Enzo’s Monday Motion #99: Stop Motion
Let’s go back to my all time favourite animation type: Stop Motion.
Bad Ass Bags
In the world of coffee sweeteners the bad guys are dressed in tiny bags (of sugars). Not something that instantly gives you the creeps. When your brand is a natural sweetener, CGI quickly feels too artificial. It’s not a big surprise that director Nico Casavecchia went for stop motion to create a cartoony world where cups of milk wee them selves en straws shiver.
It’s great to see how Casavecchia managed to give simple props a strong and believable character without adding any human-like features. Also check out the second spot by 1st Ave Machine where they played around with other kitchen props.
Beach Ball of Death
Don’t you worry (pc user) if this therm doesn’t ring any bells. Picture your Windows hourglass cursor that keeps on spinning. In other words waiting for a (probalby crashing) computer. Raphael Vangelis managed to transform this frustrating bit of motion into a fun piece.
Vangelis went all out in his passion project. Not only in materials (from clay to 3D printed props and paper) but also in dimension with sets varying from miniature to life size. A great example of creativity and dedication that most definitely boosted his career.
Action Stop Motion
There’s a good reason why people hardly star in stop motion. We tend to move in a pace that slightly exceeds the standard production time. Maxime Baudin nevertheless wanted to produce a stop motion with actors of flesh and blood. To top it of he wanted to combine his affection for the city of Paris, Charlie Chaplin and (the director of) Amelie into one.
The slapstick feeling really goes hand in hand with the typical low frame rate of stop motion. I also love how he smartly used the normally annoying bystanders on his set. Story wise they’re a metaphor for the rushed world we nowadays live in and from a technical perspective they bring speed to his (chase) scenes.
The next short was a paradise (or hell?) for the art director. Finding dozens of props which resemble in shape, size and colour is quite the challenge! Directors Noah Harris and Andy Biddle envisioned an abstract story of evolution from the birth of a planet to the growth of mankind.
The scenes where part of Channel 4’s Random Acts show, which might explain the diversity in props. For the hard core stop motion fans not every object is randomly chosen. The art director managed to pay an homage to the founder of stop motion Ray Harryhausen and his fighting skeletons.
The Real Deal
China’s local Amazone, JD.com wanted to promote their online LEGO sale with a short action movie including a high speed chase and slomo shots. Where the official feature film used CGI, they went for the real deal.
Camera wise it’s not the most amazing work I’ve seen, but at the same time it keeps the story feasible for the kids at home and in the end that’s what they aim for.
More Stop Motion
If you’re up for more stop motion check out the previous edition.
Last week I went to infinity and beyond with five never ending commercials.