Stop frame animation; Mainstream or experimental?

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I have opted to use 2 layers of animation within my final film. In the context of my own film, I am particularly interested in the way that stop frame can be used to create a surreal effect rather than as a technique to create the unreal realistically.

To come to this decision I looked carefully into examples of these two variations within the media. I chose to use stop frame rather than CGI, partly because of expense but also because of the way that it is easier to create a jumpy and unrealistic rhythm that way.

Within mainstream media, CGI is used as technique to create the opposite. If we take the works of Disney for example, a film production company that prides itself of creating motion that whilst isn’t real holds a smoothness and polish, they create characters that are personified by human qualities rather than anything else.


Only disney can make you fall for a carpet! On the other hand, scattered and rustic stop frame animation, using a physically manipulated object can create a feeling which almost isn’t human.

Looking at the work of svankmajer again this creepy piece of his, titled the ‘dimensions of dialogue’ uses the movement of the animation as a character itself maybe even more so than the character itself.

Watching this experimental piece in particular made me feel very uncomfortable. Looking at the comments on youtube also, demonstrates how features like these within a film which challenge the norm and typical expectations can create a large impact on an audience.

In summary, this research into experimental narrative has shown me how the technique used to manipulate the movement of a character can have just as much impact as the characterisation itself through speech etc.

I am therefore going to use a simple animation technique using lego pieces, as although I want to demonstrate an idea of ‘Time and memory’ the essence of play is something which I aim to demonstrate through this technique to link the two themes together.




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