Loaded 2 January 2018.
This is the first, and hopefully not the last, video made just for story-telling fun.
As you will see shortly, the "Fat Little Reindeer" (or FLR) have been with us for some time; and I have done a number of shorts and Christmas messages using them, published only to friends. But for some reason, the poem " 'Twas the night before Christmas", more properly known as "A visit from St Nicholas" , was buzzing in my mind as an FLR mini-adventure. And goaded by an impending Tropfest deadline, I decided to give it a go.
Travelling in Vietnam in January 2012, I had seen for the first time the toddlers' jump-on inflatable animal toys ... in a range of animals including reindeer and I knew I had to have one. Infuratingly, we kept glimpsing them while on-the-go but never saw any in the markets or stores where we stopped. And then finally in Siem Reap, Cambodia, we found a store that had not one, but two red reindeer. They were shop-soiled and a bit tired but two FLRs are two FLRs!   And so, on what was literally the last day of our tour, I finally scored my FLRs - they have been an important part of the family Christmas since.
I had already put one short film into the "2016 Tropfest #25" - "Stories in Stone #5 - "Known unto God" but thought that the FLR's Night Before Christmas (NBC) was good enough for a second entry. And so with the cooperation of the family, both in indulging me as I took over the house, and in wrangling, voices etc., I just managed to squeak FLRs NBC into Tropfest.
Tropfest's rules are that the work cannot be published in any form until after Tropfest has ended and so FLR's NBC had to remain "in the closet" until about April. Things being what they are, I managed to find the time to publish "Known Unto God", which was timely as it was the centenary of my Grandfather's service, to whom that short film is dedicated. But FLRs NBC was left to languish.   Until Christmas 2017 when it was perfect for the R.A.V.E.M. annual Christmas message and New Year well-wishes for friends; to which it was redirected.   And now, finally, it is being released into the wild, to see where those naughty little reindeer will go.
Not my first, but my longest attempt at stop motion. And mostly, things turned out pretty much as I had imagined without too much effort.   The one interesting case note is never try stop motion while inebriated! Much of the shoot had to be at night and the first night I got fired up to give it a go it was late and I'd had a bit to drink. Even so, I managed to do all the principal photography of the first few lines of the poem.   Trouble was that none was usable.   Between bumping the tripod, jiggling the camera and simply not actually pressing the shutter release, I managed to have nothing usable come the morning when I launched with enthusiasm into the start of the compositing. Ah well!   A lesson learned???
Otherwise, the project proceeded fast and with relatively few glitches.
I do hope you enjoy "Fat Little Reindeer's Night Before Christmas".