Community Theatre – Gail Hoffman

Collaborative small group stop motion animation

During her residency, 11 May – 1 June, Gail made a collaborative stop-motion video project titled: Community Theater with local children between the ages 8-13. At the end of her residency (29th May) there was a film night showcasing the films made during her residency.

About the project:
As an introduction to animation, the participants started by making thaumotropes. A thaumotrope is an old fashioned flip toy that’s great for describing “persistence of vision” which allows us to connect the individual frames of a film or video together so that they appear to move.

For more information: Thaumatrope

Then they looked at “behind the scenes” making of The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Gail showed them examples of student work so they could get an idea of the process.

The participants could then select their small groups by their interests or by age. There were about four in each group.

They brainstormed different settings, adventures, experiences and then they drew their characters. They  decided on the narrative and the look and design of their set. There was the possibility to build them out of cardboard boxes and colored paper.

Depending on the age of the groups, they discussed point of view/camera angles, lighting and character development before the groups began their stop motion animations. At that point they would have seen many short animations for reference.

Once ready to animate, they connected a mini camera to the laptop and opened up the iStopMotion program. They then exported the animation to iMovie and edited with sound and music, adding title and credits.