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Making It Move

How to give action figures real action.

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Oscar buzz is everywhere this week, and although kids aren’t paying much attention to Babel or Letters From Iwo Jima, they can certainly root for their favorites in the animation categories. The day after the awards are handed out, young filmmakers at the HiArt! Stop-Motion Extravaganza will learn how to make their own short animated films. The four-session workshop begins with a brief lecture about animation technique and story structuring, followed by a workshop in which kids will create storyboards and backdrops. The remaining three sessions involve shooting hundreds of stop-motion frames with a digital camera and adding sound. Why not go straight to CGI, as the majority of cartoon creators do these days? “It’s more a jumping-off point to understand what animation is and how it works,” explains workshop teacher Heather Sinclair, whose own experimental pieces have appeared at the Brooklyn Arts Council’s film festival. “It’s really exciting for them to see their own work on a monitor.” To make the class warm and fuzzy, students’ own toys will become the stars of the shorts. How does she handle the wild ideas that emerge? Sinclair has a few tricks to address problems such as making chubby, jointless teddy bears look like they’re flying and filling in blanks when there’s just not enough action in the story ideas. “I don’t teach any stock tricks,” says the video animator. “I just solve problems on the spot.”

2/26, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19 from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.; HiArt!, 601 W. 26th St., at Eleventh Ave., Suite 1425I. (212-362-8190 or hiartkids.com); $280.


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