“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”

Coming into this class as a student just about half way through the Multimedia program I decided to try and focus on getting better at the things I want to do that I haven’t had the chance to do in my other classes. One of these skills is stop motion animation. I have had dreams of possibly making stop motion films down the road, and it’s something I have always wanted to try my hand at. With our final project being as open ended as it was I decided it was a perfect opportunity to try my hand at some stop motion work. I knew that I did not want to have to worry about a lot of the creative aspects of making original content for this project, so instead I looked for something that I could recreate using stop motion rather than live action. There were a lot of considerations that went into my decision of recreating someone else’s work rather than making my own completely original material. The biggest being time and attention. I knew that I had very limited time when it came to the actual creation of content (something that takes an extraordinary amount of time when working with stop motion). Secondly I wanted to be able to devote absolute attention to the process of making a chunk of stop motion footage. I love working with audio and creating sounds, and I really enjoy being creative with camera work. But I knew that if tried to do all these things, AND stop motion I would run out of time. I limited myself to only the re-creation of an original pice, and used the original clips audio in hopes of giving myself maximal time to hone to skill I was focusing on for this project.

I have mixed feelings about my final product. On the one hand I learned so much about what goes into making a pice of stop motion media. It takes and extraordinary amount of time, and it can be very frustrating. I requires very precise actions, and acute attention to detail. Additionally the gear and especially the amateurs (in this case toys) are vital to making a good project. Moving forward, if I were to make this project again, I would start with better puppets. The toys I used looked great at first, but there are very old with loose joints and are anything but stable. I would use puppets with wire frames that would allow to control their movements precisely and with intention. It is also very important to have a reliable way to fasten them to your world. Each time one of these figures would fall over I would have to reset everything. And the figures falling over were only one of the many problems I faced in my approach. On the bright side, however, I learned so much. Next time I try to tackle stop motion I will have a lot more knowledge under my belt, and will be ready for many of the road blocks I faced this time around.

 

Thank you all for a great term, and I can’t wait to see you all next year as we work our way through this program!

Best,

Andrew Johnson

5 thoughts on ““We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”

  1. Kacey Baker

    Having dabbled my hand into a little stop motion in the past, I can tell you just how hard it really is. Much more difficult than any other type of film, maybe even with claymation. To get the desired affect, I watched the part in Jaws alongside your video and the scenes blended pretty well. I could tell what you wanted to represent, and you reused shots to pad the video very nicely. That is a trick that can save you butt loads of time, and I’m sure it did!

    For the amount of effort you put into this video, I gotta give you props. Some people may not know how difficult this is, but now you do too. Good job!

    Reply
  2. Christopher Mitchell

    Great to see this video in it’s entirety. I snuck a few peeks at your work in progress seeing as I sit next to you in class. I would love to see more of your work in the future.

    Reply
  3. Patty Kraskoff

    This was really great! Loved the sound affects and music. I look forward to hopefully trying my hand in stop motion one day. This looks like it took a tremendous amount of work and time. Nicely done!

    Reply
  4. Hailey Cowlthorp

    This might be the best thing I’ve seen in a while. I’m also just not very good at making short films and what not, so to me this is expert work! All I really have to say is that I am thoroughly impressed with your final project! Keep up the great work!

    Reply

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