Saturday, July 23, 2011

204/365: Toys and games!


This week I was in Southern Poland, in the Świętokrzyskie voivodship which just happens to be best known for its history of toy production!

I spent the better part of the week at the Toy Museum in Kielce, teaching young kids how to animate. This is a picture of the room we worked in, and some of the puppets they made for the film we shot together.

In the foreground, you can see one British officer (with his faithful green plasticine hound) and one French soldier of the Napoleonic era (this is according to the ten year-olds who made them).

It was a glorious, crazy mess. I think the biggest success was when one particularly rowdy and annoying crisp-chewer magically turned into the most disciplined animator in history. I was having trouble explaining to him that his space agent puppet couldn't 'kill everyone else with his laser shotguns and then fly away', unless the others agreed to have their puppets die. They didn't. Yet he kept trying to get his way...

I managed to convince one boy with a pirate puppet to fight the space agent, with a plasticine goral and his wooly dog as the appalled witnesses. Still, my troublemaker wanted to kill everyone dead. Oh, and his bat monster had to appear in the film at all costs.

So after we had just shot a few frames, I showed him on the screen how his puppets were 'moving by themselves'.  He was stunned. From then on, he was absolutely perfect, and when we finished, he roared, spitting crumbs everywhere: "THESE WERE THE BEST WORKSHOPS EVER!" He didn't even mind that the fight between the spaceman and the pirate ended in a tie.

Then he pulled out his cell phone (eight years old, seriously!) and called his father to say: "Dad, I can't go home yet, I'm busy working on a film set."

Kids. I love them, under the condition that someone takes them home at the end of the day.



  1. I am with you on that one Rodia. As long as someone else takes them home later so I can have a break then I do not mind working with them. Especially when they make a break through on their own like that boy did. How wonderful that you have the ability and the chance to work your film miracles so that kids can see how they work.

    I am truly impressed!!!


  2. This looks like it was great fun to teach AND shoot a film for. I bet the kids got a great education in the toys for animation and you had fun doing it. :D


  3. As I said on the 365 thread, I love this photo, and the story. How pleasing that must have been, to see the light dawn in the wee boy's eyes.

  4. Don't you love it when the light goes on in a young mind? I love the picture. The room looks like a disaster area, but one can tell that something got done here.

    Very colorful.


  5. What a great story - that must have been so exciting! :D Great photo, too. :D