Last year, husband and wife design duo Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp and Sean Ohlenkamp undertook a project to reorganize their bookshelves by color (something I myself do at home) and make a stop-motion video about it.
Using bookshelf color-coordination as just the seed of an idea, they recently took the idea up a (very large) notch and brought a bookstore in Toronto to life a fantastical, whimsical stop-motion animation video. I hope this is really what books do while we’re sleeping.
It’s one of the most impressive stop-motion videos I’ve seen in terms of the sheer hours I imagine it took to make it — I worked on a stop-motion video myself (the one on the home page of Cultivate Wines), and it took 14 hours of shooting, plus editing.
According to the writeup on the video, the team of Type bookstore in Toronto, along with the Ohlenkamps and many volunteers, spent many sleepless nights to make this happen. Yeah, I bet!
The score, which is so absolutely perfectly suited to the video, is by Grayson +Matthews.
This video, by Luke Shepard, combines two of my favorite things: stop-motion animation and Paris. Composed from 2000 photos of Paris at night and set to a song by the XX (why is their music so sexy??), the video takes you on a mesmerizing journey around the city.
I also loved the answers (below) Shepard gave in this interview with one of National Geographic’s blogs– they gave the video an added endearing, personal quality, knowing that the video was inspired by his love of exploring the city at night. And it made me want to start going on long bike rides through San Francisco at night just to discover a new dimension to the city.
You call this project a personal project. What inspired you to create it?
Well, a very rough version of the video was made for a video production class I took at my school, but after that I became attached to the idea and continued to work on and improve it for a long time afterward. As to where the inspiration came from, it was my love for walking around Paris late at night. I have walked home from opposite ends of Paris very early in the morning after long nights out with friends, and it is always amazing. In most areas, Paris dies in the middle of the night: there is no one to be seen, the lights are turned off on all the monuments, and very few cars pass by. I feel as though this video shows this other side of Paris that I love. I feel that not everyone sees it, especially not tourists who might spend most of their time exploring the city during the day. As a night owl, this is the part of Paris I often see.
I love the mood the video evokes. Why did you choose to shoot at night? Was it intentional?
Paris in the middle of the night is beautiful and not something that is often witnessed. One of my favorite things to do in Paris is go on bike rides around the city late at night because there are very few cars and people. It gives me a feeling as though the city is mine. Also, shooting at night, while the lights were off on all the monuments, allows for long exposure photos. Stringing hundreds of long exposure photos together provides a really interesting visual aspect. It helps show Paris from the different perspective for which I was aiming.
A stop-motion animation film of sometimes small-, sometimes very large-scale murals by the Argentine artist Blu on the sidewalks of Buenos Aires.
I don’t know how quickly he changes these drawings, but it would be pretty cool if you came across something like this on your daily commute, and you could see it evolve every day, not having any idea where it’s headed.
Also pretty amazing that after each drawing was photographed, that became a frame in the film, and there was no way to go back and change previous frames, since he had already changed the drawing and moved on. I’m curious how much he planned out the whole trajectory ahead of time!
Loving this random act of creativity.
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