Sunday, November 30, 2008

Edward Scissorhands

I just saw this production a couple of weeks ago and it has been haunting me ever since. Matthew Bourne adapted the classic Tim Burton film into a dance-play. It really is one of the most moving things that I have seen. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the film, and this production is a great re-telling of it. I did have a few complaints about some minor story changes, but overall I highly recommend this show. 

The dances work perfectly with Danny Elfman's music and the set design and new music capture the Burton feel on stage. The choreography was stunning, poignant and at times surprisingly humorous. This all combines to be a highly emotional evening at the theatre. Having seen the film several times, I was not expecting to be emotionally moved as I was at seeing this production. I was very very moved by the ending. I won't ruin anything because it took me by such a surprise.

Rustin Allison

Monday, November 3, 2008

Brief Encounter

I just went to see the production of Brief Encounter this past weekend. I absolutely loved it! The play is based on the classic British film (which I have not seen, but I plan to now). The story follows the tale of two married people who meet by chance at a railway station. They know they cannot fall in love... but do. The relationship is brief and heartbreaking.

This play closes in London on 16 November. I wanted to see a production this last Saturday and went for the cheapest tickets at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. What a bargain! I wish I could go see this show again! The production involves film and live music. It takes place in a old movie theatre with ushers! Just going into the theatre takes one back to 1938. The theatre is Art Deco in design. The house manager is dressed in a tux and the ushers perform songs around the theatre on ukulele, trumpet and bass. The actual production itself is a mixture of film, music and theatre. Live action moves to film and back and music is intertwined throughout. The show, although heartbreaking, is also really funny with some great comic moments. I have heard rumors that this may go to Broadway... if it does, New York audiences are in for a treat!

Rustin Allison

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jay Johnson: The Two and Only

I went to see Jay Johnson perform this wonderful show last month in London. It was such a great experience - a combination of personal memoir, history of ventriloquism, and performance. I went in expecting to laugh (which I did of course), but what I wasn't expecting was to be moved. I was incredibly moved by Mr. Johnson's story and by the end of the show I could do nothing but immediately stand up and applaud. I have seen many puppet shows and been amazed by them all in different ways, but this was the first time I had been emotionally involved so much by a performance. Mr. Johnson is not only a master ventriloquist, but a master storyteller and performer.

Unfortunately, the run of this show was cut short in London, but if given the chance to see this funny and moving show -- grab it! You won't be disappointed!

Rustin Allison

"This World" Music Video

A music video that I made a couple of months back. It is a mixture of stop-motion animation and time-lapse photography. The song is written and performed by Marianne Allison.

Rustin Allison

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Armstrong Wakes Up

This is my new puppet character, Armstrong the Octopus. In this film, I tried adding sound effects as well as eye movement and a simple camera zoom out move. I think that they were all pretty successful, but I definitely have quite a bit of improvements to make.

Rustin Allison

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford

I visited this wonderful museum in Oxford on Sunday. The museum is a collection of anthropological artifacts from around the world. The Pitt Rivers is unique because it groups its items not by culture, but by use. The cases are crammed full of unique objects. There are also many drawers under some of the cases that can be explored. I spent a couple of hours at this museum and I am sure that I only saw a fraction of what there was to see.

This was a great case full of Noh theatre masks. I have always been fascinated by Japanese theatre.

These cases are a bit gruesome. They show how different cultures have treated their enemies. If you look behind the shrunken heads you can see scalp trophies from Native American tribes.

Rustin Allison

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Masque of the Red Death

I keep being reminded of this great theatrical experience. I went to see this at the end of December, and it is one of the most unique evenings I have ever had. The production spans over three stories at the Battersea Arts Centre. Spectators are brought in by the side door and given a mask and split up from their groups. The rest of the evening was spent wandering through massively detailed rooms and hallways stumbling across scenes of murder and revenge. Many tales of Edgar Allan Poe are intertwined with the climax of the evening re-telling The Masque of the Red Death. It was quite eerie seeing everyone masked around me, but it was also fun to know that I could come and go as I pleased. One of the most memorable parts was watching the resurrection of Madeline Usher take place on a grand staircase. The scene was a strange mixture of drama and dance. the grand staircase itself was amazing... it was surrounded by hooded statues and went down into a mist drenched forest. There was also a night club that constantly had old music hall acts being performed (somehow I ended up back stage at one point!).

Rustin Allison

The Heir Cross Stitch

I just finished my first (and maybe my last) cross stitch. This was an incredibly difficult project, but I think that it was well worth the effort. There are lots of details like the seaweed and bubbles, and this pattern used many, many beads. I am very proud of the outcome! This was made using a cross stitch pattern called "The Heir" and it was designed by Terrance Nolan.

Rustin Allison

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Little Monster's Quest

Here is another short animation featuring Little Monster. This time I tried to incorporate more camera angles as well as a little bit of narrative and character animation.

Rustin Allison

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


This is one of the most magical movies I have seen in quite a long time. The movie is full of humor and warmth. It is a shame that it did not get the box office recognition that it deserved. Claire Danes and Michelle Pfeiffer are both great in this film. I highly recommend this DVD as a great evening at home!

Rustin Allison

Little Monster Stop Motion Animation

Another short animation that I just completed. I have started to use plasticine for my stop motion puppets. This is also my first attempt at making a biped creature walk.

Rustin Allison

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bookworm Stop Motion Animation

This is another short animation that I just finished. I tried to use a character and switch camera angles.

Rustin Allison

Friday, February 22, 2008

Clay Transitions

I have started to experiment with stop motion and clay and this is one of my first attempts. I hope to be able to post some new animations soon!

Rustin Allison