Monday, April 19, 2010

BATTLING CLAY - animation

This is one of many clay battles which occurred on my back patio when I was in high school. One person could make these movies alone but it was always more fun when my cousin David and my brother Kevin were involved. Usually the projects would last for as long as they kept our interest. When we lost interest, we would kill all the clay guys off and go watch cartoons or ride our bikes.

They took a long time to make but we never got bored with it. Sometimes you could actually see the sun setting in the backgrounds of animations that only lasted about 20 seconds.

The flashing gun blasts in this movie were created by taking a needle and actually scratching the frames of film. The clay guy's gun shoulder was animated to jerk back and forth, and then when the film was developed I looked at the tiny pictures on the film and did my best to scratch them in the right places. Scratching the film was my own original idea, but later I read in magazines other people were also doing it.

For as long as they took us to make, we expected our movies must last for hours and hours. It took about 2 weeks of waiting for the film to be developed. When we finally got the film back and got to watch our movies it was both thrilling and heartbreaking at the same time. It was fun to actually see the things moving around, but it crushed our spirits to learn all the work we did amounted to no more than a few minutes of screen time. It never failed, one of us would always say, "That's it? I seem to remember there being more."


  1. Isn't it wild how common-sense solutions always present themselves to young pliable minds ? I also did some scratching of Super-8 films, and then hand-colored them with permanent markers to create the appropriate effect~!

  2. very cool keith! you seem to have a never ending supply of cool stuff from the past, which is good news for us!

  3. Lysdexicuss, ha ha! i do feel less smart now than when i was a kid.

    Brad, thanks! It's fun having a vehicle to display all that old stuff.


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