Student Academy Award Winner Reveals Stop-Motion Secrets
November 23, 2010
Dried Up is a stop-motion film that was created by a group of local independent animation directors. Last month, it was featured in the New York Times. It also won a student academy award. Dried Up is easily Kansas City's best piece of stop-motion since the heyday of Reuben Gomez. Stuart Bury, one of the creators of the film, recently responded to a few queries.
What was the scale of the film? How tall was the old man?
We didn't work in an exact scale, but the old man (we called him Cecil) was about 8" tall. All of our sets fit on a modified 4'x8' piece of ply-wood, so big enough that we felt we could get some amount of details we wanted, but small enough that we could still make it in Isaiah's basement.
I don't know of any stores that specialize in dust bowl wares... where did you find props for this?
First, I have to give a shout out to Regina Weller. She helped us A LOT, and is responsible a large amount of the props and for showing us how to paint and create props well since we didn't have any money to actually make this film. We had to be creative with our resources. Luckily, our story centered around a man that collects junk and appropriates it into something worthwhile for his community. So, we set out to collect little knick-knacks and different little nuts and bolts from scrap metal places, the street, dumpsters and the like. We had to become our character to make this film. We also made a lot of the props from balsa wood. We created 95% of the props inside his house (the benches, framed pictures, tools). The only place where we didn't create the majority of the props was in the junk yard. This was because we didn't need to, junk is actually really easy to find.
How does Dragon Stop Motion make it easier to make a real cool stop-motion film? How long would it have taken to make Dried Up without DSM?
Dragon is an amazing program. Even if you are only starting in stop-motion, you should get this program. It is quickly becoming the industry standard, not because it is hugely complicated, but because it is a huge program that is incredibly usable for any level of expertise. When we started, we didn't have time to formally learn how to work the program, we were able to figure out what we needed it to do just by spending a little bit of time experimenting. Only later did we realize that the program was 10xs more sophisticated than we thought it was. In this program, you can animate lighting effects, you can shoot in 3D, and it has built in X-sheets. And, you can do all of these thing for a fraction of the price it used to be to do this. We wouldn't have finished our film with out Dragon. Plain and simple, Dragon helped us get our work done faster because it streamlines the process of animating stop-motion.
Were any of you expecting the response that the film generated?
No. When we created it, we were just happy that it didn't suck. We were really happy that we were just getting into a few good film festivals here and there.
Have you and the other filmmakers considered longer projects? (Maybe a sequel called Water Down?)
Jokingly, yes we have. We are trying to work together on some more projects, but we all have jobs and other responsibilities. We are looking for funding so that we can have film making be our jobs and really focus on that.
South Independence Branch