If a picture is worth a thousand words, a stop motion video of your Year Abroad may just err on the edge of doing this incredible experience a drop of justice. They’re even simpler to make than you might think if you follow these 5 easy steps.
1. Plan your stop motion before you start shooting. Decide if you want a theme, a route or just to showcase your city to the maximum. I chose a route for Paris because it seemed a fitting way to end my semester of exploring the city on foot with my camera and my friend Dan. For Valencia I just wanted to show off the sights and the laid back lifestyle; for Barcelona (see below) I focused on the theme of walking and exploring a city that wasn’t our home:
2. Start shooting! I have a Nikon SLR camera but you don’t need a fancy camera to do this, as long as you have a continuous shoot setting and a big memory card. Shoot as you walk and experiment with different techniques to keep your video interesting. You can keep the video fluid by ending each sequence of shots with something that can be blended into the next shot, such as the sky or a paved floor.
3. During the filming, think about the type of music you would like to set your stop motion to. I chose songs that epitomised my time in Paris, Valencia and Barcelona and will forever remind me of Erasmus when I listen to them.
4. Review your footage and arrange what you want to keep in the order you wish to put it in the video. Decide if you want an introduction before you set the images to be sure of the length. Then import the images and your music into Windows Movie Maker if you have a PC or iMovie if you have an Apple Mac. Each frame needs to be set to around a 0.2-0.3 second length to keep the fluidity but try to keep the images to the rhythm of the music and time the transitions to coincide with the changes in the music.
5. Save and publish your final edit into a compatible file type. A great website for storing your finished masterpiece and finding inspiration is Vimeo.com, but alternatively you could just upload to Facebook and await your Oscar... Happy Filming!