Stopmotion Film Completed

Since my last post, I’ve been putting this off. However, I’ve crammed in lots of effort over the last week and finally have completed this list item.

Here is the film:

The film is 333 frames long: 258 frames of shooting plus credits. The frames were taken at a resolution of 3888 x 2592 pixels, but the resolution was cut down for the YouTube video so that the film was smaller and faster to download.

What unclogged my procrastination? I’ve been feeling guilty for a few weeks that this list item is incomplete and even toyed with the idea of using the tetris game film as the final list item, but it wasn’t really complicated enough for what I originally had in mind. Then my Christmas holiday break began a week ago, which gave me the time and the brain space to work on this. Hurrah for holidays!

I decided that the plans I had already made were too involved, so I just started making the film. I began with something easy (the car movements), so that the quick results would motivate me to continue. When the camera battery ran out, I sat down and wrote up a very simple plot that would involve all the movable Lego figures I had.

Gollum doesn’t really move and wasn’t included in the final film. In protest, he refused to attend the film’s premiere.

As I filmed, I simplified the plot even further, so that the movements were easier to accomplish. For example, the spider was really complicated to move realistically, but you can see in the film that it stays partially out of the set and only a few legs are in view.

I completed shooting yesterday, then pondered what else the film needed. This morning, I added the opening and closing titles/credits, and slowed the frame rate from 10fps to 8fps. I would have liked to add the ‘Fight!’ sound effect from the Mortal Kombat video games at the 30-second mark. A few other sound effects would have been good, like some tyre screeches, car engines, screams, splats, Frankenstein groaning, walkie-talkie noises, etc.

I regret that I didn’t pin down the houses and the camera when I began shooting. I had to move the camera to get the battery out at the end of each session, and the lighting changes depending on the sunlight peeking around the blinds. If I really enjoyed stopmotion filming and intended to continue making stopmotion films, I would have purchased the full version of the StopMotion Pro software to aviod the watermark on all the frames.

My favourite part in the movie is when the businessman is webbed over the house and then his legs fall down; the movements look really smooth, particularly compared to other parts of the film. For the movie in general, I like how I brought in the next actors as the previous ones were moving off-screen; this kept the action quite fast and meant there is a lot to look at. On the other hand, it also meant that the film was shorter and I had to move multiple actors at once.

I’m happy that I got to try making a stopmotion film, something I’ve wanted to do for many years. I’m also reasonably pleased with the end result. I don’t think I’ll continue making stopmotion films, though; it’s a lot of work for only a few seconds of result, and I have other list items to attend to. I still find stopmotion films fascinating to watch, and now I have an increased appreciation of the effort involved.

I officially declare this list item complete!

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