Saturday, December 11, 2010

Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas: Full Episode

Also: it seems Lost creator Damon Lindelof has been Tweeting about a sequence I animated! Neat!

12/24/10 Update:
The show, as of last week, was the 18th top downloaded TV episode in the entire history of iTunes! NBC liked it enough that they're re-airing it at 8pm, Christmas night.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Community: Abed's Uncontollable Christmas

Tune in tomorrow night (Thursday, December 9th, 2010) to see NBC's Community as a stop motion world of holiday wonder! (a.k.a. the mental delusions of one of the characters.)

Here's a sample of what you're in for (this shot animated by my friend Eileen Kohlhepp):

And a look behind the scenes:

I did a bunch of the animation in the library and in Santa's workshop for those of you watching at home. Community's got some of the best writing on TV and I'm happy to have had a chance to work on this.

The animation credits aren't included on the episode, so Dino posted this:

And the credits can be scrolling by all pretty-like here at 23D Films.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yamasong Teaser

The teaser for Yamasong, previously mentioned here.

9/7/10 UPDATE:
Yamasong won Best Animated Film and Best Animated Fantasy at Dragon*Con 2010.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baltimore Orioles Rally Animation (a.k.a. My Dream Job)

This is something that's actually been in the works since March of last year. As anyone who knows me can tell you, two of my great loves are the Baltimore Orioles and stop motion animation.

When my friend Chris told me that he and some cohorts had written a new rally song for the Orioles and would I like to do an animated music video for it, I jumped at the chance! Pretty soon after they released the song to the internet in 2009, the Orioles organization actually contacted them and began playing the song before games!

I debated bringing in experienced sculptors and fabricators for this job, but I ended up deciding to make the puppet on my own. First, it would be a lot cheaper and this project started out completely on spec. Second, this would be my chance to build a foam and latex puppet from sculpt to mold to armature to foam casting to painting to flocking. I did have a lot of help and guidance throughout by the amazing people listed at the end of this post.

Here are some photos from the sculpting process:
Johnny Sumner dove into this project with gusto. Even though he'd never been to Oriole Park, he made an approximately 8'x4' cardboard model of the outfield and cityscape visible behind Camden Yards:
Halfway through the Orioles project, I was called down to Brazil to help animate the feature film, Worms. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring down the entire Oriole Park set that Johnny had designed, but I was able to bring the puppet and shoot some blue screen footage:
As of this writing, I've completed five spots, three of which are currently showing as rally animation on the massive HD JumboTron at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Apparently, these spots have gotten a great reception from fans at the park and I'd love to do some more animation incorporating Johnny's incredible set and Chris's song.

On April 9th, 2010, 48,891 people saw my Orioles stop motion for the first time! It will be played at home games throughout the season.

Unfortunately, I can't share the video of the spots on this blog, but I will give you some screen shots to whet your appettite.

The Bird dressed as 80's SuperFan, Wild Bill Hagy:

Head out to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to see the full animations on the big screen!

This was a project initially done on spec before Orioles Productions came on board. It really wouldn't have been possible without the following people spanning Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Brazil.

Director: Pete Levin
Producers: Mike Stashik and Pete Levin
Art Director: John Sumner
Animator: Pete Levin
Puppet Fabricator: Pete Levin
Sets: John Sumner and Pete Levin
Costumes: Mychaela Harding and Alex Bustamante
Puppet eyelids: Roberto Custodio
Lighting: Klaus Zanella Schlickmann and Raquel Bittencourt
Renaissance Man: Policarpo Graciano
Post Production: Bryan Krandle and Ben Epstein
Moonwalking AfterEffects Help: Rosana Sallum
Assistants: Marina Scherer, Camila Kauling Rumpf, Stella Bloss, Carol Gesser

Special thanks:
Chris Myers for writing the inspiring Orioles rally song and putting me in contact with the Orioles
Brent Johnson for giving me the confidence to sculpt the puppet and make the mold myself
Frank Ippolito for help and advice with the casting
Rob Ronning for puppet fabrication advice
Greg Sesma for help and advice with armature building
Charlie Chiodo for painting and flocking advice
Paolo Conti and the staff of Animaking Studios for going out of their way to help me
Marina Machado for keeping me focused and fighting off procrastination
Steve Murphy for dancing like a mascot

Also, check it out - I'm apparently a doctor!

Friday, June 18, 2010

FLASHBACK! Dr. Steel: Childhood Don't A-Go-Go

Back in 2008, I helped the talented guys at Buddy System Studios animate a couple of shots in the music video for Dr. Steel's "Childhood Don't A-Go-Go." I hadn't seen the finished video 'til this week!

Go to about the 2:50 mark to see when all the stop motion critters come in:


Click here for Buddy System's blog post on working with Dr. Steel.

Darth Vader meets John Williams

Written and Performed by Jon and Al Kaplan

Animated by my good friends Rosana van der Meer, Gabriel Costa Rodrigues, and Thiago Calçado at Animaking Studios.

Animation produced by ME!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Raw Fox Animation

The original green screen footage of the taxidermied fox animation for Junko's Shamisen.

See the whole film by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pete Levin - esse é o cara!

From the Worms Blog:

Don't ask me what it all means - my Portuguese isn't that good yet.

Sunday, February 7, 2010



Congratulations to everyone at Acme Filmworks, Yuval & Merav Nathan, Linn Bjørnland, and the amazing crew of this spot!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Um animador americano no Brasil.

Yesterday's news story about Worms, a feature film I've been animating on in Brazil:

From here.

Here's the teaser trailer. This was made before I came to the studio, but it gives you a sense of the movie's aesthetic:

Where I've been going to work each day:

Can't say too much else about this one right now, but there's a ton of talented people working on this very exciting project.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yamasong: Cloudy with a Chance of Awesome

Working on a couple of big things right now that I'm not ready to discuss quite yet. But in the meantime, I'll do a little catch-up.

This is a fun project I worked on back in December. My friend Sam Hale is directing a short film/music video called "Yamasong" based on the music of the group On Ensemble. The film uses some beautifully hand-crafted rod puppets.

Heather Henson is producing and the film should start showing up at festivals (including her Handmade Puppet Dreams Festival) in the first half of this year.

Here are two links of some behind the scenes stuff for Yamasong's puppetry:
Link 1
Link 2

Now, you might be asking, "Pete, how are you involved with a film that seems to be all rod puppets?" Well, here's where Cloudy comes in. Cloudy is a Miyazaki-inspired floating cloud character that accompanies the heroes on their journey. He also happens to be the one stop motion animated character in the film.

Cloudy was designed by Jesse Gregg, armature by Greg Sesma, and foam buildup & finishing by Sam. I animated Cloudy in my garage and had a lot of fun doing it.

(Note the insulated animating gloves and full beard. It gets cold in the garage in December!*)

The rough cut of Sam's film looks incredible. Can't wait to see it finished and on the big screen!

*Unlike where I'm animating right now.