Paul “Pauly G” Gemignani is one of those rare talents equally capable of riding for the camera as he is producing one-of-a-kind creative edits. After watching his new stop-animation film “Paper Shredder”, created with his brother Stephen, I watched it again. And again. The brothers managed to create a snowboard masterpiece -- and a Vimeo Staff pick -- with a series of photos, some household props and a pair of scissors. We caught up with Paul recently to hear more about the inspiration behind the film. --Interview by Mike Horn.
StokeLab: Was this your first stop-animation film? What inspired you and your brother Stephen to make Paper Shredder?
Paul Gemignani: Our first stop animation film was an experimental film at my house with a similar idea as the Paper Shredder video. We took a sequence of photos of me skateboarding in my garage and re-shot it in my kitchen where I ollie'd an orange and fell into my kitchen sink. After that worked, it was game on! The inspiration came from all the stop animation films I have seen over the last couple years, and from being bored with the majority of snowboarding films over the last few years . I can only edit and watch snowboarding shots to music for so long...
What was the process of building all the features like? You must be really good with scissors now.
The process of building all the features was a bit of luck and a bit of patience. We originally shot the photos in the spring of 2012 with the intentions of the stop animation idea, but we didn't have the exact layout of the storyline so we were really at the mercy of the photos. There was a lot of trying stuff out on paper in pre-production until it looked right as far as flow from a snowboarding perspective and making sense from a filmer’s view. And my scissor hand is enormous now from all the cutting -- hand muscles for days.
And who came up with the Michael Jackson wall-ride? Awesome, by the way.
Ha. Thanks! The Michael Jackson wall-ride just happened to be available at the time. I only have a couple of vinyls at my house and one of them happened to be the MJ one. Who doesn't love MJ though?
What is your background in snowboarding?
I have been shredding since I was 12 when I made my first snowboard out of an old plastic sled and duct tape. Since then I have traveled around the world for snowboarding, and represented some great companies along the way. [Gemignani currently rides for YES., Dragon, Nike and Honeystinger].
What was the biggest challenge during the filmmaking process?
Waiting for it to all come together. When you go into something thinking it might take a week or two, and it turns into more than two months, you start to get a bit impatient towards the end and want to smash your head off the wall. But it all worked out.
Has Crest reached out and asked you to make them a toothpaste commercial?
Crest has not reached out yet ... but they have been keeping my teeth white still.
You got a Vimeo Staff Pick for this piece. Were you guys surprised or did you know Paper Shredder was gonna kill it?
We had no idea. I was hoping a few thousand people would check it out. I didn't expect the viral video let alone the Staff Pick -- which, from a filmer’s perspective, is a huge accomplishment for online videos.
What are you going to blow our minds with next? Any new projects in the works?
You'll just have to wait and see... To hold you over though, check out Grey Storia -- a post-rock instrumental band: www.greystoria.com
Anybody out there you want to give props to?
Thanks goes out to everyone that has helped me in the past and now. You know who you are.
More Background on the Filming Process: We started with actual sequence photos of Paul riding (taken by his brother Stephen). Then we printed each frame of the sequences on paper and cut out the rider from each one, which we used to re-create the sequences with different backdrops, creating the stop animation effect used in the video -- a very SLOW process.
Pre-Production Hours.................48 Production Hours......................152 Post Production (Photos)...........19 Post Production (Editing)...........27
TOTAL HOURS TO MAKE FILM: 246
Photos Taken: 713
Video's Created: 1
Creating Something With My Brother: - Priceless -