Today, being below forty degrees and snowy, makes me remember back when it snowed in Wapos Bay.
A long time ago, back when ipods were slightly thicker, we had episodes of Wapos Bay that took place in snow.
Yep the white stuff was one of three things on the sets; powdered sugar, styrofoam bits, or cotton batting. Some times just one ingredient, sometimes two or the trifecta would come into play.
To someone who hasn’t worked in stop motion, a set covered in powdered sugar sounds awesome. Imagine every time you breathed you’d taste a bit of sugar. Yummy, until you realized that you breathe a lot. So for the first minute is fun, the first hour is annoying but by halfway through the day you have a sugar high. By the end of the day you don’t want to think about sugar.
The worst is when you have a mix of powdered sugar and styrofoam… gross yet delicious.
The other issue was more simple. Snow in Wapos Bay dances. Not the Cha Cha or the Watusi but the kind of dance that makes shooting hard. When an animator moves an armature (puppet) he or she has to touch the set. If the set is covered in ‘snow’ then any slight touch or breathe made the snow change. Can’t move snow back either (we tried trust us) and any attempt makes the snow move even more. Thus the big snow sets constantly danced.
One time we used cotton batting and it looked great… until we had to walk a character. Once you touch one part, you move the other.
So eventually we started just seeing Wapos in the summer even though we usually shoot in the winter.
Courtesy Trevor Cameron, Story Editor