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KC art institute professor creates stop motion animation for shows, music videos, and commercials

bona bones.jpg
Posted at 4:30 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 07:17:18-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the lights and camera turn on inside Bona Bones’ Kansas City, Missouri, studio, the action is a little slower than you’d expect.

“It’s a really time-consuming process,” Bones said.

Bones is a stop motion animator. She uses a sequence of still photographs to animate inanimate objects like dolls and puppets.

Creating the motion requires taking a photo, slightly changing the subject’s positioning, taking another picture, and then repeating the process. When the pictures are played consecutively, it appears as though the object is moving.

“It’s a lot of going back and checking, readjusting and checking before I even take a picture,” Bones described the process.

The assistant professor of animation at Kansas City Art Institute said it takes roughly one hour of work to create one second of footage.

Her footage has ended up in music videos for Blink 182, The Marias, EarthGang and Wale; commercials for Ziplock and Purex; plus and TV shows like Robot Chicken. This summer, Bones will work on a HBO series.

“It’s a very zen, physically repetitive practice,” Bones described why she likes stop motion animation. “And it’s really easy to kind of meditate in this space and be creative.”

She’s sharing her creativity with students. Now in her second year teaching at KCAI, Bones said her greatest strength is her real world experience working with musicians and studios.

“Having those industry connections and being able to help place students or connect them with other people and other professionals who can help them in their career is really beneficial,” Bones said.

Bones said stop motion requires dedication similar to an athlete’s training. They are both very repetitive, but both have a finish line, some goal to strive for. That’s enough to keep Bones in motion.