Making Of: Seattle International Film Festival 2009

Our previous post about Digital Kitchen’s work for the Seattle International Film Festival tickled my curiosity: How exactly were the animation rigs set up? How did they maintain control over the acetate layers?

So I asked DK if they’d be willing to share some making-of morsels, and they came through with the goods!

A little explanation from DK:

In executing the piece, we created a small set-up in our Seattle studio consisting of two rear-illuminated lightboxes made of 5 panes of glass layered on top of a diffusion layer. Each layer of glass had an element that was either animated frame by frame or was static to create the environment.

For example, a scene might have a layer of diffusion, a painted layer, a layer of characters that we could articulate, and a layer of organic materials, etc. that created the environment. We mounted a Canon Rebel XSi over animation stands, and connected directly to a Mac Pro workstation running the stop-motion software Dragon.

DK also acknowledges their inspiration for the project:

DK developed an approach that not only fit within the overarching campaign, but celebrated the hand-made qualities of early stop motion animation as well as the universality and diversity of SIFF – films from around the world that range from the highest production value to the most raw, stripped down filmmaking.

In doing so, DK sought to pay homage to one of the oldest feature-length films, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, by German animator Lotte Reiniger, and also drew inspiration from the work of Jamie Caliri, Kara Walker, Kim Keever, and the Quay Brothers.

Check out the finished project on Digital Kitchen’s site.