April 20th, 2010
I’ve been itching to try some stop motion lately and luckily found a project that seemed suited to the technique. Here is a TVC I created for a women’s health fair event (sidenote: TVC is industry-speak for “television commercial”). The challenge was to visually show a connection between “health, fitness, and fashion.” Shooting stop motion allowed for some creative transitions that helped tie the three themes together. Notice there are no cuts in this spot.
And now some technical details.
We shot this on a blue paper backdrop. It was lit with a couple of kino four-banks from the front. I went with hot lights instead of strobes to eliminate any potential flickering due to variation in strobe output. Don’t get me wrong, I love AlienBees, but they are not as consistent as, say, Profoto. Plus, shooting with constant light meant I could shoot at a higher fps without waiting for strobes to recycle.
The spot was shot on a Canon 5DMkII in stills mode (not video). I cheated the stop motion where ever I could. Cheating meant having the model move in slow motion and varying the shutter interval manually. It probably averaged somewhere around 4 fps. Other setups required the standard (and tedious) method of positioning the frame, snapping a picture…reposition…snap…repeat ad naseum. Text was done in After Effects using a combination of jitter settings in Path Text and Time Posterization.
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again. Filmmaking is one long string of creative problem solving. A great example of this is the “toiletry mobile” constructed from a mountain bike wheel and fishing line (see picture below). This little gem allowed the toiletries to easily orbit the model’s head. Big thanks to Casey our fearless model, Anna with make up and hair, Amy the apple eater, and Lyn production manager extraordinaire. Also thanks to InHouse Marketing for all their help with production logistics.