It all started with the idea of making a video that we could play along to. We had about 30 days to make one before a concert at our local amateur film festival. We've made visualisations based on excerpts from movies and public domain clips before but we wanted to go the ambitious route and decided to make a video of our own - with our own footage and so on.
Initially we thought of going to some abandoned places and recording 'cool' stuff like old equipment and defunct buildings. We found a few interesting places in the area we lived and went there to check them out. When we tried making an actual video out of the footage, it looked kind of boring, so we went back to the drawing board.
Then we played around with the idea of having some sort of story - the problem was we lacked actors and acting skills and a script. We had a few brainstorming sessions but none of the ideas felt particularly good. How many times have you seen a video whose protagonist is depressed because of the grey world around her/him?
My brother the bassist in our band is a hobbyist photographer, so he knows a thing or two about taking pictures. We decided to be ambitious and make a stop-motion video despite having no prior experience in animation.
We had to think on what would be the 'material' we'd be working with. There was an idea to make use of a hybrid techniques - live action segments and animated ones with the use paint and sketches. I made some early concepts just to see how to animate stuff. I used an app phone and hand-held it while I was drawing. The shaking effect was deliberate. Here are a few clips to show off how it looked.
I thought it looked cool but having to actually ANIMATE all of this - changing pages and so on would have been a pain. Those short clips took me over a few hours to make. We eventually used those as background filler in other visualisations.
We'd never have made it on time if we had wanted to play at the film festival, so we settled for plasticine. "Making a character and moving it would surely be easier, wouldn't it?" - we thought?
Well... it wasn't. In order to make them move 'fluidly' we had to have at least 12 frames per second. This test animation that my brother made (I helped with the monster) took him two evenings alone.
We were in for a LOT of work.