We’re changing things up a little as we resume the club’s regular meeting schedule with our traditional August “fancraft” meeting this coming Sunday. Rather than the familiar series of hobbyist and crafting workshops we’ve been hosting for the past several years, this year we’re planning a group project. We’ve come up with the idea of making a short stop-motion film employing paper cut-outs.

Keith Braithwaite has devised the proposed film’s simple story: a variety of dinosaurs are grazing in a prehistoric landscape, when suddenly, a meteor streaks from the heavens, dropping onto one of the dinosaurs and crushing the hapless creature. Then another, and another meteor falls, each taking out an individual dinosaur until there are none left. The title of the piece is Theories of Dinosaur Extinction—Number One: The Meteor Theory. The potential for sequels is apparent, should this venture prove successful!

We will create the characters, backgrounds, and other elements from coloured construction paper and such, artistically enhanced using crayons, pastels, or pencils. We may also, perhaps, incorporate parts of photographs culled from magazines or newspapers to further heighten a particular look.

We’ll tap the artistic talents of our members to draw, colour, paste, carefully cut-out, and animate the piece. MonSFFen are therefore asked to come prepared: bring in a couple pairs of scissors or a utility knife, a roll or two of scotch tape, and any scraps of coloured construction paper, cardboard, wrapping paper, and such that might be applied to the project. A couple of glue sticks, too, would no doubt come in handy. Note that for practical reasons, we’ll be working with dry mediums, so no paints, please.

If you have old magazines, posters, or photos that you can contribute to the project, bring these in, as well. Of particular interest would be any organic images of nature—plants, forest or meadow landscapes, etc.—or anything in the green or brown colour ranges that might be cannibalized for the purpose of decorating a prehistoric landscape.
Time allowing, we’ll set up an animation stand and shoot the picture at the meeting. We estimate that a 30-second short will require some 720 individual frames. If that proves too ambitious to manage within the few hours available to us, we’ll simply complete the project at a subsequent meeting. But we certainly expect to have enough time to design and create all of the elements needed, and at least get some of the animation completed.

So MonSFFen, bring your supplies and drink deep that morning of your creative juices!