A Stop-Motion Demo Turns Meta as the Characters Gradually Take Over in ‘Stems’ by Ainslie Henderson
In this meta animation, animator and director Ainslie Henderson (previously) seamlessly transforms a demonstration of his stop motion practice into a film where his miniature puppets take over. The rag tag group of figures break off from Henderson’s narrative to form a slapdash electronic band, utilizing scraps from his workbench to construct instruments from the same electric detritus used to form their own hands, faces, and feet.
“Puppet making often begins by just gathering stuff, like materials that I find attractive like wood, sticks, wire, leaves, flowers, petals, and bits of broken electronics,” says Henderson in the film. “[I use] things that have already had a life are lovely to have as puppets. And then from there you just start improvising. It’s like making music, you just see where it leads you.”
During the process of animating Henderson’s voiceover gradually fades and the viewer realizes his voice is simply a tape recording on screen, and has suddenly been repurposed as an instrument by his animated creations.
Stems has picked up numerous awards since 2016 including a BAFTA in Scotland. You can watch more of Henderson’s work on his Vimeo Channel.