Pixilation with Mike Jittlov

‘The Wizard of Speed and Time’ is a totally nuts short film created Mike Jittlov in 1979. It was created for a Disney TV feature called ‘Major Effects’ after Jitlov found himself sucked into the Disney scene. I thought this was a very different use of stop motion so I’ll have a look into it.

Originally, he was a Maths and Languages student at UCLA but was taking an animation course as an art requirement to graduate. However, he became fascinated with the process and ended up getting himself on the film festival scene. Somewhere down the line, he caught Disney’s eye and they had him make them a short for Mikey Mouse’s 50th birthday celebration.

Each of these films was created using a technique called pixilation where live actors are used as stop motion puppets (as well as conventional puppets in Mouse Mania). Other effects include some basic picture manipulation shot on a $200 homemade multiplane in his grarage.

I tried to find some insight fron Jittlov on the production processes but only found some advice on how to drink your coffee to maximum effect:

“Well you have to make sure you’re using caffeine effectively.  There’s four things you need to do.  First you need to take a Vitamin C supplement alongside the coffee.  Coffee actually uses the energy up quicker so you need to counteract that with the Vitamin C.  Secondly, the coffee needs to be hot.  These energy drinks kids are drinking, they drink them cold, or those caffeine tablets that truckers take, they’re more effective taken with hot water.  Third, you need to make sure there’s enough caffeine.  200mg is effective.  I drink my coffee through a straw.  It looks weird but it protects my teeth from staining.  Finally you need to exercise as soon as you’ve drunk the coffee.  Twenty squat stands or lie in bed and do stomach crunches.  You should be energised for about 5 hours.  When my brother was first looking after my mother, he was exhausted after a few days.  I was doing hundred day stints.  I was like a walking zombie, but I got by with caffeine and Vitamin C.”

I also found that pixilation had been used to integrate live actors in  Dave Borthwick’s stop motion film ‘The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb’.

Tom Thumb.jpg




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