Anyone who has watched a stop-motion animation by Kate Isobel Scott will know she’s got a steady pair of hands and the utmost patience for plasticine. Her shorts are usually all made of moulded blobs of the material morphed into wide-eyed characters wibbling and wobbling through sets that also makes by hand. A process which takes time and a ridiculous attention to detail, Kate’s animated skill was recently picked up by New York-based street brand Knickerbocker to create a short focusing on a 1950s New York street scene with a skateboarder.
With creative freedom to mould up whatever she wanted in answer to this brief, Kate had the joy (and challenge) of art directing, designing and creating the whole thing herself. To begin the illustrator and animator created “a pencil version of the animation which was basically an animated storyboard,” she tells It’s Nice That. “Then, I worked for weeks painting the New York set building almost brick by brick and asked Jordy (van den Nieuwendijk) to graffiti all over it.” From there Kate had to work out how to make a five-metre long set and makeshift a camera slider herself that would span its length.
This process took two months of building, “it was shoot day,” she tells us. “However, as stop-motion is very sensitive to natural light I needed a dark room to shoot it in.” Problematically, Kate’s studio features four large windows, which is hardly ideal during mid-summer. “Instead of forking out for black blinds I decided to shoot it all at night,” she explains. “Which would have been okay,” but during the height of summer in her home of The Hague Kate had to wait till 11pm to even start “the slow slog of recording the animation,” she says. “The final shooting day turned out to be the longest day of the year even. After two nights of shooting until first morning light, I managed to capture everything. We did some editing in After Effects, like the animated painted intro and the colour and sound effects,” and the project was finally complete.
Now done and dusted Kate admits she’s realised the importance of blackout blinds but the highlight, “apart from seeing the final production” of course “was destroying and cleaning up the set,” she tells us. “Nothing I like better than tidying up.”
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An animation I made for New York fashion label
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