Millimeter by Millimeter

If there’s a more painstaking and obsessive way of making movies than stop-motion animation, it doesn’t come to mind. Every minute comprises 1,440 frames — 1,440 shots, that is — so stop for a 24th of a second and consider the effort that goes into a feature-length flick. It involves building three-dimensional characters and sets, which are then moved and manipulated in a precisely plotted manner to create and sustain the illusion of living, feeling beings. How ambitious, cool, and nutty is that? It’s high-order grunt work that infuses stop-motion films with an idiosyncratic and handmade quality. (It’s no coincidence that the labor of stop-motion animation is rarely outsourced to South Korea or India, unlike that of computer-animated films.) The process, as much as the result, endears stop-motion movies to fans. Marketing maven Mark Shapiro treks down from the Portland-based animation company Laika this afternoon to pull back the curtain with Behind the Magic: The Making of Stop Motion Features ParaNorman and Caroline. Aimed at inquisitive adults as well as easily awed children, Shapiro’s presentation features behind-the-scenes footage and time-lapse sequences — and just may set some tyke on a career path.
Sat., Feb. 16, 3 p.m., 2013

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