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THE FACTORY OF WONDERS...
“Forget about bright colours in animated movies for children, forget about Walt Disney’s singing pets and heartening stories for cheerful families with guaranteed happy endings. Stop motion is the hidden side of animation, the mysterious, dark, unsettling side that ‘normal’ people generally try to avoid and are inclined to hastily label it as disturbing. Stop motion filmmakers love bones, rags, old toys, objects forgotten in dusty attics; they often deal with themes such as the gothic and the macabre. But if you leave behind that unjustified reluctance, the initial feeling of fear that can give you wrong sensations, you will discover a wonderful world, maybe a little sinister, but surely fascinating and engaging. Ever since considered as the little, plain and naughty sister of traditional animation, stop-motion has been haughtily surpassed by the advent of 3d animation. Just like Cinderella, it needed the intervention of a fairy who would finally cast a spell and restore justice. One day the fairy arrived, with dishevelled hair – maybe they had never been combed – a sunken face and a childish smile. He came from Burbank and his name was Tim Burton.” – Stefano Bessoni
Stefano Bessoni has created an illustrated handbook focused on stop-motion animation, with an introduction by Barry JC Purves. Starting from the question What is stop-motion animation? the author examines its history and techniques, then offers a step-by-step description – enriched with detailed photographs – of how to create an animation puppy for your animated films, taking into account the set design, the use of Dragonframe and some editing and post-production techniques. The book ends with an overview of several must-see stop-motion animated movies that you can’t miss (if you haven’t seen them already): Něco z Alenky (Alice) and Lekce Faust (Faust) by Jan Švankmajer, Rigoletto by Barry JC Purves, The maker by Christopher Kezelos, La noria by Karla Castañeda and, last but not least, Bessoni’s Gallows Songs.
Stefano Bessoni is a director, illustrator, and stop-motion animator. He was born in 1965 in Rome, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 1989 he has been making many experimental films, video and theatre installations, and documentary films. In the 1990s he worked for many TV production companies as camera operator, cinematographer, and film editor. He taught film directing at the NUCT (Roma Film Academy) in Cinecittà and at the Griffith Academy in Rome. He also teaches many workshops on illustration and stop-motion animation at schools and festivals in Italy and abroad.
He has won various awards with his most recent films, Canti della forca, which was recognized by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities as a “film of national cultural interest”, and Krokodyle, Best Fantasy Film at the 6th CINEFANTASY in San Paolo, Brazil, Best International Film at the PUERTO RICO HORROR FILM FEST 2011, Special Mention at SITGES 2011 - 44° Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic de Catalunya, and a Special Mention also at FANTASPOA 2011.
His books for #logosedizioni are: Alice Under Ground (also available in Italian and Spanish), Gallows Songs (also available in Italian), Homunculus, Mr Punch, Pinocchio, Stop-motion. La fabbrica delle meraviglie, Workshop di stop-motion. Primo livello, Stop Motion Workshop. First Level (Also available in Italian) and Wunderkammer.
2013 Gallows Songs – Produced and distributed by Interzone Visions (Italy)
2011 Krokodyle – Produced by Interzone Visions (Italy) www.krokodyle.com
2009 Imago mortis – Produced by Pixstar (Italy) / Telecinco Cinema (Spain) – Distributed by Medusa (Italy) / Telecinco Cinema (Spain) – Recognized as “National cultural interest film” – Cast: Alberto Amarilla, Oona Chaplin, Alex Angulo, Leticia Dolera, Geraldine Chaplin, Francesco Carnelutti, Jun Ichikawa
2005 Frammenti di scienze inesatte – Produced by White Shark Production
Aknowledgments and awards:
2013 Gallows Songs – Recognized as “National cultural interest film” by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
2012 Krokodyle – Best movie for kids aged 16–25 and Quality jury special mention at the Vittorio Veneto Film Festival 2012, International kids’ film festival.
2011 Krokodyle – Special mention, Silver Méliès at the Sitges, Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, Sitges, Spain; Best international film at the Puerto Rico Horror Film Fest, Puerto Rico, USA; Best fantasy film at the CineFantasy, São Paulo, Brazil; Best film, best photography, best scenic design, best costumes at the “Nino Manfredi” Award, Frosinone, Italy; Mention of honour for the best artistic contribution at the Fantaspoa 2011, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
2006 Imago Mortis – Recognized as “National cultural interest film” by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities with a subsidy of 500,000 euros for the production of the film.
2006 Frammenti di scienze inesatte – First prize in the feature film section at the Fano International Film Festival; Young jury award at Valdarno Cinema Fedic Festival; Best feature film at the Tenebria Film Festival, Rome; Special event at the Filmvideo, International Short Film Festival, Montecatini Terme; Special event (Orrende “prime” visioni) at the PesarHorrorFest, Pesaro.