When Norwich Porridge Co. first approached us with the idea of doing a stop motion animation with one of their pots I jumped at the chance. Stop motion was what first led me into film-making so a chance to revisit this technique was something I couldn’t resist… However, due to the tedious nature of the process, I quickly remembered why I didn’t end up at Aardman Animations!
Stop motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object so that it appears to move on its own.The process is long and painstakingly slow!
Gav from Norwich Porridge Co. had requested that the oats ‘be pulling some shapes’ on the chopping board- ‘No problem!’ I said (I’m not sure if you’ve ever pushed a few dry oats around, but they’ve got a mind of their own and chia seeds are soo tiny!).
For me, looking at the pot, Norwich Porridge is a fun product, and that’s something I wanted to come across in the animation. Dancing oats, raining milk powder and chia seeds chasing jumping raspberries, it needed to be energetic and fast paced while demonstrating the innocence of the pots contents ‘no artificial nonsense!’ It was my understanding that the pots are ‘homemade and handmade’ healthy food that’s convenient for people on the go, hence; we shot the bulk of the animation on a kitchen table and the latter in park.
For the technical side I drafted in Charlie, a brilliant photographer who made it all look awesome on screen. Together we methodically story-boarded out the movements of the fruits, oats and seeds. We did cheat a little though... Instead of shooting the painstaking 25 frames per second we shot only 12. To put that in perspective, the animation is 0.39 seconds in length but we shot for 3 whole days!
We used a model called Lucy for the park shots who was great, she ate a lot of Porridge as we tried to capture those frames, in fact, she continued eating the pot off camera and as she left to go home too, so a thumbs up from her!
In the end we were very pleased with the ad. My favorite part would be the porridge oats jumping into the pot, it looks like a porridge monster!
To have a look at the finished article - click here