That Creepy Old Doll (1998, 4:30, 16mm)
An Exquisite Task
(2016, 7 mins, Canon 5D)
(2018, 4:45, Canon 5D & apple iPad)

three films written, directed, animated and created by
Beck Underwood
featuring “The Creepy Old Doll”

watch the teaser below
and join us in the CineZone to see the films


From Fessenden: I am pleased to present a trilogy of magical movies by a filmmaker who needs no introduction to GEP fans: Beck Underwood (animator, music videologist, production designer, graphic designer, curator, publisher, et al)

From Underwood: My only formal training in stop motion was in a class at SVA, taught by old school animator John Gati. I modified a porcelain doll into my first animation puppet. The resulting film, That Creepy Old Doll was completed in 1998 and shot on 16mm film. This short travelled to festivals around the world.

The second time I brought that same puppet out was 18 years and many stop motion projects later, in 2016. I had just finished a very complicated production for a corporate client. I was ready to make something to cleanse my palate – something unplanned and improvisational. Enchanted by the atmosphere of a friend’s decrepit barn, I dusted off my old doll puppet and conjured up An Exquisite Task. Devised without a script and shot over a period of a few days, the piece ended up reflecting emotions I had about my own empty nest and the letting go of a recently deceased parent.

I love to travel and often set out on my adventures solo. Loathe to think of myself as a tourist, I often decide to make a film, so I’m really working, not vacationing! These short projects afford me a chance to engage with unfamiliar surroundings and collaborate with folks I meet along the way.

In 2018, I decided to create something to capture the street sounds and sights of San Miguel De Allende. Souvenir became that movie, and again, I worked with my old friend, the fragile porcelain doll puppet, now over 20 years old. She broke an arm during this production, but stood up otherwise. Walking into an auto repair shop and having the mechanic help me repair her arm was just one of the wonderful encounters I had making this short. That creepy old doll swept her way into the hearts of everyone she met.

On the threshold of another production, as I think about my cast, I wonder will I bring this old doll out of retirement, again. At this point, I think I have to admit she’s become a muse. This time she will play a character inspired by the detectives born in the minds of great mystery writers like Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle. Her fragility and wisdom could be just what the role calls for. We shall see…

Follow @spellboundattic to see what unfolds.

Watch the Creepy Old Doll Trilogy in the CINEZONE.