We’re guessing that one of the reasons you make Brickfilms is because you love control. The creative control over the narrative, characters and story. The visual control over the set design, lighting and props. And the overall artistic control in post production to bring it all together.
The beauty around working in the medium of Stop Motion Animation is the established truth that the most expensive thing you’ll likely need is your time and effort.
For set-design, characters and props, there is an excellent Danish company who make miniature pieces of plastic that can be assembled to create virtually anything at all. Ok so that wasn’t funny…. who here hasn’t heard of Lego today!? The spectacular company whose ‘Technic’ sub-category celebrated its 40th birthday last year in 2017.
Then there are miniature lights that are ever more affordable. We use the excellent Brickstuff for this. It’s worth checking out this site if only for the sheer joy of seeing what other people have built in Lego and lit perfectly with these unbelievably small lights!
In terms of camera and software equipment, you’re spoiled for choice nowadays. The top of the range Dragonframe software is available for under $300 and comes with an awesome USB hardware controller (using it makes you feel very Pro indeed - we’ve tried!). There are a number of DSLR cameras that are supported by this software and chances are most modern Nikon or Canon cameras will be good to go straight out of the box.
That’s the Pro end covered. There are of course even cheaper options out there but we’ll let you search those out for yourselves as we really do recommend Dragonframe and a proper DSLR above everything else that’s out there if you’re serious about Stop Motion Animation…
Once your masterwork is complete, the one area of control that we hear typically eludes many Brickfilmers is control of the music. Too often a carefully crafted Brickflick is then set to music. Or, even more limiting, music is often used within the animation process itself to drive decisions around transitions, cuts and key sync points in your edit.
We think there’s a better way to work. But before we dive into that, let’s check out a couple of animations. First up, the always awesome work by Keshen8. This John Wick inspired piece uses music by Filmstro to set up a tense fight sequence, but has the flexibility inbuilt to drive down the intensity where needed before ramping right back up.
This next little number was created by our very own Founder (yes, an aspiring Brickfilmer) and uses a number of contrasting musical genres - again using the Filmstro standalone App - to spice up this little montage.
So, it will come as no surprise to you that the music we’re talking about today is of course none other than Filmstro! We’re definitely blowing our own trumpet in this article, but we think with good reason. As we said at the beginning: one of the greatest aspects about Stop Motion Animation is the control. You already control everything else. Isn’t it time to take control of your Soundtrack?