Light vs. Stop Motion Animation

Light works in mysterious ways: when it is too little of it, you complain  and when it’s too much you go crazy. I get up early in the morning as there is nothing to dream about after 6 AM and put my tea kettle on. It is dark at 6 AM in October. Dark and cold, like in a witch’s womb. Shivering I put on 3 layers of underwear and another 3 of sweaters. By that time the water is boiling and the elixir (from Arabic: الإكسير, Al-Ikseer, meaning  effective recipe) of life – green tea comes into the cup and from the cup – into my blood stream and from my blood stream to my brain creating Kayf (from Arabic: كيف kayf, meaning well-being or pleasure) for my whole person. Now it is 6:45 AM and I look out the window and what I see is partly made by Green Tea Kayf, partly by material circumstances but whatever it is it makes me Kayf even more. The shy morning light amplified:

– Ah, – I say. – Stay there! Don’t move!

But the day has to move on and it moves in slow motion like a determined reptile who knows exactly which rock serves the best for the sun bath. It is my studio. At 3 PM the day finally stops it’s slow crawl and rests on my tables and chairs, on the paper mache sculptures, on the new floor and on the damaged by water walls. But the most obnoxiously, it rests on my computers, blinding the view of the work in progress. It’s too bright to see anything on an LD screen.

– It’s too much!- I tell the day. – Get away!

– But I kiss the floor you walk on!- the day replies.

– Move!- I shout.

Wounded, the day gathers it’s legs and gets off my furniture. It moves fast. At 6 PM suddenly there is not a single beam of  light piercing through my scull cooking my brain. By 7 PM is very dark and very cold again. I put back my 3 layers of sweaters and shivering continue the work, while turning a thought in my head: should I open a natural sun tanning saloon from 3 – 5 PM to raise money for the film? The studio is much better located for suntan than for making an animated feature. One always makes animated films in the dark. I have sets to shoot in stop motion and sunlight with it’s unpredictability is a stop motion animation foe.

– Woe is me! – I whine to my boyfriend. – What did I do to get all this sunlight?

– Hold on to your panties, – my boyfriend replies. He pulls out a roll of metal wire and bunch of round metal things with holes in the middle.  – We are going to grommet.

We grommet 40 holes and attach big black curtains to the wire. It does look that the black curtains hold against the light:

But once you are on the other side, you still can see the light:

Nevertheless, I am excited that the shooting will be possible and get to work. First, I take that strange plastic paper the Jakun Honey Shoji 4 Panel Room Divider (for my solar protection) arrived wrapped into and cut out as many leaves as I have patience for:

I paint them black and then I paint the green leaf pattern on:

Then I bike to a hardware store and get a sisal string.

I attach the leaves to the string and hang the strings like vines:

I paint over an old set, and make it flowery:

Still, something is missing. Out of another weird paper I had for so long I forgot where is came from I make many pink flowers. I forget to take pictures of how am making them. I attach the pink flowers to the string:

Set is set, ready to go, the room is dark enough for the light. The lighting designer Sturgis Warner arrives and expertly lights the set:

Nothing compares to the light one can control.


About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
This entry was posted in Fundraising, Hazards of being an artist, The Work in Progress. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Light vs. Stop Motion Animation

  1. LindaBeck says:

    This is an in-progress work? Can’t wait to see it!

  2. YES!! it is the work on progress – and I can’t wait to see it either! Working so impatiently, don’t have time for ASIFA-East screenings and events….

  3. Dear Signe
    I’m very pleased to read you, to meet you again, in a ceative way…
    I bet you are doing well, I know how a wonderful human beeing you are ! I’m sure you are beginning more and more what you really are… a beautifu birdy girl ! (cygne=swan in french)

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