The creative process for Creation Myth started when I found an issue of “The Golden Magazine for Boys and Girls” a 1960s children’s magazine. The issue had several pages on the history and practice of bowling.
I scanned the above pages soon after bringing the book home but I didn’t know what I’d do with them in the long term. I started by turning the six illustrations into a layered psd file and let it sit that way for a couple months. Once in a while I’d open and let it loop as a gif while I edited other art. Eventually I wondered to myself where that bowling ball went off to after part six. The idea that it could be an egocentric take on a creation myth coalesced.
A few months prior to buying The “Golden Magazine”, I’d found The First Book of Space Travel (published, 1953) and had already scanned many of its pictures for future use. In putting this animated collage together I limited myself to only using images I already had on hand. I took my time digitally combining them to create my faux Big Bang.
Again I let the piece sit, this time just for a couple days so I could watch and see what–if anything–it was missing. I decided it needed a visual transition–a dramatic punch–cutting from the bowling ball to the new universe I’d created.
I’m a longtime fan and reader of comic books. Thanks to some great online resources I’ve been able to find long out of print stories that’re now in the public domain. One that I never forgot after seeing it years ago listed in the “Overstreet Price Guide”, was Anarcho Dictator of Death by Otto Binder (creator of Captain Marvel aka SHAZAM!) and Al Carreno. It’s a wild story full of action, so finding a typographic explosion in it wasn’t hard. With some simple modification, and a last minute decision to change the BOOM! to STRIKE! my short film was almost done.
I also decided it should have a soundtrack, which meant that after finishing the gif I now had to convert it to a more robust video format, and then find and adapt some audio. One of my favorite curiosities are the sounds transmitted back to Earth by space probes, and NASA hosts audio files of these in multiple formats for public interest. I chose to use thunderstorms on Jupiter recorded by Voyager One. Finding good bowling sounds was just as simple–what a time to be alive! After editing the film’s speed a little bit and adjusting the soundtrack, it was done. All together, all this work only about a half-days tinkering.
I like taking my collages this direction, and am going to do more. I’ve heard great things about the Stop Motion Studio app. The artist Andrew Love is doing wonderfully detailed work with wool that is intimate, charming, and astoundingly accomplished. Stop-motion is one of the oldest forms of animation, and I am glad that creators and the public still love it, and it hasn’t been abandoned by modern tools.