Meet Trisha Zemp, a stop motion animation artist who is taking the Instagram world by storm with her 20-60 second works of art. Each curated video segment is packed with so much detail it’s honestly mind boggling to watch them come together in such a short amount of time. If that’s not impressive enough, Trisha is also the cofounder of Golden Coil, a company that focuses on customizable planners and notebooks. We sat down with Trisha to talk about her creative process, how she got started, and how social media has played a major role in expanding both her brand and business.
Instasize: Hello Trisha! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and answer a couple questions for us. Your stop motion animation films are mesmerizing, how did you get your start within such a creative industry? Is this something you went to school for or figured out on your own?
Trisha Zemp: I have loved making videos and creating stop motions since I was a kid. I went to school and received my BFA in photography. While I was there I learned a ton about composition and lighting, but nothing about stop motion. I started creating stop motion videos while I was in school, and I would submit them as my assignments. I had one professor get really annoyed by my stop motions and told me that I would never be successful with stop motion. He told me I either needed to choose still photography, or live action video. There was no in-between. :) I have taught myself almost everything I know about stop motion through trial and error! Lots and lots of error!
IS: Wow! We’re so happy you didn’t listen to that professor of yours, if not we would have completely missed out on the opportunity to speak with you! How long does a typical Instagram Stop Motion Film take to create?
TZ: It all depends on the concept, and how many moving pieces there are. It can take anywhere from a couple of hours, to a couple of weeks. Most of the time I find myself spending between 8-40 hours per video.
IS: How has Instagram and social media in general helped bring Stop Motion some more attention?
TZ: Social media is a total game changer. I could write about this for days! Stop motion has existed since the beginning of photography/film. So many amazing movies have used stop motion. Many people never realized what stop motion is, or how it is made. With the rise of social media we have all been able to take a behind the scenes look at how stop motion videos are created. I think people find it incredibly interesting. I think this new avenue of social stop motion, these bite sized pieces of stop motion content, are so perfect for platforms like Instagram. They are very engaging, and create a lot of interaction. The best part though, is that anyone can make them and share them to their social media!
IS: We’ve noticed you’ve worked with some pretty big brand names! How did you begin networking with brands?
TZ: Before Instagram had its video function, I was working with some really fun bloggers and influencers. By working with them I had built a really unique following. I didn't have a ton of followers, but the people that followed me were the right kind of people. They were art directors, marketing managers, brand consultants, and other really rad people. Instagram launched it's video function on my birthday... it was meant to be! The first video I posted was a stop motion. Those friends I had connected with on social media saw it. One friend hired me to create a Christmas stop motion for the company she worked for. A friend of hers then requested a New Years video. On the Monday following the Christmas/New Years break I opened my email to find over 30 inquiries! I was a student at the time, but I put my head down, and got to work on a ton of client videos! I connected in person with a few brands, and things just started snowballing. Looking back, it seems like it was magic. I had worked really hard, but everything seemed to line up.
IS: In the midst of all of your stop motion success, how did golden coil come about? How do you balance both companies so eloquently?
TZ: Golden Coil has been something I have been working on almost as long as I have been doing stop motion. My sister and I were trying to find the perfect planner for our mom for Mother's Day! We couldn't find it. We looked to see if we could create one online.. but custom planners didn't exist. We started looking into printers and web developers. We were just too early. The technology to custom print and bind planners wasn't affordable enough. Our first quote from a printer for a custom 1-off planner was $240!! It took a ton of research, time, and talking with our connections to find the right fit for printing! Once we found our printer and web developer, we got cracking! We launched a kickstarter, and raised over $105,000. We are still in our first year of business, and are really excited about what we have created so far! In terms of balance... when I have stop motion clients, I focus on them, and my sister runs the show at Golden Coil. When we have big things in the works for Golden Coil, I block off my time, so that I am not taking on any stop motion clients. It's maybe not the best "balance" but so far it is working ok!
IS: Do you have a favorite stop motion piece you’ve ever created? (link to the piece)
TZ: I have a lot of favorites! I will be sharing my short film, "Lift" on social media soon. I shot it 3 years ago! It is a 5 min piece. It took over 17 months to co-ordinate, shoot, and edit it. It just finished it's festival circuit, and now I can share it online! I also love this music video I got to create as part of a TV series I was on! If you want to see the episodes I was a part of, you can watch them here:Part 1, Part 2
IS: A piece of advice for someone looking to get into the stop motion animation industry?
TZ: Just get started! I think so many times we get held back by silly excuses.. like not having the right equipment, or the wrong camera... etc. The best part about stop motion, is that you can start right now, with your cell phone. Try making something. Of course, your first few videos will probably be crappy. Mine were! Get the crappy ones out of your system, and the more you animate, and work hard, the better your videos will become!!
We can’t thank Trisha enough for allowing us the honor of interviewing her! We wish you nothing but success in the future and we can’t wait to watch your journey continue to unfold. If you would like to learn more about Trisha and her work, check out the links below: