Sunday, August 3, 2008

I joined the circus...

Yesterday afternoon I took some sugary treats out to my friends at the Tiny Circus work camp. About a dozen people are currently there working on various aspects of the project. Imagine my excitement when I walked into the studio to find creation central in full work mode. Glue guns, card stock, yarn, paint, tin foil...the supplies were endless and the creative uses of them in full force. After a short break for brownie sundaes, everyone returned to work and Greta invited me to come back after dark for the animation session of the night. Shooting is done after dark so that the crew can have full control of the lighting being as "the studio" is in an out building at the Ferguson's farm. I returned home to feed and bathe my girlies and tuck them snug into their beds before heading back out for "the shoot."

When I arrived the story board had been created, all the props had been made, the studio cleaned up, and the crew was in the process of getting the shot and lighting set to begin the animation. Basically the process entails taking some little props and paper cut outs, putting them on a back drop, shooting hundreds of still photos as people gently move everything an 1/8 of an inch at a time, and then through the magic of technology it all gets strung together to make a little short film like the one above. It's a slow process, but it's really fun to see it all coming together. Last night's story...The History of Popcorn.

I felt like a bit of a party crasher, benefiting from all the hard work that had been put in earlier in the day. On the flip side, not having been in the process all day I was fresh and easily made it through the 3 hour photo shoot session while others were starting to wilt. (It probably helps that I'm a bit of a night owl.) I got to puppet popping popcorn, be a giant hand, spin the windmill, and set (which was actually raising since the order of the photos will be reversed) the sun. 3 hours flew by and when the last photo was taken I was amazed to find that the clock said 12:32 am! After sitting around for a bit of a chat, I headed home shortly after 1 with my brain buzzing from the evening's creative adventure. It reminded me of the so many nights I've spent up until the wee hours of the night finishing homemade Christmas gifts, making Halloween costumes, or quilting/crafting and chatting with my good friend Jen. For some reason I'm drawn to late night creation time. I think it's because the rest of the world is quiet, removing any distractions and allowing the creative juices to flow freely.

One of the things I'm most impressed with this morning as I think about the night, was how smoothly every thing went. This group of people from all over the country came together and in one day seamlessly worked together to make this little story come to life. I realize I was only present for a short time, but there was no conflict in the air, everyone's ideas were heard and included when possible. It really was an example of collaboration at it's best.

Thanks Tiny Circus for a great night. I look forward to a visit again soon!


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