Creating films using stop-motion animation is not for the impatient. It took about two years to create the videos of Sval and Bard, which Director Daniele Di Domenico explained the secrets of during a debut screening last week at The University Centre in Svalbard.
24 frames per second
Before the Italians could start putting together the short films they had to visit Svalbard to take pictures and video footage of the surroundings. Next they built sets in their studio in Parma. Then the real work began.
"We do 24 frames per second, moving the puppets slightly between shots," Di Domenico said. "So we get a coherent film at the end. But it requires careful planning and a lot of patience. On a good day we could create between five and seven seconds of film, and that is after the stage and environment is built up in the studio."
Two releases per week
The first film, illustrating Svalbard's common sense rule number one, was released last Friday of last week. Two additional films will be released each week during the next month until all ten are out and can be used – especially by Svalbard's tourism industry – to show visitors how not to behave in the Arctic.
Because Sval and Bard make massive mistakes. They ravage wildlife and cultural heritage sites, and simply fail to consider others with their behavior.
The director said he's happy the project is finished, but isn't tired of Sval and Bard.
"As a rule, when you are doing a long-term project you are sick of it when it is nearing the end," Di Domenico said. "But that has not been the case with Sval and Bard. I am becoming more and more fond of those two crazy guys."
Studio Kairos spent far more money on the films than they received in aid from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, which was a deliberate decision. They realized early on it was possible to create a prestige project for the studio out of Sval and Bard.
"We will use the films as a business card to show what we can create," Di Domenico said. "The films about Sval and Bard have already given us assignments for the Italian national television company RAI and for Danmarks Radio."
Studio Kairos is also planning to show the films at various animation festivals around the world.
Ronny Brunvoll, director of Visit Svalbard, said he's impressed by the results. He said the movies will be noticed and will get visitors to pay attention to Svalbard's common sense rules.
"It's amazing work that Studio Kairos has captured and that is important for us," he said. "This is important because nature is important to us. Nature is the reason why many of us live in Svalbard and the scenery is why the tourists will visit the island."
The films can be seen at svalbardposten.no as they are launched.