by Kyle Small
Almost since film's invention at the turn of the century, stop motion has been a key component of bringing the magic of the imagination into the world of motion pictures. The semi-recent advances in CGI technology (as well as other dazzling special effects techniques) has ultimately proven deadly to stop motion animation, but there are still those who favor the lo-tech magic and homespun aesthetic.
Mainstream filmmakers including Tim Burton and Michel Gondry have obsessed over the use of stop motion animation and continue to use it as much as possible for their desired special effects — thanks to them and stalwarts like those below, it's by no means a dead art form. (Ed. note: In fact, a good companion piece to our latest video on jam-maker June Taylor, is this sweet stop motion video that playfully interprets how she makes her products, pictured below.) We encourage you to spend some time checking out a few of our favorite indie stop motion animators around the world that we've spotlighted below.
This stop motion artist has become famous for using everyday objects in his animations to create new ways of looking at things. He's also dabbled with pixilation, the process of using human bodies in collaboration with the stop motion style of filmmaking. Two of our favorite PES videos are the Human Skateboard (pictured above right) and his newest creation (the subject of recent internet buzz), Western Spaghetti.
Probably less well-known, but no less talented, Leo Bridle has been making short stop motion videos in the U.K. for the past several years now. Creating everything from commercials to music videos and simple little stories, Bridle creates bold and imaginative worlds, often with tech-era themes. Two shorts that you should definitely check out are "Ultimate Media Centre" and "Still Life With Flowers." (Pictured above right.)
The Chase Factory
These up-and-comers may be still working out a few kinks in their animation style, but their latest piece, "Process Enacted" (somewhat of a YouTube sensation), is where they really start to shine. Combining a total of 987 Polaroids, this piece explores the themes of film's most basic element: the moving image. (Pictured above left.)
These are only a few of the many stop motion animators out there on the world wide web. We're glad to know that this unique and distinctive style isn't leaving us any time soon. For everyone here at CH I'd like to say, long live stop motion!