[Extracts of a text by Jenny Brewer]
When Dutch motion designer and animation director Erwin Van Den IJssel was commissioned by creative festival Playgrounds to make this year’s titles, the organisers had just decided to move the event online for the first time. The Playgrounds team wanted to provide a sense of community and inspiration for the swathes of designers working from home and struggling during the crisis, and in turn, Erwin knew from the outset that his treatment should celebrate the aesthetics associated with our shared situation.
“From the start I wanted to do something highly collaborative, and something that would feature the current circumstances rather than hide them,” Erwin explains. “To create kind of a tribute to working from home, together.” The same day he spoke to the festival, the director was in a meeting with his colleagues at production house The Panics, and quickly realised his chosen format. “It struck me how everyone is suddenly looking at the same thing; these online grids of different webcam views, little portals into everyone’s homes. I thought it would be interesting to combine this very modern thing that we have suddenly all become very familiar with, with something as traditional as stop motion animation.”
Erwin set about planning the animation and creating the 962 stills, then dividing the sequence into different parts. These were then printed and distributed to all of his 22 participants at The Panics, who pop up throughout the titles holding up their collection of frames. The whole thing took three weeks to make, including sound design and music by Amp.Amsterdam.