DemiUrge Emesis: Stop-Motion Short Film by Voltaire + Q&A With Voltaire

Voltaire shares with us a short film he had made with Danny Elfman and the band, Rasputina. Titled; "DemiUrge Emesis" ~ the stop-motion animated short can currently be viewed exclusive online via www.smallandcreepy.com (for the month of April). Voltaire-adds: "Danny did the narration and Rasputina performed the score. I did pretty much everything else."

DEMIURGE-EMESIS

The film is the 4th in Voltaire's "Chimerascope" series of films which are based on the station ID work he had done for MTV in the 80s and 90s. They are each a minute or two long, shot in stop-motion animation and narrated by a singer. The narrators for the previous three films are Debbie Harry of Blondie, Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. CLICK THRU to peep embedded videos of the aforementioned, along with a Q&A I had with filmmaker, musician and artist, Aurelio Voltaire (which includes a very surprising Singapore-connection!).


[Voltaire Stop-Motion Reel: MTV station IDs]

TOYSREVIL: How did you get into stop-motion? Was the MTV Station Idents the catalyst?

VOLTAIRE: I started making stop-motion films with a super 8 film camera when I was ten years old. When I turned seventeen, I left home and moved to New York City. There I started working as a stop-motion animator on TV commercials the same year. I think I directed my first commercial when I was nineteen. It was a station ID for MTV called MTV Bosch.

TOYSREVIL: Sweet. What inspires you in the visuals, and conceptualization for work on stop-motion projects?

VOLTAIRE: I was a big fan of Ray Harryhausen when I was a kid. He made the original Clash of the Titans, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts and many other films. I've also been influenced by the work of Ladislav Starevich, a Russian animator from the turn of the century. But truth be told, I've just always been a day dreamer, and that's what these films are, really, an opportunity to brings those weird visions to life.


["Rakthavira": Voltaire takes us on a one minute tour
of Hindu Hell narrated by Deborah Harry of Blondie]

TOYSREVIL: People underestimate the value of day-dreaming, IMHO. This may read a tad ignorant of me, but i'd like to ask if all the stop-mo were shot on film? (As opposed to digital). I have forgotten all my 16mms and 35mms, so will sidestep any further technical questions to show up my lack LOL

VOLTAIRE: Believe it or not, this film was shot on 35mm motion picture film! But then again, I shot it in 1993. Heh heh.. I'm only just finishing it now. These days I shoot on HD video. It's just far more convenient and affordable. But if I had my way, I'd still be shooting on film.


["X-Mess Detritus" / narrated by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance]

TOYSREVIL: 35mm is a rarity in our local (Singapore) film industry, and the digital accessibility has made everyone a "filmmaker" somewhat haha. What is more gratifying + satisfying? Working on stop-mo? Or toys? (Sorry if this reads tricky ~ just wanted to give a quasi-tangible frame of reference for my readers :p)

VOLTAIRE: Well, that would be like me asking you, "what do you prefer; eating something delicious or getting in a warm bath?" Both of these things appeal to different senses. It's apples and oranges. I'll work on an animated film for months. When it's finally done, you can sit and watch it and especially the kinds of films I make, you feel like you are getting a glimpse into a different world. It's like seeing into some weird dimension where strange creatures exist. It's mostly a visual thing, and an audio thing as well when you take into consideration the music and narration.

But with toys, like my DEADY toys for instance, once the toy is manufactured, you can hold it in your hand, put it on the shelf, pull it down and hold it again. It's a very tactile experience. And when I make a toy, many people can own one. For the customer, DEADY becomes part of their world as opposed to watching once of these shorts where you become a visitor in the world of the film. I don't know if any of this makes sense!


["Transrexia": Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs narrates this prehistoric
postcard of love gone wrong between a stop-motion T-rex and a Pterodactyl.]

TOYSREVIL: What's next on the horizon for Voltaire?

VOLTAIRE: Well, speaking of DEADY, this is a big year for him! I have a Deady/Stitch vinyl figure coming out from Mindstyle as part of the Stitch Artist Series 2. That should be out later this month. There's also some more DEADY Qee on the horizon from Toy2R for one of their artist series.

Plus, I was invited to re-design the Skelanimals for a Toy2R blind boxed assortment that comes out this summer. There are five figures by me in that set. I designed them in a DEADY style. There's also supposed to be a DEADY Yoka by Adfuncture but I haven't seen it yet so we'll have to see what's up with that one.

And then lastly, I'm hoping to have a new DEADY graphic novel out before the end of the year. I'm presently looking for a publisher for that one.

Voltaire-Stitch-Qee

VOLTAIRE: As for the film, I will now begin submitting it to film festivals. The ones I've made in the past have played at around 30 festivals a year, so I'm hoping to top that with this one. I've also written a horror/comedy feature film which I will start shopping around soon. I hope to be shooting that next year.

I don't know if you know that I'm also a recording artist and touring musician. I've released 6 full length CDs so far. This year I'll be putting out a country record as well as a children's record of songs about monsters. Most of my songs are funny songs about scary things. I've written and performed songs for the Cartoon Network show "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy". My upcoming children's CD will feature those songs and a bunch more.

TOYSREVIL: in closing, do share with us, Who Is VOLTAIRE?

VOLTAIRE: Oh hell man, I have no idea! I'm too close to myself to know. heh heh. I'm just a guy who started out as a kid who day dreamed all of the time and somehow managed to make that his career! lol!

Here's a little bit of Voltaire trivia for you....I am Cuban and my son is 50% Singaporean! That's right, his mother is from Singapore! "One people, one nation, one Singapore! That's the way it's gonna be, for evermore!"

LINKAGE:
The music: http://www.myspace.com/voltairenyc
The films: http://www.youtube.com/voltairenyc
The toys: http://deadybear.net
The blog: http://voltairenyc.blogspot.com
The filmography: imdb.me/voltaire

FYI: Small and Creepy films is the website of Caroline Thompson. She wrote Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, the first Adams Family film.

Comments

This comment has been removed by the author.
Brilliant stuff! Voltaire is one of the most interesting (and stand-alone, crazy creative) people in the industry of animation. Love this stuff. That aside, he's also on e of the funniest guys I know, and a helluva animator. See the films, buy his stuff, listen to the CD's and grab some of the comics. It's all worthy to be secretly enshrined in a small, dark closet.

POPULAR-EST OF TOYSREVIL POSTS FOR THE PAST WEEK