The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation: An Interview with Larry Bafia & Webster Colcord
Larry Bafia and Webster Colcord worked together as animation partners at Will Vinton Studios in the late 1980s, when the Claymation technique had peaked in popularity. Since that time, they have both branched into other aspects of stop-motion, CG animation, visual effects, and education. I have enjoyed Webster’s work online and in films for many years, and recently have had the privilege to work with Larry at VanArts and our local Vancouver SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques) chapter. I’m glad to present their thoughts in this chapter as they talk about their respective careers and views on animation.
Larry’s website: http://whoscreative.com/larry_bafia
Webster’s website: http://webstercolcord.blogspot.com
LARRY: The first studio I worked at straight out of school in Chicago was Crocus Productions in Evanston, Illinois, where we did some clay animation industrial videos. One was for dental hygiene, and another was about spaying your pets for the ASPCA. I also worked at Excelsior Studios, run by Gene Warren, which involved some time on Land of the Lost. I built some props and repaired any set damage that occurred during a shot. We also did a lot of practical effects, and that's where I learned a lot of in-camera processes. The vortex for the opening sequence of Land of the Lost, for example, was shot in a fish tank with a high-speed Mitchell camera whirring away like crazy, and we injected milk into swirling water to create the cloudiness. Also, at Colossal Pictures, I assisted Gary Gutierrez with commercials for San Francisco radio stations, scenes for the Grateful Dead movie, and things like that. For the most part, I was just assisting rather than animating at Colossal, but overall I had several seconds of stop-motion experience under my belt before starting at Will Vinton Studios.