Frank N Stein Comes to Life for an i-SPOOK-Motion Film

by Megan -

It’s Halloween, one of the scariest days of the year, and to celebrate, we’re bringing the most notorious monster of all back to life – Frankenstein! Or in this case, Frank N Stein, Brandon Bowman’s claymation creation. In true mad-scientist fashion, Brandon – who brought us SpartaCup – was sculpting his famous mugs when he realized one bore a slight resemblance to the monster; the wheels in his head began turning and his imagination took control. And so, Frank N Stein was born.

One mug in particular had a pronounced forehead and brow, and when I attached the arms to it I could not help but to see a resemblance to Frankenstein's monster. I was immediately taken off task, and in a fun and playful way I toyed around with that mug. Positioning the arms in an upright reaching, zombie-like manner,” Brandon recalls. “My imagination of course (like usual) took over and I began to see images of a Frankenstein inspired stop motion animation. An animation where a Frankenstein mug/stein might be created and brought to life similarly to the original story of ‘Frankenstein.’

Drawing inspiration and influence from the many adaptations – funny and scary – of Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, after six months of preproduction and one month of shooting and postproduction, Brandon’s own creation was done. With iStopMotion 3 launching at just the right time, Brandon was able to use the software to produce the entire film. To achieve a grainy, scratchy look for his film, he pulled out his old Sony Mini DV Handycam with a standard Car Zeiss Lens. “I was pleased with the result.

It was a ‘Frankenstein’ production of found objects and handmade parts, all brought together in one little 3’ x 3’ x 3’ space,” Brandon says. He used miscellaneous parts (much like the original mad scientist) to bring his set to life – cardboard, wood, recycled plastic, glade air fresheners (helps cover up the smell of the dead…just kidding!), CO2 cartridges, pinball machine bulbs, electrical wires, push pins, and the list goes on.

No stranger to stop motion animation, Brandon used iStopMotion for iPad in the past to recreate a gladiator battle in SpartaCup. This time, however, he used the full version for the Mac. “Well first off, they are both pretty awesome,” he tells us. “I really like the convenience of iStopMotion for the iPad; it’s easy to set up and start shooting, and the portability and comfort makes for less aches and pains while carefully altering the characters and or scenes. It is pretty amazing what Boinx has managed to do with the limitations of the iPad.

The Mac version, on the other hand, is superb, professional, powerful, and fast, with lots of great features and options,” Brandon says of iStopMotion 3. “The ability to use tilt shift, color correction and chroma key are obviously superior functions compared to the iPad version.”

So, what’s the total damage for an iStopMotion creation like Brandon's?

Time: Seven months total.
Six months planning preparing and creating the set, props, and characters
Two weeks of shooting/animating
Three days of editing
Three days for titling and special effects
Three days for sound effects, and music accompaniment

All brought together for one seven-minute video.

Happy Halloween, all! Hope it’s a spooky one!

For more information on Brandon, his mugs, and Frank N Stein, click here.