Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed Helmick

SPRINGVILLE — The 91-year-old Rivoli Theater in Springville has taken a new turn in life and will be play­ing an in­ter­est­ing role in Art City’s his­tory. Last year Melissa Cannon leased the build­ing from the city of Springville with plans to bring new life to the old theater. That new life turns out to be minia­ture peo­ple and pre­his­toric type crea­tures for the pro­duc­tion of a full-length stop-mo­tion an­i­mated fam­ily movie, Sau­rus City. This movie is writ­ten and di­rected by Nathan Smith and is the story of tiny peo­ple who live on the back of a di­nosaur. The Rivoli Theater has be­come a mo­tion pic­ture stu­dio.

Stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion is a tech­nique where ob­jects are phys­i­cally ma­nip­u­lated so that it ap­pears they move on their own. The ob­jects are moved in small in­cre­ments be­tween each frame of the mo­tion pic­ture. Minia­ture peo­ple and crea­tures of the movie are built with mov­able joints so they can be repo­si­tioned with ease. A mo­tion pic­ture re­quires 24 frames a sec­ond and each ac­tion change must be pho­tographed in in­di­vid­ual frames. This gets par­tic­u­larly com­pli­cated when an an­i­mated char­ac­ter speaks and the fa­cial move­ments must match the words be­ing spo­ken. In a full-length movie, such as Sau­rus City, that means mov­ing the char­ac­ter hun­dreds of thou­sands of times.

The peo­ple be­hind the Sau­rus City movie are the Mo­tion Foundry Stu­dios. They have hired a com­pany in Salt Lake, Go En­gi­neer 3D Print­ing Service, to make as many as 60 dif­fer­ent heads for dif­fer­ent ex­pres­sions for each char­ac­ter in the movie. Sab­rina Mar­tinez, the pro­ducer, has hun­dreds of up­per and lower fa­cial ex­pres­sions to be used with the an­i­mated char­ac­ters. Im­por­tant to the char­ac­ters is the cos­tume designer, Pa­tri­cia Walton. An in­ter­est­ing fea­ture of the cos­tumes is that they must be move­able and that cre­ates a chal­lenge of its own. She said they are cur­rently do­ing the voice overs right now as well as some film­ing. Sab­rina also has a team of artists and mod­el­ers to cre­ate the back­drop scenes. It will take about 14 months to complete the film­ing (dig­i­tally) and edit­ing of the movie.

Now you know what is go­ing on at the Rivoli Theater.

Left: Pro­ducer Sab­rina Mar­tinez with minia­ture set.

Photos: Ed Helmick

Below: Di­nosaur frame with skin yet to be added.

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