Animated Film Production: Sets.

You could call “Rocks In My Pockets” a mixed media project, since it mixes drawn animation and stop motion like in a Screwdriver (we could argue which media serves as vodka and which as orange juice, but the effect is the same – getting buzzed!!!). Before we are able to work on drawings, though, we have to get the stop motion footage first. Stop motion is many things (pixilation is stop motion, too), but we work with the kind that requires newly made objects and environments, so called “sets”.

Eventually, with the help of After Effects, we’ll place animated characters in those sets, but at the moment we have to worry about practical stuff like, is my iron too hot, where is that darn tube of red paint, superglue is stuck on my nails before my perfect hot date!

Here’s a video on how “Rocks In My Pockets” sets are made:

Sets are easy and fun if you don’t have to fit them in a specific bigger story. Then plotting them out becomes much like a chess game – if I move my Pawn here what will happen to my Queen over there? Storyboards would come in handy but we had decided not to use them to make things exciting. I think, “Rocks In My Pockets” might be the first animated feature film in animation history that is entirely improvised. Guinness Book of Records, are you recording?

About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
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7 Responses to Animated Film Production: Sets.

  1. Cecile Somers says:

    How wonderful to see you at work. Improv is the best thing there is. It’ll be so refreshing to watch a movie that doesn’t have the inciting incident by the 9th minute, states what it’s about at the 12th minute, or has the climax by minute 54. Hooray for improv! And I LOVE the clothesline with the pristine white and happy cloths, and the dark and crumpled, depressing black ones. Hooray for imagery.

    Kisses from the Kontinent!

    • Improv or not, it actually happens by itself in “Rocks In My Pockets” – by min 5 you know the main character and her conflict, by min 10 an inciting incident happens (to someone else, ha!), by min 25 the story is turned around and now is going where it is supposed to go, by min 40 things take a new turn, by min 60 crisis occurs, by min 80 things start to straighten out, min 90 – voila – the film is done. In a blink of an eye. But of course, nothing is fitted to formula and I am worried about everything.
      I miss the Good Old Kontinent.

  2. magicallymad says:

    Looks like so much fun, can’t wait to see the film (or did I miss it?)

  3. Tim Pfeiffer says:

    Wonderful work! I look forward to seeing the final film. Best of luck!

  4. Tom Bullard says:

    I only wish our dear Susan Smyly could have seen this video of your process, Signe. I myself will stay tuned and can’t wait (but I will have to) to see the film. You’ve got a nice set!! Hope that’s not too personal!!!

    • Tom, YES I wish that too, for Susan to see it… As to personal – am hoping this story will transcend the personal and become something that other people relate to. I don’t know if it will happen and am burning with impatience and fear every day, as the project finish line is coming closer. Thank you!!!

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