Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Films & Animation’ Category

Experimental Beard Radio

Wednesday, May 20th 2009 by Pat


Aaron is leaning towards participating in the “Alaskan Whaler” category and I’ll probably enter the “Slightly Puffy Yet Not So Terribly Impressive” category.

Here’s some of the audio we picked up today. I call it experimental radio because it’s less about beards and more about bagels.

Tuesday morning chatter, bagels and the crappy font game.

What questions should we ask about beards?

Interview with Judy at the information desk.

Fun Fact #1

The sad man with a moustache.

Security guards have things under control.

The general arrives.

Why does it sound rehearsed?

Aaron Sleepy

World Beard and Moustache Championships

Wednesday, May 20th 2009 by Pat

nittiposter09Lou, Aaron, Sarah and I arrived in Anchorage Tuesday morning to document and participate in the World Beard and Moustache Championships, probably the most important event ever to take place in Alaska.

The South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club has the honor of hosting the event this year and 2009 marks only the second time that the WBMC has been brought to North America.

We’ve met fascinating people from all over the map and the themes are already beginning to emerge for our mini-documentary. Philosophy, art, sex, love, religion, and politics are all interwoven in this vast tapestry of beards and twirly moustachios.

Another part of our job here is as official correspondents for Wondermark! and KXLL Excellent Radio in Juneau. We’re not exactly sure what that means yet but hopefully we can come up with something useful for them to share with a little wider audience.

The inspired posters for the event were created by Jason Nitti, a creative New Yorker who also works on the Super Useless Super Powers project.

Coraline in Juneau

Friday, April 24th 2009 by Pat

coralineA great opportunity for Juneau filmmakers this weekend, Georgina Hayns and Mark Gaiero of Laika studios will be visiting town and sharing their knowledge of puppet making and stop-motion animation. George has worked on several feature films including, Mars Attacks, The Corpse Bride, and most recently, Coraline.

Saturday, April 25 – 7pm Downtown Library

George and Mark will discuss the making of the film Coraline and their work with puppets and animation.

Sunday, April 26 – 1pm Douglas Public Library

In this 4-hour workshop, George and Mark will teach the basics of stop motion and armature construction. At last check the workshop was full but if give a call if you want to get on a wait list or feel like stopping by to check things out, 586-3440.

Coraline will be playing at the Goldtown Nickelodeon this weekend in case you missed it. Also, a big thanks to Amy at the Juneau Empire did a great writeup on the events:

Thanks to the JUMP Society and the Friends of the Library for sponsoring this workshop and presentation.

Script Frenzy

Wednesday, March 25th 2009 by Pat


Script Frenzy seems like a good excuse for writers to write. The goal is 100 pages of formatted script during the month of April. The best part is that there aren’t any fabulous prizes and no one owns your work or even has to see it when you’re done. This isn’t a screenwriting competition, it’s a chance to lock arms with other writers and march towards a unified goal.

I’m signed up to participate and, if I can complete it, or even come close, I’ll be well on my way to the completed script for my first graphic novel.

Squidless Ending

Monday, March 9th 2009 by Pat


They changed the ending. I can’t believe they changed the ending! What was wrong with the psychically enhanced, trans-dimensional, alien squid monster?

“No compromise, even in the face of Armageddon.”
– Rorschach

49 Writers – Movie Week

Monday, March 2nd 2009 by Pat

Attention Alaskan filmmakers, don’t miss movie week on the 49 Writers blog!

The popular hub for Alaskan writers turned it’s focus toward motion pictures last week with several articles and interviews. The contributors to this site always dig deep into the process and architecture of creativity so there’s a lot to be learned from these articles.


Monday, March 2nd 2009 by Pat


Just under the wire, I finished my application for the Rasmuson Foundation individual artist project grant. It was Swiss cheesed with spelling errors and chunky grammar but I think I patched up most of the big holes.

This is my second go-around, in 2005, I received $5k from Rasmuson to cover airfare, housing, and tuition at TheFilmSchool. It was an incredible, life-changing experience but the grant application process was terrifying. My work was evaluated and I had to be judged, not just as a filmmaker, but as an artist.

Art involves experimentation and, ultimately, failure. It’s easy to doubt your skill, purpose, and value as an artist because you offer an intangible contribution to society, an immeasurable product of effort.

Above all, art can feel like a monumentally selfish pursuit. It becomes hard to justify why you’re an artist, much less, why anyone should give you free money to put towards your work.

In the beginning, it’s incredibly difficult to begin thinking of yourself as an artist, it feels false, stiff, and uncomfortable… like a new pair of Carharts or unwashed thrift store clothes still bearing an odd amalgamated scent.

I’ve always thought of myself as creative but calling myself an artist is like saying “I love you,” there’s a frightening power and a slice of fierce uncertainty. It’s easier to feel than to say.

Butterfly Kisses

Thursday, February 19th 2009 by Pat

All I can really tell you is that it involves a butterfly. This short animated film flits across the screen for a glorious thirty seconds and revealing anything more would surely divulge the concise underpinnings of plot and character.

The film didn’t take long to make but it has been a long time in the making. It started out nearly two and a half years ago as a comic strip and eventually evolved into a lesson for an animation class I taught to kids at the Juneau Fine Arts Camp. I’ve folded the re-touched comic into the Alaska Robotics archive and the original hand drawn frames are here as well for those who are interested.


Wednesday, February 4th 2009 by Lou

My first new movie of 2009. I wanted to see if I could make macro videos using a reversed wide angle lens from a still camera. The insects came from horse manure compost that I used in my failed rooftop garden.

The music was created with ZynAddSubFX and Ardour with extra reverb to make it sound like I was using more than three notes.

Anchor Town

Friday, January 30th 2009 by Pat

Aaron, Sarah and I are in Anchorage for the 2009 Alaska Arts & Culture Conference. We’re sleep deprived and having a blast.

Saturday afternoon from 2:00 – 3:30 we’ll be screening a collection of short films from around the state including several of our own. The screening is free and open to the public at the Endeavor room of the Captain Cook in Anchorage.

Also open to the public is an “Animation & Comics” presentation I’m doing with Jack Lew of Electronic Arts and Lee Post of Your Square Life. That takes place Friday 7:30 – 9:00 at the Sydney Lawrence Theatre in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts.

If you’re attending the conference you can also catch us at the Endeavor Room around 1:30 Friday for “Art in the Cloud – A Web 2.0 Briefing.”

I’d better crash out, big day ahead of us.