One of the marvelous things I learned about where I moved to is it is home to Laika Studios. The place that created the films "Coraline" and "ParaNorman" and many other stop motion bits that fill our air ways.
Even better is that from time to time Laika participates in events and presentations. So when I found out Supervising Production Designer Nelson Lowry would be speaking I found myself over in SE Portland at a We Make event.
We were given a field note book from Laika and a couple other things from We Make. Laika provided stamps so the field note books could be individualized. I'm sad that I lost my Laika pencil they gave us.
After a speech by the We Make people, it was time for the main event.
While you might not be familiar with Nelson Lowry by sight you might know a few of the things he's worked on. Like "The PJs", "Corpse Bride", "The Fabulous Mr. Fox" and "ParaNorman". Plus the upcoming "Box Trolls" movie.
It was a very interesting look into the process that making a movie can take. He went into a little bit of how the look of "ParaNorman" came to life. First there were photos taken in Massachusetts to get a feel for how they wanted Norman's world to look like.
Followed by drawings.
Then the building of the sets. Mr. Lowry mentioned there were no straight lines which was frustrating to build but it does create a look that says a lot about the story that is told. We can see that things are not going to be normal in Norman's world.
So how do you make things like cars that aren't put together with straight lines? Well if you are Nelson Lowry you use cardboard and tape.
Mr. Lowry went into more of his personal creating. His main love is making robots. Out of cardboard, foam core board, found things and tape.
Which end up looking like this. Seriously amazing. He said he airbrushes them with talcum power and glue which not only covers but becomes hard so they are more durable.
To get details like this he carves them.
Nelson Lowry's talk was inspiring and very interesting. Instead of feeling like one has to have a lot of tools and expensive materials to make things he brought it down to the idea that we can create amazing things out of stuff we have laying around the house. If he holds a workshop I would definitely consider attending. Thank you Laika Studios for putting this on. It was definitely worth it.
In case you would like to hear one of Nelson Lowry's presentations here is one from Creative Mornings. I think he was a little more awake for the We Make one but it's still a really good look into what goes into making these movies.