I was quite excited about this exhibition to be honest. I have always been a big fan of the Wallace and Gromit movies and even all of the stop motion animation done by Aardman studios. I think its the photographer in me that really appreciates the detail and finese that goes into creating a stop motion feature.
Walking up to the ACMI in Melbourne I wasn't too sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised however. After buying a ticket from the staff I was informed that they welcomed photography! Usually it is becoming more common for places not to allow photography and there is usually a lot of red tape to get past to allow them to let you take photographs. Not here, they welcomed it! Hence we are going to have a rather excellent blog post!
The exhibition is huge, far bigger than I was expecting. It covers all of the Aardman work from the early morph, to Wallace and Gromit to later feature movies like chicken run. They give a complete history of the work as you progress through the exhibits.
What is most impressive is that they have the entire sets from many of the movies and shorts, so you can really see all of the exquisite detail that goes into creating each scene. Its quite quite wonderful.
Seeing the full sets with all of their lighting and cameras in place really shows just how much work goes into the features, they are not simple to make, rather they look like more work than actually filming on real sets. I guess you just have more control over the actors.
In the set above they were showing how the lighting changes for the different scenes, changing from sunlight to moonlight. There are even lights behind the buildings facade to light up its windows at night. Its all really well done.
If you are interested in story boards and original art work and sketches this place is a gold mine of visual information too, many of the original sketches and note books for Wallace and Gromit are on display. There are literally hundreds of original sketches and designs for all of the animation movies.
At the end of the exhibition there is a room where you can also try making your own stop motion feature if thats your thing.
If you are in Melbourne or if this travelling exhibition is coming to a place near you, I highly recommend checking it out. It definitely put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.