Category Archives: Stop Motion


Wallace and Gromit creator goes prehistoric with latest flick

As a child, Nick Park was enchanted by the animated dinosaurs in the 1966 movie One Million Years B.C.

LOS ANGELES The kooky caveman characters that come to life in Early Man have been kicking around in Nick Park’s imagination for decades.

Long before he created Wallace and Gromit, Park was taken with Ray Harryhausen’s animated dinosaurs in the 1966 Raquel Welch movie One Million Years B.C.

“I just couldn’t believe real dinosaurs moving around with people,” Park said, recalling the film he saw as an 11-year-old that would inspire his love of animation.

Early Man translates Park’s vision into an epic claymation adventure about a tribe of colourful cave people who stake the future of their homeland on a soccer showdown, despite not knowing how to play.

An ambitious young caveman, Dug, and his loyal pet warthog, Hognob, believe the plucky tribe can prevail.

“I’ve never seen a prehistoric underdog sports movie before,” Park mused.

U.K.-based Aardman Studios tapped its largest production team yet — with nearly 40 animators and sets working at once — to make Early Man, which uses stopmotion animation techniques essentially unchanged since Harryhausen’s day.

It’s a slow and painstaking process to bring clay characters to life.

“We’ve used some of the most advanced filmmaking techniques in post-production, together with stop-motion, which is as old as cinema itself,” said animation director Merlin Crossingham.

Stop-motion animation (or “stop-frame,” as Park calls it) creates the illusion of movement through a series of still images. For Early Man, Aardman’s team of artists built a cast of puppets based on Park’s sketches that serve as the film’s actors. Each seven-inch-tall silicone puppet has a jointed metal skeleton inside so it can move.

“They’re like expensive action figures,” Crossingham said.

The faces are made of modelling clay — except for the noses and eyes, which are hard plastic and serve as “grab points” for animators while changing the puppet’s expression.

Mouldable brows and more than two dozen removable and interchangeable mouths allow for a variety of looks.

Animators pose the puppets for each frame — every movement, every gesture — with 24 frames in each second of film. Mouth movements are synced to pre-recorded vocal performances. (Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams lend their talents here.) For every shot, the puppets are bolted into place on exquisitely detailed sets that stand about two feet high.

“Getting about five seconds of finished film is a really good week,” said animation director Will Becher.

Because the process is so timeconsuming, artists make duplicates of every set and puppet so multiple animators can work on various shots simultaneously.

Park also personally worked with the vocal performers, something he wasn’t always comfortable doing.

“I used to find it quite nerveracking working with actors, especially if they were quite famous actors,” he said.

“I find it much easier to manipulate a puppet or a clay character, because they do as they’re told. And if they don’t, you can squish their head in or whatever you want. With actors, you have to be a little bit more tactful.”

Montreal Stop Motion Festival

Newsletter from the Montreal Stop Motion Festival can be accessed here




This may be of interest to some of our members

New addition to the Festival – Professional workshop (3 days)

Perfect your puppet making techniques! This year, the Festival will be offering a 3 day long professional mould making workshop. In collaboration with Sial, our special guest, Kathy Zung and local artist Laurent Canniccioni will offer a master class that will let you execute and practice the techniques that will be discussed. More details coming soon, activity upon registration only. $:TBA

Festival Stop Motion Montreal’s 9th edition

Festival Stop Motion Montreal’s 9th edition


Festival Stop Motion Montreal’s 9th edition officially kicks off with our 2017 call for entries and we can’t wait to discover your animated treasures! Our selection committee is famished and ready to feast on a stop motion marathon of films!

It is therefore with great pleasure that we cordially invite you to submit your films for our 9th festival edition !

You can find answers to your questions concerning eligibility criteria, important dates and accepted formats on the Submit a Film section of our website. Don’t forget to read the Festival rules in their entirety before submitting your work.

The deadline for film submissions is June 30th, 2017 at midnight

Save the dates; the 9th edition of Festival Stop Motion Montreal will be held September 15th, 16th and 17th, 2017!

View and share our 2017 promo video 


Montreal Stop Motion Festival Highlights

The full text of the Stop Motion Festival newsletter can be read HERE.

8th Edition Highlights

The 8th edition of Festival Stop Motion Montreal took place this past September 16th, 17th and 18th. On behalf of the entire team, we thank you again for having contributed to the success of our 2016 edition.

It is with pleasure that we bring you the highlights of our last edition. Access our complete “Festival Summary” case file with images. The summary is also available on our website through the home page.
Album photos / Photos albums

Accédez également à nos albums photos de la dernière édition sur notre site Internet:

Access our photo albums of the 8th edition on our website as well:







More squashed dinos!

At the October 16th meeting, François and Keith made a lot of progress on our stop motion film project. Being in suite 700 really helped since they were able to set up in a bedroom and work without distractions and the effects of ambient lighting.

Unfortunately, this means they missed most of the meeting as well.  With a bit of luck, and François’ work schedule permitting, the last of the shooting will be completed at the November20th meeting.

And below, a rough cut of what our completed stop motion film will look like.

Stop Motion Festival info Letter, Vol 8 #4

You can download the complete info letter from the Stop Motion Festival from here.





The important stuff:

The Festival is fast approaching with less than 3 weeks remaining until the 8th edition kicks off! Festival VIP Pass sales continue online via La until September 15th while quantities last. Passes will also be available for purchase on site for 60$* at the box office during the Festival.

* Visit our web site to know all detail about prices and tickets counter opening hours.

Our full virtual program is now available online!

You can also now download a free PDF version of our full program, complete with calendar of activities and Festival poster on our website! Click here to view it