My Foray Into Stop Motion Animation

I’ve always been one to figure things out. It’s part of the reason I became a filmmaker even though web consulting is my primary profession. In fact, it is what got me into web consulting in the first place. One thing that always fascinated me was stop motion animation. As I kid, I tried to do it using a video camera, but back then the tape would randomly rewind a few seconds before filming, which made it nearly impossible to get the timing down (I’d usually record over the previous frame)

Now, with the advent of digital photography & software that allows you to control your camera, stop motion animation is much more accessible. After some experimentation, I landed a gig shooting a stop motion animated video for LEGO. Here is one of my first stop motion animation pieces:

Then I shot another stop motion, this time for the Duck Tape brand for their decorated shipping tape:

LEGO hired me back to shoot a video for their LEGO City line, which resulted in this video which has over a half a million views on various websites:

Then I was selected to create a pilot episode for Cleatus, the Fox Sports NFL mascot. Unfortunately, the pilot didn’t go past the pilot stage, but here’s a screenshot:

CLEATUS Stop Motion

Hopefully I’ll be able to share it some day (the problem w/ making videos for others is that you don’t always get to share your work).

For nearly all of my stop motion videos, my 8-year old son helps out. He always wanted to shoot a LEGO Star Wars stop motion, so I helped him plan out his story, shots, and with the camera setup. Here’s the fun video we created:

During this past year I also started teaching a stop motion animation class at an elementary school and even hosted a workshop at a conference. My latest gig was for LEGO’s new Castle line, where I shot part 5 of a 6-part series & was tasked with creating a toy-story like experience (hence the dog). Again, only can share a screenshot at this point, I assume it will be released in September:

LEGO Castle Stop Motion

Though stop motion is simply a series of pictures, there’s something fascinating about making inanimate objects come to life. For those who would like to try it out for themselves, I plan on creating some how-to videos as well as share my camera, lighting, software setup tips with you in a follow-up blog post. Below is some of the gear I used to make these videos:

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