrilled to post his film up here for all to see:

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Sometimes, you find a GREAT clip that makes you want to stand up and applaud. After watching this one, I DID applaud, scaring both of my cats out of a deep slumber. They couldn't possibly appreciate this video: SPACE INVADERS re-enacted by HUMANS! That's right. The classic video game brought to life by what has got to be the most patient group of living "pixels" under the direction of visionary madman, Guillaume Reymond. The whole thing is created using stop-motion, colored t-shirts, auditorium seats, and a what must have been weeks of pre-production choreography. It's always the simplest ideas that translate into inspired magic. Make sure to see the "pixels" take their bow at the end!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

TONS of new clips on the RHF Movie Page

I've spent the last couple of days uploading several super-short clips onto the web that were originally intended to be used as "bumpers" for a local cable tv show called Refused TV. I completed nine segments before being informed that Refused TV had been cancelled, and these little clips wound up with nowhere to go! They seem to work perfectly for internet audience consumption, which likes its laughs in small, bite-size portions. You can check them out by going to the RED HATCHET FILMS MOVIE PAGE here. And please be sure to click on my sponsors' ads at the end of each film to help keep RHF alive and kicking!

Monday, July 17, 2006

FROM BEYOND selected for Dragon*Con Film Festival

Submitting to film festivals is a necessary right of passage for any filmmaker. It can be devastating when your work DOESN'T get accepted (if you let your ego get too wrapped up in it) but when your work DOES get accepted there's no denying the adrenaline pump straight to your creative soul! I was just informed that FROM BEYOND has been selected to screen at this year's Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival in Atlanta, GA, Sept. 1-4.

Dragon*Con is without a doubt one of the largest fantasy/sci-fi conventions in the country, if not the world. Last year saw my first film,VALLEY OF GWOMBI , get accepted there, and while it didn't win any prizes I was told by Festival Director Matt Foster that it went over like gangbusters! Matt himself listed VOG on his website, FOSTER ON FILM, as one of the Best Modern Animated Short Films...quite an honor for my first! Thanks so much, Matt!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make Dragon*Con this year, but I know many folks who will, so hopefully I'll get a report back from them as to how it plays with an audience. I'm submitting FROM BEYOND to a couple other fests in the coming weeks, so hopefully this streak of good karma will continue...

Monday, July 10, 2006


I'm excited to announce that the 1st Episode of DREDD MANOR is finished and online! It's being hosted by, which supports filmmakers by attaching ads to the ends of their films. The way it works is after you watch the film, click on the ad and the filmmaker makes money! It costs you NOTHING but the click of a button! I've put a couple of other films up as well, VALLEY OF GWOMBI and A WINTER'S TALE, so check them out and tell your friends!

Check out the brand new RED HATCHET FILMS MOVIE PAGE by clicking HERE!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Episode 1 of DREDD MANOR inches toward completion

With the heat here in L.A. reaching the "don't-even-bother-going-out" levels that make air-conditioner salesmen oh-so-happy, it's been the perfect time to lock myself in the studio and work on DREDD MANOR. It's coming along so swiftly it's a little scary, but then I went thru a long testing phase before I started the shoot. How could I possibly create an open-ended, stop-motion animated, gothic melodrama on a non-existent (and I mean NON-existent) budget? We shall see...

I knew I would have to learn how to do green-screening in order to quickly create backgrounds...there was no way I was going to build sets for every shot like some of the other films. The results are pretty cool, and this technique has opened up many new possibilities.

The coolest part of this effort is that I actually have a few collaborators this time around. My good friend Scott Simpson is creating some original music for DM, and another friend, Rory Ledbetter, has agreed to lend his voice to the lead character. It's so great to have others' energy folded into the mix...makes me want to work that much harder.

Here are some pics from the film, more to come soon!