14. Dec, 2016

Animating Halloween

It's no longer Halloween. My apologies. I meant to post this then but the opportunity somehow came and went. No matter, here it is!

    The granddaughters came to stay for a few days over Halloween, but beforehand Husband and I wandered around Alton doing a spot of shopping. Passed a charity shop and Husband did a double take and whirled round.

    ‘Look at that! What d’you think?’

   ‘That’ was an animation kit for Halloween, consisting of plasticine strips of various colours and a backscene.

   ‘Excellent,’ says I, ‘Let’s get it. Good thinking, Batman.’

    When I duly presented the kids with the box, they weren’t altogether impressed, but upon opening it up, their ‘interested’ glands popped up.

     ‘Ooh, yes!’

     ‘Can we do it now?’

      ‘What do we do?’


       What you do do, in fact, was create your characters out of plasticine – in our case two mini characters, two mini ghosts and an evil pumpkin – tape the backdrop and sides (consisting of the front door of a house and the sides representing the garden), then, following the instructions, film the evil pumpkin animation. (How were we to know that there were umpteen zillion other Youtube videos titled ‘Evil Pumkin’ out there?!).

      What tremendous fun it turned out to be. Husband, my tech man, used his posh camera on a tripod, positioned such that he framed each part of the story separately, and took a shot for each section. According to the instructions, which he read in detail (he’s good like that), you shoot a frame per so many seconds. A lot, in other words. And for each part of the story we moved the characters for trick or treating, opened the door to the house, evil pumpkin appeared with the sweets, turned the characters into ghosts who bolted and ran behind a tree. Evil pumpkin chased after them, destroyed one ghost then went for the other. The other destroyed Evil Pumpkin which exploded into little bits, which ghost number two duly munched upon, then went to the door and nicked the sweets, turned, tripped over, stepped over destroyed ghost number one, and disappeared off set.

     The next task was transfer the lot onto the computer and give it the movie app treatment. All terribly clever. We then had to voice over and make the appropriate noises to the film. Footsteps, creaking open door courtesy of twin granddaughter number one/two, Evil Pumpkin (Husband) speaks and turns granddaughter number one/two and me into ghosts. We scream and run behind the plasticine tree. Pumpkin looks for us, destroys number one ghost (plopping sound). Number two ghost makes Pumpkin explode (exploding noise), then runs for the door, nicks all the sweets and wanders off set, tripping over (‘trip!’), passes poor old ghost number one without a by your leave – charming – then runs off set. How many takes we had to take goodness only knows.

      ‘Stop giggling!’


      ‘Speak – now!’

      ‘Too late. Again…’

       And so forth.

       A trillion takes later we had a movie. What fun it was. I’ve never animated before, so I said to Husband:        

      ‘I’ve never animated before and I want to do that again!’

      Add to my creative repertoire. And I can never have too many. Never!

      And here, dear readers, is the result. Enjoy.