Meet and get to know Josiah Clements, who created the promo video for this year’s Ohio Shorts Youth Division film competition, in this conversation. Josiah, who is 18, has been home schooled all his life and lives on the west side of Columbus. He is an intern in the Wex’s education and marketing/communications departments. Katherine Wang, a senior at Upper Arlington High School, and Tova Seltzer, a junior at The Wellington School, interviewed Josiah. Both are also interns in the marketing/communications department.
Tova Seltzer: You made the Ohio Shorts Youth Division promo video. Describe your past experience with stop-motion animation and film in general.
Josiah Clements: I have been learning 2D animation since 2008. My experience with stop-motion is very limited. This is basically the first stop-motion project I have done. I have done a couple of small animations before (maybe about five seconds long) but this is my first big project. I have also done a lot of other videos since 2007 and I have been drawing my whole life.
TS: What was the greatest challenge with making the promo film?
JC: The set up. Essentially, there had to be three layers in the rig. One layer was the background, the second layer was a sheet of glass that the objects were on, and the third layer was the iPad, which was what we took pictures with. It was a pretty extensive process and if I didn’t have some of the guys from the Film/Video Studio there to help me, I’m not sure if I would have been able to set it up. Also, cutting the props out for the animation took the longest. It took even longer than the stop-motion animation process itself.
Katherine Wang: What do you like about animation as opposed to other mediums?
JC: The limitlessness of it. With animation, there are no boundaries. If you make a live action film or video, you will need actors, equipment, material, props, and all that stuff. But with animation, all you need are your ideas and a pen. That’s what I love about it. I don’t have to trap my thoughts in a box and be limited to what I have. Also, I love drawing, and seeing things in my head come to life is really gratifying.
KW: Do you see yourself doing animation and making films or videos as a career or just a hobby?
JC: I definitely want to pursue it as a career. My big ambition is to start my own studio. It would not only be animation but more of a mixed digital media arts studio that would include video, animation, audio manipulation, and graphic design. But animation is definitely the medium I feel strongly about.
TS: Any advice you want to give to people just starting out with animation?
JC: My biggest advice is to just do it. A lot of people I know express interest in wanting to go into animation as a career. I ask them what they have animated, and they say they haven’t done any animation because they don’t have the equipment or the programs. I think that you don’t really need all of that because I actually animate on paper, scan it, and upload it on a free animating program. There is really no excuse for not animating if you are interested in doing it. The fancy equipment makes it easier, but I would say to just go out there and do it. Don’t limit yourself to what you have because that is not what animation is about.