Remember the Valley-Oop? Watch it Again in Stop Motion

Rudy and Reagan Willingham worked 72 hours straight creating a stop motion video of the Holiday-Antetokounmpo alley-oop.

Meet Rudy Willingham, a 36-year-old from Seattle. He creates social media content for various brands which can be adapted across numerous platforms: TV ads, print ads and billboards.

With over 3.7 million followers on TikTok, 338,000 on Instagram and 7,000 on Twitter, it is safe to assume that Willingham knows how to captivate an audience. And on July 20, he did just that, posting a stop motion video of the Bucks’ Jrue Holiday-Giannis Antetokounmpo alley-oop (also known as the Valley-Oop) from Game 5 of the NBA Playoffs.

@rudy_willingham

Basketball is beautiful #nbafinals #nba #basketball #giannis #milwaukeebucks

♬ Violin – Grooving Gecko

“When I saw that play live, I jumped out of my seat and immediately knew it would be an iconic play in NBA history,” Willingham said. “Watching him fly through the air like a Greek god and clinch the game in such a clutch moment was awe-inspiring.”

Willingham loves Antetokounmpo and the Bucks’ impact on Milwaukee, so he wanted to play tribute to that. He and his wife got working on the virtual flip book moments after the game ended and stayed working for the next 72 hours.


 

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Typically, it takes about one and a half to two weeks to complete a stop motion video, but Willingham was on a deadline to complete this project before Game 6.

“We couldn’t wait any longer,” he said. “Because what if they lost? Then it would have been old news.”

He and his wife, Reagan, pulled multiple all-nighters to print and cut everything, just barely finishing the before Game 6.

“It’s a pretty tedious process,” Willingham admitted.

The first step of completing the project is finding a video and exporting nearly 100 frames from it as images. Next, Photoshop is used to manipulate the photos: selecting the subject, turning the background white and cutting clothing out. Then the frames get printed, cut and photographed in front of a different background.

Willingham seeks backgrounds that embody his subject–he doesn’t want them to be random.

For instance, when capturing Antetokounmpo, Willingham looked for green backgrounds to represent the Bucks’ jerseys. He also took photos in front of skyscrapers to represent Antetokounmpo’s “towering, powerful figure” and a pole that had Greek and American flag.

Once the photos are taken, it is time to go back into Photoshop to resize the images so the white paper is always in the same place.

Willingham admits it would be much easier to create a stop motion video digitally, but he loves the “human feel” that comes with taking the photos individually.

“No matter how much advanced technology gets, we still prefer the human touch,” he said.

Click here to see Willingham’s rendition of the alley-oop.

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