I have created a stop motion animation that tells the story of a memories box that when left alone comes to life, with each individual memory climbing out of the box and telling their own story to the viewer. once I completed my animation, I held a viewing of 20 people and asked them to do a questionnaire based around my production.
I collected memories and objects around my house that could tell a story to the viewer. I found items such as toy dog that was easy to manipulate and thought it would work well within my animation. Filming this animation was very time consuming however it was quite easy to do. I kept the story-line simple so it didn’t get too complicated and unbearable to do. I first filmed the box opening, I tried to do this in stop motion but it was unsuccessful so I had the first section of the animation in real action form. My favourite part was shooting the meerkat putting on his clothes as in my opinion was rather cute! It was the most fun to film and the result was perfect. My least favourite part about filming was making all the objects climb out of the box. I had to constantly remember which object I did or didn’t move. This bit was the most time consuming as there was so many objects to film.
I originally wanted to make it in the style of a music video as most of the memories/objects were pieces of paper and I did not to think that voice-overs would be suitable. However I added sound effects such as a dog barking and crunching of paper to aid the video’s story-line which made it more of a short film. I made sure my animation had a strong narrative so audiences could easily understand what was happening which makes it far better for them to enjoy as they are not confused. I tried to make the animation have a beginning/middle/end so it fitted perfectly with the convention of a short film instead of a music video.
65% of the audience believed it was a short film. I believe this is mainly due to the strong storyline it had and how it had several different stories within the production, which made it more of a short film. 25% stated it was a narrative. I think it is because of the production having a beginning, middle and end. 10% believed it was a music video, which I actually set out intending to make. I believe the music choice swayed this decision. 1 person said my animation was an advert, but from looking at the other results this response is an anomalous.
I also thought it was necessary to ask whether people through that the animation had a strong narrative. I tried to make the animation story as clear as possible. 65% ( the majority) believed it did have a strong story line to it. But, 30% said it only had a slight narrative to the animation. 1 person said it did not at all. I did choose random objects to manipulate and tell stories so next time I should maybe have all the objects interlinking with each other. This then may be able to to convey a stronger narrative.
Technical qualities- shot types
In my animation I made sure I used a variety of shot types. I tried to change the shot every 5 seconds so the viewer did not get bored. Close up shots were the shot type I used mostly as it meant I could focus onto one memory at a time. Bird’s eye view shots were very handy when it came to fitting the whole memory box into one view.
I did a trail run of this animation. I wanted to try out if I could add movement while filming my stop motion. However, it was incredibly hard to add camera movements while taking photographs. So, I decided to film the first 10 seconds of the animation so I could use successful camera movements to exhibit the location and to be able to film the whole of the open memories box in one shot.
When asking is there was enough shot types and camera movements within the production 75% of responses were yes. I am happy with this result as shot types and camera movements I tried to focus on hugely within the animation. 20% even believed that I used more than enough. 5% said there was kind of enough shot types however their could have been more. I believe this was focused more around the camera movement area as I only used 1 camera movement in the production.
This animation was originally supposed to use all 3 stop motion techniques; clay motion, pixilation and cut out animation. But, when I came to filming I decided that clay motion would not be used as I found it incredibly hard to create characters that looked of a high standard. I didn’t want the animation to lack its professional standards so I abandoned the idea. The other techniques suited the story line and in my opinion were extremely successful in creating an uplifting animation.
100% of viewers stated there the techniques I used in the animation suited it well. This means that the choices I made were the right decisions and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the use of two techniques.
I believe that my idea is original because when researching existing ideas when I was planning this animation I couldn’t find similar animations. The memories are personal to me and I made stories out of them, no one else shared the same memories so there should not be an alike video.
In the questionnaire I asked if this idea was original and if they could think of any similar ideas. Every response was very similar stating that the idea was original and they “Cannot think of any at the top of my head”. 1 response said that the animation was like the Oxo advert due the use of colourful objects. The objects may have same colour palette but I do not believe the narratives or concept are the same.
In my animation I didn’t have one main character but lots of mini story lines with characters starring in each one. I used human actors within parts of the animation to exhibit me remembering the fun times with my friends. I made sure when filming they were laughing and smiling so it conveyed to the audience how happy the characters were. The meerkat at the end of the animation I made it put on clothes and get everyone back into the box. I tried to mimic the way in which toddlers wear baby grows and how they wriggle their bums afterwards being as cute as possible so I could get a personality across.
Upon asking my audience I got a lot of mixed reviews based on the characters. 15 people said that the personalities of the characters were expressed well, while other viewers were not so sure. Some people believed that the teddy bear and dogs were not characters so therefore I didn’t have characters within the animation. Another person said that their personalities are not clear and do not do anything the refine themselves. From this response, next time I could add speech bubbles to indicate more personality from each character.
Technical qualities- soundtrack
I think the soundtrack works really well with the animation as its about love and happiness. The upbeat tune is very uplifting and has a happy vibe. I originally chose the song, as it was the soundtrack of my childhood so it would interlink with my memories. However, the uplifting tempo creates such a happy beat it worked perfectly with the story i was trying to tell.
