Independent Italian animation studio using traditional methods share some insights.
LA CASA DEI CONIGLI was born in the year 2006 in Nola (Napoli – Italy).
It’s a little independent studio (only two person, Giovanna Pignataro and Tiziano Squillace) working in childhood publishing, creative workshops and animation for television series.
The mission of our studio is to promote manual ability and creativity: technology cannot substitute everything and, above all, it should not replace anything that could be made with our own hands. All our animations are therefore produced with traditional techniques that may be renewed time by time.
We use SMP because we find it very easy and intuitive without too many adjustments, nor unnecessary screens. Compared to earlier versions, SMP Eclipse has introduced many useful features, such as a linear time line.
Where has your work been screened?
Since the very beginning, stop motion technique has been our main experiment leading us to the production of 3 tv series:
- MOUNTED MINUTES (2007, 26×1’), broadcast by RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana
- LIGHT IT UP! (2008, 26×1’), broadcast by RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana, the only Italian tv series finalist at Annecy Festival 2010, Nomination at Pulcinella Awards 2010.
- UN-FOLDED STORIES (2010, 26×2’30’’), broadcast by RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana
Then we have experimented watercolors on a luminous plan and so two new series were born:
- CLEAN WATER (2012, 26×2′) broadcast by RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana, Nomination at Pulcinella Awards 2012
- ADVENT DAYS (2012, 25×1’30”) broadcast by RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana
In the meantime the house is all year long very active in running animation workshops with primary school kids, producing animation shorts with them using diverse techniques like rotoscopy, pixillation, collage and stop motion. The last produced series concerns really this job with children:
- PICCOLI E CORTI IN TV (small and shorts in TV) (2012, 6×6′), broadcast by RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana
What is your animation set up like?
We use a very simple hardware, a laptop with installed smp for filming and video editing software, a set of illuminators diffuser, a multiplane camera of our own design and construction, two cameras nikon d5000 and d5100 .. everything else is creativity ‘.
How do you like to animate?
We use SMP Eclipse with a keypad. We use very well the onionskinning, grid and markers, for guidelines on moving subjects. It’s also very useful to look at the selected sequences backwards and have a linear timeline visible.
Your puppets and characters are novel – can you tell us how you make them?
We work a lot with paper, textiles, clothing, small items crushed, shadows, colored water and many recycled items. We are specialized in the use of multiplane camera with the technique of collage animated.
Our characters are always two-dimensional. Our style is a kind of “drawing animated”. We are inspired by the technique of two great Italian masters, Giulio Gianini and Emanuele Luzzati and we admire very creative work of Lastrego and Testa Study of Torino. We love very much to use the hand-painted paper and tissues for our characters.
What is next for the studio?
The hand-drawn animation in Italy is not very considered and our studio is now one of the few who resist the temptation to use the 3d.
We are specialized in TV series for small children and we continue to produce work that we submit to the Italian channel Rai Yoyo. In addition, we work in schools, creating educational cartoons with the kids. Lately, we’re also looking to the animation for advertising ‘television and we are collaborating with musicians for creating animated videos.