Aardman Sets Record with Nokia Spot

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Aardman Animations has put its name in the record books once again as their Sumo Science directorial team (Will Studd and Ed Patterson) have created the World’s Largest Stop-Motion Animation Set with their new short film/commercial Gulp for Nokia, according to Guinness World Records. The recognition comes on the heels of the studio’s Smallest Stop-Motion Animated Character record for their previous Nokia spot, Dot.

Aardman Animation's Gulp

Aardman Animation's Gulp

The short was created for Nokia’s N8 campaign which seeks to showcase real-world applications for mobile devices in the world of film. Conceptualized by Nokias ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, Gulp follows a lone fisherman who is swallowed by a huge sea monster but manages to escape—unfortunately, so does his catch. The film’s creatures and ocean vista are crafted in large-scale sand animation carved into a beach in South Wales by Jamie Wardly and his team of artists at Sand In Your Eye, along with 30 art student volunteers. The huge set was made up of nautical objects like seaweed, ropes and nets, and Aardman’s prop department crafted a life-size replica fishing boat and half-boat light enough to be carried around the set.

Aardman Animation's Gulp

Aardman Animation's Gulp

Aardman Animation's Gulp

Aardman Animation's Gulp

All spots for the campaign are shot entirely on the N8 smartphone. Gulp showcases the phone’s Carl Zeiss optics and 12-megapixel photography capabilities. Three phones elevated 36 meters above the ground on a cherry picker (mounted in a custom rig by Peli Box) shot the 42.71 x 24 meter (roughly 140 x 78 ½ feet) set.

Aardman Animation's Gulp

Aardman Animation's Gulp

“The film was a huge test of planning and coordination with Mother Nature, we were incredibly lucky with conditions and tide times, sometimes we got our final frame for the day just as the waves crashed in around our set!” director Will Studd explained, “Obviously the turnaround had to be so quick with such a short window, but working with the W + K team was fantastic as usual and we got everything we set out to achieve. The Nokia N8 stood up to the challenge and produced some outstanding images.”