Twilight Videos using Tonner Dolls as Actors by Caroline KaizerinSissi

Guest Post


Can’t believed it is nearly three years ago when I first heard about the Twilight Mania. It was around the time when New Moon movie came out and all I heard was “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob”. Bah! probably another adolescent movie about some sports and people voting for their favorite players. And then I rented the first movie Twilight and read the novel. I’ve been addicted ever since.

As for my videos, it all started  in June 2011, during a long rainy weekend. I had just gotten my new I Pod touch and being a Twilight collector decided to treat myself to the Mattel Dolls. While fooling around with my iPod touch camera and shooting the dolls in front of their cardboard box packaging SOMETHING MAGICAL happened. Very naturally I started to pose the dolls to re-enact the meadow scene. I must admit I fell in love with my own creation. Shortly after, while surfing the net, I noticed a very beautiful picture of lifelike dolls featuring the star trio. After a few research I discovered the Tonner Doll Company.

As soon as I got the Tonner dolls I realized that these were not mere dolls. I could actually use them in lieu of actors! The intensity of their facial expression along with their ability to pose opened up a new hobby for me. Although the dolls can’t talk, a slight angle of the head especially in keeping eye contact with others dolls along with a studied body language can render the tone of the sentiment to be expressed.

After finding my first Olympic  Forest  picture on the net, my first session of set staging took form. Now every story is carefully story boarded. I choose each background picture carefully to fit my needs (lots of parameters goes into that process). Then I take a picture of the picture with my iPod and…go in my kitchen. I dress the dolls for the scene and pose them under the multiple over head lights in the kitchen (I use to hate those blazing lights which I use to refer to as The Spaceship after Close Encounter). Each doll has her “scrip” and must act accordingly. Mind you it’s not an easy task: they are sometimes “stiff” in their play and don’t tolerate standing in awkward position. As a backdrop I use a white cardboard  panel in lieu of green screen (yes, just like in the movies!). I try to pose the dolls in the same angle of view as what I see from my background picture chosen for each scene. Next step: removing the white background digitally with Photoshop. Everything is done by hand. No magic button to press. Bella’s curls are always a pain since one must see through them…Then comes  layering  into the chosen background, scaling and  cleaning the pictures again and again and again. The job can be even be more complicated when I do head, hair or body swap to suit my purpose. Last step is the text or caption below the picture: another headache. I use it to forward the story, explain what is happening in the picture or use it as dialog box. Sometimes all at once but I can only use so many words to be viewed on the pictures. The text need to be read in no longer then an average of 5 seconds on the videos. I use the Garage Band application to insert and modify the music of my choice. And voilà! Now you understand why each picture you see equals to at least four hours of intense work.

I do these videos because I love the finished product and like to share my little imaginative world with others. I have become a small movie director on a mini scale and love this unique hobby of mine. I have more Twilight videos in the pipeline and two more projects based on two novels and movies.You can actually see the progress I’ve made slowly from video to video over time.

Please enjoy and leaves comments. See:

Breaking Dawn of Eternity Part 1:

New Moon and Sorrow:

Twilight and Fascination

Twilight in the Meadow (Lumix)

and ipod version

Please join me on my Facebook page at Caroline KaizerinSissi <> I’d love to hear about your comments. Regard Caroline.


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