An Incredible Stop-Motion Adventure Through a Child’s Imagination

Oh, to be a kid again—that’s the premise behind PermaGrin Film‘s epic ode to childhood, “Imagination.” The music video, a dreamy modern cover of the famous Willy Wonka song “Pure Imagination” by Jordan Corey, is only four minutes long, but the filmmakers were clearly having so much fun that there’s nearly as much in outtakes afterward. Check it out:

The video took roughly a year and a half to make—but only 60 days of actual production. That’s because nine-year-old star Kai Burich still had to go to school. Big dreams don’t excuse hard work, kids.

kai burich

The video is so mind-blowingly done that the team created a 17-minute making-of video, which you can see here:

As director Marc Donahue tells PetaPixel, the crew wanted to keep as much of the effects in real life as possible, avoiding digital post-production:

“We built a little boy’s bedroom inside of our garage studio, but we wanted to see the stars and clouds outside….Rind picked up a 4K television and mounted it on its side behind our set so that we could play back what we wanted to show in the window.”

stop motion video tutorial

Technology was changing during the extended time it took to shoot. Suddenly, 4K video became a hit with SLRs and first-person cinematography became huge. So their repertoire of techniques grew to include every trend that passed by, from stop-motion to bullet-time and light painting.

light painting

They used used a RED Epic, a Canon 5D Mark III and a customized GoPro to create roughly 12 terabytes’ worth of footage, while they actually used the vast majority of it—80 percent—for the two final videos.

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