Inspiration: Stop Motion Animation Books

I am obsessed with process. I think delving into someone's studio and taking a peek at their tools, methods, workstation, is voyeuristic and inspiring.  I languish over every photo, every page, every tiny detail, every scrap. I can't get enough of it. A few of my favorite books that enlighten these processes are the making of books for two great stop motion films, Paranorman and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I could pour over these books for hours must reading and rereading every single page.

Both of these works feature lots of interviews from everyone on the team; set designers, animators, concept artists, lighting, and it's all so insightful. I'd give anything to be a part of a team like this, just lots of creatives all working together to make something so spectacular. Many of the artisans on these projects aren't movie people, they're makers, craftsmen, skilled artists with boundless ideas.

There is so much planning and concept that goes into these projects and hundreds of skilled artisans to follow through with the creation. Despite being created by large movie houses I think there's a lot to be gleaned from the methods used to create these films. While I may not be doing animation, a lot of the techniques I use have been inspired by or directly taken from stop motion methods of construction. Painstaking organization is vital to these productions since they have thousands of set pieces and models but it can also be helpful and inspiring for my tiny production as well.

I've always been the victim of needing to have all of my supplies out at all times while working on a project but the idea of a bulletin or cork board with every thing pinned to it is something that works for me. Also, I try to keep all of my tools out and ready or at least very nearby; brushes, blades, knives, adhesives, sculpting tools, pens and markers, as well as any materials needed so I don't have to constantly get up and get things. My time is too precious to spend it on silly stuff like that.

I could photograph every page of these books, they're so wonderful! It is my hope that one day I will have an archive as vast as these to pull from to create a retrospective though I suppose I'm helping chronicle some of it through this blog. Above is a photo of my workspace, disorganized and full of supplies and half finished puppets. You can see I try to keep all my supplies for the current project within reach while trying to tame the mess that results in working. It's a constant battle.