Parabella Studios’ new short, Alan the Infinite, is the story of Alan, a 15-year-old intern starting his first job out in the big wide world and discovering there’s more to the mundane workplace of Lamin’8 than meets the eye. Co-Writer/Director Mikey Please says the short is, “A slice of a much longer story about Alan and his ascension through the ranks of Lamin’8 and the slow unfurling of the mystery that lies therein.

“This bit of the story (in the short) introduces us to the key players, his fellow interns, his boss and the weird and wonderful world of Lamin’8– an institution that worships the powerful preservation technique of Lamination. Never Change! is their motto, and for Alan, whose life has been a constantly shifting whirlwind up to this point, this philosophy sounds pretty appealing.”

Your palms may actually start to sweat with the nervousness of a 15 year-old’s first day in the workplace as Alan launches his big first day with more energy than accuracy. As his fails unfold, it’s uncanny how much anxiety wooden puppets can elicit.

In terms of production, Please told us this was a “…stop-motion film, using predominately wooden carved sets and puppets, filmed through the fabulous Dragonframe software.” His words, not ours! “We used 3D tracking to superimpose 2D animated faces, which was all done in Adobe After Effects.

“We loved the limitations of making everything out of wood, particularly the design cohesion that it gave the production. That did come, however, with some pretty challenging side effects. Gary was a particular challenge,” he said, referring to Alan’s highly angular boss both in shape and attitude.

“His big, beautiful, blocky arms and legs were all replacement, and though our magnets were there at the joins to click the replacements in and out of place, they had a hard time keeping the limbs from slipping. So, much of Gary’s movements needed secondary rigs just for the arms and legs, which meant a LOT of rig removal and one or two sweary (sic) moments for us animators.

“But the final result, this awkward, cumbersome puppet that has no business moving about as fluidly as it does, was worth every curse.” We couldn’t agree more. Looking forward to seeing more of these awesome characters soon!

For more on the production, check out this making-of vid: