Monday, September 1, 2014

Stop Motion and Little People

Back in the day, my mom worked at Fisher Price. Part of her work involved the production of Little People videos, which were moral-heavy videos featuring your favorite Little People characters and created in stop-motion. My mom worked mostly as an editor during preproduction, where she would go through the storyboards and animatics checking for continuity. A lot of times, she would bring her work home, where my brother and I would participate in continuity-hunting. We would go through the animatics and point out anything that confused us or didn’t make sense to us, offering a kid’s point of view for a video geared to kids. My mom would take pages and pages of notes on these episodes that rarely hit 10 minutes. I remember it being really cool to see the final product a few weeks later—the transition from animatics to full animation was pretty impressive.

These two YouTube videos are a culmination of a few episodes found on one VHS. Upon watching them as a not-child, I recognize they’re a bit silly, but still enjoyable:

Also upon watching these videos again, I was impressed by some of the “up in the air” shots—flying, jumping, etc. I didn’t really know how those types of shots were done, as we obviously cannot see a rig of sorts. I then found a video on Motiongrapher called Plasticine Rhythm by Andy Martin that features a making of video that briefly explains how these shots can be attained. Once explained, it gives me hope for doing stop motion in the future:

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