I heard about Stopmotion Explosion years ago and I can't tell you how many times I have thought about ordering the kit. I thought this would be a fantastic thing for my boys. They are very creative and really need an outlet for their creativity. Doing stop motion videos would be an excellent addition to our homeschool. They would practice their writing skills when writing and planning scripts. Their art skills would be used when developing backgrounds and sets. They would need to use their computer skills when editing. They would need to work together. It seemed like an all around winner. When I found out that we were, indeed receiving their Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit to review as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was thrilled! But were my expectations too high? Was I expecting too much from just a single product? Would the kids really enjoy it? I can answer a hearty, "YES", and more to all of the above questions.
So what exactly is a stop motion film? Do you remember the old Gumby and Pokey T.V. show or movies? What about the Christian based Davey and Goliath shows? They are both examples of stop motion movies. If you aren't familiar with those shows then maybe you have seen the more modern Lego Movies. They are stop motion as well. Stop motion movies don't have to be done with clay or Legos though. It can be done with almost anything. Let me show you our first attempt at stop motion, then I'll tell you a little more about this fantastic kit.
The Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit comes with everything you need to make a video like the one above, or with almost any medium you can think of. We received an HD quality 1280 x 720 camera with a built in microphone. It has a hand dandy grip mount to attach it to almost any surface and a 4 1/2 foot cord to attach it to your computer. It can also be used for video chatting when not being used to make stop motion videos. We also got a CD with all of the downloads to make the camera work on our laptop computer along with a program that allows you to make stop motion movies, sound effects for almost anything that you can think of, and a bunch of extras. There was a Quick Start Guide included, but the huge "Stopmotion Explosion: Animate ANYTHING and Make MOVIES" 294 page book is fantastic.
"Stopmotion Explosion: Animate ANYTHING and Make MOVIES" has chapters on every aspect of making a stop motion film. The book includes chapters on How Movies Work, Animation, Creating Stories, Building Sets, Cameras, Lighting, Flight, The Art of War, Sound, Video Editing, Frame Conversion, and much, much, more! It was an easy read but oh, so fascinating and informational. We have learned so much and have so much more to learn.
So, after seeing everything included and hearing what the book contains, are you worried that their is no way that you and your kids could actually make a movie? Are you concerned that it will be too complicated? Please! If I can do it, you guys can! It is super easy! The program included was easy to install, and very easy to use. All we did was point the camera and start clicking the pictures. Of course we had to move the figures a little bit each time so that when the pictures are put together it looks like they are actually moving. It really was a lot of fun, however, it is time consuming. You click, move the figures, click again, move the figures, click again, and every so often you run the pictures together in a movie form to see how it looks. Then you have to edit and add sound effects or, in our case, background music and credits. All in all, the above clip took about 4 hours to make. So, you can see how long a full length movie would take. However, it is oh, so much fun and rewarding! I would much rather have my kids doing this than sitting around playing video games all of the time. It is really an inexpensive hobby. You can go out and buy a lot of stuff if you want, but most of the time you just use things that are around the house.
We are having a fantastic time with our Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit. As I mentioned above we have learned so much but have so much more to learn. I must say I have a whole new appreciation for movie making. To find out more about Stopmotion Explosion and it's products just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Other members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed this product and you can find out what their creations looked like along with what they thought about the product by clicking on the banner below. Happy movie making!