The eight houses in the city square were made of cast-off computer-paper boxes and the “city wall’ was built around a framework of rubbish from the computer tape library with modrock, plaster, and as nasty a paint-job as I could manage. Every single item of scenery could be removed so as to allow the sort of camera angle which could have been achieved by my puppets (mostly less than 15 cm tall) but would otherwise have been impossible for me using a camera (on their scale) about ten feet long with a front element more than a yard across.
The Perils of Plasticine
LEWIS COOPER WON A MOVIE MAKER TEN BEST AWARD LAST YEAR WITH HIS PLASTICINE PUPPET FILM ‘THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JOE SOAP’. HE GIVES US SOME TIPS ON MAKING OUR OWN PLASTICINE PUPPETS.
You’ve decided to make a film one frame at-a-time. To make it you’ll need lights which get very hot but the substance you have chosen to use slowly melts under those lights. Not only that, the substance has the alarming tendency of falling over at regular intervals, thereby flattening the features you’ve carefully modeled. Even if you can achieve the impossible and prevent it falling over, the very act of manipulating the substance to get your animation slowly disintegrates your model. You’ve guessed it – this melting, squashing, disintegrating substance is plasticine.
As you animate remember that you are making a FILM. It should have long shots, medium close-ups, big close ups and camera angle changes. Not only does this make the film look better, it is often a great help with shooting problems. Suppose you have a man who is required to walk, in long shot, across your set. It will take about ten paces for him to get across. You get to pace number four and he falls flat on his face. You have to pick him up, remodel his face, and put him back in exactly the same position, with arms and legs at the correct angle.