stop motion

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Animation

Stop Motion Films by Kirsten Lepore and Nix + Gerber Produced Entirely in the Space of a Car Trunk

September 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In a new ad campaign for the 2019 MINI Countryman, MINI USA invited artist duo Nix + Gerber (previously) and animator Kirsten Lepore (previously) to produce stop motion films in the vehicle’s cargo space. Nix + Gerber explore space in their film Camping, while Lepore goes deep under the sea in her work Underwater. Nix + Gerber utilized two dioramas for their models of Earth and the Moon, creating each of the terrains with foam, wire, flock, dirt and rocks. Lepore’s ocean-based love story was built entirely from paper, with an overlay of plexiglass to give the set that underwater shimmer. The short films explore the 2019 vehicle’s slogan “Created in a Countryman,” examining what sorts of vast worlds might be constructed in the confines of a MINI’s trunk.

Camping will screen on Monday, September 17, 2018 at the BAM Rose Cinema at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, while Underwater will screen at The Other Art Fair in Los Angeles from October 24 – 28, 2018. You can view more of Lepore’s animations on Vimeo, and see an extensive selection of Nix + Gerber’s miniature dioramas on their website.

 

 



Animation

ENOUGH: Humorous Stop Motion Film Examines Our Inner Desire to Lose Control

September 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Swedish director and animator Anna Mantzaris has a penchant for the darkly humous as seen in her 2012 film But Milk is Important. Her recent short ENOUGH was made during her first year at the Royal College of Art where she graduated earlier this year. The stop motion film follows several kind-looking characters as they snap during everyday occurrences such as frustrating board meetings, dealing with demanding customers, or just narrowly missing the bus.

“I wanted to have quite soft and sympathetic characters, to contrast with the less soft actions,”Mantzaris explained to Directors Notes. “I also liked them to feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable, just as we can feel sometimes in social situations. I also wanted it to feel a bit grey and boring, to enhance the feeling of an everyday life that we sometimes want to break out from.”

The funny animation is a cathartic release of the darkness we carry bottled up inside, and showcases what might happen if you finally let yourself lose control. The London-based director recently worked on Wes Anderson’s film Isle of Dogs and has won several awards for her films including the Walt Disney Award for Best Graduation Film and the Audience Award at Ottawa International Animation Festival. You can see more of her short films on her website and Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Animation Art

New Whimsical Cardboard Machines and an Art Deco-Inspired Stop Motion Film by Daniel Agdag

July 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"The Installation" (2017), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The Installation” (2017), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

Australian artist Daniel Agdag (previously) produces invented contraptions and antiquated flying machines from cardboard, timber, and trace paper, turning his whimsical fantasies into highly detailed sculptures. The works seek to connect his audience with the mechanics located beneath the exterior of modern machines, while emphasizing the complexity present in our everyday experiences.

New sculptural works include a flying caboose the combines the visual language of locomotives and hot air balloons, and a turbine-assisted car that moves horizontally along a raised track. In addition to these new pieces, Agdag has also released a short film with producer Liz Kearney titled Lost Property Office. The stop motion animation follows a custodian named Ed through his solitary work in a large city’s Lost Property Office, exploring the whimsical creations he builds from discarded objects and machines. Over 2,500 sheets of recycled cardboard were utilized over the course of film’s 18-month production, which translated into 1,258 hand-crafted and Art Deco-style set pieces and props.

Agdag and Kearney’s film is currently being screened at film festivals all over the world. Next month Lost Property Office will travel to the New Zealand International Film Festival for Animation Now! on August 2 and 6, 2018 and the Palm Springs International Animation Festival from August 22-26, 2018. You can watch the trailer for the short in the video below, and see more of Agdag’s sculptural objects on his website and Instagram.

