Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mini Nathan

SAIC had a six-week winter break.  Almost all students went home for this extended time except for me.  I spent the break in the dorms/apartments taking the advantage of the empty quarter-city-block size studio that I could claim all to myself.  During this time, I would create random projects just for fun.   

Early 2009 you could find me in the studio making puppet after puppet after set after prop.  This was during my prime of when I finally found my absolute love for puppet animation.  My brother jokingly asked me to make him a puppet that was his mini-self, and so I did!

Unfortunately, Mini Nathan will not be able to animatingly walk, but all his joints are movable just like a real doll.

The real Nathan

Copyright Danielle Albert 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Simpsons

I am a tad bit of a fan of The Simpsons.
Ok, I am a HUGE fan.
 I own all the DVD’s that are available and have quite a few of their dolls/action figures.  When I went to see The Simpsons movie, it was one of the greatest movie experiences I have ever had.  The crowd was awesome and I have never heard such awesome laughter.

Have you heard the controversy though? Matt Groening revealed where Springfield was located.
Shame.  This should of been a secret he took to the grave.
But I still enjoy the show.  So you pass this one, Mr. Groening.

I found this picture I made back in 2000 in one of my photo albums.  The reason I love the Midwest is because of its clouds.  I took a picture of these clouds and immediately thought of the opening of The Simpsons. So perfect!

Copyright Danielle Albert 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Faith in the Land of Make-Believe

This is an excerpt from a book I just finished called "Faith in the Land of Make-Believe" by Lee Stanley.  Lee Stanley is a film director who tells of his story of helping the criminal and jailed youth through the love of Jesus Christ.  I know this book and excerpt is geared toward a filmmaker, but I think it speaks truth to all artists.  Highly recommend it for the Christian who happens to be an artist. I also recommend it for the artist who happens to be just an artist.

Why is it that when we work under the banner of  “Christian,” we are often forced to dilute the truth and power of the pen or the camera by creating characters who do not exist in real life?

Christian films have the unbridled reputation of being artificial, manipulative, and predictable, with watered-down, one-dimensional characters and unbelievable (notice I did not say supernatural) story lines.  We preach; we point; we judge, and we prance around our blatant theme to suspecting audiences for what purpose--to lead them to Christ.

Too often we are doing more earthly damage than kingdom good.

What are we afraid of?

I believe it is our responsibility as artists to create characters, circumstances, and settings as they really are--as long as those incidents are justifiable and are not used for shock value alone or as a short-circuiting of the creative process.

If we set up watered-down, artificial, phony characters in the beginning of our films or books, audiences will not believe, or even come to realize, the magnitude of their transformation or experience God’s power, forgiveness, and unconditional love.

Christians who watch our films know in their guts that the filmmaker is a born-again Christian.

Nonbelievers consistently ask, “What is it about your productions that are so different, so life changing?”

I always give the same answer.  “You experienced the love and presence of Jesus Christ.  Imagine what he can do in your life, if you only let him.”

I was once introduced on a television talk show as a “Christian filmmaker.”  I respectfully corrected the host and said, “I am a Christian who happens to be a filmmaker.”

Christ made that very clear to me the first time I picked up a camera after becoming born again.

I died for everyone,” He reminded me. “Your work needs to be for everyone I died for.