Thursday, March 27, 2014

clay soup: a collaborative film

check out this great animation i made with a group of kids!

i've been working as a resident artist for a past 4 weeks with a group of kids from tippecanoe youth services day reporting program.  i was supposed to be teaching a clay class.  we started in with cutting blocks to print in the clay, then we made slab boxes.  and i was bored to death with it.  and so were the kids.  so we flipped the project on its ear.  during class time we talked about art a bit and what they were interested in.  the kids all wanted to show me their favorite things on their phones, most were short funny little animations.  so with this art viewing experience in mind, we decided to make a cartoon using claymation as our base model.  

we developed, storyboarded, installed, animated, and filmed the entire thing in just 3 hours, using my little snapshot camera and my iPhone.  we used a hollowed out tv the kids already had at their facilities as our 'stage' and recorded all sound effects intermittently to be looped together during editing.  it took me an additional 3 or 4 hours to edit the film and mix the audio, but in the end the kids and i created something that has all the qualities of an improvised creative project, grown out of nothing other than play and time to spare.

it's amazing to me how learning develops in projects like this.  these kids, by simply playing with this project, learned to collaborate with each other, discussing and building off each others ideas, with egos left at the door.  they learned timing and movement in a frame by frame manner.  they learned about story-telling and visual narrative.  i hope they learned that art is something more than pots and pictures.  but mostly, they had fun, i had fun, and we produced a great little film in a short amount of time.  and these are human values that will never show up on a standardized test.

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