(2003) stop frame puppet film

Duration - 5 Minutes

Rocky was made for the Brisbane International Fast Film Competition 2003 and had to be made within 40 days and have a symbol which was a reflection. We made it in a small room and mixed in some live action stuff where the puppet was hand held and also some live action footage of human hands. At the time we had been working on another stop frame film called "Waiting" This work was meant to be live action but because we had used puppets with Gordon we thought it would be another cheap way of making a film and at least getting it out there. This is where the first interest in working with a digital stills camera came from. We really wanted to use film as we had got hold of a nice Bolex but the cost off film etc just led us more in the direction of digital capture. We got hold of a canon G2 and shot several minutes of "Waiting" only to be so dissapointed in the images. We could not work out why or what was wrong until we realized there was just no depth of field and it was cold and flat and horrid. We worked on waiting from about end of 2001 to the end of 2002 mainly trying to perfect the "The Mule" which was an adapter that mounted in front of the G2 and created a 35mm depth of field. This adapter involved grinding our own glass and working out faults with the g2.(the image below with the G2 shows a metal piece we made up to hold the manual focus button on continuously which we had to make to stop the camera from shutting down every 15 minutes). We worked on this for a very long time and when the fast film came around for 2003 we had bought a CanonXM2 for our business and thought we would just try and loosen up and go for it. As it turned out this method didn't look anywhere as good as Gordon did because DV is a lower relolution than the MJPEG format which we used for Gordon which makes it more compressed. Because a lot of our work is dark thisonly madethings worse andwhen it was shown up on a very large screen from a football stadium for the judging you could only see some bits. (the flashbacks). We learnt a lot from this aned continued trying to make a better image digitally. "Waiting " is still waiting and will be done after we finish "Wombok Forest", it is a lovely piece about a woman who makes a paper family.

Below some photos of "The Mule" #1 and #2.


A woman remembers through faceless photographs in a photo album
one single tormented moment from her childhood

Canon xm2 firewire to ohci firewire card. We used Anisazi as reference loop but captured to premiere 6 in stopmotion capture mode then edited it on a canopus dv raprtor 2. The old movie settings were used for the flash back bits. We still use the canopus cards or dv editing even though premiere pro 2 isn’t supported on them.

We just captured to an editing ide drive. No raid is need for dv. What was evident in this setup was that although we were using a higher res camera with better colour (3ccd) we actually took a step backwards in picture quality. Because dv compression 4:1:1 was way more noticeable/disturbing than the 4:2:2 that the dc10+and Dc30+ are capable of. All it means is there’s more information in each frame. We shot Pal 720 x 576 lines of resolution

2007-2010/Puppet House/ IDAP Touring Exhibition/ Australia, Japan and China
2006 Powerhouse - Brisbane, Australia
2005/2006 Solitary Voices - Ipswich Art Gallery - Brisbane, Australia
2005/2006 Straight Out of Brisbane Festival - Brisbane, Australia
2004 The Farm Gallery Space - Brisbane, Australia
2003 Brisbane International Fast Film Competition Finalists - Brisbane, Australia

2003 Finalist in Brisbane International Fast Film Competition - Brisbane, Australia


Some behind the scenes photos of the making