A parallel Worlds

Sunday September 4 2011 / Art & Design



Will Studd and Ed Patterson - directors at Sumo Science (and Aardman Animations) - have taken the stop-motion genre to another level with their latest filmic venture, 'Gulp'.

Last year, the pair wowed audiences with ‘Dot’, a short film employing the old-school animation technique dating from the 19th century, shot entirely on a Nokia N8 as part of a promotion campaign.

‘Dot’ was awarded the Guinness World Record for the smallest stop-motion animation character in a film and it also scooped the Epica d'Or Award.

For the British duo, who have also worked on the stop-motion tour de force Wallace and Gromit, as well as several TV adverts, when it came to out-doing 'Dot', the only way was up – literally.



To shoot ‘Gulp’, Patterson and Studd attached remotely-operated Nokia N8s to a crane suspended 36m (118ft) above a beach in south Wales. They then used sand sculptures and nautical props to tell the charming tale of a fisherman on his daily catch.



Sand artists and art student volunteers pitched in to create the huge sand drawings according to an extremely tight schedule governed by the spring tide. The team shot as many as 75 frames a day over a week and the sand was raked over for each shot to create a blank canvas for the new frame.

With the largest scene in the film stretching over an area roughly the size of two tennis courts, Gulp can safely claim the Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Largest Stop-motion Animation Set' – not surprising given that the fisherman is not merely a cartoon character – he’s played by a real human!



This ‘making of’ video (above) helps you appreciate all the hard work that went into this cinematic treat.



And if that isn't enough stop-motion for you, here is the delightful Dot.

For more information, please visit Sumo Science and Aardman Animations

Suggested by
Ian Skellern