Hey Everyone – Tom here, and today we are highlighting another very exciting Jurassic World fan project which we think you should sink your teeth into this Jurassic June!
Anyone who knows me will be aware that I absolutely love toy photography – so when I found out about Mason’s fantastic Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom inspired stop motion I absolutely HAD to write about it! I’ve experimented with stop motion in the past and it truly is a lengthy process – so I have so much respect for anyone who pulls off a stop motion which looks good!
Check out the interview about Indomation below:
Hi Mason – thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Firstly – how did your love of Stop motion animation begin?
First off, WOW, thank you for having me. I’m a huge fan and I absolutely love the JP community we’re all a part of!
I can remember being in 5th grade making animations on sticky notes and I was drawn to the fact that I was bringing things to life through motion. I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker but since I didn’t have fancy cameras and actors, stop-motion was the most accessible way for me to tell stories. Of course, seeing films like King Kong and The Nightmare before Christmas were huge inspirations as well.
Similarly – how did your love for Jurassic begin?
Watching the film as a child really impacted me. As most children do, I had an interest in dinosaurs, so seeing them on the big screen in such a realistic way blew my mind. It not only got me hyped about dinosaurs but JP was the first film that really got me thinking, “How’d they do that?” - a line of questioning that would lead me to searching for every Spielberg ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘making of’ VHS I could find. And so, began my love of filmmaking.
Between me and my best friend I’m certain we had every single JP toy made during the early 90s.
The film features an intricately crafted set which clearly had a lot of time and energy put into it. How did you create the set – and how long does creating a set of this scale take?
The set’s design was largely built out of necessity. I don’t have a ton of space where I can animate so a single, rotating set solves a lot of logistical problems. The set base pieces came from an 8x4 piece of MDF board which would eventually be cut out on a CNC machine. I had the concept sketched out and then had an engineer design it in Adobe InDesign. That part only took a day at a fabrication lab. It was the interior set builds that took up the better part of two months. I made mostly everything from balsa wood and hot glue. It could have been finished sooner but I was only able to work on it after my day job and during the weekends. Fortunately, I had a friend volunteer to paint everything which saved me a ton of time and energy.
On a separate note, there’s at least 15 different JP Easter Eggs in the film for eagle-eyed viewers.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with stop motion – it’s frame by frame based animation. Do you know how many frames went into the production of this film?
In total, I shot a little over 12,000 frames- but so much of that was me shooting frames I didn’t like and then reshooting. The final film though was cut down to 7,830 frames.
Obviously, the crux of Indomation is the Indoraptor. In the film – Ted Brothers provided a stunning repaint of the animal. What was it like getting to incorporate Ted’s work?
I found Ted’s work while researching different toys I could use for the film. I had seen Mattel’s Indoraptor figure on store shelves so I went on YouTube to watch some reviews before buying it. Fortunately, I found Ted’s repaint and fell in love with his work. He’s a talented guy and deserves every single view his videos get. I reached out to him on Instagram to pitch the idea of a collaboration. I was able to show him some of the concept work I had done up to that point and he agreed to repaint one of the Indoraptors. I was thrilled and to be honest, knowing that his work was going to be featured in my film really gave me a lot of inspiration during production. He was even kind enough to paint me two identical versions of it in case one were to break during the animation process.
Do you own any of the other Mattel products – and have you considered featuring any of them in animations?
I have a few toys from different franchises but none of them have enough articulation to animate the way I’d like. I was thinking about taking one of the new T-Rexes and modding it with a really articulate armature to make some cool micro-shorts for my YouTube channel but we’ll see about that. Maybe if Indomation hits 1 million views. :)
In some scenes, we see things like debris flying. How are these achieved? Do you work with things like string and then remove those in post?
Close, but not strings. I use different types of soldering wire glued to the set. For each sequence that used any type of support or wire I had to import it into Photoshop and digitally paint the wire out each frame. It was my least favourite part of the process!
How many hours went into the production, approximately? The level of detail is intricate – so I imagine a lot!
I don’t know how many total hours went into it from beginning to end. It was 7 months from the day I finished the initial storyboard to the day I uploaded it. I did keep a log of my time spent animating and that was exactly 93 hours.
What kind of advice would you give people looking to work on similar projects?
As corny as it may seem, let me quote our boy John Hammond- “Creation is an act of sheer will.” I think the best advice I can give somebody is that if you really want to work on a project than make yourself go work on it. One of the biggest challenges creative people face when creating things is that first, initial step towards doing something. For Indomation, I had to lower my standards of quality because I often want everything to be perfect. I had to make the simple act of going out in my garage and working towards an end goal the priority. If you want to make a short film, or make custom repaints, or start a podcast, or whatever, there’s nothing stopping you. Remember, “Creation is an act of sheer will.”
Lastly – what would your plan for escaping an Indoraptor be?
Obviously, all you have to do is order Pizza.
Thanks for your time, Mason!
Mason: Thank you!
So, there you have it – a look behind the scenes at another great Jurassic fan-project to mark Jurassic June. And is as if that was not enough, seeing one of Ted Brother’s figures live in a stop motion was an absolute treat!
If you haven’t checked out Indomation yet, make sure to check it out below: