“Into the Cosmos” by Chopsy

Something for the vinyl heads: “Into the Cosmos” was directed by Chopsy (aka Darren Robbie). The short asks, “What happens to all the old vinyl people used to play? From out of attics, rubbish bins & forgotten shelving, the records are summoned to an old warehouse by a mysterious ‘collector’.” Love the energy of the animation–the music and SFX added by Architeq is a smooth fit–and I’m impressed how Chopsy was able to create snappy and interesting movement out of “characters” that are essentially flat circles. The LPs cutting through objects like blades was also a nice touch. In addition to making his own films, Chopsy directs commercials at Aardman–here’s the most recent spot he’s done for them.

Production info from the director:

Using a combination of stop-frame, pixilation, live-action & time lapse animation, it was shot in a variety of locations around Bristol & was created by shooting entirely in camera whenever possible (at other times multiple passes were combined). By shooting each frame within a specific timescale for the external shots, we see vinyl records interacting with the ever changing natural light & weather (dry or wet, sunny or cloudy) — if you look closely you can even see puddles drying out in a couple of shots.

The short film was created on & off over a period of 7 months by a bunch of friends between paid work, a real labour of love (it had no budget to speak of). It was shot in late winter earlier this year with the spring & summer being used to do all the post (mainly rig removal). All the records you see were cut before shooting, with new centre labels stuck onto them to create the desired visual effect of them spinning & bouncing through the ground, they were then animated on location using weighted rigs.

Architeq added the music & sound effects after filming finished & the first edit was completed. Rigs were removed, different passes combined & shadows cleaned up in AfterEffects. Motion capture on location was achieved by using Dragon software on a laptop, which was in turn powered by a portable caravan battery. Cameras used were the Canon Eos 5 & 7.

CREDITS:
Director: Chopsy
Producer: Kev Harwood
DOP: Toby Howell
Animators: Darren Robbie, Inez Woldman (additional help: Wendy Griffiths, Ed Patterson)
Compositing: Jim Lewis, Bram Thweam, Darren Robbie
Appearances/pixilation: Ian Whitlock, Bobby Proctor, Robin Crowther-Smith
Rigging: Craig Atkinson
Gaffer (warehouse shoot): Clive Scott
Editor: Nikk Fielden


  • Jessica Britton

    Nice! The segment in the warehouse reminds me a little of Mike Jittlov’s original “Wizard of Speed and Time” segment with the dancing film cans.

  • Mac

    I love it! The scenes where a select few jump out of their jackets from the wall full of vinyl take me back to my college radio days. I’m a vinyl junkie,not necessarily a serious collector. I play everything I buy and have a store in walking distance filled with used vinyl. A $10 ration scores a handful of LPs every week.