Director and animator Josh Funk created “The Spaceman” as a playful expression of his childhood imagination.“‘I used to make cardboard spaceships as a kid,” Josh explains, “and I wanted to make a film that incorporated childhood themes and as many practical effects as possible.” The film was created using stop motion animation, miniature sets, large cardboard sets, animatronics, and CGI and represents Josh’s second stop motion effort. His previous film, Wormholes, was created using exclusively stop motion techniques.
Though stop motion is sometimes viewed as a prohibitively labor intensive process, Josh holds a special fondness for the medium: “I’ve always been a fan of stop motion animation and in awe of the amount of dedication that goes into finishing a project in this medium.” It’s through this impressive level of dedication that stop motion animators such as Josh earn uncompromising control over their projects. “I can create elaborate sets that would be costly for a live-action film,” says Josh, “there are no actors to worry about scheduling with, and anything I can imagine can be created through puppets. It really feels like art in movement.”
Still, complete control does not always equate to ultimate perfection — but this doesn’t bother Josh: “I enjoy the flaws in this form of animation. For example, if you look closely at The Spaceman you can occasionally see the fur move from where my fingers were adjusting the puppet. There is a performance happening in between the frames.”
“The Spaceman” has so far garnered two awards at the IndieFEST and Best Shorts competitions and will be headed to several more festival by year’s end.
We want to offer a special thanks to Josh for giving us a behind-the-scenes peek at his work in the images featured in this article. Watch “The Spaceman” and keep up to date with Josh’s latest projects at www.joshfunk.com(link is external)
Jordan Maison is an editor and VFX artist whose plied his talents in web content for Disney Studios as well as movie and videogame websites.