Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Set

Tada! Here is the completed set (i.e. the interior of the bakery). To those who already asked me, yes, I built and painted the walls, shelves, counters, ovens, etc... There are details in the kitchen that will never be noticed the first time you see the film, such as the crown mouldings that look like it has baked goods in it. In Italian, this type of baked goods is actually like a biscuit and made from a ring of dough. It is known as "taralli".
A special thanks goes out to Cuppa Coffee Studios for donating items available for us to use. Although I created the entire set, I was able to use extra props like the cupcakes/bottles/boxes on the shelves to fill in empty spaces thanks to Cuppa Coffee. I made some of the foods, like the bread, the pastries on the moulding, some cakes etc... but it saved me a lot of time to be able to fill some of the other plates with what was already donated by them.

Notice how the set is on a platform. This is necessary to secure the puppets in place on the set, by means of really strong rare earth magnets. The magnets hold the feet in place from below, while the puppets stands firmly on top of the floor.

Let the building begin...

I began by roughing out the body structures on a piece of cardboard. This helped identify the scale of the puppets in comparison to one another, as well as the size of the kitchen (i.e. the set). I began creating the skeletons of the puppets out of twisted wires for strength. At the beginning of the limbs, you will see a piece of brass tube, which is where the duplicate limbs can be replaced. In production, puppets get damaged, so I had to make sure I had extra limbs, especially in my case, where the puppets are somewhat mimicking a rubber hose feel to them. When the puppets reach for ingredients, I wanted the arms to stretch in order to grab objects.

The original ROUGH leica reel

Here is the original idea for the story behind Crema Suprema. The reel still had a lot of work that needed to be done at this stage. The later part of the story wasn't as clarified at this stage yet. PLEASE REMEMBER... I had to board for stop motion NOT a 2d or 3d feature film. This is why the camera moves are limited. I had to build everything you see in each background. Pre-production is probably the largest amount of work involved for a stop-motion film.

The story: Set in an Italian bakery, two bakers are competing to win the World's Greatest Cake Contest. As tension rises and conflict builds, the bakers sabotage each others’ "masterpiece" cakes. The feud leads to the explosion of both cakes. A large piece from both of the bakers’ cakes collides in mid-air. The result of their disastrous sequence of events allowed them to win the cake contest as a team.

The whole film is in black and white up until one of the bakers swings a food colouring bucket at the other baker and it hits the screen. It is sort of an "underlying" theme about the process of animated film from rubber hose b & w style up until the introduction of technicolour. It's not obvious, but that's what I had in mind behind the reason for filming it this way. It's more of an artistic statement about animated films through the years. I guess it would have been cool to see them go the next step and enter the world of CG, but I just kept the focus of this statement on the art direction alone, not the medium itself.

The making of Crema Suprema

This blog will display the "behind the scenes" of my 4th year stop motion film called "Crema Suprema".