Working in the CG industry, I have always been fascinated with stop motion animation. Growing up watching films like Tim Burton's 'Nightmare Before Christmas', I have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes and how it all works. And, funnily enough, a couple of months ago, the flat where I live actually turned into an animation studio overnight.
It was a real eye opener as I had no idea how much work goes on behind a 3 minute promo. My flatmate, Rory Mathieson (talented Director/Video Editor), informed me that his animation friends from Sweet Pixel, Will, George, Guy and Auste, would be working on a stop motion animation and had rented our living room to work on this project (a very clever way to get Rory to do some overtime I think).
The animation was being produced to promote Graham and Green, a UK based home accessories and interiors company. The purpose of the video is to give existing and new customers an insight into how this family business runs and to show them the process behind some of their products. And what makes it even more special is that the video is narrated by Max Graham, aged 4.
I was really excited about this project, and the prospect of learning all about stop motion animation without even leaving the flat. Very convenient.
So, let's sum it up.
This stop motion animation involved: a truck full of paper rolls, a ton of printed photographs, paper cut-outs, crayons, pencils, sharpeners, scissors, 3 point lighting, a lightbox, a camera on a tripod, a time lapse camera, two laptops, reggae music, a ton of PG Tips, tins of Nescafe Gold Blend, boxes and boxes of pizzas, oh and beer, beer and more beer.
Mmm beer. What was I saying again?
Okay, yes, it takes a lot of patience, passion and creative people to make this all work. To make myself a little useful, I did 'try' and help the guys colour in some sections of the map as seen in the time lapse video. And let me tell you guys something - it was HOT standing near those spot lights! It wasn't long before I started feeling sorry for myself (my face was burning and I was covered in sweat) so I quietly retreated back into the kitchen and opened a bottle of beer before sneaking back upstairs to my room.
Shameful. Yes. Guilty as charged.
I have to really hand it to those guys. It takes pure dedication and commitment to do something like this. A big congratulations to them since it's all done and dusted now. There's two videos I would like to share with you. One is the special 'behind the scenes time lapse video' (with a 10 second guest appearance by yours truly) and the other video is the final edit.
Congratulations to Rory, Will, George, Guy, Auste and everyone else involved! Respect.
Everyone else, enjoy!