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Feature / Tim Burton @ the MoMA

It’s not everyday you get to be part of an effort for one of your favorite movie directors. With Big Spaceship, I had the honor of working with the MoMA and Tim Burton team to create a digital installation that would showcase many of Tim Burton’s works and exclusive video content for the Tim Burton Exhibition at MoMA in New York. Our mission was to create an experience that embraced many of the visual elements and themes we love across Tim Burton’s work, such as heavy light and dark contrasts, stop motion animation, hand-made environments, and nightmarish visual effects.

Here are a few design directions we explored:



Design: Sarah Calvillo

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Design: Dave Chau

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Design: Jay Quercia

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Ultimately, we moved forward with the staircase design. This direction was exciting for us because we got to make these stair cases by hand and and used stop motion techniques to achieve a Tim Burton-esque visual effect. We made 3 individual staircases the size of my torso and used stop motion to animate each one individually onto the scene. Then, we took all of our footage and brought it into After Effects to render all three staircases together in a single environment. This allowed us to create different transitions based on the user’s interaction on the site. We also added in background elements from Tim Burton’s work to make the transitions more eerie. For the UI elements, we used stop motion to create a hand drawn effect, which means each stroke was drawn in frame by frame.

BSS_process_2 Here’s a beautiful initial sketch by Jay Quercia, figuring out how the content might lay over the staircase.

BSS_process_1 Here are the three final stair cases, made of foam core and plaster.

BSS_process_3 Here’s how the final product turned out.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 5.22.19 PM

Be sure to check out Tim Burton @ the MoMA

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