Answering Main Inquiry Question – Capstone Blog Post 5

The next step in Capstone is to write an essay about answering your main inquiry question. This essay took a lot of hard work to write because we had to write about a lot. I based mine on the three essential steps of making a stop motion film. I hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever wanted to make a stop motion film? If you have, you are reading the right essay. You may think that regular animation movies are easier to make than cartoons, but it is actually the opposite. In this essay I will talk about the essential elements in each stage of making a stop motion film which are pre-production, production, post-production.

The first stage is pre-production. According to Nick from the DAE (Digital Arts Experience) this is the most important stage. The main essential elements in pre-production are, story boarding, gathering the things that you will need and Getting everything set up. The first essential element is story boarding. A storyboard is where you plan out each scene on paper. You do this so when it is time to shoot you know where each character is going to be and what is happening. Story boarding is one of the most important parts in making a stop motion film because it is the plan of what will be happening in your film. Another essential element is gathering the stuff that you will need to make a stop motion film. You will need a camera, tripod, characters, props, an editing software, a set and something that you can use for lighting. Like a lamp or just the sunlight. You will need to make sure that you have everything before you start because you don’t want to find out that you need to get something in the middle of making your film. If you do you may have to stop what you are doing, go buy the thing that you need and then get back to work. It would be much easier if you just get everything at the beginning. The last essential element in pre-production is Getting everything set up. You will need to set up your green screen or make your set, Get your camera ready and in position, your characters and props ready, and the lighting set up. Those are the most important essential elements in pre-production.

 

The next step is production. Production is when you are making your film. The essential elements to this step are moving the characters/set, taking photos at the right time and controlling how fast the character moves. The first essential element is moving the characters/set/props at the right time to the right place. You have to move the characters and set the right amount and at the right time. If you don’t your film could get messed up because it won’t look like your characters are moving right.. This is where a lot of filmmakers mess up. If you make one mistake you may have to set up a whole scene again and retake a lot of pictures. Another essential element is taking the picture at the right time. You have to make sure that your last picture was in the right position and your next photo will work with your last photo. You also have to make sure your hand is out of the way because you may not notice that it is but, you have to make sure you wait before you take the next shot. If your hand gets in the way and you don’t notice it you may have to redo a lot of shots. It is very annoying when this happens. The last essential element is probably the hardest. Controlling how fast and slow your character moves. You may think this is in post-production, but it is actually in production. Usually a film is 24-30 fps(frames per second), but if you want your character to go faster you take less pictures and if you want your character to go slower you have to take more pictures. Another way to make it look like your characters are moving faster or slower is by moving the background (e.g. Make the clouds move.) Those are the most important essential elements in production.

 

The final step in making a stop motion film is post-production. The essential elements in post production are finding an editing software, adding sound effects, and adding music. The first essential element is finding an editing software. Your editing software is where you will be putting your film together. The editing software that Nick recommended and that I use is iStopMotion for the Mac, but another good one is ClapMotion. The editing software is where your film will come together. You can also export your film from your editing software. The next essential element in post-production is adding sound effects to your film. Sound effects can really be important because they can make actions more extreme. For example if someone fell down and hit the ground, to make that more extreme and believable you can add a thump. Sound effect are really important if you want your film to be lively. The final essential element in post-production is adding music. Most films have music in it. You should add music if you are trying to tell a story because it will keep the audience awake and interested. Your music should match the tone of your film. For example if your character is lying down on the beach you shouldn’t have horror music playing. To do this you might have to change the music, if a big shark jumped out of the ocean the music will probably change. Those are the most important essential elements in post-production.

 

In conclusion, these are the most important essential elements in making a stop motion film. Don’t think that this is all that you have to do to make a stop motion film. There are many more little things that you have to do. It is a very long and hard experience, but it is very fun. If you want to try one I definitely encourage you and number one rule is to have fun.