Jack the monster at Tampere Film Festival 2014 - National competition!

Jack the monster started as a school project for an Animation course. We had three months to work on the stop motion and we have been really happy of people's interest and positive feedback on our project.
Our first step was create a story suitable for our project, that would be effective but not that long. We end up watching a lot of animations of different genres to get inspiration.
After that, we shared ideas and mixed them together, creating a story based on what we both wanted. 

The story of our animation is about a girl who meets a weird and cute creature. This creature seems to be special and different from others because after eating something he starts to grow and grow. He eats everything: bench, cars and more. The girl is surprised about his “power” and she gets attached to him, knowing him better and spending time together. But after a night, everything changes cause the creature is a really big monster now and he knows he would be tempted to eat her. The girl decide to looking for him around the city and she finally finds him next to a river, where he seems to be sad. The girl understands the monsters reasons of escaping, but she still wants to stay with him and she decides to be eaten by the monster, to stay with him forever. 

The storyboard was the next step. There we plan the techniques we are going to use, the backgrounds we are going to create and what kind of shooting we needed to do.
After getting the material from school, we started spending time cutting and animating at the same time.
The cutting process was really hard but fun. We spent about 1 month building paper trees, buildings, fountain, bridge, rivers, rooms, cars and more. At the same time we drew the animation frame by frame on paper with black markers and cut the figures out, leaving little bit of a white edge to give our animation the style we wanted. Water was one creative solution among others, it’s completely made of plastic wrap we took from kitchen.

Not everything was ready when we started to shoot because it was missing buildings and sections of animation, but the time was running out so we had to start to animating. The place where we animated was a darkroom in the basement of our school, where an annoying ventilation was moving our trees during the shooting. It wasn't the best place to shoot but we were sure no one would have come there.
We used a stop motion software called Dragon frame to help us to control the shooting and to be sure we were moving the characters in the right position. Dragon Frame was super helpful and I think the animation wouldn´t be good without it. 

We were only in 2 to shoot the animation so we had to find the fastest way to do it. When one of us was taking the picture and checking everything was in the right position, other one was changing the hand drawn frames and moving the props (like water for example). The work process took at least 9 hours per day, shooting over 800 pictures.

The music of our animation is by amazing Luci Holland. She was the winner of a contest we had when we were looking for talented composers to write music for our animation.

Working for the project grew our interest in Animation and teached us a lot about Dragon Frame and After Effects. Currently we are working on two new projects; a music video with colorful special effects and a new stop motion animation that will challenge us again, just like Jack the monster did. We make a great and enthusiastic team so it’s always thrilling and motivating to work together as we both look for new chances to learn and get experience.

Text & Images: Sindy Giraldo & Iina Kuula 2014