Monday, 28 January 2013

Return to La La Land...

It's hard to refer to Tall Tales Productions as an 'LA-based company' when I myself (the founder) have been all over the world with my workshop in tow, working on miniature film sets, commissioned miniature pieces, props and sets in other companies' art departments etc. 2012 was actually split between the UK and New Zealand only!

However... I hear the California waves calling and am heading back to Los Angeles at long last in about 10 days time... I've got something exciting to announce a little after I arrive as well. ;)

Once back I will rent a new space to work on short film Myrtle the Witch, re-purchase many tools (dremel, track saw, craft oven, soldering iron, clay pasta machine etc) and start taking photos week by week as the sets for the film come together. Been dying to work on these sets but mostly put it off for when back in LA as they're a bind to ship! Stay tuned for some fun work-in-progress photos...

So what am I looking forward to returning to in wonderful LA.....? I flicked through some photos and reminisced about the past 3 years I lived out there in Los Feliz / Hollywood. Take a look at some of my highlights which include; beaches, clubs in downtown LA, Renaissance Faire, Hearst Castle, weekend breaks to Las Vegas and San Diego, camping in Yosemite, Disneyland, Halloween parties, the Madonna Inn, Mexican food, fast food, hot sun and more and more and more...

Starting with my wonderful Art Deco apartment - the Demille building below. ;)

caroline mcfarlane-watts tall-tales productions

Friday, 18 January 2013

Talent and Wonders Up North

Who would have guessed that only 2 buses, a tram, a train and a mini cab away from my Oxfordshire doorstep I could step into one of the world's leading puppet making companies and arguably the most exciting and innovative talent pool in the North West of England? 

Last Sunday I began my 5.5 hour journey up north to spend some time making miniature props in the fantastic workshops of MacKinnon & Saunders.
If you're not familiar with their work then imdb them at once. Their impressive portfolio includes fabrication of puppets, props and special effects for such films as 'Frankenweenie' (2012), 'ParaNorman' (2012), 'Corpse Bride' (2005), 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' (2009), 'Coraline' (2009) and so forth. Aside from their exquisite work in film and commercials they've worked on popular childrens' programming -  'Postman Pat', 'Bob the Builder' and 'Fifi and the Flowertots'.

I was nine years old when I first saw the Oscar-nominated short film 'The Sandman' (1991) - a stop-motion horror which stills inspires and amazes people today. Produced by one of the co-founders of MacKinnon & Saunders, it set a standard of brilliance which they have clearly maintained.

...So, as you can imagine, I was in heaven being in their magical miniature world! The talent there really was exceptional and the energy and enthusiasm for their beautiful creations was infectious.

Take a look below at this little snapshot of some of the work of MacKinnon & Saunders...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

We Lit up the World


We've had the big countdown... can you believe it's 2013?! London's typically sensational fireworks were launched from the London Eye as I counted down from Brown's Oxford with obligatory champagne in hand.
If you haven't seen the London Fireworks display then take a look here....

What a year for Britain! The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, hosting the Olympic Games and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges' announcement they're expecting their first child. I felt the choice to include Seb Coe's Olympic quote as a soundtrack to the fireworks display was a good one.

"We lit a flame and we lit up the world."

Well we certainly did in London, NYE. ;)

Images courtesy of Daily Mail

Here are some flashbacks of 2012 from my world and Tall Tales Productions.
Throughout last year I took on bigger and more adventurous commissions, had my work featured in 11 magazines, 2 books and on 4 front covers whilst continuing to sell my work in over 40 countries worldwide. I moved to Wellington New Zealand and lived there for 6 months, worked with the fabulous Weta crew on Richard Taylor's Project Born and flew back to Great Britain in time to ring out the new year. I'll be moving back to LA next year!

Stills from short film 'Myrtle the Witch' plus Halloween pumpkin.
Fairytale sets, Cinderella pumpkins, Halloween collectibles

Fairytale sets, props for Myrtle

Life in Wellington, New Zealand June-Nov 2012

UK Christmas commission, featured on front cover of magazine Nov 2012

Patisserie commission featured on front cover of US magazine Sept 2012

Grinch candy village sets, Sept-Dec 2012

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