After a call to fellow filmmakers Stephen and Marie van Vuuren, I had the start of what would become a fantastic and enthusiastic team of stop-motionists (I think I may have coined a new term). The team was rounded out with Emma Hadley, an art student at VCU, Daniel Irons, a film student at SCAD, and Lynn Wagoner. I am grateful for all of their help, this project would not have come to life without them.
With Marie as lead set designer helped by Lynn, Emma doing the design and construction of the props and figures, Stephen working out timing and technical issues during the shoot, and Daniel handling the camera and lights, we had all of the aspects of producing a lovely project. Now keep in mind - this is a lot of work for six people! We had a total of almost 30 days of work - from planning to editing - by the time it was completed.
The set features the number 17 as you would expect, a tip of the hat to our friend Harry Blair and the beautiful Greensboro Oak Leaf design he created around 1985 for the Carolina Theater, and many of the feature performers and art that will appear during the festival.
We all had a hand in the animation. On the opening shot, we had the camera dollying, focus pulling from a chandelier moving up and out of frame, people in the audience sitting down, and the curtains opening. That was the shot with the most different movements, but perhaps not the hardest shot to pull off. We have different answers for that depending on who was the main animator for a given set-up. While on there can always be a bit of tension with the difficulty of some of these shots, everyone had fun is ready to produce another stop-motion soon, well, maybe in a few weeks, or perhaps a month.