The creative team behind “Marionette” tell us about their experiences…

I first became interested in animation after watching Pixar’s ‘Monsters Inc.’ and decided that it was the perfect way to combine my three favorite subjects, Film, Drama and Art. What drew me to stop motion was the love of making physical sets and props and animating an armature moving through a real environment.

Although I grew up surrounded by animated films I didn’t consider animation as a career choice until my last year of 6th form when I made a three minute stop-motion animation for my art final piece. I loved the process of giving ‘life’ to an inanimate object so much that I pursued it through foundation and up to the Arts University College At Bournemouth.

When I was young my Father and I used to watch some of the Harryhausen films such as, Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and First Men in the Moon. These films amazed me and still do. I wanted to animate so that one day I could influence people the way I was influenced as a child.

Growing up I was always captivated with Aardmans’ work, I loved anything to do with miniature worlds. And so when I applied to do an animation degree I did it with the intension of going into stop motion. As a dancer I have always been a lover of movement and so, having the opportunity to combine my two passions in a new and interesting way was a wonderful opportunity.

‘Marionette’ is a three-minute stop-motion animation telling the story of a puppet-maker obsessed with crafting a puppet worthy of a pair of glass eyes he has obtained. The film is inspired by the ballet ‘Copellia’ and the classic story ‘The Sandman’. It integrates story, dance and animation with something for all viewing ages.

As the film will be entered into many festivals we cannot put a copy of it online until next year but you can find a teaser trailer on this page or check out our websites for clips in our showreels.

What hardware do you use?

We used a range of hardware including Dedolights , Kino Flo Lights, Cannon DSLR 450D and a Flair Motion Control Camera.
We also used computer programs such as Nuke, Maya and Stop Motion Pro

We used Stop Motion Pro during production to capture, arrange and store our animation, we also used the facilities such as rotoscope to help aid our work. We had many technical difficulties throughout production but none from Stop Motion Pro, we found the program extremely easy to use and beneficial to our workflow
Can you tell us a little about how you make the imagery in your work? How do you make your puppets?
Our two main characters had bespoke armatures provided for us by Animation Supplies, The character was then built up with upholstery foam which was then sculpted and smoothed. The male character has latex skin and the female has fabric sewn around her body. They have Mohair (from sheep) and plastic eyes.

The crafting process

The props were made using workshop tools such Band Saws and Lazer Cutters for some of the smaller props we used Fimo or Sculpy which we then painted with acrylic paint. Our film is based in the Victorian era so we drew inspiration from the works of Charles Dickens, specifically The Old Curiosity Shop, and Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’

Contact list:

Matthew Wierenga:

Tomas Tanner: