Jim Aupperle interview

My information is going to be way out of date because the last stop motion project I was involved with was produced in 1994. Take it as stop mo history I guess.

1 What special tools or products do you have access to and use that most of us might not?

I used my Mitchell GC on most shows up through NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I also had two 35mm process projectors that aren’t of much use anymore though I did manage to sell one of them. Had a 4 ft. wide glass rear projection screen that I had to trash a few years ago because I couldn’t take when I moved and couldn’t find anyone who wanted it. I still have a nice assortment of incident and spot light meters and a very good color temperature meter. Dusted them off to film a few green screen effects elements for CHARLOTTE’S WEB a couple of years ago. It was fun running film through a Mitchell again.

2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?

C & H Surplus in Pasadena, CA was a great place but recently went out of business. When I needed some film equipment built I always went to Cinema Engineering. Richard Bennett is the BEST and he’s still in business. http://www.cinema-engineering.com/
Alan Gordon Enterprises in Hollywood had some good equipment but I recall their prices seemed on the high side to me.

3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?


4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?

I only made a few puppets back in my 8mm and 16mm days. Mostly built up and a couple from cast foam.

5 What camera and software setup do you use?

Used most 35mm Mitchell cameras, 16mm Bolex, Bell & Howell 2709, a 65mm Mitchell and some assorted VistaVision cameras.

6 What is something you know that you think others here may not?

Like my answers here, just stop motion history, not much of anything useful for work today.

7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?

Knowing how to light for film and CG animation. I use it trying to stay employed.

8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?

It’s always a challenge and there’s going to be something new to learn about every day. The people I work with are generally helpful and good to get along with. I’m doing what I decided I wanted to do when I was about 16 years old (working in visual effects) and I still enjoy going to work after all these years.

Jim Aupperle


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