Another festival update

Another festival update

Here’s another festival update for Notes from a small Japanese town as the film keeps showing up at festivals here and there. Next screening is at the Scrittura e Immagine Short Film Festival in Italy on the 1st of december. After that you can see the film at Espacio Enter Canaria in Teneriffe the 8th to the 12th of December.

As mentioned earlier, you can also catch the film at the Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017 that starts at the end of January.

Arctic Light Film Festival 2016

Arctic Light Film Festival


Stop motion animated opening film for Arctic Light Film Festival 2016

For the Arctic Light Film Festival 2016, I had the idéa to create a short stop-motion animated opening film, showing a moviegoer at a few different screenings during the festival as to describe the width of genres shown.

This would show the variety of movies shown at the festival and was also a shortcut to do a less complicated animation since I had very little time to finish it.

Since the character is sitting down for 80% of the film, I could concentrate on his expression and upper body.

I started by building a stop-motion puppet and a miniature movie theater to animate and pose him in. I rigged everything at my studio and animated everything over three days, editing the animation during the nights.

I also created a few poster, each with a slight variation of facial expression.

The sound mix of the film is made by Martin Eriksson, TCB.



Sound mix:


Arctic Light Filmfestival


Martin Eriksson, TCB i Kiruna AB

Festival update for Notes from a small…

Festival update for Notes…

A small festival update of when and where you can see Notes from a small Japanese town in the future. This weekend, 5-6th of November, the film is screened in Albany at Epic Animation Comic Game (EACG) Fest. If you are in Italy instead you can see the film at Corto Corrente in Città di Fiumicino on Saturday. the film is also in competition at 10th PSSST! Silent Film Festival in Zagreb the 10th of November.

The you will be able to see the film at Arctic Light Film Festival as part of the colletionFilmpool Nord presenterar saturday the 12th of November or before Speglingar Sunday November 13th. Phantom is also screened at Arctic Light, before Kollektivet, also Sunday.

In the end of January, Notes from a small Japanese town will also be screened at the Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2017.



Arctic Light Film Festival opening film

Arctic Light festival opening

A new opening film for Arctic Light Film Festival, that’s what I have been working on in the evenings and nights for the last couple of weeks. From the start, I had the idéa to make a short stop-motion animation of a character reacting to different films in a movie theater. I didn’t know what the character should look like, but I knew the scale and started by building a tiny movie theater, or at least seats for a tiny movie theater.

ALFF Opening film 2016

Tha character for the film

Then it was time to come up with the character for the film. After many nights sketching I finally settled on a character.As you can see, I had a hard time deciding on the placement of ears or it he was going to have a hairstyle or horns instead.

ALFF Opening film 2016

When I had a look I started building. At first, I tried to make his head of aluminum foil, but it became much to heavy. Instead, I carved an old foam egg I had lying around to the approximate shape of his head. The rest of the armature I made with aluminum wire, moldable cement, and foam. Then I made some clothes and a pair of shoes. The shoes are never visible in the film, or in the poster, though…

ALFF Opening film 2016ALFF Opening film 2016ALFF Opening film 2016

in the image above he got to borrow a mouth from another character. His own mouth I made from Fimo clay. I made enough moths to make every possible expression I would need in the animation.

ALFF Opening film 2016

Then I also made some props. Pop corn and a soda.

ALFF Opening film 2016

In the studio

I rigged everything in my tiny studio. the lighting was made with clamp spots from Clas Ohlsson that I taped paper rolls and attached filters to. Not a really recommendable solution, but it’s cheaper than real spots.

ALFF Opening film 2016

I animated the film over three nights. editing the material as I went to spot if I had to animate some scene again (wich I luckily did not).

ALFF Opening film 2016

The completed film is available on Arctic Light Film Festival’s facebook, or on the outdoor  screens in central Kiruna until the festival starts.

Årets animering har anlänt och oj oj oj vad vi gillar!

O M G! Årets vinjettfilm är alldeles, alldeles underbar! ?

Opslået af Arctic Light Filmfestival på 1. november 2016

Pikku’s loft

Pikku’s loft

I choose to build Pikku’s loft in a larger scale than the exteriors. Mostly because the scale would make it less fiddely and easier to reach inside.

I started with walls made of foamboard.

Pikkus loft

The floor of Pikku’s loft

I started by painting the floor dar brown. I then cut numerous strips of something called Finnboard. Finnboard is a matte type of cardboard. I painted the floorboards with badly mixed acrylic paint to get a lot of variation in coloring. Then i gave them a little bit of wood texture with a smaller brush.

Pikkus loft


I papered the walls with some papers from Yuki’s scrapbooking pile. I also printed out a poster and pinned it to the wall and built some furniture out of foamboard and cardboard.

Pikkus loft

Finally i gled the floorboards to the floor. i also built a few books and comics to spread around the room. The reason there are no control pads for the Nintendo is because Pikku will be holding one in his hands, wich I will shoot with a real controller. The other one will be in storage, never used (wich is a storypoint). Therefore I only need a cable coming out of the NES.

 Pikkus loft - Pikku's loft

Welcome (back) to Isopikkujärvi

Welcom (back) to Isopikkujärvi

Now is the time to assemble all parts of Isopikkujärvi. I started this by glueing pieces of foam to the cylinder to create snowbanks, hills and some roughness to the terrain. I then cover all of this in white fleece. fleece might nog be the best snow you can imagine, but it’s cheaper than the alternatives. I glue the fleece to the foam and cylinder with a smelly spray glue. in some spots I had to bring back out the thread and needle.


