AIG x All Blacks Stop Motion Animation

Let’s animate the New Zealand rugby team doing the Haka in 6 seconds

This was my challenge when I was approached to animate this Vine for AIG’s #DOTHEHAKA campaign.

The goal of this campaign was to promote the New Zealand Rugby teams as well as spread New Zealand Maori culture. The dance you see in this Vine is typically done before each All Blacks rugby game. It is a dance meant to instill fear into it opponents.

Instead of using the actual Rugby team (which wouldn’t fit into my stop-motion animation studio). I used paper cut-outs of the team doing the dance.

Learning the Haka dance

As this dance is deeply rooted in Maori culture I had to do some research to make sure I captured each move correctly. I spent a few good hours studying the Haka Dance before ensuring I had the right moves in the paper puppets.

The War haka has traditionally been performed by warriors before a battle, establishing their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition.

Since 1905, the New Zealand rugby team’s practice of performing a haka before their international matches has made the dance more widely known around the world.

Getting the stop-motion animation look just right

I used fake grass in a small dark space to achieve the look of this Vine. I used a simple spotlight set-up look to retain focus on the rolling rugby ball. A lighting set-up that isn’t much different than used in the old film noir movies.

The sound was another challenge as well, because I had to do a little deciphering for both traditional and full length Maori Haka chants. After studying a few videos of the All Blacks rugby team performing this dance I was able to understand the key parts of the chant and where they belonged in the dance.

I can imagine how it would seem just a little intimidating to any opposing team.

Sharing a tradition in 6 seconds

I really enjoyed animating this Vine for Jethro Ames. While also getting to learn a little more about New Zealand traditions.

As you can see AIG was able to communicate an essential tradition to a specific audience.