Still from Lost Property Office

Still from Lost Property Office

Still from Lost Property Office

Still from Lost Property Office

"The Compartment" (2018), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The Compartment” (2018), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The General and the Caboose” (2017), cardboard, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The General and the Caboose” (2017), cardboard, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

"The General and the Caboose" detail

“The General and the Caboose” detail

"The Chapel" (2017), cardboard, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The Chapel” (2017), cardboard, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

"The Chapel" detail

“The Chapel” detail

"The Caboose" (2018), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The Caboose” (2018), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The Caboose” detail

"The Northwesterly" (2017), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

“The Northwesterly” (2017), cardboard, trace paper, mounted on timber base with hand-blown glass dome, 23 x 12 x 12 inches

 

 



Animation

A Five-Part Stop Motion Anthology Tests the Limits of Short Film

June 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

This Magnificent Cake! is a new stop motion animation by Belgium-based filmmaker pair Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels (previously) which tests the physical limits of short film. The 44-minute, 5-chapter anthology is just over the cut for what can be considered a short film, yet is far more condensed then one that is a traditional longer format. Described as a “mid-length film,” the work follows five different characters through colonial Africa in the late 19th-century which include a “troubled king, a middle-aged Pygmy working in a luxury hotel, a failed businessman on an expedition, a lost porter, and a young army deserter.”

The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will be screened at the upcoming Animafest Zagreb 2018, Annecy Festival 2018, and Anima Mundi Brazil 2018. You can see the trailer for the animation above, and more short films by de Swaef and Roels on Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Animation

A Stop-Motion Demo Turns Meta as the Characters Gradually Take Over in ‘Stems’ by Ainslie Henderson

May 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In this meta animation, animator and director Ainslie Henderson (previously) seamlessly transforms a demonstration of his stop motion practice into a film where his miniature puppets take over. The rag tag group of figures break off from Henderson’s narrative to form a slapdash electronic band, utilizing scraps from his workbench to construct instruments from the same electric detritus used to form their own hands, faces, and feet.

“Puppet making often begins by just gathering stuff, like materials that I find attractive like wood, sticks, wire, leaves, flowers, petals, and bits of broken electronics,” says Henderson in the film. “[I use] things that have already had a life are lovely to have as puppets. And then from there you just start improvising. It’s like making music, you just see where it leads you.”

During the process of animating Henderson’s voiceover gradually fades and the viewer realizes his voice is simply a tape recording on screen, and has suddenly been repurposed as an instrument by his animated creations.

Stems has picked up numerous awards since 2016 including a BAFTA in Scotland. You can watch more of Henderson’s work on his Vimeo Channel.

 

 



Art

Three Quirky New Stop Motion Shorts by ‘PES’

February 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Oscar-nominated stop motion animator PES (previously) has a few new short films out, including Gone Fishin’, Lens Smash, and Still Life. Gone Fishin’ engages PES’ ingenious use of found materials, like lace standing in for the ocean floor and antique skeleton keys swimming as a school of fish. Lens Smash and Still Life feature quirky visual puns captured in just a few short seconds. Watch the films here and find many more on the artist’s Instagram or his YouTube channel, which has garnered an impressive following of nearly one and a half million people.

 

 

 



Animation

Negative Space: A Short Film That Explores a Father-Son Relationship Through the Art of Packing

January 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Presented above is the trailer for the stop-motion film Negative Space, co-directed by Baltimore-based animators Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata. The short film is an adaptation of the eponymous poem by Ron Koertge, which tells the story of a relationship between a father and son through the organized art of packing. Although both directors immediately connected with the message of the poem, the piece struck a personal chord with Kuwahata whose father had worked as an airline pilot.

“I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study,” Kuwahata told Variety. “My most vivid childhood memories are connected with objects, textures, and ordinary routines.”

The directors wanted to highlight these specific textures and feelings associated with everyday objects and clothing, bringing a sense of believability to each ritualized scene. Over the course of three months Porter and Kuwahata’s team fabricated each tiny sock, shirt, and belt from the original material, ensuring an idealized portrayal of the main characters’ connection and bond over perfected packing.

The film was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. You can view a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the animated short in a video by IKKI Films below, and watch trailers for the rest of the nominees on Short of the Week.