For this animation I created sound effects to edit over the top so it made the objects and memories more realistic. Some of the sound effects were diegetic, when filming these sounds were being created. I just had to re record them, as sound cannot be heard through photographs. Sounds like; paper crunching, the box closing and girls laughing where all sounds made during the production. On the other hand, I did have to add sound over the top that were not made during the process (non-diegetic sounds). For example, a dog barking sound was added afterwards to give the dog character a bit of a personality and also make it seem more realistic. I think all sound effects work very well.
All responses from my questionnaire were positive towards the soundtrack and believed the ‘upbeat’ music ‘perfectly linked’ with my animation. I am glad I got all positive feedback from this song choice. One person mentioned for me to use more sound effects with in the production, this could be something I could focus on for my next animation.
I filmed in twos method because I wanted a smoother finish to the animation. Although the animation is jumpy throughout I believe that there is far more of a smoother transaction between each frame. My Frames per Second rate was 13fps, which was rather low, but I did slow down most of my footage as it was too fast and it was hard to see what was going on. I think that although this frame rate was low, it was believable that the objects were moving by themselves and it didn’t just look like a load of random images. I found it hard to make paper memories look like they were moving by themselves, so I looked at existing animations and found that most productions moved the paper in a ‘jumpy’ movement instead of a fluid movement.
100% of people thought that there was enough movement within my animation and characters. I am happy with this response as it indicates I planned the animation well and the style I used was appropriate.
When filming my animation I made sure that the lighting had high continuity throughout. I statistically placed my set against a wall away from other objects that could create shadows. I also made sure there was not a window around. This was because I would be filming different times of day so if I used lighting from a window (natural lighting) it would be different in every shot. Every time I filmed I did checks to make sure everything was in the right place and all the lights were turned on to ensure I kept my continuity to the highest standard.
I wanted this animation to be a feel- good production that could make anyone feel happy afterwards. So, I made sure I did not use memories that only girls could relate to such as make-up brushes. Although there was a lot of the colour pink within the animation, I tried to make it as un-gender specific as possible. For example, I focused on objects like dogs and other animals as everyone no matter age or gender like animals and are generally happy after seeing them. Creating an animation that was fit for any age or gender to watch was quite hard to do but I believe I was successful in reaching intentions.
A music video Coldplay created for the song ‘Paradise’ they wore elephant suits and pretended to be this in particular animal throughout the duration of the song. This music video is suitable for any age or gender. I think this music video is similar to mine as we both use animals within our production so our creation is fit for all age and genders.
From my questionnaire, I asked what gender are you and also whether or not they liked my animation. Asking what gender allowed me to see whether my animation was successful in reaching my target audience. 75% where female and 25% were male. Ideally I wanted 50\50 but I still managed to collect data in the male gender. 100% of people said they liked my animation, which I was extremely happy about as it meant I achieved creating my animation to be un-gender specific.
Aesthetic Qualities – location
I wanted to keep the location/set very basic and minimal so that the audience’s eyes were focused onto the memories more so than the location. In my opinion, if the set had a lot of props and things going on in the background, it could draw away the attention of the story-line its self. Also I wanted the set to replicate someone’s brain, the idea of a bunch of memories together but then someone thinking about some more specific memories. The different locations I used were in New York. This is a major memory and felt it was necessary to include it. I kept the New York mini story-line simple so people could see the view of the skyline. i used a different location so viewers who found the location rather simplistic enjoyed the change of shots/scenery.
In Radiohead’s song Burn the witch has a music video that is entirely stop motion. The story line for there music video is based within a town so they use around 8/9 different locations. This is very different to my production were I only really use two. they also change shot every 5 seconds. This information i may take under consideration next time as this could be a way to keep viewers more entertained.
Asking the audience whether my location was suitable or not was the question in which I got the most variety of opinions. The majority of viewers believed it was suitable (60%) and 30% strongly believed the set was appropriate. Where as, 1 person said the location wasn’t really suitable and other person said it was kind of. These two responses were different from the other 90% therefore I do not think it matters too much. Not everyone will like the same thing.
Social media Platforms
I shared my video on Facebook also so I could get other peoples opinions. I got very positive results and am pleased people enjoyed my production. Alicia and Camilla both said they loved it and how cute the animation was. Chris smith gave a Simon Cowell thumbs up and Libby Houston loved the techniques. I also posted it on YouTube and one person stated that it was “awesome”.
There are videos on YouTube based around what’s in memory boxes. They pull out each object and talk about the memory they have with it. This topic is rather similar to mine as I focus onto each memory and tell a mini story. Although they are filmed in completely different methods and techniques, the topic area is comparable.
Love story is a stop motion animation in which uses paper to tell a love story. The movement of paper in this animation and mine are very similar, as its bother rather jumpy. I think the movement is alike as it’s the best way to convey to the audience the object is moving. The way in which the car moves across the screen can be compared to the way the paper moves out the memories box. The paper in mine/car in the existing animation both take a wiggly route from A-B instead of just a straight line. Also, my animation is about recalling memories and this animation is about recalling a couple’s life. This narrative could be classed as alike because of the remembering aspect.