BIMA virtual paper animation workshop March 27

Local artist Clyde Petersen will teach about making homemade movies with accessible materials

For those who want to learn about motion pictures made straight from the resources of your home, an upcoming Zoom workshop put on by the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art might be for you.

On March 27 from 1-3 p.m., Northwest artist Clyde Petersen will be teaching a Paper Animation workshop. Using easily accessible materials and the free app Stop Motion Studio, participants will learn the basics of compelling visual storytelling, a news release says.

“It’s going to be kind of a basic introduction to Stop Motion Animation with paper cut-out creatures,” Petersen said. “We’ll start with building a homemade animation stand; that’s basically something that’s going to elevate your camera over your desk. It’s going to be like a homemade tripod that lifts your camera up above your table so that you can animate below it. Then we’ll build some characters.”

The animation stand is made out of a cardboard box that you basically cut into the shape of a table with a hole in it, Petersen said. Then, you set your phone or iPad on top of that to shoot footage down through it. The Stop Motion Studio app captures frame-by-frame images, and when you play them in a row it becomes a movie. He said he is making some pre-prepared videos so that folks can get ready for the class before it happens.

“You’re able to take a single photo at a time, and then move your character, and take another photo,” Petersen said. “Do that a million times, and then you’ll have a movie. It’s a really accessible form of animation. It’s an easy way to make a film and tell a story because most people have access to paper, a table and maybe…some tape, glue and pencils.”

Petersen said he was originally approached by BIMA asking if he wanted to participate in an upcoming festival to showcase some short films. The museum asked if he wanted to teach a workshop alongside the festival.

“I’ve been a filmmaker for most of my arts career, about twenty years,” Petersen said. “I started as a documentary filmmaker. I got really into animation, and I just became self-taught. I studied animation for years and years making music videos for people. Now, my primary filmmaking style is animation. It’s nice to draw from real life but then be able to show the story in creative ways.”

Petersen has been working on two feature films over the last few years. He is also director of Torrey Pines, a stop-motion animated feature film with a live score that toured the world for two years, the release says. The film is an autobiography about growing up with a schizophrenic mother as a queer youth in the early 1990s.