“Great Ideas Don’t Clock Out” -The theme taking Divergent Creative down its first advertising campaign trail. Our independent pet project designed to advertise ourselves to you, the public.  

So, let’s talk about spending 8 hours in front of a white board

on a beautiful spring Saturday. Neither Ben nor I actually thought about how long it would take to make 7 seconds of stop motion video — or what the Wal-Mart employees thought of two grown men sizing up dry-erase markers like livestock. In truth we just showed up at the office, made up a quick shopping list, and crossed our fingers that we had thought of everything. We forgot a thing — a straight edge.  

The work isn’t too daunting after you stop mentally keeping track of how many frames you’ve shot, and how many are left to go. The tiny adjustments between frame go by faster once you get in the stop-motion trance.  

Before we knew it, 4 hours of our lives had elapsed. With no way to tell how it was going to look while in creation, 300 stills of the same white board came together to make a great amateur stop-motion tag line for Divergent Creative. The initial project turned out so well, we decided to double down and create -what would become- a GIF to post to social.  

Both videos were made basically the same way –

on the white board with dry-erase markers, but serve different purposes. The first video, 6 seconds long will appear at the end of all Divergent Creative video content like a calling card.  The second video-made-GIF is a visual entry in the “Great Ideas Don’t Clock Out” ad campaign.  

For video 1, our calling card, we shot it backwards, (referred to as a “wipe.”) which made it SO much easier in the end. After painstakingly mimicking the Divergent Creative font, the mechanics behind it became as simple as: 

  • For the LOVE OF GOD do not bump the table. 
  • Only erase as much as a finger print will remove each frame. 
  • Seriously, don’t bump the table. 
  • Add a more generous number of dots and squiggles as time goes on. 
  • Don’t forget to shoot each frame
  • And, of course. Don’t bump or move the camera or table. Or even breathe near these objects 

In the beginning we were meticulous to remove very little dry-erase ink from each letter; then add black or red marks to create the effect of “Divergent Creative” solidifying from of a cloud of red and black mess. By the end I had licked the white board, Ben swiped his hand across the shot, and we included a few weird geometric shapes. Our patience didn’t survive the creation process.  

The second video-made-gif was shot in 2 hours. Not bad considering it took double the time for the previous stop-motion project. After drawing an extremely loose outline of the Columbus skyline, we filled in the sky… 120 times. Each frame the sun or moon was erased, moved about an inch, filled in, then shot. While this was happening, we added and subtracted yellow rectangles in the buildings to animate lights turning off and on. 

In post-production,

Ben pulled all the photos in to Adobe Lightroom, and used lrtimelapse to compile all the photos. Adobe premiere was used to apply the finishing touches and our first two creations as Divergent Creative were born.  

It was a great day for the creative problem-solving process. Two short stop-motion projects. Something tangible we could take to our friends and family to show off. It truly doesn’t feel like a job when you’re doing something you love.