MIRROR (2009)


An experimental animation for Halloween. Watch on Vimeo

  • Running Time: Approximately 5 minutes 33 seconds
  • Format: NTSC, Letterbox, Color, English (HD versions at 720p and 1080p)
  • Audio: Digital AC-3, Stereo (HD version with AC-3 stereo and 5.1)
  • Genres: Animation, Stop Motion, Experimental
  • Location: Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.
  • Completed: October 2009
  • Festivals: Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival 2010

Production Photos

Production Notes

MIRROR came about quickly in October 2009. I had pre-existing puppets and sets and was eager to get an animation project done in 2009. I especially wanted to try something for Halloween since my puppets looked somewhat appropriate for a Samhain themed exercise. Going on the web and searching for Halloween history, I stumbled across antique postcards that depict young women looking into mirrors on Halloween to catch a glimpse of their future true love.

I decided to try and animate something using a Halloween mirror as a foundational theme. The notion of mirrors and time appealed to me with their past-vs-future and real-vs-reflected qualities. My existing puppets resembled older adults and I also had one daemon puppet so I thought about how that might influence the overall theme.

After reflecting on my inventory of assets and ideas, I decided to focus on Halloween mirror lore but, instead of a young woman looking to the future, I would have an older woman catch a glimpse of her true love past. I also wanted to explore the idea of the woman puppet not having eyes and therefore not seeing her reflection. The sightless issue would hinder the woman character from being able to see her own reflection and that of her true love once again on Halloween. Enter the daemon puppet (from a Maxwell’s Daemon project that hasn’t quite matured yet). The daemon puppet would not only help the woman to see but also assist her movement through space and time to actually be present with her one true love.

Once animation began some of the aforementioned ideas found their way into the project. However, working with the puppets and setting up compositions revealed other possible themes and ideas which I wanted to add to obscure any obvious narrative while, hopefully, increasing possible interpretations of what is being portrayed in the overall project.

Statistics and Info

  • Puppets: three
  • Props: one
  • Set: one
  • Backdrops: two
  • Lights: one halogen main, one incandescent fill, one incandescent backlight, one compact fluorescent for overhead fill
  • Camera: Canon HV20
  • Software: Stop Motion Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, Sony Vegas
  • Music: Roland keyboard, score composed of chords in the key of A minor and A major
  • Poem: Written by Grant Goans
  • Vocals: Grant Goans
  • Sound and Foley: Grant Goans ( with extra sound effects from freesound.org )
  • Animation Photography: 18 hours
  • Editing, Post, Rendering: 10 hours
  • Total Project Duration: 18 days
  • Total Project Time: 28 hours

-Grant Goans, October 2009