MonSFFilms’ Pterodactyl Takes Flight!


After many months of planning, pre-production work, and test footage, MonSFFA’s film division, MonSFFilms, began shooting on its paper-cut-out, stop-motion animated short film project.

With final character art completed by writer/art director Keith Braithwaite, and the articulated model cardboard “skeletons”, or armatures, fashioned by animator Francois Menard on hand, production crew members Josée Bellemare, Cathy Palmer-Lister, and Marquise assembled the shooting models under Francois’ supervision. Meanwhile, Mark Burakoff, fabricator of our animation stand, Keith, Dominique Durocher, Marc Durocher, and others set up a shooting stage in a corner of the club’s meeting room.

Animator Francois Menard snaps a frame of a T-Rex test-model last August, at the outset of our project. This session also served as a try-out of our Mark Burakoff-built animation stand. The film’s visual elements will, for the most part, be made of cardboard and crayon-coloured construction paper.
During MonSFFA’s recent April meeting, Francois checks his monitor and snaps a frame during the shooting of scenes for the club’s latest film project.










Two scenes were committed to digital media on this day, each starring our story’s Pterodactyl.

A quick review of the dailies before the crew packed up for the afternoon drew positive commentary, with many noting that the scene looked a lot better than they’d expected. Despite the simplicity and two-dimensional nature of this paper-cut-out piece of animation, the resulting images displayed a certain three-dimensional quality, due in large part, it was noted, to our option of shooting physical elements on a multi-plane animation stand. The deft lighting of clouds (cotton wadding) resulted in a visually striking environment through which our Pterodactyl could fly.

The shoot will continue in the coming months.

Francois adjusts the shooting model of our Pterodactyl during the club’s recent April meeting. Tufts of cotton wadding can be seen, here, resting on several of the animation stand’s planes, creating a convincing skyscape through which the Pterodactyl could fly.
Francois manipulates and views the animation model on a monitor hooked up to the camera.

One thought on “MonSFFilms’ Pterodactyl Takes Flight!”

  1. Fabulous! I have some photos that Sylvain took as well, so I will get them posted soon.
    It was really amazing how well the lighting worked, giving the clouds a realistic silver lining.

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