Tag Archives: Clokey Productions
Re-mastered Gumby Episodes to Air in October
Big news! Your favorite Gumby episodes will be back on TV! Kabillion, one of the Top 10 Kids Free On Demand TV networks will launch Gumby episodes in late October. Kabillion is available in over 45 million households in the U.S., so check your cable menu. There is a good chance that you already have this station in the “free” section of the menu. The Kabillion network is provided by most of the major cable companies: Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, Charter, Bright House, Blue Ridge Communications, and more. Read about Kabillion here.
Joe Clokey, son of Gumby creators Art and Ruth Clokey, has recently re-mastered the classic Gumby episodes from their original camera film rolls and included the original soundtracks. Gumby is brighter, more colorful and more fun than ever! You’ve never seen Gumby like this before! With 209 episodes, the longtime hit series has aired in over 146 countries and touched many generations, first airing in the mid 1950s, and continuing into the 2000s.
“My parents created Gumby as a gift of love to children and the child within all of us,” commented Joe Clokey. “People from all generations have been enthralled with these timeless imaginative adventures. Families today want to have 24/7 access to content and we are delighted to be partnering with Kabillion who can now make this happen for our Gumby fans everywhere.”
“For well over fifty years, Gumby has inspired people of all ages and nationalities with the shows central concept of lending a helping hand to others. Gumby has truly become a cultural icon,” commented Nicolas Atlan, Kabillion President & Splash Entertainment co-CEO. “We are excited to bring Gumby to our audience as it is a show that crosses multiple generations and will provide a great co-viewing experience,” added David Di Lorenzo, Vice President Licensing and Digital Distribution for Kabillion.
Stayed tuned… more announcements and official launch dates to come.
P.S. To our Canadian fans: You’re going to love what we have in store for you!
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Gumby has a fun new app! Now you can be Gumby or Pokey as you message or chat. Intel’s new Pocket Avatar app creates instant animation. Simply record a message, and the app maps your voice and facial expressions onto an image of Gumby or Pokey. It’s instant animation. Send the message to friend via text or email to get the conversation started or post to your favorite social media sites.
How it works: The camera captures moving faces, lighting conditions and a range of emotions such as smiles, blinking eyes or kisses. The recordings are processed through an algorithm and then mapped on the avatar in real time to create personalized video messages. Emoticons have been a standard tool for expressions in text messaging. An animated chat that reflects a real person’s mood is more engaging. If a user is angry or happy, the avatar will show it.
“Gumby is thrilled to be one of the first Pocket Avatars! For generations, fans have formed lasting emotional connections with the character. Gumby–the world’s original clayboy–is a timeless icon and natural avatar. He is synonymous with ‘flexibility’ as he can morph into any shape. With his adventurous spirit, bright outlook on life and desire to leave a place better than how he found it, Gumby is loveable and irresistible. As the theme song says, ‘If you’ve got a heart, then Gumby’s a part of you!’ Everyone has a little Gumby (and Pokey) inside.” -Joe Clokey, President, Premavision/Clokey Productions
See Pocket Avatars in action:
Pocket Avatars After Hours with Gumby
Pocket Avatars Intro to the App
Channel your inner Gumby or Pokey, and send messages with more creative flair. Download Pocket Avatars, and chat funner!
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Family Fun for All Ages
The inaugural Gumby Fest, June 14, 2014, in Glendora, California, was a smashing success! Thousands of Los Angeles locals, and Gumby fans from as far away as Canada and Las Vegas, turned out celebrate all things Gumby and honor Gumby’s connection to Glendora. The Gumby studio, Clokey Productions, which also produced the famed Davey and Goliath series, was located in Glendora in the 1960s and 70s. The Glendora Chamber of Commerce, Glendora Community Services, Glendora Library, Glendora Rotary and Glendora Kiwanis banded together to produce this historic event in Gumby’s childhood hometown!
