Sean Pecknold – BBC Knowledge “Honk If You’re Human”

More whimsical fun from Sean Pecknold aka Grandchildren! This time it’s in-camera, in-sequence stop-motion from beginning to end for BBC Knowledge. If you like it, check out his previous spot too.

Some production photos and a bit about the process from Sean after the jump!

The spot has a very hands-on look, how much is in camera vs. post?
All of the spot is in-camera on a multi-plane table in sequence. The characters are either paper or clay. All of the backgrounds are painted. Even the natural elements, like clouds and stars, were a layer of animated paint shot in-camera. Because of the way the transitions worked from one thing to the next, we had to be careful because there wasn’t any time to start over, really. The only shot that isn’t fully in camera would be the mouse shot that we mirrored for the clone effect.

Any fun stories from production? Did you guys shoot an actual mouse?
During the animation, the studio was taken over by a couple rogue mice. It almost got us kicked out of the studio by the landlord. We tried to catch one of them for the mouse shot, but we couldn’t get our hands on the sneaky bugger. After that, we tried a few different animated mice. In the end what ended up working is walking down to the pet store and dropping two bucks on some mice.

We tried to shoot it on green-screen, but ended up building the shot around the mouse in his little plastic house. The thing about mice is they don’t like to stand still at all. Especially when you’ve got lights and cameras up in their business. We had to shoot for a couple hours to get the right moment. I hope the mice enjoyed their vacation from the pet store! I worry they may fall prey to snakes someday.

What was the brief or was it an open brief? How long was production?
The script was great. We tried out some techniques, and off to the races we went. The majority of the production took about three weeks once everything was approved.

Director: Sean Pecknold
Executive Producer: Aaron Ball
Producer: Brian Waldrop
Animators: Sean Pecknold, Britta Johnson
Paintings: Britta Johnson
Lighting Assist: Michael Ragen
Editorial and Color: Grandchildren
Art Assistant: Randy Bretzin
Sound Design and Mix: Justin Braegelmann

Agency: Three Drunk Monkeys, Australia
Exec. Creative Directors: Justin Drape, Scott Nowell
Creative Director: Noah Regan
Art Director: Matt Heck
Copywriter: Damian Fitzgerald
Agency Producers: Thea Carone, John Ruggiero
Group Content Director: Dan Beaumont
Account Director: Kristen Hardeman
Content Manager: Brad Firth