After completing Fabricated, my ten-year stop-motion epic, I began to plan my next big animation production. Fabricated was very much a story told in metal, but for my next film I began to work with wood.
I became fascinated with the possibilities of a sci-fi world based on the alien forms to be found within this material that grows all around us. While brainstorming this world, I came upon the concept of the WoodSwimmer. This is a deep scan of both the material of wood and the time embedded in its structure.
It was a challenging technique to perfect, but once I did, I was able to shoot short sequences that move the camera through samples of hardwood, burls and branches. The result is beautiful imagery both abstract and very real. In the twisting growth rings and the swirling rays, a new universe is revealed.
As with stop-motion animation, it is difficult to keep from watching stuff like this loop endlessly on playback as you are in the middle of shooting it. It was a pleasure and an honor to watch this magnificence slowly reveal itself.
As a short film began to build from these sequences, I collaborated with bedtimes, an animator and musician of special talents to write a song and help edit a tight visual and sonic journey through this wondrous and fascinating material. WoodSwimmer is the result.
director Brett Foxwell
edit & music Conor Grebel
typography Rowan Ogden
Photo prints of selected stills from the film are available for sale by clicking on the images below.
- January, 2016 I had the rare honor to be asked by Phil Tippett to build several armatures for the Dejarik Holochess set to be used in Star Wars Episode 7, The Force Awakens. I am very honored to have had a hand in building this small part of the Star Wars universe that has inspired me so much over the years. Below are several videos showing us building and animating these famous little monsters.
February, 2016 After more than ten years of work, Fabricated is complete. The film is, at the end, a beautiful and intense nineteen-minute-long stop-motion animated journey with a dense, detailed soundscape and an exquisite musical score. Making this has been such an adventure and I would like to thank everyone who helped out or supported the project. I would especially like to thank the sound and color team with whom I had a wonderful and enjoyable collaboration: creature vocal specialist John France,composer Andrew Poole Todd, sound designers Ryan Mauk and Chris Vibberts, mixer Dan Olmsted and colorist Bradley Greer. Thank you all for your artistry, your contributions and for being exceedingly patient as I felt my way through this strange universe.
- March, 2015 The final frame of animation for the film has been shot. It has taken me three cameras, four cities, five puppets and ten years to shoot over 27000 frames of animation to tell this story.
- April, 2005 After several years of designing and building my hybrid creatures, I begin to shoot a short stop-motion film. I think the whole project can be finished within three years. I definitely do not know that it will take ten.