Kirsten Lepore’s New Stop-Motion Animation Has A Handcrafted Feel That Has Been Long Lost In Animation

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Move Mountain from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Move Mountain is the latest stop-motion animation by Kirsten Lepore, a Los Angeles based director and animator. We’ve featured films by her before, and Lepore’s newest work does not disappoint. She describes the short film as “A girl journeys through a vibrant, pulsing, macrocosmic landscape, but a precipitous incident compels her to venture up a mountain in an attempt to save herself.” The story itself is a surreal tale, and at one point oscillates between dreams and reality. It also shows us that  at any given time, we are at the mercy of our environment.

The film is Lepore’s Master’s thesis from California Institute of the Arts and took her two and half years to produce. The use of handcrafted characters and fully modeled sets is really impressive. With the current trend being slick-looking techniques, it’s nice to see evidence of the hand in this film. (Watch the behind the scenes video after the jump.)

In addition to Lepore’s own character designs, she’s enlisted the help of animator friends, including the likes of Julia Pott, Lizzy Klein, Ethan Clarke, and more. They make one of my favorite scenes in the film, which is an unexpected but welcome surprise.

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Video Watch: Kirsten Lepore’s Stop Motion Animation

Due to the horrifying amount of time it takes, stop motion animation is something of a dying art these days. Luckily, though, Kirsten Lepore is out there keeping it alive and keeping it real. I’ve been a huge fan of her work for a while now. If you enjoy animation, colors, laughter, or can at least appreciate someone spending thousands and thousands of sweat and tear filled hours to make something five to ten minutes long for an uncertain audience, then you might just be a fan too. Watch some of Kirsten’s greatest hits after the jump!

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