Hoping to create your own claymation short a la TJ fifth grade ACE students? Then you’ll need a script, a bit of background scenery, and an original character. The first step in the creation of a character — gather some cheap aluminum foil, a few styrofoam balls, and some light gauge armature wire.
You’ll be using your gathered materials to create a basic skeletal frame for your character. Fair warning: legs are likely to fall off during this process! Be prepared to twist the wire carefully and don’t be afraid to use large squares of foil to avoid flaking. Don’t feel bad – we’ve all lost a limb at some point…
Next, get some skin in the game. If you’re like the typical TJ fifth grader, you won’t be satisfied with the standard flesh colors available in the set of clay blocks and will, instead, opt to mix up your own batch of flesh colored clay. It takes a lot of mixing and a lot of rolling, but eventually your character will start to come to life!
The details get added next – eyes, brows, hair, ears, clothing. They all contribute to the character’s personality. It won’t be long before you’ll get to start filming!
Hopefully, you have a creative script ready to guide your filming. Our fifth graders certainly do! Here’s a sneak preview of what’s coming your way. First up, one group focused their script on the tulip rage that swept Europe in the 1600’s.
Sultan: [sitting on throne] I know I’m rich, but I could be richer!
Vizier: [nodding head] Yes, sire. How do you propose to become richer?
Sultan: [standing up and walking over to window] I don’t know. I’ll sell something.
Vizier: What would you like to sell?
Sultan: [scratching head, then pointing to tulip field out window] Tulips! I’ll sell tulips!
Vizier: [shaking head, looking at camera] Oh, no. The sultan has surely gone mad. Selling tulips? Ridiculous! [then, turning to sultan] Brilliant, sire!
Will the Sultan become richer? Tune in a few weeks from now to find out! Another imaginative group decided to cast their characters in an Ottoman fashion show. Read on for a bit of amusement…
Ella: Welcome to the Ottoman fashion week! This year, we’re bringing you the finest, biggest turbans of the 12th century! Here in Constantinople, the turbans are amazing! And big!
Abby: First down the runway, Selim I, “the strong”!
Ella: And bold! Look at him go, and his head, I know that’s not natural, cause no-one with his bloodline has a brain bigger than a bird!
Abby: It’s a turban! And the biggest I’ve ever seen, am I right?
Ella: Not for long! Suleiman “the magnificent” is strutting down the runway with a ginormous turban on! Way bigger than Selim! I think-
I think it’s pretty clear we’re in for some entertaining shorts this year!