Doktoratsprojekt künstlerische Forschung

Non-Stop Stop-Motion

Anna Vasof

Within the framework of the artistic research PhD program at the University of applied arts in Vienna I research new ways of short film production by developing my recently discovered animation technique, which I name Non-Stop Stop-Motion. This research will take the form of new Non-Stop Stop-Motion films and film sets, and reflective analyses thereof.

Non-Stop Stop-Motion is based on the stop motion animation technique, but differs in its basic technical production element, which traditionally is a series of individually photographed frames combined in a sequence. With the Non-Stop Stop-Motion approach, a video camera continuously records a motion change illusion, which is caused by the “stop motion” properties of the space or setting in which it is placed. The final film has similar intermittent movements to a stop motion film, however its media-reflective nature has a stronger influence on its content and form.

In order to create a Non-Stop Stop-Motion film, I set up a sequence of objects or images, which I name hyperframes. Hyperframes are the single units, objects or images which form the sequence and cause the illusion of the movement in Non-Stop Stop-Motion films. I use the term hyperframes in order to differentiate them from the frames that the video camera records (for example a standard video camera records 25 frames per second). Usually more than one video frame is required to record a hyperframe.  Video frames reveal what happens in between the hyperframes and connect the viewer with the actual recorded space and action.

A fixed video camera on a tripod is not always enough to ensure the filming of a sequence. That’s why often the camera is mounted on different mechanisms, which enable it to move. The type of video cameras, the cameras’ lenses and the lights of the setting are also often unusual. Usually the process of making the film becomes part of the film, in order to not only reveal the technique but also to combine the animated story with the action that is causing it.

I started this project with a need to understand on a practical level the fundaments of the “magic” trick that is cinematography. I want to play with its simplicity within the context of today’s world of expanded cinema, whilst at the same time experimenting with the complexity of our perception.