Paul Whittington (Carrotkid) interview

Paul Whittington better known as carrotkid also stopped by.

1. You are one of the few of us that have actually made and sold a
dvd of your work. Can you tell us about that process.

Well, I think the best way to sell your DVD’s (right now anyhow) is
to first author your DVD and have it set up and ready for
distribution. Then, once you’re ready to sell, what I do (and this
part might be disagreed with by others) is post all my videos for
free viewing at as many video hosting sites you can find (youtube,
revver, undergroundfilm.com, ect.) with a very short message at the
end letting people know you have the film for sale at you site – if
they like your film enough to buy it, they will (provided the buying
process is quick and easy). 95% of all my sales comes from Amazon.com
– but I’ll warn you ahead of time that they do take a huge chunk of
the money – it sucks, but until a better distribution model comes
along there is not much that can be done about it – Amazon is where
people shop so that is where we must sell (for now, anyhow).

2. I was very impressed with the smoothness of your robot in
L19:disposed. Any tips on getting our animation smoother?

Thanks – ummm, I’m not really sure why they come out so smooth but I
think the most important thing to do is animate in 1’s and not 2’s
(make every frame a new movement).

3. Any new storylines you would like to share with us for future
projects?

I’m currently working on a feature film so I haven’t been able to do
as much stop-motion lately as I’d like to – but I don’t think the
feature will be filmed until at least next summer so I hope to be
able to slip in another stop-motion film the summer. I have one film
idea called “The Desk” that will most likely be the next stop-motion
project but I still have yet to write it so all I really know right
now is that it will obviously involve a desk.

> 4. What is your camera and software setup?

L19: Disposed was shot with a Nikon D40 DSLR. But I am so very sick
of having to correct flicker between frames in post so for all new
stop-motion project I will use my latest camera (the Canon XH-A1). It
is a get camera with full manual for almost every feature and shots
great in low light – a perfect camera for stop-motion (at least I
hope so!) On the software side I pretty much just use Final Cut Pro
along with a few other programs for effects like Photoshop, Motion,
and some times Apple Shake.

5. What can we expect from this new younger crowd that is creating
stopmotion nowadays?

Oh, that is a tough question to answer – I guess, now that stop-
motion in no longer used in the professional world as a practical
effects tool and that all the basic camera and software equipment to
do stop-motion is pretty cheap to acquire, we will be seeing more and
more people getting into it all the time – stop-motion has now
finally become a standard art form which is now accessible to pretty
much anyone who wishes to experiment with it – some stuff will be
good and some will be bad but at least people now have the chance to
play around with it and get creative and have some fun. So I guess we
can expect a huge pool of creative ideas and original content to pour
out of this great medium called Stop-Motion.

6. What have you found to be the hardest to animate so far?

Trying to mimic human walking, no question. That has always been the
hardest and most frustrating thing for me (that is why I am glad so
many of my characters are androids, lol).

7. What would you consider to be one of your strongest assets in
stopmotion?

I guess my most strongest asset would be my love of doing it – I
enjoy making the characters, building the sets, and even animating
(well most of the time, lol). If you really love making a film of any
kind you are much more likely to complete it than if you don’t really
care for it at all.

8. Any tips on newcomers on making a better film?

The best tip anyone can give anyone else for stop-motion animation is
of course the biggest cliche in advise giving of all time (but also
the best tip of all) and that is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE – do as
much planning and test shots as you can – don’t even think about
making a film at first – just have fun animating simple objects
around until you master it and then animate other things after than.
And then, when you do get into making a film, do even more test shots
first before shooting the actual film to get yourself familiar with
the types of shots you with need to shoot.

9. You have talked about new avenues for really short animations.
Where are some of the venues we may see stopmotion?

I think for the most part stop-motion will mainly exist as an art
form that people will do for the love of it – and will also live on
in classrooms as part of the school art curriculum. That’s not to say
one can not make money with it – a film is a film, no matter how it
was shot – so all the time a market exists for films, a market exists
for stop-motion as well. Films make money because of the level of
interest people have in those films – not because of how they where
made. Personally though, I still think that the biggest market right
now and in the near future for stop-motion shorts will be on micro
payments made by people who purchase content for their mobile devices
(that is true for all ‘mini’ films).

10. What would you say is the greatest element in making a film
with Stop-motion?

I think the strongest element of making a stop-motion film is the
level of control one has with the production of the film. With stop-
motion you have complete control over ever part of the image and also
every frame of it – you are free to express yourself in virtually any
way possible. I make both live action films and stop-motion and with
live-action I always get frustrated whenever things don’t go right
and I usually end up wishing that whenever I film live-action I could
just freeze the shot, step into the frame, and manually guide
everything and everyone with my own two hands to have them do exactly
what I want them to do rather than what then usually end up doing on
their own. With stop-motion you can do that.

Thanks Paul.

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