THE SMA HANDBOOK ARCHIVE
A Simple Flying Rig
There are many ways to fly your puppet. Here is a simple way to get your character off the ground. Using Foam Core board and Wooden Dowels available at Art Stores and Wood, Bolts, Nuts, and Washers from your local hardware store, you can fabricate this rig fairly quickly. Use the strongest and thinnest Fishing Line to suspend your puppet. Once finished, attach the track (a long 2 x 4) above your set where you want your puppet to fly. Put the rig in place by slipping the wooden bracket over the 2 x 4 track. Attach your puppet to the strings and turn the wooden dowels to adjust your puppet. The rig is designed to rotate 360 degrees if needed. Instead of making the wooden bracket, you could attach a C-clamp or Grip Clip to the rig. Go to the hardware store and see what you can throw together. Remember, stop-motion is usually very low-tech. Use this plan as a basic framework to build the rig you need for your film.
Alternatively, you can skip using 'invisble thread' entirely and use some kind of rod support that is erased in Post-Production. You can use the same digital process to remove the fishing line if it shows up or glints on the screen.