Isopikkujärvi lighting association

Along the village road there will be a row of streetlights. how I was going to make theese was a lot of headache until I woke up one morning with a sour throat.

The glass part of the lampshade is made from the bubble pack, the one you press your thumb on to dispence the pill, of a used pack of Strepsils.


The metal part of the lamp is made from paper and puzzle mat. finally I push a diode through the lamp and attach a piece of wire hanger to it. I also solder cables to the diode. Theese cables I will connect to a battery in the inside of the Isopikkujärvi cylinder.


When I connect the lamsp it will hopefully light up like this 8hopefully since a couple of diodes in each pack from Clas Ohlsson seems to be broken).

Darkness reigns in Isopikkujärvi

I then start attaching the pieces randomly to the cylinder. Next I will solder, connect and install the electricity to the village. This part is a bit delayed since I unfourtenately bough a Coltech solder iron. It broke after two cables and the tip collapsed into itself (I guess it melted on the inside?). The handle is now hotter than the tip. Rubbish!



Making a cylinder for Isopikkujärvi

Making a cylinder for Isopikkujärvi

Why do I need a cylinder? Well, Pikku’s house, the pine trees and other things that I have made for the environment are going to be attached to this giant cylinder that I can rotate. The rotation of the cylinder will then give the illusion of a weird kind of trackingshot over the landscape.

A cylinder made of corrugated cardboard and sweat

The cylinder is built out of cardboard. I used the cardboard box our tv came in, the box I got when I ordered foam board and a few old moving boxes. I started by tying a string to a pen and mark the circumference of the end pieces. I cut this shape out four times and glued them together two and two, making shure the corrugation was in a 90 degree angle in the glued parts. This way the end pieces will be a lot more stable.


If you plan on moving the finished barrel, for example to a different location for the movie shoot, it’s a good idéa to make shure your apartment door is larger than the diameter before attaching the sides.

Isopikkujärvi cylinder

The diameter on my cylinder was about 10 cm larger than my apartment door, something I discovered only after gluing the sides on and stabilizing the entire thing with lots of supports inside.

But luckily I had left one part of the side open where I was planning to reach inside (to put the cables, batteries and attach things poking through to the inside). With a lot of help, some pushing and a little bit of crushing we managed to get it through the door. I then carried it to the studio where I will continue the work.

Pine trees made out of camping mat

Pine trees made out of camping mat

In the area surrounding Pikku’s house i need atleast 20 pine trees. After a few days of thinking I decided to make the trees out of green camping mat that I had in my basement from a previous project.

Disney-pine and scabies trees

The idéa was not to create perfect Disney-trees but thin, uneaven pine trees like the ones you usually see up here in the north.

I had planned to make the trunk from garden wire, but apparently Coop doesn’t carry it anymore. I couldn’t find it anywhere else either, not even in my basement, although I remember I had a roll there. Instead I used aluminium wire that I glued tiny strips of camping mat on with contact cement.

Finally I add a thick layer of white acrylic paint as snow and frost.

Building Pikku part four, hands

Building Pikku part four, hands

Pikku will need two pair of hands in the film. One pair of regular rod controlled hands. I make them with a jeansbutton to attach the rod, wich I make from a wire hanger. The second pair have to have movable fingers for som subtle movement in a couple of scenes. The two pairs also have to be easy to switch.

Regular hands

I make the arm of some thicker foam that I cut a little bit rounder. I also cut a bit in the elbow to make the arm more bendable. In the shoulder I attach a leather strap that I make a small hole in. on the inside of Pikku I put a wedge through the hole. By removing the wedge I can easily exchange arms.


Gripping hands

The pair of hands that have to be able to grip I cut out aof a piece of puzzlemat from Rusta. I cut grooves where the fingers are going to bend and put a thread through the fingers and the hand.

The wrist of the foam hand I attach to the tube of a 100 yen toy nunchucku. This will be the lower arm. I reinforce the hand with a piece of stiff plastick and put some foam around the nunchucku pipe and attach an upper arm of foam (just like the upper part of the regular arm. then I cover the arm in fur.

Building Pikku Iso part three, I hate sewing

Building Pikku part three, sewing

It’s time for the worst part of puppetmaking, it’s time to bring out the thread and needle and I hate sewing. It’s tough on my shoulders and neck, it’s hard to see with black thread on black fur and it’s just as much job to undo if something has gone wrong.

I hate sewing

Yes, I hate sewing

I chose a short haired sheep like fur for Pikku, complimented with some longer fur in special places klike on his head, shoulders and elbows. Fur is quite forgiving and atleast it’s nice that the seams aren’t so visible..

I hate sewing

I use pretty much the same pattern as for the foam base but I add 1 cm around so the fur will fit the base. I change the pattern mailly around the jaw and neck, because the fur puppet will be one piece once done, not a separate head and body. Something thats important when working with fur is to cut the fur from the backside and only cut through the back cloth, not the hair.

I hate sewing

Still hate sewing

About a week and a pinful neck later and Pikku is becoming fuzzy. I also install the eyelights and brow mechanism now and then I make an arm sock that I glue to the base of the skull and jaw. Once the arm sock and the body attached there will be a lot of trouble to reach inside the head, so I doublecheck that everything in the head is complete.

I hate sewing

A few days of sewing later Pikku has gotten a pair of ears. His normal arms are also furry and attached to the shoulders. pikku is almost complete now.

I hate sewing

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