THE LIKES AND DISLIKES OF MARJ BAGLEY
Dir. Taylor Stanton
The Likes and Dislikes of Marj Bagley is a stop-motion animated documentary written and directed by Taylor Stanton. The short film spans decades and generations telling the story of his family from different perspectives employing both narrative storytelling and documentary-style interviews. Stanton is also responsible for the wonderfully lively and atmospheric cinematography, with additional rigging and gaffing by Jorge Arzac.
The film follows one woman through the twists and turns of family life, shaped by defining moments in her childhood, college years, and marriage. It explores the butterfly effects of little things throughout our lives that weigh into our happiness, and how those around us may perceive these. Marj's story is told from the perspective and recollections of her daughter and grandson.
Be sure to visit the album page to get to know the many puppets and characters.
Likes and Dislikes was a year-long production and is fixing to be released in the fall of 2017. Writer and director Taylor Stanton is also editing the film, and returned to his hometown in Michigan - where the film took place - to record foley. It's given the story a truly authentic, nostalgic tone and put the final touch on bringing the world we built to life. His brother, William Stanton, will be scoring the film.
This production was also made possible by the endlessly generous Jorge Arzac. He lent us his living room as a studio space, and it stayed that way, filled to the rim with c-stands, lights and my entire library of textiles, for the better part of 2016. He was also on top of setting up cameras to capture BTS and time lapses that even we were baffled by, as we sat to watch them sped up 300% at the end of another 18 hour day.
The puppets, wardrobe, props and all scenic elements I built by hand with entirely repurposed material (minus the hot glue). Thirty puppets - including characters at different ages - were designed for the film, along with a dozen locations shown through the seasons and through the years.
It was a treat to collaborate on something with this much heart, this many story elements to dive into and this much to build. The hours were long, but the fact that the seasons and holiday scenes we were shooting kept lining up with real life made it seem like this was somehow the only way it could've gone.