We held a challenge for last month’s Short Film Fest at the Vintage: Two lines of dialogue, choice of three genres, one prop, a character name; two weeks to make a five-minute short film.
Chosen by audience vote, the second place winner was “Eli,” a charming claymation by soon-to-be film student, challenge seeker, and self-taught animator Ben Doran. Ben has been interested in film and animation since he was 9 and uses contests and challenges to build his skills. He mostly works with claymation and stop motion, but also dabbles in Flash and Cel animation. He will enter the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Film and Animation program in the fall.
His challenge assignment was:
Experimental / Yo-Yo / The Big Guy / “Who Broke My Robot?”
Ben created his characters by hand-sewing cloth over wire armatures, then clay modelling the heads and hands. This allowed more flexibility with less chance of the models falling apart. Ben was asked several times how he made the Yo-Yo throws at the festival. “To be honest they are all kind of over thinking it. I had 6 different lengths of rigid wire, and replaced them to get progressively longer. The wire looked like string in miniature and kept the yo-yo out straight.”
Check out ‘Claydogh’ on Vimeo for more from Ben Doran.