SHOT 405

This was a really fun shot. Still singing with Kim heckling him on, Dennis chops into a bone and splatters neon paint all over the bunker wall.

I did that by dipping a wooden stick in each color of paint and then flipping it toward the back wall from inside the cage until I got the spray pattern I wanted for each color. So for each of eight colors, I shot one frame. That way it looks like the splatter happens in real time.

It’s generally challenging to work with liquids in stop motion, but I’m sure you’ll agree this is a great special effect.

Why neon paint? And what is its significance? We don’t know. It could be POSER blood. Or it could be their spirit. That’s up to audience interpretation. But for sure, neon paint glows wonderfully under black light. Pure psychedelia.

Throughout this and other scenes, I’m using UV (black) light in two wavelengths: 395 and 365 nm. The latter is considered medical grade, used for sterilizing instruments. And as I worked under them for hours, posing puppets, I actually felt my hands get irradiated. Who knows whether that will shorten my life span?

It was during this scene that I snapped Rodman’s knee off and couldn’t readily fix it. So again, I chose to turn a bug into a feature. After the big splatter chop, the camera tilts back down to show Dennis holding his own severed leg in his lap. I would later reattach it with Frog Tape, under his wedding dress.

And yes, Frog Tape is an indispensable tool for an animator. As are various rubber-tipped sculpting tools and even metal dental hygiene tools like picks and mirrors. Not to mention all the various types of glue and putty you’ll need to make more permanent or semi-permanent adhesions.

Those sticky options range everywhere from the amazing Museum Gel, to Fun-Tak, to Rubber Cement, to Vinyl Cement, to Gorilla Glue, to Testers Model Glue, to Super Glue, to Lok-Tite 495 — the Bad Boy of all adhesives.