Blockbusters, Saturday morning cartoons, home movies. 24 frames per second of flickering light sending a plethora of emotions. Ahh, the moving image. Way back when I was a kid, I used to draw animation flipbooks on various notepads while working the front desk at my dad’s vet practice. Astonished by crafting something, joy filled my heart when it all came together. In this case, a seed growing into a tree.
In my early teens, I acquired my first film camera (a workhorse Pentax K-1000). I shot a lot of my life and surroundings, but wanted more. My animation flipbooks went to the next level when I setup my tripod to shoot my lego creations moving about. Snap. Move a bit. Sap. Move a bit. I would shoot a couple of rolls, have them printed at the local photo shop on 4×6 mattes. Then I would glue them all together to make a photo animation flipbook. My eyes grew ten times at this marvel as the flips blew cold air at my face.
Fast forward a bit. We travel through my art college days of taking my fascination with the moving image yet again to the next level with my trusty Canon 518 Super-8 camera. Acquired for 20 bucks at the local thrift store, I adored this machine. I made my first official claymation movie, “Fleshhead” for my exit piece at North Carolina School of the Arts. Snap. Move a bit. Snap. Move a bit… And on and on. Hours upon hours for days to squeeze about 3 minutes and 12 seconds of a final film. It was a hit with my professor and the rest of the class.
Though painting is my passion and profession, filmmaking and animation has been a great hobby of mine ever since those crude notepad flipbooks. Which is why I love making videos of my art process. I have been making time-lapse videos of my art making process since 2006. Initially I used my trusty 2004 JVC mini-DV cam and would painstakingly dump the real-time footage via firewire to my MacBook Powerbook (in real-time). Then I would speed the footage up in video editing software to make it faster and add original music I had composed. Finally, I would upload the final video to youtube for all to see. Whew, that was a lot of work!
These days, the iPhone has made things much easier. Super convenient and barely an inconvenience. It’s been an adventure making all of these various films and I am constantly looking for ways to make the videos better for you. We shall see what’s next on the horizon. I’ll just say I am on the hunt for my next camera so I can get good closeups for you.
P.S. Watch the full time-lapse video below of my recent commission creation for a bat biologist 🙂