I got to make an awesome sketch with Cliff of Space Skits earlier this year. Cliff was the guest on a chat show I was helping host for the App Rizzle and we hit it off. We brains stormed some ideas. I pitched one about mowing lawns to Cliff which we are slated to do in the future but Cliff’s idea about a Mortal Kombat sketch won out in our minds because it would look good in stop motion- a technique I am pretty damn good at.

There was then a long period in between. With projects like this (free collaboration) one is stuck in a hard place of wanting to schedule this production but having to make free time for paid work. It was several months later that we made a script. I recorded my line quickly and several more months that we had audio lock and finally a finished project.

At the time ( currently as well) I was trying to improve my CGI skills and made a cool CG logo animation for Space Skits in the interim.

Space Skits uses a lot of lip sync over animation acting- in the style of family guy. Animation acting is using a characters body to convey the meaning of their words. This latter is actually what a lot of older animation used and it is only recently that we have a sticktuitive strictness of always using lip sync.

The parody character Scorpion, however, has no mouth. I used a series of generic motions and then did what is called “animation editing”- the technique of editing frames of animation to create different motions- to create the final work.

We actually even cut a kick because of timing issues and because I was steadfast in wanting to include the bobbing idle animation of Mortal Kombat video game characters.

PRODUCTION TIP

Audio is often terrible on internet based projects. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT if you have more than one person on production. Film using 1 phone and place another phone closer to the subjects as the mic. You can then sync them in editing.

I also will advise this technique works AMAZINGLY when paired with a phone mic. BEWARE however if you do not see 3 black rings of plastic on the microphones headphone jack (the plug) it is likely not for a phone and will not work.

When you get a new mic that you are uncertain of its functionality, gentle blow air on to it. The sound should be too low for the phone’s internal mic to pick up but wind makes tremendous noise into mics.