Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Remnants of 2

Don't get used to this.  Arbitrary Stopframe isn't back on a permanent basis, or anything approaching one - this is just a one-off special.

When I finished Series 1 back in November 2011, after filming Sam's rather excellent literal-Monster-Movie script, I decided that enough desk was enough, and if I did a second series then I'd try setting it in the kitchen.  It didn't take me long to come up with two work-in-progress storylines, which I earmarked for Episodes 14 and 15 - one with Zooky the Alien Dog Thing getting into the kitchen and finding a new food source (which may or may not have ended up being chocolate drops), and one with Emily and Snow making a mug of coffee for their animator.

Two years later, however, neither idea had reached a fully-developed filmable state, no more ideas had presented themselves, my attention was being increasingly taken up by Papercuts and The Murkum Show, and I'd been slowly drifting towards the opinion that Arbitrary Stopframe was dead - good and proper dead.  But then (I think on Sunday 5 January) I had an inspired idea: mash those two stories into a single episode, and produce it as a one-off special after Murkum Show Series 2.  That was followed by an even better idea: why wait?  Why not go ahead and do it right now, before TMS S2 had even got started?

So I did.

The revised title sequence is a hint at what might have been - I designed it at the end of 2011, with a view to using it for the entire second season, but now it'll probably only ever appear on this one episode.  The new music is part of the same 7-movement suite as the original theme tune (thanks again to Tim), and already appeared on the show once, as one of the radio selections which Odom doesn't approve of in Episode 8 Headphones.

Turns out our kitchen isn't a great working environment for animation.  A large part of the problem is that it's almost impossible to block out natural light, which neccessitated filming in the evenings when it'd gone dark outside, and it was surprisingly difficult to find an evening when I could have the room to myself - Episode 14 ended up being shot in two halves a week apart, on the last two Wednesday evenings (I'd be interested to see if anybody can spot the break).

Also worth noting: I had no assistance filming the shots of myself holding the mug, and I'm wondering whether anybody can figure out how I got to the shutter release for the frames where both of my hands are visible on screen... not that I'm offering any prizes.

Anyway, as I said, don't get used to this.  My little Arbitrary Stopframe revival thingy is over, and I'm now gearing up for the second season of The Murkum Show.  But I hope you enjoyed the blip while it lasted.

- The Colclough


  1. I'm guessing it was filmed with judicious use of the multiple-shot timer settings... Am I right?

    1. that's a good theory, but... nope. no timers involved.

  2. I think you did it with the remote control and either a judiciously-placed toe (which I think would be my choice), or perhaps a combination of shoulder and clenched jaw. I'll vote for the toe, and maybe a wedge to point the foot-operated remote right at the camera.

    1. getting closer - there was a remote involved, but it wasn't underfoot or on my shoulder