x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Filmmaking on the head of a pin

Aardman Animations, the animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit, has just released its latest movie with the smallest stop-motion protagonist ever to feature in a film.

Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit, has just released its latest movie - with an unsual claim to fame. The protagonist is the smallest stop-motion character ever to feature in a film, standing a mere 9mm in height (roughly the same length as the nib of a pencil). The 97-second film sees the barely there heroine, Dot, on the run as the world around her starts to unravel - quite literally. Created using a 3D printer - as a model, that size cannot be manipulated into different poses - 50 different versions of Dot were made, each with three stand-ins. Pencil shavings, coin and paper currency, nuts and bolts, old jeans and the remnants of a wool jacket were used to create the landscape for the film, and more than 1,000 frames were shot in order to complete Dot's flight to safety - with only an average of four seconds of film shot per day.

It was all filmed on a mobile phone (as part of a viral advertising campaign for Nokia) and a specially designed microscope, called a CellScope, which was adapted with help from the University of Bristol's Physics Department and fitted to the phone to capture every minute detail. Aardman was founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, and has won four Oscars and recived seven nominations. Its most recently announced project is a TV series featuring computer game characters, the Raving Rabbids, in conjunction with Ubisoft. Here's hoping that - unlike Dot - it'll be a big hit.