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What’s going on at the Rivoli Theater

Jun 05, 2018 10:30AM
The 91-year-old Rivoli Theater in Springville has taken a new turn in life and will be playing an interesting role in Art City’s history. Last year Melissa Cannon leased the building from the city of Springville with plans to bring new life to the old theater. That new life turns out to be miniature people and prehistoric type creatures for the production of a full-length stop-motion animated family movie, Saurus City. This movie is written and directed by Nathan Smith and is the story of tiny people who live on the back of a dinosaur. The Rivoli Theater has become a motion picture studio.

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Stop-motion animation is a technique where objects are physically manipulated so that it appears they move on their own. The objects are moved in small increments between each frame of the motion picture. Miniature people and creatures of the movie are built with movable joints so they can be repositioned with ease. A motion picture requires 24 frames a second and each action change must be photographed in individual frames. This gets particularly complicated when an animated character speaks and the facial movements must match the words being spoken. In a full-length movie, such as Saurus City, that means moving the character hundreds of thousands of times.


The people behind the Saurus City movie are the Motion Foundry Studios. They have hired a company in Salt Lake, Go Engineer 3D Printing Service, to make as many as 60 different heads for different expressions for each character in the movie. Sabrina Martinez, the producer, has hundreds of upper and lower facial expressions to be used with the animated characters. Important to the characters is the costume designer, Patricia Walton. An interesting feature of the costumes is that they must be moveable and that creates a challenge of its own. She said they are currently doing the voice overs right now as well as some filming. Sabrina also has a team of artists and modelers to create the backdrop scenes. It will take about 14 months to complete the filming (digitally) and editing of the movie.

Now you know what is going on at the Rivoli Theater.