Animation 3/18/11

Featuring Gabel Eiben and Alison Weisgall. Filmed in a room at the Relaxa Hotel in Berlin by Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska

This video is part of a series of stop motion animations that were made in 2011 and 2012 by Nature Theater of Oklahoma as a preparation and exploration for a projected animated film that would eventually become Life and Times - Episode 4.5. The films were composed from individual still photographs shot with a Cannon Mark ii camera in various locations while the company was on tour with Life and Times - Episodes 1 and 2. No one in the company had ever done animated film before, and we were learning as we experimented. Breaking down time into individual still moments was a challenge both for the directors and the actors involved. The individual photographs -- done often over the course of an entire day -- were later assembled in Final Cut at a rate of 10 frames per second to create the motion.

For this animation, Gabel moved all the furniture out of his hotel room entirely so that he and Alison had room to jump. We wanted to see if we could achieve levitation in an animation, and both actors had to jump simultaneously at the exact moment the shutter on the camera clicked for this to work. Hundreds of photos were discarded because one or the other of them was not off the ground at the right moment. The costumes were robes from the hotel and the animated apple here was also free from the hotel. (They would leave you an apple instead of a candy.) In the end we used everything in this hotel room to make the final product. The apple was even suspended from a hotel hanger by means of the thread from the hotel sewing kit. Total cost of production: zero. But I imagine whoever was staying in the room downstairs probably had a headache from all the jumping all day long. (Hopefully they were out...)

To see other animations in the series, go to: vimeopro.com/oktheater/stop-motion-animations