Here is the movie trailer to Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable’s movie, ‘The Boxtrolls’ (YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfm4uPESCoI).
If the trailer is any indication of what is to come, the film ‘Boxtrolls’ will take stop motion animation to a new level of artistry. Set for a September 2014 release the trailer is giving its audience a first glimpse of the countless hours, even years, which have been dedicated to the production of this film. ‘BoxTrolls’ takes place in a Victorian-era town and has visually thrown itself into this bygone era while using the stop-motion technique to tell their story. At the beginning of the trailer you can see how daunting the creation of the clay characters and scenery are. The characters begin to come to life while moving towards the end of the trailer when they show the full stop-motion usage of the clay figures in their background.
For more than hundred years stop motion has been around in one form or another. At a steady rate of speed a series of frames have been shot with each one being slightly different that the next one. The human eye perceives this as being an unbroken action and the brain seamlessly stiches the frames together and it appears like a moving image. The object is moved in small increments between independently photographed frames, creating the illusion of connection when the series of frames is played as a nonstop sequence. In its earliest form of stop-motion animation was objective manipulation. The stop-motion technique was created to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton were the first people to use the idea of a stop-motion film. In 1897 they created The Humpty Dumpty Circus, a film where Blackton’s son’s circus toys of acrobats and animals come to life. Regrettably, only information exists because the film has long been considered lost (Kevin Kelly). It wasn’t till 35 years later that America started to notice and use the stop-motion technique.
Willis O’Brien was hired in 1910 to make short films. O’Brien is given credit for pioneering special effects in filmmaking by utilizing stop-motion animation. Stop-motion progressed quickly due to the invention of plasticine. Plasticine is non-drying clay that retains its form and is effortlessly malleable. By putting plasticine on top of wire-armature, models were able to move around with effortlessness. O’Brien initially used clay to make models but then began adding full skeletons, rubber skin, and even...