Do It Yourself

Tell your story out loud! It has value. It gives you voice and shows others that there is no need to be afraid to speak up about your anxieties. It is the way to free yourself from them.

Creating animations is a fun game. It is also self-therapy – a method for discovering the truth hiding behind your traumas. Visualizing, writing down, speaking out about your fears, inner pains and sufferings might help to find ways to deal with them. Letting it out will make you stronger than ‘the enemy’ living inside you. It is a possibility to stop feeding your anxieties.

So here’s how it goes with the story and animated film creation:

It is important that you create the story that could only come from within you, expressing what is bothering you this very moment. To make things easier, create a fictional main character and center your story around him or her. Your character can be another teen, a little dog, a tree, a fish, or a stone. Choose whatever pops into your mind right away. The important thing is to not overthink it. Also, do not criticize yourself. This is a safe space. 

You will need:

1. Paper:

– A4 sheet of paper to write down your story;
– A3 sized paper sheet for the background;
– A4 sized paper sheets to draw the characters and other moving objects, later to be cut out with scissors.

2. Color pencils, markers, crayons, etc.

3. Scissors.

Before you start writing, decide what you want your story to be about. Is it a story about a feeling that is bothering you, or about a disagreement with someone, or about something that’s happened and which has gotten stuck within you and you cannot let it go? Again, it is important not to overthink the matter and to not criticize yourself. Follow the first ideas that come to your mind and trust your inner impulses. Usually, they will lead you in the right direction. 

Now define the main character or characters in your story and give them names. Then decide just what is the location that your story starts in. It could be any place you want: a forest, the bottom of the sea, the hollow of a tree, or the very cosmos itself.

To simplify your task of creating a story, ask yourself questions as you go along. For example:

1. What is the story I want to tell?

2. Who is the main character or characters?

3. Where is the place my story starts in?

4. What are my characters doing in that place?

While writing the story, ask yourself, too, this question: ‘What happens next?’ and keep asking that until you reach the end.

Once the story is finished and written down – draw all the characters and those objects that will move. Then cut them out. A3 format paper sheet will serve as a background for your movie. You will move your characters and objects on it. For the background, you can choose a simple white paper sheet, but it can be a coloured paper as well. You can even draw something on the background sheet. Do not cut those drawings from the background. They do not need to move.

Now, prepare the animation set.

You will need:

1. Two sticks of bamboo or any other kind of wood between 1 m and 1 m 50 cm long.

2. Two chairs.

3. Mobile smart phone with the downloaded free ‘Stop Motion Studio’ app.

4. Gaffer tape to fix the mobile and sticks.

– Place two chairs parallel and in front of each other.
– Fix the sticks with gaffer tape to the chairs. The gap between the sticks should match the width of your mobile phone.
– Fix your mobile phone to the sticks using the gaffer tape again. – Put the A3 format paper sheet – your background – on the floor right under the mobile phone lens. Switch on the ‘Stop Motion Studio’ app and check if the paper sheet fills in the entire screen.

You can start to animate:

– Move the characters slowly on the background while making photos of each little movement with the animation app on your phone. Make the movements of your characters as tiny as you can. The more patient you are, the better will your finished animation look.

– When done animating, create a soundtrack for your short film. A simple voice/sound recorder on your mobile phone will be perfect for that. Tell in your own words or read aloud the story you wrote and record it yourself. Use this recording as the voice over and add it to the video on any editing program.

You’re finished!

But lastly, if you would like your animated film to be published – simply because you like it and sharing for you is a marvellous experience – then make sure to send us your creation. Head over to the Contact page or just send it at