(video) Slice of Life: in the movies

(This is part of the Slice of Life project)

My oldest son had grand ambitions this week to make a movie that combines live action with stop-motion animation. The concept involves a monster that has eaten our cat and then our youngest son and requires the help of a group of characters he has invented — the Pea Detectives. Somehow, he talked me into having a main role in it (OK, so I was happy to do it) and he is using one of my Flip video cameras to shoot the live footage and then using stopmotion software to shoot the Peas in action. Later, he will use Moviemaker to edit it all together.

He really wanted to know how you layer in animation on top of live action and I said, “With millions of dollars worth of equipment that we don’t have.” But if you know a way to do it on the cheap, let me know, please. So, his work-around (love work-arounds) was to take some photos of me and then print them, cut them out and use them in the stopmotion sequence. He’s also been composing some soundtrack music with SuperDuperMusicLooper and even wrote a song with lyrics (to the melody of We Three Kings of Orient Are) about the group of bumbling Pea detectives.

It’s fascinating to watch his mind working on it all and how excited he is about the project. I told him about a local Youth Film Festival that he should consider entering a film in this year. He seemed intrigued by that.

Here, then, is a glimpse of a stopmotion sequence in which I meet the Peas, with his Looper music. In the movie, this is where his original song will go, but it was more entertaining to have it as a sort of nusic video for now.

Peace (with the popcorn),

  1. What a clever guy your son is. I hope you’ll post his finished movie. I admire not only his creativity but his tenacity in getting around the problems the media and lack of (major $$) resources. Kudos!

  2. This is an example of the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and what a glorious result! Bravo!
    Kevin, watch out for those bumbling Peas. One of them almost clipped you with his foot..er, limb of some kind.

  3. That’s great to have your kids get involved in your passion. Just think what great collaborations you have in store with all those digital natives right under your roof.

    When do we meet on Friday? Can it be earlier?


  4. This is so great. I love that your sons share your technology/video/comic love! I love the concept of the Pea Detectives. Where on earth did that come from? And … did they finally save the littlest brother and the cat?

  5. I love it! Particularly when one of the peas appears to knock you backward.

    Unless I’m misunderstanding what your son wants to do, you can layer animation on top of live action in Final Cut Express, Premiere, or any program that allows multiple tracks of video or with cheaper programs like Frames and iMovie 09 that allow for green-screen chroma-keying.

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