How do you get two trees, six park benches, a bandstand, a house and part of a pub into a shed? The answer is, of course, build a bloody massive shed! An obvious solution to the problem in hand, which is exactly what we would have done were it not for certain financial constraints. Instead, we resorted to making them in miniature for use in our latest project, a music video for up-and-coming dup-step artist LiNC. The track is ‘Gave You The World’ featuring Harry David on acoustic guitar and vocals.
A huge factor in the enjoyment of creating stop-motion films, is having to create an entire world, from scratch. However, away from the kitted out studios of Univerity, this pleasure was not restricted to the building of sets and puppets. Equipment is expensive and when working with virtually no budget, buying it is sadly not an option. Rather than compromise and feel defeated however, we thought, how hard can it be? The next morning, Alex marched into the shed where he spent several days amidst the whirring of power-tools, banging of hammers and scratching of heads. Finally he emerged, triumphantly clutching his creations high above his head, the clouds parting to deliver a single glorious beam of sunshine to where he stood! Before skipping away to his room to play with his new toys, four lights and a tracking rig.
We came to this project with a lot of new ideas and skills that we wanted to try out. Having previously made very complex sets and puppets using many different materials and techniques, we decided keep everything relatively simple, carving the puppets from just one material and making purpose built sets for each shot. This meant we were able to complete all the sets and puppets we needed in little over four weeks. Using just one material meant that the puppets were incredibly light and as such were very easy to support using our home-made rigs and has helped give the film a fresh, contemporary aesthetic. The film is a culmination of all we have learned in the past two years from John & Betty to Canimation, it is a combination of diversity and simplicity and is coming together nicely.
As you’ll well know, when trying to be creative in a small shed in Yorkshire, imminent danger and certain bloodshed are never too far away. This project, is certainly no exception. Here’s Alex with his recollection of one such event…
“It all began when we decided it would be a nice idea to put forty-two LED’s into one of the models, to add a nice effect to the scene. This meant that the model, which had already been constructed, needed some slight alterations for it to neatly house all of the necessary wiring. So without hesitation, I picked up my scalpel and prepared for surgery. Little did I know that’s exactly where I’d end up with a significantly shorter finger. I returned to the shed some time later to the touching concerns of my colleagues. “At least you didn’t get blood on the bandstand!” said Luke as I walked through the door. The huge dressing, now encasing my finger, had put my hand almost completely out of action, however I dried my tears, soldiered on and completed the intricate task of wiring, with surprising dexterity.”
Thanks for reading, please come back for further updates on this or any other project we work on. Though, this blog may no longer be the first port of call for your Luke & Alex news, as we will be launching our shiny new website in the very near future.