Behind the scenes: Paul Martin’s ‘Paper Story’’

We're thrilled to introduce animator Paul Martin and his beautiful video 'Paper Story', the first of two, hand-picked, creative responses to Heritage Open Days from Met Film graduates. Read on to find out a little bit more about how it was made.

© Paul Martin - Work in progress - strata

Tell us about yourself?

I graduated from Met Film School recently having studied a one-year visual effects and animation course. 

You have used an animation technique called Strata Stencil. What inspired you to use it and why?

Strata Stencil was first pioneered by Javen Ivey. In a Strata Stencil animation images are cut from paper stencils, which are stacked so that at any one moment you can see both the current frame and the previous few frames. In this way you simultaneously view the present and the past. This seemed a very apt animation style to use to promote Heritage Open Days.

Tell us a little of the process

Since this was my first attempt at this animation style I decided to use a mixture of animation and live-footage to help us deliver something special in a relatively short timeframe.

We shot our live footage on one of the stages at the historic Ealing Studios with a green screen and a small, but excellent, cast and crew. 

All the other elements including buildings, trees, birds flying and clouds were drawn and animated on computer. 

The various elements were then pulled together using computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create the strata stencil effect. 

Are you happy with the result?

We set out to create something that reflected the special nature of our heritage and the importance of preserving this for future generations. Something heartfelt and, hopefully, visually beautiful.

I think thanks to the hard work of everyone involved - cast and crew - we have come very close to realising that ambition.

Hopefully viewers of the animation will agree!

Do you? If you like Paul’s artistic interpretation of Heritage Open Days, share his video with family and friends. We’d like as many people as possible to see it. For more about this latest project with Met Film and our new video page click here.