My third film, for which I tackled stop-motion at Concordia University.
This one has quite a story. I was already nervous enough to animate puppets instead of drawings (screwing up a scene means you have to start over, right), but the shooting went terribly wrong. The shooting room at school was overbooked, which meant I only had three consecutive days to set up, animate the whole thing, and clean up before the next student arrived.
Day 1: When I got there the first morning, the student before me wasn’t finished, so I had to wait half a day for her to leave. When I finally could start working, it took me about seven hours to setup my set and the complex night lighting. For some reason, animation students were allowed only two spots for their shoots, which was problematic because I would’ve needed three (the moon, backstreet lighting, and the door). I ended up cheating the backstreet lighting at the end to make up for the missing spot. Anyway, once I was ready to shoot, it was about 7PM or so. I’d previously asked a technician to ready the camera on a tripod because I was afraid to manipulate such expensive objects, but what I didn’t know is that the technician thought I would finish the job and hadn’t completely fixed the camera. The result? I moved the tripod around, the camera fell and broke. The depot (where I’d borrowed the school camera) was closed until the next day. I was forced to go back home.
Day 2: I went to school super early to explain the situation to the technician. He told me he didn’t have any other Firewire camera and the only other one he could lend me was a regular digital camera which wasn’t compatible with the animation software I was working with. Totally panicked, I began asking around if anyone had a Firewire camera. After hours of searching for ideas, a friend of mine finally remembered his friend had one and setup a meeting downtown. I went to get the camera. When I came back, almost all the animation faculty was in the stop-motion studio and they’d found a way to make the digital camera work. I wouldn’t have any playback options (meaning, I couldn’t play my animation as I went), but the image quality was much nicer than it would have been with the Firewire camera. Relieved, I finally began shooting at 6PM. I shot five scenes. Then I dropped my puppet’s head and broke his nose. Devastated, I went back home, handed the head over to my ex (who was also an artist) and asked if he could fix it. He did.
Day 3: I started animating again, doing only one take for each shot because I only had until the next morning to catch up on three days’ worth of work. To make the whole experience even more irritating, the next student kept checking on me during the day to see if I finished early because he was worried he wouldn’t have enough time to shoot his film. Somehow though, the shooting on the third day went super smoothly and I was done at 9PM. I packed my things, burned all my photos on a CD and called it a day.
The next day, I grabbed my images and put them in an animation software and pressed play for the first time. This film happened. I did no colour correcting, close to no editing. And the puppet’s broken nose doesn’t show too much.
Bottom line is, it’s far from being perfect, it’s clumsy, but damn it got lucky. I don’t think it’s anything special except for the story behind it. Now that I look at it, I’m proud of what I could do despite the counter-productive shooting session I had and the state of mind I was in.
(But I’m still reluctant to tackle stop-motion again.)
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- quelledanielle said: That’s AMAZING! Hearing the story behind it really makes it worth so much.
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