How Visual Effects Master Phil Tippett Builds Stop-Motion Masterpieces by Hand

The Great Big Story series Human Condition visited with Berkeley, California movie director and visual effects master Phil Tippett, who specializes in creature design and stop-motion animation, to learn more about how he builds stop-motion masterpieces by hand and how he has been working for 30 years creating an incredibly detailed film called Mad God. Phil is currently raising funds on Kickstarter for part 3 of his hand-crafted Mad God animation.

Phil Tippett has spent a lifetime in the film industry, working as a model-maker, visual effects supervisor, director and stop-motion animator. He’s been involved with big-name productions such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and RoboCop among others. But his real passion lies in handmade stop-motion animation. For over 30 years, Tippett has been working on an incredibly detailed film called “Mad God”. He describes it as being set “in a Milton-esque world of monsters, mad scientists and war pigs.” Amazingly, each character is painstakingly constructed by hand from foam, clay, latex and wire. Despite all the arduous toil, Tippett sees “Mad God” as a form of therapy and a way to reconnect with a time when special effects and animation were all done by hand.