Actor, Designer, Director, Editor, Gaffer, Producer, Writer

A Very Lockdown Birthday

“Think smaller?”

A Very Lockdown Birthday is a short stop-motion animation film that depicts planning a birthday during the Covid-19 Epidemic. In a whimsically hand-made style, it shows how the plan evolves from a huge festival, to a big party, to camping, to compromise as restrictions increase. However, the day might not be so bad afterall… with good friends and a little innovation.

The film was created as a response to the Helpmann Academy’s Home Alone Film Fest, and ended up taking out the main prize in the competition. Read the press release here:
It also won second place in the Media Resource Centre’s Cabin Fever competition.

A somewhat autobiographical film, COVID-19 lockdown meant my professional calendar cleared and my birthday party dreams were dashed. With the new restrictions, I wanted to reframe my situation as a positive opportunity. I knew I wanted to upskill in the stop motion animation space and was struck by the potential it had to tell a visual story. Your imagination is your only limitation, as it enabled me to transform the universe around my homemade characters.

It also transformed my universe as making the project was such a great distraction from lockdown, that I was concentrating on learning and growing rather than the restrictions in the community.  Plus, I wanted to make something that could make people smile and remind everyone how you can make the best of a bad situation if you approach a problem with creative innovation.

The project was assisted by the South Australian Government through Carclew’s Rapid Response Grant. This enabled me to purchase and learn how to use Dragonframe Stopmotion Software and to purchase a Sony 90mm FE Macro G OSS Lens as well as pre-made miniatures to compliment my own models and sets.

It also meant I could keep paying my Adobe subscription! Using Photoshop, Premiere, Audition and learning how to build a phonetic mouth infrastructure in After Effects, as well as using a mixture of motion tracking, and key framing to add the 2D eyes and mouths to the stop motion photo sequences.

Watch the film on Facebook:

A Very Lockdown Birthday by Lucy Gale

A Very Lockdown Birthday by Lucy GaleA Very Lockdown Birthday is a family friendly short stop-motion film that depicts the challenge of having a birthday during the COVID-19 epidemic. Helpmann Academy acknowledges that each film created for the Helpmann Academy Home Alone Film Fest was created on the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains, and we pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. The Kaurna people were the first and enduring storytellers of this land, and we recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with this country. The Helpmann Academy Home Alone Film Fest is generously supported by the Nunn Dimos Foundation and presented in partnership with the @City of Adelaide.

Posted by Helpmann Academy on Wednesday, 3 June 2020