Third Year Film: Distance

Third year student Sammy-Jo Tawn is up to her armpits in ‘snow’ in the stop-motion studio.

Sammy-Jo’s third year animation film, Distance, features an inuit character Aluki as she battles to deal with an unwelcome companion who causes havoc with Aluki’s day to day routine whilst her partner Anik is away hunting.

Most of the animation is set out-doors in an unspecified snow-covered location, which is perhaps not the easiest of stop-motion environments to re-create. Sets have been carefully covered with a highly secret mixture of everyday household ingredients (okay – you twisted my arm - it’s salt and sugar), the surface of which is carefully maintained during shots and which has to be re-sculpted between each shot in readiness for the next.  The stop-motion puppets are made from aluminium wire, poly-moprh (a magical material for stop-motion armatures) and foam. The film also features a swimming polar bear.

Sammy-Jo has been assisted by a team of third, second and first year students: Hannah Geach and Eline Lindaas have been hard at work in the craft room, which regularly looks as if a small snow blizzard has just blown through, carving and painting rocks, assembling trees, and making some of the additional characters that feature in the film. The film also includes an impressive igloo, made by second year student Martin Burn, and back in the main studio a team of green screen compositors await the shots from the stop-motion studio. They will then remove the green, and replace it with a snow capped landscape and CGI snowstorms.

We can’t wait to see the finished film.

For more on Sammy-Jo's film please see her blog:

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