Category Archives: animation

How to use Beta tapes

Every film festival requires different formats for the screening tape that you have to make tons of tapes. Beta SP NTSC, Beta SP PAL, Digi Beta, HDCam, etc… It’s all good when they’re circulating the world. But after 2 years of film festivals, what do you do with these beta tapes?
They take up a lot of space but you can’t really throw away.
Here’s the solution.
Beta tapes are REALLY useful when you need to prop the sets up temporarily. They’re like LEGOs. You can adjust the height easily and they stack up nicely. (*note: This will not work for stop-motion…obviously)

Example 01: Far away background house

I wanted to put something for the far away background. The problem was that the sets were already taking up the desk and didn’t have anything of that height to prop up a house back there.

Thanks for a lightkit case and several beta tapes, I could prop up a house back there! Yay!

Example 02: Upshot

Since this was an upshot, the sets needed to be positioned very high. Hmmm… desks aren’t adjustable.

Thanks to several beta tapes, I could prop up the entire street.

Example 03: Downshot

This was a downshot so the sets needed to be on the floor. I just needed to put another wall because the camera was panning.

No problem, the beta tapes propped up a wall and also stabilized.

Very happy that we found a way to use old beta tapes and recycle into something else :)


During the past week, the Netherlands Institute for Animated Film hosted a Masterclass with Polish film director,
Piotr Dumala.

Piotr is a perpetually curious filmmaker who is well-known for his distinctive plaster and ink etched films.

As an experiment, he recently re-edited his masterpiece, “Crime and Punishment”, to completely change the relationships between characters in the film.

His latest work, the live-action feature “The Forest”, has a very unique parallel plot structure and seems to be a logical extension of his animation work.

During the second part of the workshop, all participants made a short film with sound in a two-day period. The atmosphere was super positive/ focused and the work was very diverse in approach.

Here is my short: “POP!”

POP! from Tiny Inventions on Vimeo.

Mime class for animation

Our animation residency program, NIAF, offered us a mime class for animators.
Once a week for 5 weeks. Our amazing teacher was William Dashwood, a funny English man who has such a control over his body.
As all the awkward animators trying to imitate graceful William, we learned more about animation than in animation class. It is hard to explain what we learned since we covered many materials in such a short period.
But it was nothing like how I imagined. We did cover a bit of acting and improvisation but it was more about body control. Combination of minor rotation, angel and movement can convey various emotions. It felt more like a yoga/ excercise class in a sense. (Next morning after each class, my upper body was sore from stretching around.)
I am still in middle of processing everything we learned while trying to continue some of the exercises without him. (In my mind, I am as graceful as William)

Igor Kovalyov workshop

We attended a workshop by Igor Kovalyov through our residency program, NIAF.
Total of 4 days of storyboard exercise and Igor’s lecture about art, filmmaking, and his unique career.

We were given 7 sentences and had to create a story.
I came up with a psychopath story. Creepy images like a boy murdering animals and dried blood under finger nails. Max came up with a charming yet disturbing story about a femme fatale.
It was refreshing to force ourselves to come up with a story in such a short time.
By listening to how Igor critiques everybody’s work, I feel like I was able to see a glimpse of how Igor’s brain works.

My favorite part of the workshop was how Igor described starting a film as a cancer growing inside of him. I kept nodding as he talked about how he gets an image or an idea in his mind. Then it grows until it keeps digging into him and he has to start on a film. When he is not working on a film, he is perfectly happy.
I feel quite the same way. I love making films and I can’t imagine doing anything else. But it’s not so joyful and fun most of the time. It’s a constant struggle and especially at the very beginning and towards end of the production (either commercial or independent) I become quite impossible to be around. Angry, selfish, moody, stressed… a real bad friend.
Not to compare myself with Igor or anything but it’s quite a relief to hear that somebody as established as he is also goes through the same emotional roller coaster.
Thank you Igor & NIAF for an inspiring workshop.

Another fun part-we made more animation friends!

Side note- I am into making acorn messages at NIAF entrance.
This one is rather stupid. It says “vrijdag” which means “friday”.
But maybe one day I can write something clever and short.

Travelodge Spots

A little while back, we did the animation production for our talented friends at
Labour on six 15 second Travelodge spots.
It was refreshing to work with such clean, graphic designs and the score by
Antfood is dynamite.
Direction: Labour, Animation Production: Tiny Inventions, Sound: Antfood, Agency: Berlin Cameron
Here are three of the six:

Arts Budget Cut in the Netherlands

The Netherlands arts budget will be reduced from €800m to €600m in 2013. It may not sound much but there are hundreds of organizations shutting down due to this decision. Music group, theaters, film festivals, the list goes on… and NIAF, the animation residency organization we belong to is one of them as well. If you are interested in this topic, you can read an article from the wired here.

There was a march / demonstration in early July that we participated in Da Haag. Artists, supporters of arts, many concern citizens joined for the demonstration.
This summer has been quite cold and rainy but this day, it was the sunniest ( and hottest for sure) day ever. The heat was rising and the tension was high.

In the first week of our stay, Paul Driessen and Maya Yonesho were in the office. We are having Igor Kovalyov giving workshop in August. In the past, Andreas Hykade, Konstantin Bronzit, Piet Kroon (Blue Sky) , Michael Dudok De Wit, Wendy Tilby / Amanda Forbis and so many other famous animators have given workshops at NIAF.
For animators, these are all HUGE names. There is a library filled with animation books & DVDs. There is equipment, resources, support and everything I could have ever imagined in this organization.
It’s sad that such a wonderful, unique, and encouraging organization like NIAF to discontinue its support for the animated films.
On a personal note, we are not sure if we will be able to finish our term of 2 years. Hopefully we can but even if our stay is shortened, I still consider ourselves lucky.

Some of us had to hide in the shade for a few minutes of rest… Despite of the reasons to be there, I quite enjoyed being surrounded by passionate artists & art lovers.