Special Guests, Fascinating Presentations
Joe Clokey, son of Gumby creators Art and Ruth Clokey gave a wonderful retrospective presentation “Gumby Through the Years,” which brought back a flood of fond memories for attendees. A steady flow of fans visited the temporary “Gumby Museum” which showcased photos, puppets, set pieces, toys and other memorabilia, provided by the Clokey family. Gumby episodes were shown in two locations, and a variety of animated student shorts submitted to the festival were also screened.
The “Gumby Gang,” a panel of current and former Clokey Productions animators, puppet makers, cameramen, artists, etc,. spoke to a packed auditorium. Some fun stories surfaced about working with Art and Ruth Clokey… oh, the clay fights! Many of the speakers described how their first film/TV job at Clokey Productions catapulted their careers. Collectively, they have gone on to work on blockbuster films and popular TV series too numerous to mention here.
Among the “Gumby Gang” speakers from the ‘60s studio was seven-time Academy Award winning make-up artist Rick Baker (Maleficent, An American Werewolf in London, Men in Black, Star Wars, and many, many more), who got his start as a teenager at Clokey Productions in the late ‘60s. Baker was joined by two of his contemporaries: Doug Beswick, with more than 40 years of visual effects achievements to his credit, including Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Terminator, Aliens, Evil Dead 2, Gremlins 2, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and Beetlejuice; and Harry Walton, (Nightmare Before Christmas, The Abyss, James and the Giant Peach, Who Framed Roger Rabbit…) well-known for his skills in animation, visual effects, fabrication, puppet making and photography. Bill Stromberg and Carl Jablonski, animators/puppet makers, rounded out the speakers from the ‘60s.
Norman DiCarlo, Richard Zimmerman, and Chris Peterson represented the Clokey/Productions crew from the 1980s studio in Sausalito, CA. Ron Dexter and Fred Thompson elaborated on the more recent Clokey/Premavision productions in the 2000s.
Chris Peterson from LAIKA Studios introduced that studio’s newest film, Boxtrolls, and a team from Stoopid Buddies Studios (producers of Robot Chicken) previewed some of their work, discussed the more technical aspects of stop motion animation, and gave some insights on how the medium has evolved.
Creativity and New Gumby Memories
While the adults were riveted to the presentations, kids absorbed themselves in the many art and animation activities and games. They created their own stop motion videos, assisted by animators from Stoopid Buddies Studio. Visitors got Gumby temporary tattoos, danced along with Gumby to live local bands and ate yummy Gumby & Pokey cookies and cupcakes baked by a local Glendora bakery. Race car driver Kenton Koch, a Glendora native, showed off his custom Gumby race car, helmet and race suit. He graciously donated the helmet and suit to the Glendora Library for an auction. Read more about Kenton Koch.
All in all, it was a fantastic Gumby Day! The Gumby Central Gang appreciates all of the fantastic ideas, perfect coordination, and countless hours of volunteer work provided by the Glendora organizations their teams. A huge Gumby thank you to all who were involved! We are looking forward to Gumby Fest 2015! Glendora rocks!Read More »
Glendora native Kenton Koch and pal Gumby were all smiles atop the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on May 3, 2014. Koch, racing his Gumby Fest custom ALARA Mazda MX-5, celebrated a first place finish at his home track.
“This weekend was a great weekend for Gumby! A win and a second place was just what we asked for,” said Koch.
In addition to his Gumby racing car, Koch sported a custom Gumby Fest Mazda Motorsports Sparco racesuit and helmet, which he donated to the Glendora Library to be auctioned off in support of the library. This partnership grew out of Koch’s desire to give back to his hometown. He found creative ways to get involved by promoting Gendora’s inaugural Gumby Fest, June 14, which honored the city’s connection to Gumby.
“A special thanks to L & G Enterprises for painting such a beautiful helmet. To whoever gets this piece of art, take care of it!” Koch remarked about the Gumby helmet.
Kenton made appearances before and during Gumby Fest for photos ops with Gumby, Koch’s custom racecar, suit and helmet.
