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The Time-Consuming Work of Shooting a Stop-Motion Commercial


Here’s a 1-minute stop-motion commercial Karen X. Cheng recently produced and directed for Totspot, a resale shopping app for kids clothes. Cheng also documented the production process in order to show “how painstakingly laborious” stop motion photography is.

Here’s a video that shows how each of the shots was done behind the scenes using time-lapse clips:

Each of the stop-motion still photos was shot over 3 days using a Canon 5D (the live-action footage was captured with a Sony A7s). “I shot all L series Canon zoom lenses,” says DP Eriq Wities. “Many animators won’t use electronic lenses because they can cause flicker, but I’ve never experienced flicker with my lenses, and they just speed up the shoot so much.”

“If I had known how much work it was going to be from the start, I probably wouldn’t have done it,” says Cheng, who’s known for the “donut selfie”, her viral dance lapse, and tilting the streets of SF. “And so I’m glad I didn’t know, because it turned out great!”

Additional credits: Animation by Japhy Riddle