once upon a time we made a movie...

This post is brought to you by The New Santa Fe from Hyundai
IMG_4390 Fable & Archer, claymation edition(s)

Back in December, I got the idea to make a movie. A short (very short) movie, but a movie nonetheless. I got this idea because Archer is fascinated by watching stop motion animation and has spent much of the last year watching Tomica stop motion videos on youtube for inspiration before building his own worlds, creating his own stories... I've watched his stories become more nuanced, his camera angles more advanced, his pictures more in focus and he's done it all on his own.

So when FM approached me with Hyundai's Epic Playdate campaign and asked if there was something epic-playdatesque I wanted to pursue with my family, I presented my idea.

Six months and countless hours (not to mention two VERY generous and talented animators) later, we have a film. Or rather, Archer and Fable have a film on a DVD that they helped create.

Here's what our process these last six months has looked like. 
IMG_6892 writing/collaborating
IMG_6891 (spoiler alert: there is humor.)
IMG_2705 memorizing lines (after I typed their story into a script)
IMG_2692 recording VO with Hal  
IMG_2791 listening to the playback
IMG_3321 recording (more) VO
meeting their figurine selves
IMG_4152 IMG_4157 learning how to animate with their figurine selves...
IMG_4117 ... on a professional set: 
IMG_4142 IMG_4135 IMG_4146
I was prepared for awesome, of course, because children are the coolest people that exist and their imaginations hold alllllll the secrets of the universe, and animators Brad and Ashley are TOTAL rockstars at their craft. However. I was not prepared for this to be a game changing endeavor. Because it truly was. For me and for them and for all of us, who came together and worked together and made something so totally amazing... together.

I was actually kind of worried that we weren't going to pull off this massive project or that the kids would lose interest... but everyone was 100% in. Especially Archer and Fable, storytellers extraordinaire:
IMG_4112 watching their completed film for the first time
This project was a true labor of love. An epic labor of love that would not have been possible without new friends and old friends and the skies-not-even-the-limit-because-there-is-no-limit ideas of Archer and Fable who wrote such a perfectly simple and totally right on story that I will forever be in awe of.  

A huge thanks to the extremely talented and wonderfully kind Ashley Arechiga and Bradley Schaffer for appearing in this video with us and David Crowther and Casey Peterson for being effortless to work with. 


Tomorrow I'll be posting our short film titled, "The Grocery Store" and on Friday I'll provide a list of resources for those of you looking to animate short (or long!) films with your kids at home. This was so much fun for us, you guys. Thanks for letting us share.