A little bit ago someone mentioned a bit of advice from the Sin City commentary that they thought I might find interesting, it was when in doubt, black it out. This, of course, refers to just having characters on black rather then creating a virtual set to replace that lovely green backdrop. I found this very interesting as I had just thought of the same thing after watching The Iron Giant (which I recommend). There is a particular scene where Hogarth is being interrogated in the barn and one bright light turns on and everything but the table, Hogarth, and Mansfield disappear.
The thing that jumped out at me is that I have a similar scene in Vampire, but in my head I had this nice little room planned out for it. If you’ve been following my progress you’ll know I’m at a bit of a standstill due to problems getting voice actors my sound guy together at the same time. Now I wanted finish the bar scene first because the set is complete and I have most of the dialogue recorded, however the other set, the little room, is used in two scenes, one of which only has one line which I do have recorded. I did not really want to build it because I would have to spend money on materials to build the set and right now I a bit short on cash, some people say that in stop motion you can build all your sets out of random junk that is laying in your garage, and while this is true you don’t have the stylistic freedom that you have when your willing to spend a bit of money. And in my film I want to create my own alternate reality and have complete control over this world and have complete control of look and scale. Using real objects means people will think of it as something that takes place in the real world, and I don’t want people to think of my puppets as living puppets, I want them to see characters in my imagination interacting with a world that is in my imagination. That’s why I like windows and doors in my sets, because if the camera peeps out of the constriction of the set and you see a glimpse of outside world it really sells the whole thing. I want people to imagine that they can go through doorways and walk down hallways and they won’t run into studio walls. But sometimes this causes me to forget the basic principal of less is more. If you have shots the sell the world, why can’t others hide the world? Mixing these things up should make the film visually interesting. So in the end I realized that all my set really needs are a stone table/coffin thing and a door, which when open has a really hard light pouring out of it. And that would be cheep to make; I don’t think I’d have to buy anything.