Behind the Scenes: Frolic videos
March 23, 2021
Even the smallest of steps can add up to something big. That’s why we’re so excited about our third annual Frolic of the Animals, our imaginative holiday that celebrates the coming of spring. This year, we’ve created four fun videos that introduce our newest Frolic friends—Cow, Pig, Turtle, and Rabbit.
The videos were produced by Bradly Krueger, a freelance videographer and former MacKenzie-Childs employee, and Corey Field, a member of our design team. We like to call these guys our dynamic duo, and you’ll see why when you watch the four latest Frolic chapters unfold.
Bradly and Corey filmed the videos, which are 15 to 25 seconds long, using stop-motion animation. With stop-motion, objects are moved the smallest of increments between each photographed frame so that they appear to be in motion when the frames are played back. You might be familiar with stop-motion animation from the well-known Wallace & Gromit films.
Each movement is no more than one-eighth of an inch per frame, and each second of video equals 24 frames. Do the math, and you’ll see each of these videos contains hundreds of frames, and that requires much attention to detail. Says Corey, “It’s vital to keep all the elements that are NOT moving still at all times or the video will be visually off to the viewer.”
Before filming began, Corey and Bradly reviewed the story outline and decided how to present the chapters. From there, Corey built the sets, drawing on his experience in our visuals department, where he designed store displays. Construction of each set took up to four hours. For these newest sets, which are fairly consistent between the four videos, Corey made a farm field of foam insulation that was topped with moss and potting soil. A backdrop showing a starlit sky was added, and some of our products, including our Flower Market Galvanized Flower Buckets and our Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set, were used as props.
Bradly then edited the videos, which, thanks to computer programs that allow batch editing and can correct color inconsistencies, takes about half the time that shooting requires.
One guest star in every video has been a small ladybug that was included as a fortuitous idea in the first group of Frolic videos. Now, this lovely little insect is a pivotal character that creates continuity between the videos.
Says Bradly, “It helps string them all together. The ladybug is basically what the viewer is following as it shows you to the next chapter. Ladybug is definitely a team favorite in the studio.”