'Everything You Need' by the Kingsley-Hughes family. We made this as a family project using stills, stop motion and original video. We wanted to emphasise that mementos of a life are alive with memories hence the animated belongings Sally must leave behind.
What The Team Learned...
Here are some thoughts which I hope may be of some use to you:
Continuity! I needed someone to make it their job to think about this - eg. making sure I was wearing the granny cardigan all the way through. To correct this in the stills it meant photoshopping sleeves into two entire sequences of shots and the collar into another sequence. Would not have been fixable if we had been filming rather than taking stills.
Lighting isn't that hard. Photographic lights worked fine for the stills but it had to be REALLY bright. Still shots had to be sharp. Reducing motion blur by taking fast shots with as low f stop/large a depth of field as we could get away with for the action required needed a lot of light.
Learn to use the software well before deadline day! Getting to grips with Adobe After Effects was hard enough. Learning to get it to render an hour before deadline was plain crazy!
Aspect ratio - keeping the relative size of Sally in the shots that were taken in different locations was a big challenge. Likewise matching the relative size of the animated digital scene to the practical (paper) scene that was burned in the fire at the end was more difficult than expected. This was because the stills were shot on a Nikon D300 and the video shot on a Flip HD. To maintain the same aspect ratio would have meant getting even closer to the fire than the 22" inches we already were. Next time I would figure that out from the very beginning!
Scene numbering - sorting through several takes of 13 scenes equating to hundreds of still photos was unnecesarily hard - if only I'd have just used the clapperboard app on my iPad!!
Stick with it! I don't know how many times I wanted to give up during the week we spent on the project. But it occurred to me (hardly a revelation, but it was new to me!) that feeling discouraged is just that - a feeling. Acknowledge it and carry on! Then deal with the amazement when you have actually completed the project. As a parent I realised that kids don't want to be disappointed by a project going awry like so many projects in the past. I couldn't look to them to maintain motivation for the project - that had to come from me as director! I stuck with it and it worked! We finished the project - the first of many, I hope! Having the contest and the deadline really helped. (Thankyou!!)