Inspiration is a never ending flow that can come from almost anywhere. I have seen my inspiration come from music, literature, and other artists. I have also seen it come from running out of toilet paper, or having accidentally bitten into a very hot pepper. When you work with the physical like you do with stop motion, your environment can be the biggest inspiration there is…
Before I start any animation, I rework the concept in my head over and over. Every-time I rework an idea something new comes to light, a better punchline, a more appealing course of action or something that causes me to look at everything all over again. If I had a penny for every idea I turned down before settling on something, I would still be broke because pennies are just about worthless.
Every animation comes with its unique set of challenges, there is no way to fully know how to prepare for an animation until you are already doing it. To set myself up for success, I think through the animation as if I am animating it- “How do I get this spoon to dip into a liquid that isn’t liquid at all”. In this situation the solution was to decimate my silverware drawer and be forced to drink soup with forks from that point forward.
If I made it this far you better believe I have already consumed an unhealthy amount of tea, and most likely listened through at least a few seasons of the office, depending on the project Im working on. This is when the magic happens, at 4 am on a Tuesday night I take my first frame, then my second, then I promptly delete them because they aren’t what I envisioned. Animating can take up a good portion of the projects time but it is always dependent on what is being animated. There is a big difference when animating a ball bouncing and when animating a person walking. One second of a bouncing ball may take 15 min to create, while a second of a walk sequence may take hours. Don’t get me started on if the person walking is bouncing a ball…
Post Production is when I get the chance to look back at what I made and regret everything. When working in camera my goal is to give myself a really easy clean up, by shooting clean plates and keeping my rigging simple. Of course 4 am Tuesday version of myself has the mentality of “whatever it takes to get the shot” so when it comes to post production it can take a good amount of time before I forgive myself for overlapping my rigging with three shadows…
I love animating, when I am working on an animation time doesn’t pass in the same way, I will start animating blink and then look up to realize its been 8 hours and it is now 2 in the morning. Knowing Stop Motion is real lets ideas come to life, it lets story’s impact on people. Thats part of the reason I love this art-form, it allows me to share, inspire, create, and express what I otherwise wouldn’t.