A motion control and stop motion studio project dedicated to Stanley Kubrick, to coincide with the Design Museum exhibition.

Approach

We opted for the abstract space shots with Strauss’ Blue Danube to help create the 2001 A Space Odyssey inspired motion control opening shots.

Although this was dedicated to the great filmmaker Kubrick, this short is basically our studio car commercial, scaled right down to fit on a stage in our London studio.

The biggest challenge was lighting a round, shiny object without picking up unwanted reflections. This is more difficult than it sounds and involved covering the entire stage area in black.

The model “Stanley” is a small character, standing at around 12cm tall. To avoid revealing too much of him in the opening shots we used a macro lens. Although this powerful lens is excellent at returning high quality close up shots, it does also pick up blemishes in the paintwork and dust. We got to work removing these in post production.

The model was rigged on our motion control equipment so it could move through as many axes as possible. This was then controlled through stop motion software Dragonframe. This way we were able to achieve subtle rotations in a very controlled and systematic way.

Result

A 30” film that borrows from Kubrick and studio genre, car commercials, ending with a reveal of the chicken’s menacing face in an extreme close-up. Here we show the whole model and the articulation of the wings as they conceal deadly guns. The symmetry and suggested violence in the final shot reference Kubrick’s filmmaking techniques and narratives.

Kubrick Stop motion Behind the Scenes
Kubrick Stop motion Behind the Scenes
Aggy robot chicken back detail on black

Credits

Directed and Produced: Picturesmith

Director of Photography: Peter Ellmore