Saturday, October 17, 2009

Citizen Jane Film Festival!

Tiny Circus has been working hard this week at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in Columbia Missouri. We are in the final stages of finishing up "The History of WAR", a new animation made here in Columbia with an amazing group of local kids, and adults. The animation will be ready for our performance at the Orr Street Studios at 10pm tonight! Many thanks to all the volunteers and coordinators of Citizen Jane for making Tiny Circus's stay here in Columbia so fantastic!

Carlos explaining Tiny Circus, and the importance of storytelling

Greta heading off the Brainstorm.

Sarah with a group of flower makers

Bee making

Butterfly making

Sylvia helped with the butterflies

Max and friends experimenting with the Do it Yourself animation station

Tiny sound making session

Mark one of the Citizen Jane volunteers was wiped out, after a long day which included hand delivering us amazing coffee

John and Quana observing progress


Greta and Sarah being interviewed at KOPN radio station in Columbia.

From left Sarah, Greta, Polina, and Jo speaking on the Animation panel at Stephens College

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Early Snow in Michigan

It's not often that you see a crew of art students dressed in white - but this was by design... Tiny Circus arrived at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to collaborate with over a 100 students.

The theme of the animation was snowflakes - so we made a black backdrop and used white-clad bodies as our flakes. Here Jess and some students choreograph one of the larger snowflakes.

We attached the camera to the ceiling and shot down from a balcony, giving us about 25 feet of height from floor to camera.

Our outdoor show was rained out, but we had a great back-up auditorium for the show! Thanks to all!

Extreme Circusing

TC rolled to Marion, Iowa on a rainy and windy night to set up for a gallery walk in front of Campbell-Steele gallery. It wasn't the best evening for a show but folks stood in the doorway to watch the show as cars vroomed by and the wind gusted.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making History

Tiny Circus is very excited to report that we have been named finalists in the Aniboom/History Channel competition called "The People Speak". The History Channel and Tiny Circus seems like a good match to us!

Scroll down a couple posts to see some "making of" photographs of this animation.

Read about it here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Artstop Des Moines

As part of the Artstop Des Moines event, Tiny Circus cranked up the Do It Yourself Animation Station for a few hours, then put on a show.

Karolyn and Elizabeth pull the screen supports from under the airstream and begin assembly. It takes about 20 minutes to get the screen together (and only about 4 to take it apart...)

Here, Karolyn and Mother/Daughter team Kim and Emma work with the animation station to get ready for the afternoon.

Emma, our newest member.

Some animators at work.

It was a great night, lots of folks were walking around in Valley Junction in front of Olson Larsen Gallery and stopped by to check out our show. Thanks Olson Larsen, thanks Valley Junction!

Tiny Circus Gets Academic

TC had an impromptu showing at Grinnell College with 6 of our summer members. It was a quiet and lovely evening on the hillside by the college library.

Friday, September 4, 2009


The finished competition animation! Click twice on the video to go to Aniboom to rate it (you will have to create an account, but it's a quick process...)

Paper People

The current animation uses cut-paper photographs to show motion - this involves a lot of careful work with an xacto. The cut-outs are stuck with magnets to a wooden table. For each second, there are 15 frames (and so 15 paper people). There are 13 people at the table - this makes for 195 moves per second of film.
Fortunately, the magnets allow everything to snap into place accurately so that the main job is finding the right paper person for the spot.
Lee examines the order. It took about 25 minutes per second of film when we were up to speed.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fall animating

TC is working on a new project to illustrate a historical speech. We're trying out brainstorming with multiple people in multiple places. Lee, John, Susan, Jason, Carlos and Alex were at the farm.
First, we made some new tools - a camera-boom that allows our animating camera to pan across a scene. It's huge! 16 feet long! We might need to make a baby version for smaller scenes. Here, Alex works on the sliding part of the boom.
John puts the parts together - the sliding part fits into the channels on the sides. Here the camera is mounted on the boom above the work-surface. It can slide left to right.
Back to animating, and Susan designs some money. A conveyor belt for money-makers.
John arrives for his acting/animating debut. The shoot begins...