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Stop Motion Behind-The-Scenes with Java Post Production and SATCC - Part 1

Topics:   Java Blog

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Java Post Production worked with director Stephen Hall and MGM Communications on this 30-second commercial for the SATCC (Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission).

Entitled "Outfit of the Day" and shot on location in Saskatoon, this commercial was created using the stop-motion animation technique, where objects and people are moved ever-so-slightly, photographed as a still image, moved slightly again, and then photographed again, over and over.

For this particular "stuttering" effect, we shot 8 separate still images for each second of finished video. It was a meticulous and time consuming task - which included several days of camera tests with paper cutouts to arrive at the proper frame rate - but everyone was very happy with the the final result.

Above and below, director Stephen Hall (left) and DOP/Camera Operator/Colourist "Java Jack" Tunnicliffe conduct pre-production camera tests in the Java Post Production boardroom.

For the camera tests, paper cut outs of clothing and tools are used. The objective is to determine the proper number of still images per second of footage to achieve the desired look. The footage also needed to sync up to a per-determined music track, so that had to be taken into account, as well. It was a bit of a challenge, frankly, but that's why we run the camera tests before we ever step foot on the set.

In the next two images from the behind-the-scenes video, you're looking at the director's monitor screen. A clear plastic sheet has been taped over the screen and the location of all the articles of clothing and equipment have been traced onto the plastic, along with arrows to indicate the planned motion.

This helps the director and crew to position the items in the proper location for each of the eight still images that was shot to make up each finished second of footage.

Above, we see Java Post Production partner and supervising producer Randy Shumay moving each of the items a little bit at a time. Notice the blue paper covers on Randy's feet, to help keep the coloured floor clean and give our colourist less to clean up during the final colour correction sessions.

Below, the same stop-motion-animation technique was also used on our actors, who had to lay flat on the floor while our crew moved their limbs and clothing a little bit at a time for each still photo. To see how it all looked in the finished commercial, CLICK HERE.

Client: SATCC
Agency: MGM Communications
Production Company: Java Post Production
Producer: Randy Shumay
Producer/Production Manager: Dana Lesiuk
Director: Stephen Hall
DOP/Camera Operator: Jack Tunnicliffe
1st Camera Assist: Trevor Bennett
2nd Camera Assist: Kristine Dowler
Gaffer: George Hupka
Grips/Electrics: Tracy Westgard, Damien Kent, Daniel Shingoose, Sam Robins
Audio: Brent "tBone" Blazieko
Wardrobe: Maygen Kardash
Hair/Makeup: Holly Decker
Locations: Kyle Burgess
Art Director: Allia Janzen
Painter: Gary Soehn
Craft Services: Kate Matthews
Set PA: Nathan Smit
Offline Editor: Doug Russell
Online Editor: Trevor Bennett
Animator: Tomás Ibar
VFX/Colourist: Jack Tunnicliffe

To view more examples of the work done by Java Post Production, CLICK HERE.

To view examples of Java Post Aerial Photography, CLICK HERE.

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