My nine-year-old son recently asked me to explain how stop-motion animation works.
This was after seeing the modern versions of that mainstay of television from my junior years in the 1970s and 1980s: Morph.
Morph – and countless other examples from earlier TV shows and movies – inspired many amateur animators to try the technique (the “object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a fast sequence”, as defined by Wikipedia).
As technology improved, so did the levels of creativity in stop-motion.
When the web came along, so did the opportunity to share the work with the outside world.
Two brilliant examples of the fusion of creativity, technology and opportunity arrived in the mid-2000s courtesy of Lasse Gjertsen, a young Norwegian animator and videographer who created two masterpieces of the form and sent an early YouTube into a frenzy.
I showed both of these – Hyperactive and Amateur – to my son. He hasn’t stopped wandering around the house pretending to be Gjertsen and putting random vocal noises into melodies and rhythms since.
Gjertsen, after a short time studing at a college in the UK, resettled back in Norway.
He still produces videos for YouTube but has, in his words, “long periods of inactivity”.
“I am very sorry about that! I would never choose to let my beautiful fans down like that, but I did make some choices that led me into situations that rendered me unable to follow my passion, which is to manifest my creativity and share it with you guys. For that I apologize humbly.
“But hey, I ain’t dead yet, and I have learned very much on the way. New stuff is in the making, so please subscribe to my channel, because when I finally upload my next piece, you will be in a retirement home, BUT it will be worth it!”