J.R. Patterson: “You can do whatever you want… ideas can be endless.”
J.R. Patterson spoke with the Missouri On Mic team at the Margaret Harwell Art Museum in Poplar Bluff in July.
He’s eight and from St. Louis., He spoke about his love of comics and making stop motion films. You can check out his work on YouTube as “ultimate_stop_motions.”
Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.
J.R. Patterson: So I am a about to enter fourth grade, and I am passionate about comics and stop motion, movies – all that sort of stuff that includes like, basically imagination from the creators, and I'm also passionate about drawing.
Rebecca Smith: Cool. How did you discover your love for these things?
J.R. Patterson: It's something that I do with my Dad.
With like, characters like Spiderman and Hulk and Captain America, stories would always be read to me about those characters, and they were just very cool. So like, writers like John Romita or Jack Kirby -- they would write these intricate stories with good plot lines and stuff.
And I just liked it because back then – when I was like, four – I didn't have like good taste because like, four-year-olds, they don't care if they're well made. If it's just like a dude moving and saying stuff, they think that's cool.
Rebecca Smith: You're right. So, I'm wondering – the big question – DC or Marvel?
J.R. Patterson: Marvel 100%. 99 [percent] because some of the DC villains I like a lot like the Joker.
What I like about Marvel is that it breaks the rules sometimes with like, Spiderman – he's a geek, a teen.
Like teenagers back then, they were the sidekick, not like full on superheroes, and he broke the rules – even teens can be a superhero. Anyone can be a superhero, even if they don't think so.
"What I like about Marvel is that it breaks the rules sometimes with like, Spiderman – he's a geek, a teen... Teenagers back then, they were the sidekick, not like full on superheroes, and he broke the rules – even teens can be a superhero. Anyone can be a superhero, even if they don't think so."J.R. Patterson
Rebecca Smith: Nice. Well, so I want to transition from comic books to your other passion – tell us about how you first got involved in stop animation?
J.R. Patterson: So, one of my aunts gave me this stop motion book. So, we like looked at the book, made like a Lego tripod to hold our phone, bought a free stop motion app, and made a movie.
And it's about this dude who stole a pizza and a cop like rammed him with his skateboard. It was strange. At least that's how I interpret it now, but I didn't know how to make a good plot.
Rebecca Smith: So, how long are most of your movies?
J.R. Patterson: Most of them are very short, like one minute long.
Rebecca Smith: And how long does that take to make a one-minute stop motion film?
J.R. Patterson: It takes like two hours.
Rebecca Smith: Why is that worth it?
J.R. Patterson: So first of all, you can do whatever you want. So maybe you could have this Star Trek dude, be with like Cyclops and shoot a laser out of his eyes. Or maybe the dude could fly and shoot lasers out of his eyes like Superman.
Because like, ideas can be endless. So, like maybe you can make a plotline of Spiderman fighting Batman because Batman is more popular than him.