Ok, I will answer my own questions.
1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?
A: I have any hand tool you can probably imagine since I use them everyday for my job as a handyman. I also am lucky to have some big power tools. I have drills, a drill press, a wood lathe, a power miter saw, a table saw, a jigsaw, a bandsaw, and a scroll saw to name a few. Tools are definately not an issue for me. About the only thing I am really missing is big professional metal machining tools.
2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?
A: I shop at every big box home store like Lowe’s and Home Depot several times a week. I also have local access to 3 or 4 half decent local craft stores that carry brush on latex, clay, brushes, paint, and stuff like that. I also cruise the local fabric stores for small swatches. One of the hardest things for me to find off the shelf is good annealed aluminum wire.
3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?
A: I bought my micro butane torch and soldering supplies from some jewelry site, and I did buy recently some delrin plastic balls for eyes from smallparts.com
4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?
A: I like my ball and socket armatures with cushion foam and brush on latex, but I have great sucess also with wire armatures and latex.
5 What camera and software setup do you use?
A: I use a fairly cheap digital camera fuji finepix 3800 that I had already for snapshots. I use the panasonic webcam snc900 with stopmopro v5 and quicktime pro. I also use photoshop for editing. I use a PC not a mac.
6 What is one of your biggest weaknesses in animating or studio setup? How do you deal with this?
A: My biggest weakness is my character acting skills. After studying body language for years, I now hide my body language so I cannot be read by others and also have been in work situations that have forced me to focus on energy efficient movements so my body does not now naturally move in a way that shows up easily read in animation. I am not overly animated in my movements, but instead very subtle, and efficient with my movements so my puppets film the same way. I practice a move but it comes across as very fast and does not show up really well in animation. I am still dealing with this with every frame I shoot.
7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?
A: Hand tools and skills and a working knowledge of how things work really make it easy for me to create stages, puppets, props, and sets. I could be a great prop maker. Now just to bring my animation upto the same level.
8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?
A: I really like being on my own schedule and not relying on actors, directors etc. I also love the fact that with some styrofoam and some glue I can create any world I can imagine and make it come to life.
9 Name some goals you have in this field.
A:Improving my character acting, and figuring out how to slow my movements. Also improving my storytelling, which is not as good as it could be. My goal is to make a ton of great short films that you guys all love.
10 Write and answer your own final question.
10: What do you think our role as animators are in relation to the new up and comer animators?
A: I think this craft was held so secret for so long that it almost went extinct with the old masters. I think they finally realized that and started sharing secrets. I think we all need to share what we know with the new generation and help every step of the way if we ever hope to see future animations or animators. I really try to go out of my way to help new animators learn and grow. Anything I know I try to share with others.