The Great Juggling Disaster and more...


This movie was made with our new stop motion workstation at its debut at Open Make. Our first animators, Jacob and his dad Jason, used a handful of simple plastic pieces to create two excellent short films, The Great Juggling Disaster and Tennis til Midnight.

It was surprising to me that visitors were able to tell great stories without elaborate props. Many times throughout the day we saw the potential for stop motion to transform simple objects into living creatures with expressions and personalities. Visitors often start by making a character and then make up a narrative as they go along, incorporating the various objects and materials we have provided. The conclusion of the story can be as much of a surprise to its creator as it is to me.

Tennis til Midnight has our two plastic protagonists playing in a changing environment with stop motion rain and clouds.

In the days after open make, we kept trying out different combination of materials to create characters for their movies. On Saturday we brought out a bunch of cardboard food packages and a kit called makedo which allows the parts to be connected in ways that allow different types of motion. Visitors spent a lot of time constructing interesting characters and then usually left them for others to use in their movies later on in the day. After someone asked, I brought out some markers which led to movies having text bubble dialogue and titles announcing the different parts. Here's a compilation of some of the best movies from the day. I think after watching it, you'll agree that we need to include the ability to record sound effects and narration.

We make a stop motion exhibit that travels with ExNET, which is similar to this one but oriented vertically instead of horizontally. I have to say I like this one better. I think the format of laying things down flat allows for a lot more creativity because you can make objects "fly" "fall down" and "hold each other up," more easily. I also really love that you have deprived visitors of representational objects, so they have to think about what the objects look like and how they can make them represent different objects. Well done friends.

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