Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fresh-Squeezed Pranksta Updates

Howdy! The leaves may be falling but the branches of the Pranksta production team are heavy with fruit. Here are the latest headlines on the Pranksta's goings on:
Final Pranksta Poster Pic on IMDB

THE HALLOWEEN PRANKSTA MAKES IT INTO THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE (IMDB-Woo Hoo!) poster image and all. The set was lit by Pranksta DP Edwin Pagan. Anyone making indie films in NYC will know of the prolific Mr. Pagan. He and the rest of Team Pranksta are listed in the film's credits. Check it out at 
DP Edwin Pagan makes lighting magic w/ a cardboard Pranksta

Pranksta, watch out!
Just in time for Halloween, Supervising Animator Matt Manning returns to the "Pranksta" set from LA after wrapping animation shooting for the music video "Awolnation" in 3D! Going full throttle for an intense 2-week shooting schedule, Matt and Carl are joined by stop motion animator Chris Rodgers, who swooped down from Seattle to help get the Pranksta shooting schedule across the finish line before December 1.
Another juicy new set detail!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Director's Log: Pranksta's Next Phase

Team Pranksta is alive and well, and shooting animation in New York City!

Supervising Animator Matt Manning at work
Carl and Supervising Animator Matt Manning completed a 2-week production marathon. The only breather they're taking is to remodel sets and puppets for the next phase of the production. Goes without saying that there's a lot of motion in stop motion, on the scenes and behind!  Carl tells us exactly how it's going down in his director's log:

After two weeks of a very intense stop motion animation production, supervising animator Matt Manning, returns to LA where a new stop motion animation film project awaits him. During his stay in New York, Matt completed over two and a half minutes of animation (single-handedly) and supervised our guest animator, Zack Williams over a very long weekend. Collectively they produced over three minutes of awesome animation.

“The very best thing about producing an independent animated film project”, says director Carl Paolino, “is the freedom that comes when creating the story and the execution of the characters. There are no network rules to follow so the production becomes a director's dream. The only limits are our imaginations. And if there is one thing this production has bags of, is imagination.”

As the production team head into their first hiatus, they will be all but complacent. Old puppets will be fixed and new ones will be cast in silicone. Old sets will be broken down and new sets will be assembled and lit by our DP, Ed Pagan. The editing process will begin as well, starting with a careful look at camera direction (in the event an additional shot is needed to smooth out a sequence, this way we will know it before shooting is wrapped).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pranksta Production: The Force is With Us!

Last week director Carl Paolino returned from LA with some great recorded performances from the actors and is well into the stop motion animation and shooting phase with the film's animation supervisor, Matt Manning, whose credits include "Robot Chicken."

Carl details how it went in LA: 

The recording session went over without a hitch in sunny Santa Monica, California. Co-Producer Mark Hamill created two voices for "The Halloween Pranksta". The first was for "Bronte" the giant tarantula, and the other was for "Beck" the giant python. John Mariano was the voice of the nine year old pranksta boy. Jeannie Elias created the voice of "Penny D" (a mysterious young person who appears in a nick of time) and of a younger boy who the Pranksta tries to recruit. Peter Schmitt recorded the entire voice over session with our talent.

"Recording the voice over sessions for an animated film is just fun times one hundred. I have worked with Mark (Hamill) before so I knew what to expect; hilarious bliss. Mark has a great range of voices and in our case (for what we needed from him), a great range of strange sounds as well. Creature sounds, to be more descriptive."

The crew had a brief but productive stay in LA. And just to show how efficient they are, they even had time to stop for a couple of pics. How cool is that?

From left to right, Matt Manning (producer and stop motion animation supervisor), Carl Paolino (director and writer), John Mariano (voice of "the Pranksta"; credits include "Animaniacs" & "Desperate Housewives"), Kasia Kruk (Associate Producer; NY Film Festival, Event Coordinator) and Peter Schmitt (DP; credits include "Minority Report" & "Twister"). Carl, John & Peter are all alumni of School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Writer / Director Carl Paolino with Star / Producer, Mark Hamill

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Pranksta Crew: Production Update from LA...

Director Carl Paolino and crew spent some exciting days in LA last week, where actors' voice performances were recorded and another valuable crew member, Matt Manning returned to NY with Carl and the crew to get the stop motion animation going in full swing.

Carl had a blast at the recording session, sending us this tidbit after he wrapped:
"We recorded character voices today for "The Halloween Pranksta" with Mark Hamill (Bronte the tarantula and Beck the python), Jeannie Elias (Penny Dreadful) and John Mariano (as the Pranksta), three of the most talented people in the business. Two and a half very funny hours of recording!"

Check in very soon to get more details and pics of the LA phase!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Congratulations to our Kickstarter Backer Contest Winner...

Jack O' Lantern welcomes our winner to the Pranksta 'hood!
Dawn Poganik! Thank you for your generous contribution. As the winner of The Halloween Pranksta's "Be a Character in the Movie" Contest, Dawn could be the face of one of the characters, but she's requested the honor go to her husband. Your wish is granted: congratulations to you both!

Also, in the coming weeks we'll have more exciting production updates heading your way as our director, Carl Paolino steamrolls into the next stages of the film. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011


So here it is: the first look at a scene from The Halloween Pranksta, courtesy of storyboard artist Mario Menjivar:

All images copyright, Pranksta Films, LLC

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pranksta Kickstarts with Kickstarter!

Yeah! After a nail-biting 28 days, The Halloween Pranksta met AND surpassed its Kickstarter fundraising goal on August 10. Check out Carl’s great presentation and the list of the awesome team, including the amazing Susan Dee and Kasia Kruk, who made this phase a success.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Welcome to the world of The Halloween Pranksta, a new stop-motion adventure about a classic unsung antihero--the Trick or Treater more interested in tricks than treats. The making of this short film is an adventure of its own and we’ll keep you updated as we roll into different phases of the production. We’ve already got lots to share, so come by for details and sneak peeks!
Creepy house from The Halloween Pranksta set