My creative tree has many branches of varying interests, and this year, my creative tree grew another limb. I was looking for an innovative way to market Spring Bird's cottage. So, I decided to make simple stop-motion videos-- not because they'd be particularly successful in encouraging retreatants to come to Spring Bird, but because it was something I'd always wanted to do. This marketing things was just an excuse to finally make movies.
I used my kids' stop motion app: Videoshop. They gave me a quick tutorial, and I was set to make clumsy attempts at 2-D and then 3-D animation. It was immensely satisfying to figure out how to create the illusion of motion from static images--be they drawn or sculpted. Furthermore, the process scratches my storytelling itch --even if they are only five second stories that I'm telling. All in all, It's a delightful endeavor that has taken my creativity into a playful realm.
Then, one night, I woke with a vision of a diorama with two puppet versions of the main characters in a story that I have been writing. I call them Old Man and Old Woman. The scene was their bedroom, which was the first scene in their story. I knew I had to make them and the diorama--even if it all seemed ridiculous and childlike. I carved out time here and there to make bits and pieces, and eventually, when it was all complete, I made my first video of the couple in bed embracing. And as they say, a couple of stars were born. Since then, I've been making movies with these puppets and have made more dioramas. The diorama making is something that I want to explore more. I laugh at this because my grad-school colleagues could attest that every project idea I had, involved dioramas. I guess I really have a thing for dioramas. I think the appeal has something to do with manufacturing place. Creating place for films becomes set design, which is a whole other realm of illusion making-- of which I have a lot to learn.
What's most appealing of movie making is that movies are meant to be watched. I giggle to myself each time I put one out into the universe on Instagram @springbird_woolgathering or Facebook @SpringBirdwoolgathering. And finally, after some suggestions from friends, I've decided to start a YouTube channel: Spring Bird Studios, in order to have a place for all of the videos to exist together. Please check out the channel and subscribe so that you don't miss any future stories. I'm hoping to post at least one video a week and would love to make longer films. If I get very adept, I may graduate to real equipment and computer software beyond my humble app. BUT, if I'm being totally honest, I would love to animate the story that I've been writing, the one featuring the Old Couple. I realize that this dream sounds insane considering the fact that animated films require teams of experienced and educated people working through years of production and editing. I know, but it makes me giggle inside to think about it, and that's something, right?
Check out a recent movie about the Seasons which I made to advertise Woolgathering, Spring Bird's Quarterly Newsletter: a meditation on the seasons. Stay tuned for 2018 Woolgathering Packages and keep Woolgathering in mind as a holiday gift idea!
Clink Link Below for Movie:
Anna Lentz, artist and writer, blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.