Four years ago, Melbourne resident Matt Willis crashed his bike. He didn’t know that the next two months in hospital would transform his life. During his time off work, the design consultant discovered the Vine app and began producing stop motion videos, bringing to life ordinary household items in seamless six-second clips.
Eight months into his Vine career, Willis was approached by brands that were interested in collaborating on stop motion videos, and yelldesign was born.
Now in his fourth year, Willis heads up a team of nine video artists, illustrators, sound designers and paper crafters to make viral stop motion videos for clients such as Visa, Twitter, Samsung and more. Success accompanied the growth: In 2014, yelldesign was nominated for a Vine creativity Streamy award and two Tropvine awards at Tropfest, the worlds largest short film festival.
Most impressively, Willis won the #6SecFilms competition at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival for Vine titled Wrap Dancer, a stop motion loop of a breakdancing tortilla. That food Vine was the start of something special.
yelldesign is most famous for Papermeal, a project that uses colourful paper ingredients to illustrate the start-to-finish creation of a dish. Viewers can learn to cook penne meatballs, fish and chips and Ramen noodles in the 33- to 60-second videos, which Willis says are excruciatingly laborious.
Every second of footage takes around one hour to photograph, Willis says. So once you start a sequence, you have to be committed for quite a few hours just to get a snippet of footage.
Tight deadlines and lightning fast turn-around times mean the yelldesign crew must work incredibly quickly and not screw it up.
All of our equipment right down to the cable internet in the wall needs to be premium quality and super fast, he says. Willis uses a commercial laser cutter to snip the desired shapes and hard copy visual storyboards to guide creative meetings and the filming process. To satisfy the studios insatiable appetite for paper, Willis doesnt compromise on the printers.
We use a range of printed paper from our HP printers and coloured cards for animations, Willis says. We’ve always used HP printers they’re reliable and we can count on them.
Whether he’s running off paper meatballs, noodles or hard boiled eggs, Willis knows he can count on the HP OfficeJet Pro family of printers. With two-sided printing up to 20 pages per minute (crucial for folding the coloured paper), colour prints at up to half the cost-per-page of a traditional laser printer and wireless-enabled printing from smartphones and tablets, the OfficeJet Series is the optimal hardware for creatives who don’t settle for adequate.
For next summer, yelldesign is creating a new series of Papermeal videos, and they’re expanding to TV commercials, which Willis is especially excited about. The pressure only serves to motivate the team.
Creatively, we can really push the concepts with stop motion. Literally anything is possible, Willis says. Our confidence has grown with each new challenge.
The next time you’re cooking a pasta or a fancy bowl of Ramen, look to yelldesign and Papermeal for the most inspired step-by-step instruction on the internet.