Sizzle: A Stop Motion Short

Here’s a team effort between me and an incredibly talented animator friend and batchmate of mine, Deepti Sharma. This was for our stop-motion module back in third year, and (speaking for myself, at least) it was the most fun I’d had animating anything so far in my relatively short career. 

The intense lighting was sweltering and the dark room in which we’d built our set smelled like unwashed socks, but for the amateurs that we were back then (and even now, to a degree), not having to worry about hand-drawn basics like maintaining volume and line quality and being able to focus solely on our animating skills – that too in straight-ahead – was exhilerating. 
That, and getting a quick crash course on lensing from a Film and Video Communcation friend of ours, Shridhar Sudhir (who just happened to be passing by the room and had nothing to do with the course itself). The knowledge we gleaned from him didn’t amount to much within the film itself, as the DSLRs that the institute gave us came with a single standard kit lens, but hey, it’s always good to know more than you did five minutes ago.

A crucial lesson we’d learned was to never build a set out of Plaster of Paris and aim hot, incandescent floodlights at it immediately after, mainly because expecting it to not crumble to pieces a day or two later as a result would be too much to ask of the laws of physics.

Beyond that, we had a ball. Below is the first draft of the animatic I rustled up for the film; suffice it to say it wasn’t all that great as a gag and our faculty, Prosenjit Ganguly, wasn’t very pleased with it, so back to the drawing board I went.

One draft later (as we had only a day for preproduction), we were good to go! So here’s the second (and final) draft of the animatic, with all the composition sensibilities of a third year college student. In the mean time, Deepti came up with the set-design for the film and put most of it together with some minor contributions on that front from me.

…. And finally, here’s the film itself! The animation for it was split 50-50 between Deepti and me, and two years since, it’s hard to recall who did what, but if you ask me, I don’t think it matters too much. The voiceover for the film’s sole speaking protagonist was done by yours truly. In hindsight, however, it’s a bit insensitive and isn’t something I’d indulge in again. Without further ado… 

We hope you had a good time watching this!