Teen Program: Stop Motion Lab

The 4-1-1:

When: June 5th, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Resources: None
How many teens: 2
Cost/supplies: Varies! I have a lot of money spent in stop motion supplies; mainly because I will be using them for my after-school grant this fall. So, this is one that could be really cheap or really expensive. Even if you go expensive the thing to remember is it’s a one time expense; while I spent over $500 for initial costs, my per session cost is only $35 at most.

Here is what I used

  • iPads (I have 5 at each building bought w/various grants)
  • iPad tripod; I bought the Grifti one that included case, ball joint, and tripod for $45. These are extremely solid and easy to use. Also, it looks like the price has dropped to $40
  • iMotion App; $9.99. There are several other apps you could choose from, but so far this has been my favorite. However, we will probably try out some others as this continues.
  • Funko Figurines; average is $8 per figure. I have 12 at the moment, but will probably buy more later
  • LEGO minifigures set (approx $50) & Lego Bricks ($30)

The run-down:

While I only had 2 teens, we decided to still do the program, especially since the teens mainly working alone. Each teen was able to use an iPad to make individual projects. I spent maybe the first 5 minutes explaining stop motion and showing them how to use the app. After that I emptied out the box of props and let them be as creative as they wanted. While I helped them expand on their ideas, I never told them they had to do anything in particular. Honestly, it was fun to watch them work/create; should we grow I may have to make them work in teams & talk the ideas out, but I’ll cross that bridge as it comes.

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • Normally, doing a program with only two teens is hard, but this one worked nicely. Seeing how much fun they had was a good reminder that high numbers don’t always matter. I loved how proud they were of what they created and how excited they were to show it off to their parents. That alone made it worthwhile.
  • I may look into adding some light boxes in the future. You can see in the videos how the lightning changed from each shot. I’ll see if this repeats next month. If so, I’ll start grabbing the lights from our media studio to make the lighting more even.
  • Lots of props is good. The Funko’s are nice, but they don’t have limb movement which restricts how they can be used a little. I already bought some modeling clay we can use, but I may also look into more movable action figures as well.

  • The more frames the better! It takes anywhere from 10 – 24 shots to make up one second! We slowed ours down a bit, but they’re still not very long and you can tell they’re a tiny bit jumpy. Tiny movement works best. It may seem painstaking, but it’ll give the video a smoother look.

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