Kijek & Adamski Build A City With 1 km of Yarn

Simplicity, restraint, symbolism and practical approaches are all present in some of my favorite work this year. This latest stop-motion piece from Polish directing-duo Katarzyna Kijek & Przemysław Adamski for the Tomasz Stańko Quintet is a textbook example of implying an expansive environment and abstract narrative with the simplest tools and restrictions.

Using noting more than 1 km of yarn, a few flashlights and a lamp; Kijek and Adamski create an experience more consuming than any drive-by, city night-shoot could produce. This piece is but another reminder that limitations (technical or monetary) should not restrict creativity and that solutions outside of the computer can still serve as viable ones.

Brain-power still has a pretty good shot against render-power.

(via Promo News)

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About the author

Matt Lambert

NYC / London



I have to disagree with you, Matt.

The video is lovely but I see no symbolism in it. It’s a nice visual piece and practically done but what does that have to do with brain-power? Are you only referring to the technique?

I’ve seen much more intelligent CG pieces and stories told. It’s all about the content not method used.

Matt Lambert

I wasn’t discussing narrative, but rather resourcefulness as a powerful tool when working within certain production limitations.

This piece does not compete with a lot of what we post. However, it does do something different. Different solutions and executions are what open up creative dialogues and move the industry forward. This is a good thing.

Furthermore, lot’s of folks (especially outside of the major production-hub cities) can feel intimidated to create at all when they are aware of all the world-class animation and VFX work they are up against. Pieces like this should act a reminder that low-budgets and technical restrictions should not be a deterrent.


Wish you’d have explained it that way


It may be low budget in terms of money, but I’d be curious what the cost was in terms of time.

A huge reason that I don’t get to indulge in more practical/in-camera productions is the time factor. It would probably take me hundreds upon hundreds of hours to invent and produce a technique like this if I were to do it practically. If I were to do it CG, it probably wouldn’t look as beautiful or organic, but I could get it done a lot faster.

Kudos to these guys for making this, its beautiful to look watch and inspiring in many ways, but I don’t consider it low-budget unless your time has low value. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they made it quickly and cheaply?

Simon Robson

“but I don’t consider it low-budget unless your time has low value. ”

Hang on a minute, so are you saying that creating beautiful hand-made pro-bono or low budget work like this can only be done if you somehow don’t value your time? I may have mis-understood you, but this is what I’m getting.

Please please try not to think about work like this in terms of the dollar or whatever your currency might be. This is a piece of art, like a painting or a sculpture or a poem,etc etc. It seems the creators have been taken by an artistic impulse and have had the drive and conviction to see it through, without clocking every hour spent.

I kind of see this as a potentially a problem with a CG way of thinking. There’s always a ‘Could have done it quicker and ‘cheaper’ in CG’ response to any organic animation. But i think that for many, inspiration does not come from staring at a monitor and keyboard, it comes from the real world, real objects, real juxtapositions and abstract interpretations using real organic ‘things’. And the fact that these guys have seen string and flashlights and a whole narrative has opened up before them that they have had the balls to realise in camera is amazing. It’s raw and beautiful creative instinct.

My bet is that this piece is shown at many festivals and in a short amount of time will be re-created, devoid of inspiration, in CG for a commercial for a lot of money. And somehow some people will consider this version ‘better’, as it was created quicker in CG.


I think you read me wrong, or I wrote it wrong.
What I meant was: This piece may have low dollar value, but I’d wager it has high time value. Matt used the term “low budget”, and I was trying to say that this piece isn’t low budget at all because time IS money. To say it was low budget would be to cheapen the time that went into it, which I was arguing against.

Time is the only currency any of us really have, and whether you turn it into art or green stuff, that is a whole other discussion. Both have merits for very different reasons.

I am not in love with CG. More often enough I’m a slave to it because of circumstance. Bravo to the people out there who are making beautiful analogue things without regard for money.

Random Person

I’d be interested in learning how they actually made this piece with some yarn and a flashlight. Looks like more than that to me.


Looks very nice. Congrats.

Bardzo ladnie wyszlo. Gratulacje.


talking about technique is like talking about the nots on your shoe, as long as its tight who cares?! :P But yeah, cg or live action, it takes a lot of time either way you cut it, so in the end it don’t really matter.

Thiago Maia

Nice video and thanks for the post Matt, I would love to know budge and time on it as well. Maybe they have a making of…
It is always good see people getting out of the computer and making things by hand/camera. For me it is so relax and natural, I think this video gives those feelings.


I think most ppl missed the point Matt was making. He’s basically saying take a step away from your computer every now & then and open your eyes to other materials/media… be resourceful. I think this spot is brilliant and it displays how something as simple as yarn can be so beautiful. Imagine what other materials can do? That’s point here.

Great post and great spot!

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