Thursday, May 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes - The Making of Stop Action Videos

Mrs. Stewart assisting Hannah D. with Fire
This whole project started in December of 2010, when the Sixth Grade took a trip to the Walters Art Museum. We saw a whole exhibit on Walter Wick, and saw his amazing scenes built for his books’ photographs. We were thunder-struck by how awesome they were! When we returned to school after winter break, we started building and designing scenes in Art. Our group was assigned Medieval Exterior, so we built a castle and a winter scene. It took a long time, and a lot of paint, but we finished by Spring Break.

Once we finished making our sets, it was time to start writing our stories, we used a few Digital Thinking classes to brainstorm and write our story’s plot. Then, we wrote a script for our story. Once we had our plot planned out, we needed to bring in toy characters to be in our videos. Then, we started shooting. This was a very long process, because for every second we had to take about 7 photographs. It was important that we kept the camera in the same position to avoid a choppy video.  At first it seemed impossible to shoot a stop action movie, but everyone worked so hard, and did it really well. 

Editing in Final Cut Express

Once we had all of our pictures, it took a long time to get them all organized in the S:Drive. There were so many pictures, and many weren’t organized. After hard work to get them all in the right places, we could finally start to import them in to Final Cut Express on the iMac computers. We grouped them together by scene, and then we added voiceovers. We decided which characters each of us would act as, and then we began recording. Since we were all working in the same room together, to ensure that no background noises were in our recordings, we called, “Quiet on the Set!” It took a while to record, but it was really fun. 

Adding Voice-Overs and Sound Effects

Fun facts about the Stop Action Movies, Sets, and the Process!

  • Our scenes are made mostly out of trash.
  • It takes around 7 photographs to make 1 second of film
  • When finished editing you can have as much as 5 tracks playing at once.
  • It took ½ a school year to create 3 minutes of film.
  • The most popular set-building materials are legos, cardboard boxes, tubes and fake grass.

-- Text by Ali B. and Maggie B. (Class of 2017); Photos & Videos by Diana Gross


  1. We had a great time working of Final Cut, and working on the dioramas. It was hard work, but we pulled through.

  2. making those stop action films and sets were so much hard work it seemed like it was going to take forever to finish everything but it was a lot of fun making everything