The first-ever Gumby Fest honored Glendora’s connection to Gumby—the city was home to Gumby’s studios (Clokey Productions) in the 1960s and 1970s. Thousands turned out for the festivities, which included presentations by current and past Clokey Productions crew, film screenings, stop motion animation demonstrations, a “Gumby Museum” filled with memorabilia, food, music, and a wide array of games and activities for the kids.The planning team is looking forward to the second annual Gumby Fest in the summer of 2015.
For more information on Gumby Fest, please visit www.gumbyfest.net.
Learn about Gumby at www.gumby.com.
Check out www.kentonkochracing.com to learn more about Kenton Koch.Read More »
Glendora, CA – Several film industry stop-motion animation artists will be joining the fun of the premier Gumby Fest to be held June 14 in Glendora, California.
Gumby, the world’s original clayboy and pop-culture legend who starred in more than 230 TV episodes and a movie, “grew up” in Glendora, where the iconic TV series was produced from 1960 to the late 1970s.
The celebration of all-things Gumby as well as stop-motion animation will take place on the grounds of Glendora City Hall and Public Library at the corner of Glendora Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.
Among the family fun at Gumby Fest 2014:
- “Gumby Through the Years” presented by Joe Clokey, son of creator Art Clokey,
- Gumby Museum with memorabilia provided by the Clokey family and Gumby producer Premavision, Inc.,
- Film screenings of Gumby cartoons, as well as stop-motion animation videos submitted to festival organizers,
- A Kids’ Stop-Motion Animation Studio conducted by animation artists from Stoopid Buddies Stoodios, home to the longest running stop-motion show on television, Robot Chicken. Children will learn how to produce a stop-motion video they can take home after the festival,
- Panel discussions about the past, present and future of stop-motion animation with artists from LAIKA Studios, producers of ParaNorman and next September’s BoxTrolls, along with stop-motion animators who worked with Art Clokey to produce Gumby shows.
Art and Ruth Clokey founded Clokey Films (later renamed Clokey Productions) when they launched “Gumby” in 1955. The studio moved from Hollywood to a larger facility in Glendora, California in 1960 when they began production on 85 “Gumby” episodes and 65 “Davey and Goliath” episodes.
Clokey’s son Joe and his wife Joan employ top animators, puppet makers and set designers in the industry (many of whom were mentored by Art himself) as they continue all things Gumby with Premavision, Inc., and Prema Toy, Inc.
Gumby Fest is produced by the Glendora Chamber of Commerce, Glendora Community Services, Glendora Library, Glendora Rotary and Glendora Kiwanis.
Sponsors include A1 Rentals, The Glendora Library Friends Foundation, Southland Properties, NJ Croce, Undercovers, Crazy Dog Ladies, Alta Pacific Bank, and TAS Advertising Specialists.
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We caught up with Gumby puppet maker Nicole LaPointe-McKay to get the inside scoop on making puppets as a profession. Part One of our interview follows, and Part Two will appear in a future blog post, so stayed tuned; you’ll want to read the full story.
GC: Welcome Nicole. Thank you for taking time to join us at Gumby World today to tell us more about yourself and your experiences as a puppet maker.
NLM: I’m happy to be here. I appreciate the opportunity.
GC: How did you become interested in being a puppet maker?
NLM: I’ve been interested in puppets since I was a kid. I was obsessed with the Muppet Show and stop animation programs. I watched Gumby on TV with my little brother. My mother would craft puppets for me to use in plays that I made up. I put on shows with hand puppets, my favorite monkey puppet, and a few marionettes. I always volunteered to get up in front of people to perform and lead others, such as the Girl Scouts, in plays. I was a thespian in high school, and it seemed natural that I would go on to study theater in college.
GC: How did you get involved with Gumby?
