Friday, July 9, 2010

Fair, fair, Fairfield

The weekend of July 2, 3, and 4 saw the Circus rolling into Fairfield, IA, to lead another workshop, this one with adults. (Fun!) We were hosted by the Icon Gallery, and enjoyed the generous hospitality of director Bill Teeple. Above is the venue, with some curious onlookers.

Across the street from the gallery in the Town Square, the Circus set up camp to spread the word, including airstream and Do-It-Yourself station.

Inside the gallery, the group brainstormed the History of Blue. It was a refreshing and fun experience working with a group of adults, all of whom brought creativity and energy to the table. After the brainstorm, participants split into a prop-making and a sound-making group, who didn't see each other until after the making stage. Prop-makers worked on a handmade paper set, while the sound-makers and were excited to have the help of a mandolin player, who was accompanied by found-object instruments.

After the making stage, everyone was impressed by the harmony of the sounds and objects that came separately out of the same brainstorm. Above, a group of Fairfieldians works on shooting the History of Blue, which debuted Saturday night in a show in Fairfield's Town Square.

The Tiny Circus would like to thank all those who participated in the Fairfield workshop, and who generously contributed to its wellbeing there. We had a great time and would love to come visit again! And, please join us for the next dance party...

In the rain, on the 4th of July. Pure joy.

Des Moines, the great city

In preparation for the Des Moines Art Festival, the Circus decided to do an interactive animation that would get festival-goers physically involved. We decided to use them as props in a large-scale animation, with a camera located 40 feet above. Event organizers provided a skyjack, where the camera was located, and we got volunteers from the crowd to act out a pinball-themed animation in the grass below.

Above, Circus members test out the camera by animating themselves in the grass outside the house using a camera in the attic.

The field where the animating happened in Des Moines. Volunteers were placed on the grass, while the camera shot from above, in this thing...

Groups of volunteers enjoyed acting out a giant pinball game on the grass below. We had kids, adults, even a troop of high-school mimes...
In addition to shooting the human pinball in the grass, the Circus had our airstream shooting studio on the street for people to come check out, the Do-It-Yourself station, and an informational table in a tent to get out the word about Tiny Circus.
Here is a view of the festival from the air, one of the perks of having a skyjack:

And, finally, an aerial view of our jam-packed show Saturday night. Festival goers gladly rested for a bit while watching our animations, along with a few sneak peeks of the footage we shot that day.

Subterranean animations, Circus in the library

From June 14-18th, the Tiny Circus led an animation workshop in Grinnell's very own Stewart Library with a group of children in the 10-15 age range. The product: the History of Windows, which was then shown in Central Park in Grinnell on June 24th. The animation will be available shortly on YouTube, for your viewing pleasure.

In keeping with our location in the basement of the library, the history had a subterranean location as well. According to our workshop participants, windows were invented by underground-dwelling rodents. Who knew?

Maggie and some of our young participants get hands-on and play with the props. Thanks again to those who participated and came to our Grinnell show!

UAY 2010: Circus fun in Iowa City

The Circus returned to Iowa City this summer for a workshop with the United Action for Youth, on June 10th and 11th. We were very excited to be working with some of our favorite youth on another animation, the History of Cereal. Above, Jason runs the Do-It-Yourself station to allow newcomers to make their own animation, while Grace gets ready to kick up some next-level beats for the soundtrack with that guitar.
Here the participants are hard at work making props, including an intricate backdrop and paper puppets with moving parts.
On the night of the 11th, the Circus debuted the History of Cereal in a successful show on the Pedestrian Mall in Iowa City. Thanks to all who participated in the workshop, and to those who came out and supported!

And also,
Greta and John graciously hosted the Circus, cooking delicious jambalaya and giving us a place to lay our weary heads. Here is part of the circus having the moment with the four CIRCUS DUCKS that came along to the workshop. These four precious little ones hatched the morning of the 10th and came on the road with us. They have henceforth been convinced of their humanity, given the amount of the attention they received from Circus members and workshop participants.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Circus in a house!

Summer 2010 has been an exciting time for the Circus. We've had workshops in Marion, Grinnell, Iowa City, Des Moines, and Fairfield (more posts on each workshop later). Also, The Tiny Circus is now located in a HOUSE! Come visit us in Grinnell, IA any time. This year we have had plenty of rotating members to occupy it and keep the creative juices flowing. Pictured here, Rudy and Susanna animate the History of Umbrellas in our brand-new basement studio.

Here, Mikey, our college intern, works on props for the History of Boxes (a new and pending animation). In the foreground, the sculpy-clay protagonist imitates him.

Here's a picture of Circus members at work in the new location. Jason, Mikey, and John are hard at work on props for the History of Boxes in the living room.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tiny Circus at the Des Moines Art Festival

We are gearing up for the Des Moines Art Festival! We are very excited to be a part of one of the largest art festivals in the country. Along with Showing "The Other Histories of the World" Friday June 25th and Saturday June 26th at dusk, we will be shooting interactive animations all weekend! Swing by and help us out! What animation will we be shooting? Here are your clues:

Show in the Park

Join Tiny Circus for a Show on our home turf! Tiny Circus debuts "THE HISTORY OF WINDOWS" along with The Other Histories of the World!

****JUNE 24TH AT 9:00pm at Central Park in Grinnell, Iowa****

THE HISTORY OF WINDOWS was made in collaboration with some amazing artists and animators during our workshop at The Grinnell Area Arts Council. Enjoy the show, bring some popcorn!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baltimore School For The Arts and Switches

The second of the Baltimore School for the Arts animations: Switches.

The universe: one flashlight to illuminate the sun, one hand to flip the switch, a couple more to slide it all into view.

And a few more to make things and shoot the images. Check it out on our youtube page.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baltimore School for the Arts and Chocolate Milk

Tiny Circus rolled over to the Baltimore School for the Arts to create three new animations. First up: Chocolate Milk! Here, after each animator has written a suggestion for a topic on a scrap of paper, Bea draws our subject from a bucket.

Lots of great ideas came out of the brainstorm - cows and mud figured prominently, but were eventually dismissed in favor of a nautical theme. Waves were made of paper, boats were made of chocolate...

The waves were marked carefully so that the animators could accurately simulate a milk sea!

Here is some careful motion with paper waves mounted on balsa with magnets, stuck to a piece of sheet metal.

Several people were needed to keep the sea and boats moving, two more to shoot and count off numbers for the wave animators.

Meanwhile, sound effects!