24 Frames of Craft-mas

This holiday season marks the 50th anniversary of the Rankin-Bass stop-motion classic: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This film has delighted audiences both young and old since 1964—and been a major influence on filmmakers like Tim Burton, Henry Selick and Wes Anderson. This magical film also happened to be the spark of inspiration for one of my favorite Second Story projects, Verizon Stop-Motion Studio, which celebrates its anniversary this month—and is making an encore performance this holiday season at Verizon’s flagship stores in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Houston. You can watch some of the stop-motion movies being made each day by customers here.

With the stop-motion technique, it takes 24 individual frames to create just one second of animation. For Rudolph, it took about 18 months to complete filming. That’s a whole lot of work! But there’s even more to it than that. Consider everything that has to happen before you can even begin filming—the characters, the props, the scenes, the songs, the script. There’s so much craft behind this film that simply remains invisible to its audience.

As I step back to reflect on Stop-Motion Studio one year later, I can’t help but think about the tremendous amount of work that went into every tiny detail of the project. And just like a feature film, this process remains hidden to most. So, we thought it’d be fun to expose some of what goes on behind the scenes. During the course of this project, we kept a camera close by to document all the little details that went into crafting the finished piece. And a year later, we finally got around to editing this footage together ;) We hope you enjoy.

– Joel Krieger, Creative Director

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