So, Where do you get your inspiration for making stop-motion films?

I get mine from listening to amazing cinematic/piano music that I would love to see a beautiful stop-motion animated film to, also amazing photos that make you want to jump in and start animating. :) I really like inspiring cinematic looking photos like this one: http://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/animal...

and last of all, of course, I like watching other animated films to get inspired/motivated.

What's your inspiration? comment below.

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I'm pretty similar to you! I am working on a film-noir short, and while i was story boarding it was absolutely essential to get spotify open and listen to seemingly endless jazzy and mysterious noir soundtracks. Instantly one starts framing things the way you'd expect to see it with those emotions attached, and you start thinking in a much more cinematic way.

I try to continually expand my animation DVD collection, as well as how-to books and "the art of..." books. That way whenever I'm bored, I'm more likely to watch/read something that will give me some inspiration. It can also help to google or youtube search whatever aspect of animation you're currently working on, as there are all sorts of hidden gems deep inside the internet - for example sometimes I might just search "laika" or "aardman" etc in youtube and see what hidden oddities i can find. 

I'm also currently drawing a lot of attention from the book I'm reading - Runyon's On Broadway short stories (for my next short film). If you can find your own equivalent (short stories definitely seem to help as they open up your mind to more filmic possibilities). I like to work in certain genres, so for example for my current film I spent a lot of time researching and watching film noir movies, and for my next film I am researching and watching anything to do with 1920's New York Gangsters! Whether it's animated or not, any good film can be the ultimate source of inspiration!

Woah, think that's the longest post I've ever written here! 

Marnik

@marnikloysen

Great comment, Marnik! I do the same kind of searches myself sometimes. Another kind of music I like to listen to while writing..And even animating, is chill-out style music: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrSuicideSheep <---I really like alot of the music on there. It helps me to stay focused more.

Piano is my favorite musical instrument. to name a few music Artists I like: Brian Crain, Issac Shepard, Marc Enfroy (those are all Piano music artists.)

There's a really great book called Ideas for the Animated Short - packed full of ways to develop ideas.

I like story. Daydreaming can sometimes bring an idea in, or juxtaposing a couple of things from different sources. I am writing a comedy play set in an old folks' home, a really boring place where people just wait to die. Then one of the inmates is given an iPad and discovers online gambling...! The idea came from seeing my mother-in-law being given a laptop (which she couldn't work because she had learnt to type on a manual typewriter, so bashed the hell out of it.) Then she got an iPad. I also learned that our local old folks' home is due to be closed down. (This won't be stop motion)

Thanks for the book suggestion! I'll look it up later.

Simon Tytherleigh said:

There's a really great book called Ideas for the Animated Short - packed full of ways to develop ideas.

I like story. Daydreaming can sometimes bring an idea in, or juxtaposing a couple of things from different sources. I am writing a comedy play set in an old folks' home, a really boring place where people just wait to die. Then one of the inmates is given an iPad and discovers online gambling...! The idea came from seeing my mother-in-law being given a laptop (which she couldn't work because she had learnt to type on a manual typewriter, so bashed the hell out of it.) Then she got an iPad. I also learned that our local old folks' home is due to be closed down. (This won't be stop motion)

I agree with Simon, juxtaposing two things that don't usually go together can often spark a story idea! I used to do little exercises at StopmoShorts and Clayanimation.com's monthly challenge where there were some keywords to animate to. Because starting with a word assigned by someone else can kick your ideas into new territory. And the deadline helps you focus, even if you end up not meeting the deadline.
Ideas can come from anywhere, a trivial thing that happens in daily life and you think "what if this happened next?"
For me, an idea sparked off by a bit of music or a piece of visual art can be a bit of a trap, I can be too focussed on designing the set and not actually come up with a story. I have a couple of sets gathering dust where I really got into the look of it, but the story never quite gelled. Story is important, but I have to really work at it, visual arts come more naturally to me.
The last place I want to look for story ideas is another animated film, especially stop motion, because it has already been done in stop motion form. There is a risk it will come up looking like an imitation. (Unless that was intended, like my Harryhausen tribute skeleton swordfight, which would make no sense without reference to the 7th Voyage.) It happens enough already that I work for ages on my own idea, then some big production that is way too similar comes out so it will look like I copied it.

I think there are two types of inspiration - inspiration to motivate you to actually get going and start doing stuff (what I was talking about in my post) and inspiration for a story (what you were talking about Nick). I agree with your points about story completely - when I am designing and writing etc I would stay away from other stop mo films, but for example if I'm midway through a film and need to animate a shot that I expect will be "boring" to shoot, i find animated films and BTS stuff great for kicking me in to action. Same goes for music and visual art, they're great for kicking me in to action but I wouldn't necessarily use them as a starting point for a story.

Agreed!

Marnik said:

I think there are two types of inspiration - inspiration to motivate you to actually get going and start doing stuff (what I was talking about in my post) and inspiration for a story (what you were talking about Nick). I agree with your points about story completely - when I am designing and writing etc I would stay away from other stop mo films, but for example if I'm midway through a film and need to animate a shot that I expect will be "boring" to shoot, i find animated films and BTS stuff great for kicking me in to action. Same goes for music and visual art, they're great for kicking me in to action but I wouldn't necessarily use them as a starting point for a story.

Yeah, Another thing I really like do to is look at fine detail on outdoor nature, just looking at a leaf, or something like that will inspire me, If you care to look I have an Imgur that I posted some cool macro photography: http://joyfulphotos.imgur.com/all (Macro with tons of detail is my favorite kind of photography)

-StampMotionStudio
StopmoNick said:

I agree with Simon, juxtaposing two things that don't usually go together can often spark a story idea! I used to do little exercises at StopmoShorts and Clayanimation.com's monthly challenge where there were some keywords to animate to. Because starting with a word assigned by someone else can kick your ideas into new territory. And the deadline helps you focus, even if you end up not meeting the deadline.
Ideas can come from anywhere, a trivial thing that happens in daily life and you think "what if this happened next?"
For me, an idea sparked off by a bit of music or a piece of visual art can be a bit of a trap, I can be too focussed on designing the set and not actually come up with a story. I have a couple of sets gathering dust where I really got into the look of it, but the story never quite gelled. Story is important, but I have to really work at it, visual arts come more naturally to me.
The last place I want to look for story ideas is another animated film, especially stop motion, because it has already been done in stop motion form. There is a risk it will come up looking like an imitation. (Unless that was intended, like my Harryhausen tribute skeleton swordfight, which would make no sense without reference to the 7th Voyage.) It happens enough already that I work for ages on my own idea, then some big production that is way too similar comes out so it will look like I copied it.

I don't have a problem with inspiration to get me going -perhaps the reverse, too many ideas, too little time! I'm involved with a local filmmakers' group, and what I often see is ideas that get put into production with too little preparation and time for refinement. Especially with live-action filming, people often think that actors will magically and instantly supply the depth that makes a performance interesting, when actually it has to come gradually through a lot of careful preparation.

I think stop-motion films can also benefit from lots of the same sort of preparation. This is what makes a performance seem like a brief visit to someone's life, rather than what's on screen is all there is. We have the advantage that we need to prepare scenes very carefully and slowly, and this is a time to develop complexity. I liked the comment made on another thread about shooting a reference video, that it added human touches to a move that would be hard to imagine or plan deliberately. 

Sorry, I've drifted off-topic a bit. I watch other animated films to see how they tackled a challenge, or what techniques they used. And to admire them. But I want to be inspired by real life.

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