NLM: After college and having gained a few years of experience in puppet making, set design and animation, I applied to a posting on AWN.com (Animation World Network), not knowing what the studio was. I didn’t get that particular job, since it had already been filled, but I kept in touch with the studio—Clokey Productions. When studio producer Joe Clokey had an opening for a set designer, he called me. I worked on the Gumby Namco game commercial and have been with Gumby ever since. You can see some production photos here: (http://www.gumbyworld.com/gumbys-studio/)
GC: What kinds of puppets do you make?
NLM: I’m trained to work with just about any material and style of puppet. In my studies I was exposed to puppets from around the world and different time periods. Some of my favorites were the Japanese bunraku, the French Guinol and the Italian Commedia dell’Arte. Currently I fashion a lot of clay puppets for stop motion. I do have some personal projects in the works that involve hand-rod, big-mouth puppets (like the Muppets-type puppets.) I’m doing some new clay animation, too.
GC: How do you make a Gumby puppet?
NLM: Gumby is made of mostly Van Aken clay—a secret recipe! I whip up a batch following his unique recipe, mix, and boil it down in a double boiler to a unified color and the right consistency. I prep the silicone/stone mold with a floating armature. This is Gumby’s skeleton. I then pour the mixture into the mold and let it cool. Sometimes I chill it in the fridge to speed the process. Next, I pop him out of the mold and clean him up by trimming the seams and patching the bubble marks. Gumby gets an oil massage to make him smooth. I then drop a faceplate on him to mark where the features will go. Finally, I add the delicate clay features of his face.
GC: How many Gumby puppets does it take to make a Gumby TV episode?
NLM: More than you would think. The number of puppets needed really depends upon the storyline and type of morphing and movement that the puppet does. When Gumby morphs and changes shape, he needs to be replaced after every few seconds of animation, because the clay loses its shape. One minute of animation can require 20 Gumbys, sometimes more. The lights can also melt the clay, requiring a change of puppets. Because we go through so many puppets, it’s critical that they are all identical and made to the same specifications.
GC: You were involved in the Gumby Google doodle that appeared on October 12, 2011 to honor Art Clokey’s 90th birthday. Tell us about that.
NLM: It was a collaborative effort, involving a small subset of the Clokey Productions’ crew. We worked long distance—by phone, Skype and email. With the short deadline, I made puppets non-stop for a week before the animator could do his part. We used 3-6 puppets of each character for about 4-6 seconds of animation per character. The individual segments of animation were then sent to Google, where their programming team integrated them into their home page. It was exciting to see the characters come to life and move with the click of a mouse. The interaction was really fun! I think this was the first clay animation doodle that Google has used. The doodle was online around the world, so I hope that it inspired a renewed interest in clay animation. You can view it live and interact with it here: http://www.gumbygoogle.co.cc/
GC: What do you do for fun?
NLM: I’m always brainstorming and designing puppet shows and animations based on the interests of little kids that I know. I watch a lot of cartoons with my two-year-old daughter. I love to create (working in clay, painting…) and most enjoy brainstorming creative ideas with my artsy friends.
GC: What are your favorite recent animated productions?
NLM: I’m into watching Timmy Time, a stop motion animation with clay, foam, and rubber puppets done by the Aardman studio in England. I like this style of animation, because there is little speaking; it’s simple and tells the story through actions. Rather than a lot of words, they use onomatopoeia. Timmy Time is a preschool of animals, which children of all ages can enjoy watching. It’s cute, funny, has bright colors and teaches a lesson.
GC: What inspires you about the future?
NLM: Giving back is essential. I grew up in an area that did not provide many opportunities for kids to learn the arts. I still remember a week in my fifth grade class when our teacher had us make puppets and do a book report using them. That changed my life I think. You never know how you can have a positive influence on the next generation. To do my part, I teach stop motion animation classes and workshops at summer camps for kids.
Today, kids are animating with their phones and digital SLR’s. They have so many opportunities to create animations or other imaginative works. The tools are readily available. I love to help spark their imaginations.
GC: You can see some of Nicole’s work and read more on her blog:
Learn more about the career of puppet making in the second segment of our interview with Nicole. Look for it in a future blog post.
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