Emora Baggett, 12, has been interested in film since before she was in kindergarten, so when her dad — a musician — asked her to make a music video to play alongside a song from his new Christmas album she brought out her clay and started filming.
Emora started experimenting with clay-based form of stop-motion, also called claymation, in the summer of 2020. She’s posted a few videos, some following a clay character called the Tales of Tibby, to her YouTube channel.
In this case, she made a festive film to run alongside a recording from her father’s new music album called “Let Nothing You Dismay.” It took her a couple of weeks and about 17 hours at her workshop in the basement of her home in Fort Qu’Appelle, about 74 km northeast of Regina.
“It’s fun and you can show yourself through it, like you can kind of show what you’re thinking,” she said of her claymation creations. “I kind of just thought of something when I was listening to the music.”
In the music video, traditional holiday tokens seem to mould themselves into place: a snowman forms himself from fresh fallen clay; a traditional Christmas feast prepares itself before scaling the dining room table to appear on the plates; and a pair of skates lace up while an evergreen tree adorns itself in the proper Christmas attire behind them.
WATCH | The claymation music video:
But, the overzealous skates spin rapidly on the ice and produce a tornado, which tears through the scenes and demolishes each one.
That’s Emora’s favourite part.
“I don’t know if you can really see it, but in the tornado I taped the snowman’s head to the tornado so you can see it twirling around,” she giggled.
Dreams of filmmaking
Brian Baggett’s recording of Carol of the Bells, originally a Norwegian folk chant called Shchedryk plays in the background of the havoc. For him, the video became the most anticipated part of his album release.
“We were watching little snippets of it, little 10-second or 15-second scenes along the way, and I thought: ‘This is going to be something,'” he said.
When Emora was four, Brian got laid off from a construction job he was doing at the time and stayed home with Emora for about half a year, he said.
“I would ask her: ‘What do you want to do someday? What do you want to do when you grow up?’ … she said: ‘Well, I want to make movies,'” he explained.
“So, I figured, we might as well get started on that.”
WATCH | Emora Baggett talks about her film:
Shortly after that, he gave her a digital camera, some tips and even acted for her. Now, he’s excited to see what comes out of her mingled love of stories, her aptitude for detail and her patient demeanour.
The Baggett family is artistic. And Emora said both her mother Angela Baggettt, who is an amateur painter, and her father are supportive of her creative pursuits.
“It’s just, like, pretty calming. I like that you can make something and then have it forever,” Emora said.
“I think I would keep doing this until I’m older, at least” she said. “I think in the future, I would like to do something along the lines of story writing, or stop motion, or film, or something. That would be cool.”