Nyoom

Nyoom!  My little keychain piggy converts popcorn kernels to chocolate chips.  When I showed this to Matt he texted back, “wt actual f . . . make more chocolate!”  Way better than straw into gold, am I right?

I have discovered stop-motion movie making!

Actually this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, but since cheap digital cameras and free movie making software didn’t exist when I was a kid my alternative was to find a Super 8 camera at a garage sale and rig it to expose a single frame at a time and then find somewhere that still developed that kind of film (and this was before you could Google that kind of thing) and then there was the matter of the separate soundtrack . . .

Anyhoo.  These days it’s easy and cheap.  Right now it’s free because I’m using my old digital camera and free software but I plan to drop as much as $30 on this new hobby!  (Shocking, I know.)

The resurgence in my mania was brought on by watching Panique au Village, a Belgian stop-motion movie I picked up at the library a few days ago.  Instead of the sophisticated and unique polymer animals of Aardman (the makers of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run) with their multiple mouths and custom armatures, the duo behind Panique au Village used cheap flea market figurines in a style even less complicated than that of Robot Chicken.  There’s no facial expressions and very little limb movement and yet it works.  It’s as absurd as anything Terry Gilliam animated but because the characters are endearing and the comic timing is spot-on you stick with the villagers on their insane ride through the center of the earth and back.  You can watch the English language trailer here.

I saw the little plastic people and animals shuffling around and falling over and shouting and I thought, “Hey, this is about my skill level.  I can do this.” (Also, because the animation is so simple it also takes much less time than the more realistic styles.) In fact, I already have some skits written.  It turns out that I’m using absolutely the wrong kind of camera for this sort of thing but I’ll explain later . . . after I have the right kind of camera and a better movie to share!

— Amanda

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