Following on from the behind-the-scenes photo-shoot video we created, Anya Hindmarch asked us to produce a fun stop motion film designed to bring to life her new bag tassels in a creative and amusing way.

We love interesting and open briefs like that and we worked with the company’s creative and online team to build a strong concept.  They wanted the bags to dance and for the tassels to have a cute creature-like feel, almost as if they were alive.

Below are some examples of the stop motion clips we had previously used within the behind-the-scenes video.

These clips were relatively easy to execute and only required limited technical skill.  However, our new challenge was much harder.  To create the effect of the bags and tassels jumping and lifting off from the ground with stop motion video, we would have to use wires.   Like Wallace and Gromit, who are moved in small increments between individually shot frames, we were going to animate Anya’s bags and tassels. But whereas Wallace and Gromit are made of Play Doh, we were working with expensive, real leather bags which had to be returned after the shoot in the same pristine condition we’d been given them…

So we had two main challenges to overcome.  The first was to find a way to discreetly attach wires to three bags and their tassels and then to be able to slowly raise each bag off the ground.  The second challenge was removing the wires from view in post-production.

Fortunately, we were only tasked with the production of a short, 30 second piece. Unfortunately, that still meant we would have to manually remove the wires from over 700 images in post-production.  To add to the fun, we only had a few days to get the job shot and edited.

The bags were to be photographed against a gray backdrop.  We therefore needed to construct a rig above this that would be high enough not to obstruct the lights and cause shadows, but not so high as to make it difficult for us to work with it.  Because each bag had its own unique position within the frame, each had its own pole to which we could attach its wires.

Filming was fun but very tricky; every tiny movement was stressful.  We had to be careful that, when we altered the position of one bag, it didn’t disturb the others, because this would affect their movement. So the whole thing became a bit of a logistical nightmare.

The interesting bit was post-production. In the picture below you can see how the magic was made: it’s a before and after shot; first with, and then without the wires. In the end, using Photoshop, we had to manually remove the wires from over 500 frames – a fiddly and time-consuming job.

But we’re pleased to say the result was well worth all the hard work. One of the most fun parts for us was picking out sound effects – and in some cases making our own – to give each of the tassels its own, individual character.

We are really proud of this little film and hopefully you will enjoy watching it.

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