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.