Adam Ciolfi takes a light meter reading
before animating the Widow. 

Director Adam Ciolfi with Arianna circa February 2001.

An early lighting test for the Attic Room. Many of the
props on this set were first constructed for Adam's
earlier production Attic-In-The-Blue (1992)

Director Adam Ciolfi animates Arianna in the Attic Room.
Shooting on this set began in December 2000.

One of the early skeletons built for the Nuzzle Bunnies.
This design was never used in the final film. The skeleton would
end up being repurposed as one of the Troll King's guards.

How to build a spider. The Widow's skeleton nears completion.
All that remains to add are the paddles which will control the facial movements.

The inner workings of a mushroom. The Boletus skeleton,
first constructed in 1997 would need only minor
modifications during the 10 year shoot

Creating walls. During the early days of production, the sets were
built with heavy materials like wood and plaster. Later in the
production, similar set pieces would be created using
light weight styrofoam with hand carved detailing.

This picture dates back to 1997 and shows Adam painting set walls using
speckle paint. These set pieces were first used in a proof of concept
trailer but would resurface over and over throughout the film.

After a puppet is sculpted in clay, a plaster mold is created in order to
create the final foam rubber version of the character. The mold
is produced in 2 halves. Here Adam turns the first half of the
mold over to prepare for the final step.

A closer look at the completed first half of the mold for the Troll Guard.

Director Adam Ciolfi animates the Florist on a very minimal set.

Animating the Troll King in the Widow's lair. This photo dates back to
March 2000. The webbing was made of steel wool spray painted white.
This made it rigid enough so that it wouldn't move during animation.

The wide angle castle with director Adam Ciolfi in the foreground to
provided scale. Overhead you can see the yellow housing of the lights
which were fastened to the basement ceiling. They were purchased at
Canadian Tire for $15 each and housed a 100 watt halogen bulb.

Painting the Widow puppet. This photo dates back to December 1999.

Another view of Adam working on the final Widow puppet.

Painting the third replacement puppet of Zack in the basement workshop.
Almost everything built for the film was created in this space. In the winter,
the temperature would drop considerably necessitating the fashionable jacket.

Another shot of the Troll King being animated in the Widow's lair.
In the foreground you can see the Bolex camera with the
video assist camera mounted next to it.

Zack in his apartment before his date with Arianna. The books and
bookcase to the right were originally used in the animated film

One of the Troll King's bone guards.

Boletus forces Pox to the edge of the battlements.

An early production still of director Adam Ciolfi
animating the Widow in her lair.

Setting up for a crazy shot with multiple fairy tale puppets.

An early lighting test of the Goblin in his pumpkin patch.

Arianna makes her way to the Widows lair to
refill the skull shaped ink well.


  1. I really love the look of this, it's right up my street :D

    Great lighting on the bottom photo.

  2. Looking forward to seeing it on Thursday!

  3. great film, and very inspiring/motivating personal history. as a fellow traditional stop mo artist (NJ, USA) I appreciate it sincerely.