Watch magic come to life: Studio Squash’s stop-motion animation, “For You”


Enter the creepy, whimsical world of the stop-motion animation production, “For You,” by Studio Squash. The movie follows a pumpkin child who is lured out of curiosity to the dark forest and into an ominous circus with a nightmarish clown. 

Studio Squash invited the public to their reception on Jan. 31, in the BMU Third Floor Gallery from 5-7 p.m. where guests got the chance to screen the film and meet the creators. This is the first time the Third Floor Gallery has presented a stop-motion animation.

The gallery showcases the four minute film, two sets, the puppets and behind-the-scenes pictures of Studio Squash working on the project. Sets include the child’s bedroom and the dark forest.

The production is part of the fall 2022 Intermediate Digital Media class taught by professor Josh Funk. The theme for the semester was curiosity. 

According to Elizabeth Lo, a member of Studio Squash, the group thought of children and how curiosity can get the best of them. 

In the film, the pumpkin child finds a mysterious carnival tent in the woods. Inside, the character meets a drab looking clown, who initially seems to offer endless fun, but then unveils its true form in the finale.

“We wanted to play with the relationship between fantasy and reality,” Studio Squash member Josua Dunwell said. “So at the end, it seems like it was all a dream.”

Studio Squash spent the entire fall semester creating their production. 

“A big chunk of our time went into building the props and sets for the film,” Aaron Mickelsen, another Studio Squash member, said. “And then the last quarter was a lot of information, sound building and putting it all together.”

According to Funk, students develop their stories from scratch, and create their own puppets, sets and video edits using 3D printers and laser cutters, along with other traditional and digital techniques to produce their final production.

“My favorite part is that most of them have never animated before and a lot of them are really scared to try it,” Funk said. “But, as the semester goes on, they get braver and braver.”

Students in his class have the opportunity to submit their film to Funk’s film festival, Animation Chico. The next festival will be Oct. 21. 

Studio Squash with professor Josh Funk in the Third Floor Gallery. Photo taken by Gabriela Rudolph.

Despite stop-motion animation being a tedious process, Studio Squash is proud of their final work, according to Dunwell. He described how just a one second scene could take hours to film, yet a 10 second scene could be done on the first try.

“It’s so rewarding to see all of our hard work put into one production and it’s also rewarding to see people come to our gallery,” Lo said.

“For You” will be shown in the Third Floor Gallery until Feb. 10 and can be viewed anytime during BMU hours.
Gabriela Rudolph can be reached at [email protected].