Anyone who knew me in my pre-teen years knew that I was constantly making movies. Most of these were science fiction … actually most of them were blatant Doctor Who ripoffs where I played the titular time lord. However, we also did a lot of stop motion animation. Not an easy task with a video camera from 1986, but we made quite a few of them.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time converting old video tapes to digital and then splitting them up and editing the into digital form. Most of the ones I’ve done have been of family get togethers and a lot of those old Doctor Whos I mentioned. But the other night I worked on one of our claymation pieces. The meat of it is two guys talking, but whatever they’re discussing has long fled my memory. If anyone has any good suggestions, I’ll redo this video with subtitles for the idea I like the best.

A few things to be aware of while you watch this. First of all, half the credit, whether he wants it or not, goes to Greg Knight. He created the blue creature and was the one with most of the visual ideas. I was a plot guy.

I’ve made a lot of changes to the original film. For example, the original was 45 seconds long. That’s because using the video camera, we couldn’t really measure when the camera had taken a frame, so we’d count out a “one one thousand” and turn it off again. What you get is a series of still pictures instead of a smooth story. So I sped the film about 3 times to streamline it.

Another problem was that every time we hit the button the camera would bounce slightly, so the entire film was really jerky, especially when sped up. Fortunately technology has advanced to the point where you can stabilize old video.

Finally, the video was completely silent. I went through a bunch of stock audio sites and found some sounds that went along with the story. What you see here is the finished product.

If you have any idea of what they should be saying, let me know. And if you’re one of the few people who are worried that I have and am thinking about posting embarrassing video of them as kids acting out ridiculous parts, you’re probably right to do so.

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2 Responses to Claymation

  1. Greg says:

    Since I read this, I have spent too much time thinking of making a new one. You are up in town for ten days this year right?…

    How many more do you have on tape? It’s hard to say, but I think we may have recorded over a couple.

  2. Jessica says:

    That was awesome. More more more! Oh, and greg’s creature is totally better.

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