NERD’s Hayley Morris on Sustainability in Animation | LBBOnline

In a world of the whole lot pc generated, there are nonetheless a few of us who cling tightly to conventional and really artisanal methods of bringing stop-motion and blended media movies to life. It’s kind of like being a part of a secret society, solely our secret handshake entails a glue gun and a few felt.

Hayley: For me, there’s nothing just like the satisfaction of making one thing really distinctive with my very own palms. I really like experimenting with every kind of bodily supplies: from paper and cloth to fibers, discovered objects, and even the occasional pine cone (sure, you learn that proper!).

However, as with most good issues, there is a draw back. While you work with actual issues, you additionally generate actual waste. After years of engaged on industrial productions, seeing all these non-biodegradable supplies thrown within the trash on the finish of the day was an actual disgrace.

That is why my mission is to consider the supplies I select to make use of and encourage others to do the identical. Making sustainability a key a part of my inventive course of, I am all the time on the lookout for methods to repurpose and repurpose supplies wherever potential. It’s kind of like enjoying “What number of various things can I make out of this paper towel roll?” (Spoiler alert: The reply is normally quite a bit.)

However this is the factor: being environmentally aware would not need to be a problem. The truth is, it has made my job much more enjoyable and difficult. I’m consistently pushing myself to develop inventive options for every challenge and alongside the best way I’ve found every kind of recent methods and approaches.

So how can I do that in stop-motion animation?

I’ve a stash of reusable supplies for each challenge. My recommendation to the animation business is to combine sustainability into each challenge proper from the beginning. We must always recycle, save power and reuse waste. Every challenge is a puzzle that requires its personal sustainable options. As artists, it’s our accountability to be environmentally aware. Listed here are some methods I apply this mindset: I exploit my assortment of recycled supplies and once I purchase new gadgets I select eco-friendly choices.


Reusing objects shouldn’t be a brand new idea in animation or human expertise. As kids, we regularly use on a regular basis objects to create our imaginative worlds, equivalent to a pile of leaves that turns into a citadel and a stick that turns into Excalibur. As animators, we have now the chance to proceed this sustainable projection of the creativeness and construct worlds that encourage creativity.

Well-known animators equivalent to Brothers Quay and Jan Svankmajer additionally repurpose on a regular basis objects, giving them an emotional resonance. They remodel the contents of our kitchen drawers into cacophonous consumption or coat previous doll heads with a chilling veneer of menace. Utilizing acquainted objects, viewers can step out and in of the phantasm, recognizing and reinterpreting them. The animators direct an intimate dance with the item, creating a robust alchemy that may make an viewers fall in love with a fork puppet.

Within the “Bounce Bounce” music video for Hilary Hahn and Hauschka, I repurposed forgotten gadgets discovered at flea markets and vintage retailers in Brooklyn. A classic scarf grew to become a fleet of crabs, a doily reworked right into a starfish-like creature, sink strainers had been used for sea anemones, and even a discarded toy piano grew to become a coral reef for sea snails and ocean crops. By respiration new life into these objects, I’ve created an extravagant and unforgettable present of creativity.

Refuse don’t need not

Too typically we dismiss it as a difficulty that’s out of sight, out of thoughts. We throw our trash in dumpsters and watch it being hauled away by rubbish vehicles, by no means stopping to think about the larger image. However what if we approached waste otherwise?

After I was working with Explosions within the Sky on their music video for ‘The Ecstatics’ we wished to discover the idea of psychological readability and the layering of ideas. To attain this, we have now used clear supplies equivalent to plastic, glass, skinny paper and lightweight projections. However the place did we discover these supplies? Within the trash cans, after all!

By gathering plastic bottles and different waste supplies, we have now been in a position to repurpose them into respiratory lungs and natural varieties. We even used repurposed glass shards to create customized blown glass shapes. And to prime it off, we used sheets of old school overhead projector plastic to create an etched 2D animation for the finale. By respiration new life into supplies that may in any other case have ended up in a landfill, we had been in a position to create an inspiring and visually gorgeous music video.

Whereas imaginative reuse and recycling provide infinite potentialities, generally embracing the constraint of fabric can result in much more inventive options.

Think about creating a complete universe from a single sheet of paper. It could appear daunting, however with the correct method it’s potential. By embracing the restrictions of a single materials, we will push the boundaries of our creativity and discover its full potential.

As an alternative of overwhelming ourselves with infinite potentialities, let’s give attention to the fantastic thing about simplicity. Let’s take a single sheet of paper and see how far we will lengthen his life. Can we create intricate origami designs? Can we use it as a canvas for stunning paintings? Can we fold it into stunning paper airplanes that soar within the sky?

Half of it

Working with sustainable manufacturers

If we wish to create a extra sustainable future for animation, we have to begin by partnering with aware manufacturers and provoking others to make inexperienced selections. An instance of it is a industrial for Charlie Banana which was particularly particular to me, particularly since I used to be pregnant on the time. Even when I wasn’t engaged on this challenge, I might have chosen fabric diapers for my child on account of my dedication to sustainability and my understanding of the influence of merchandise on the setting.

In bringing this movie to life, we wished to showcase the fantastic thing about paper and the way it may be seamlessly mixed with digital typesetting and hand-drawn components. I made positive to supply recycled paper to scale back the environmental influence of the challenge. However the sustainability efforts did not cease there! I saved all of the paper clippings from the minimize out puppets and props and plan to show them into new paper, utilizing my paper making abilities I discovered in a category a number of years in the past. I really like how this course of can flip discarded scraps into stunning, usable paper, even utilizing fibers like previous denims!

These inspiring sustainable movies display the unbelievable versatility of stop-motion animation when performed mindfully. As a proud member of the NERD group, who shares a ardour for sustainability, I am thrilled to see extra organizations like AdGreen main the best way in sustainable manufacturing practices. It’s important that we take accountability for the environmental influence of our inventive endeavors and try to make constructive change for future generations.

I imagine that as creators we have now a novel alternative to encourage change via our work. By rethinking our processes and the supplies we use, we will create compelling and environmentally pleasant movies which have a constructive influence. Whereas it may be a problem at occasions, there are numerous methods to create sustainably and make a distinction. Let’s all do our half to construct a extra sustainable future for our planet!

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