Movies Matter is one of my most recent stop motion videos, and my very first experience shooting with the Kessler CineDrive. For this project I was asked to create a 60 second video showcasing the important contribution of the film and television production industry to Canada’s economy- In short: Why Movies Matter.

When it comes to movies, we all know one thing for certain, movies have the uncanny ability to stretch our minds to the very edge of disbelief, to spin us around and get us lost in the powerful illusion that is presented to us on screen. There in lay the inspiration for my video- Movies are like magic shows.

A little research into the significance of the film industry for Canada opened my eyes to what not all of us may know- Movies are also responsible for a massive chunk of our Canadian economy. I found a bunch of facts and figures related to this notion of which the ones that stuck out to me most were:

  • In 2013 alone, the Canadian film industry created 262,700 full-time equivalent jobs
  • Returned $5.5 billion in tax revenue, $2.8 billion in federal taxes and $2.7 billion in provincial and local taxes

Armed with my concept in mind, I set out to create my visuals. To add another dimension to the uniqueness of film, I knew I wanted it to be a stop motion project. My thinking process is to always break concepts down to their lowest common denominator. In this case, what are the essential elements that represent movies (both onscreen and off)? Popcorn, boom mics, camera, tripod etc.

It all began with a little drawing

I then received all my Kessler gear and instantly my mind began reeling with the possibilities. I picked out shots and angles that I knew would be possible with my new equipment and convinced ‘renderer’ Omayr Nasir to get on board. We came up with a 3D render of my drawing and set out to create the 42 paper props. I must admit at the time I didn’t quite realize the extent of time it would take us to create these!

It was a real pleasure to work with the CineDrive and programming the move was really simple to do. Having had experience with the Oracle Controller that Kessler offers for their analog systems the learning curve was minimal. It didn’t take long before I was able to watch my move in real time and overlay it with the animatic.


Having this advanced motion control opened up the ability for me to play with a mixture of live action and stop motion. This was exactly what I needed to complement my concept about how movies are like a magic show. I wanted to start off with stop motion and then transition into live action that would eventually cut to a behind the scenes look at how the people behind the scenes are the magicians upholding the tricks. Blending the two was very simple and even though I did have to fine tune a touch in post. The process would have been extremely difficult to pull off without the CineDrive.

-Salman Sajun