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FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Q: What camera do you use? Do you recommend it?
A: I use the canon PowerShot SD 750 digital elph. Its a great camera for making stopmotions, because it is small, inexpensive, durable and simple. However, the quality of the photos is mediocre.
A: As of June this year, I have been using a Canon T3i. It is a much bigger, more expensive camera, and has better picture quality. It is also more of a hassle to use, because there are so many controls.

Q: What editing system do you use? How much does it cost?
A: To string the photos of a stop-motion together, I use a program called istopmotion. It costs $30. To use this program, select the photos you want to use for your video and drag them into the lower section of the istopmotion screen. Once they have loaded, save the project to your desktop, and then drag it in to your editing system to add voices and music.
To add the voices and music, I use final cut pro x. It is a fairly advanced editing system, but still simple enough for someone like me to use! I am not sure how much it costs, but if I recall, it is a lot of money. If you are looking for a less expensive editing system, try imovie or windows live movie maker.

Q: How do you make a stopmotion on imovie?
A: First of all, you need a mac computer to instal imovie. (apple.com) If this is an option for you, the next step is to either plug in your camera using a cord it came with, or removing the memory card from the camera and putting it straight into a slot on your computer. When the memory card image appears on the desktop of your computer, it should start loading into iphoto automatically. If the image does not appear on the desktop, don't worry. When all of the photos are in iphoto, open up imovie. I little box should appear in the middle of the screen. It should say: would you like to generate video thumbnails? or something like that. Click the OK button. What this does is loads all of your new photos and videos into imovie. after its done with that, please watch my tutorial video. It explains about adding pictures and making them the right length and everything else you need to know.
Link to my tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osLZT1VKXxY

Q: How did you convince your parents to let you get a youtube?
A: If your parents are concerned for your safety, there are a few things you can promise to do. Choose a nickname. It doesn't even have to relate to your real name, it could be something like "cherry". This way, you can have conversations with friends online without having to give them your full name.

Don't show your face! This one is pretty simple, but it is a huge aspect of protecting your identity.
Don't tell people where you live. You can tell them what province or state, but I don't recommend getting any more specific than that.

If your parents simply think you are too young, you may have to wait. However, while you are waiting, you can show you are responsible by doing your homework, finishing your chores, carrying in the the groceries ect. If you show your parents how responsible you are, they will be less hesitant to let you have a youtube!

Q: What are the dimensions for your doll house?
A: In the American measuring system, (I don't know the proper name) my dollhouse is: 6 1/2 feet tall, (with an extra foot added if you count the top floor) 2 1/2 feet deep, and 5 feet wide.  

Q: How old are you? Why dont you show your face online?
A: I am not allowed to say my exact age, but I am in high school. And I do not show my face online because I am not allowed.

Q: Can you subscribe me? Follow me?
A: The answer is no. I understand that you want me to show support for your videos, but I don't subscribe people just because they ask me. If you would like me to watch a specific video, however, don't hesitate to send it my way! :)

Q: Can I make a video like this? I don't want you to think I am copying!
A: Of course! I am glad to give you a video idea! Just make sure you add my name into the description somewhere.

Q: Can I model my dollhouse after yours?
A: Same as the question above, of course! 

Q: How do you manage kanani's hair? 
A: I take each section/curl and brush it as I would with straight hair for one or two strokes, then wrap it around my finger to create a curl. Wrap it around your finger a few times so that the curls stays, then move on to the next section.

Q: How do you manage Gabby's hair?
A: I try my best not to touch it. If it gets really messy, I will gently tuck the curls back in place with my fingers. Every once in a while, I trim the flyaways.

Q: How do you make money to buy doll stuff?
A: I make some money from my youtube and I babysit. During the summer, I am a counselor at a children's ecological camp!

Q: How do you get "famous" on youtube?
A: If you want to grow your audience, there are a few things you can do:
1. Work hard on your videos! Put in time and effort. Use good lighting, a steady camera, cute costumes and sets, and make sure to edit!
2. Be nice! Comment on other people's videos, but don't directly advertise yourself.
3. Build your brand! Choose a nice icon, banner, channel description ect. Connect instagram and blog accounts so viewers can reach you in different ways.

Q: How do you make a stopmotion?
A: Make a background, decide your scene and choose your actress. Then find a tripod or stack of books to balance the camera on. If you are using books, tape works well to hold the camera in place. Then position the doll. Take a picture. Move the doll a little. Take a picture. Move the doll a little more. Take a picture. Move the doll a little more. Take a picture. Continue this process, and eventually, you will have a stopmotion! Here are some extra tips and tricks to get you started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pA8qvKhtOY

Q: How do you make doll clothes?
A: Sewing takes a lot of work and practice. I recommend taking a look at liberty jane clothing's youtube channel and their blog. They are a small company that crafts beautiful doll clothes, and creates patterns for clothing too! They even have some free patterns on their website that you can print out and use right away. The tank top pattern is great for beginners.
Links for liberty Jane:
Their channel (displaying a how to video):
Their website (to buy their creations):
Their pattern website:
Their blog:

Q: Do you recommend _____? (name of doll)
A: If I have her, YES! I love all of my dolls! If I don't have her, then don't ask please, because I wont know how to answer you.

Q: Can you do a meet up with me at the _______ AG store?
A: Unfortunately, no. I don't go to the AG store very often, and if I do, it is the one in Seattle. If I am able to do a meetup there someday, I will let you guys know!

Q: Can I send you a package?
A: Sorry, but I am not allowed to give out my address online. I really appreciate the thought though, and please keep commenting nice things on my videos! That is the best gift. :)

I hope I was able to help! If not, you can send questions to basilmentosmail@gmail.com!

The story behind it all....

In September of 2009, a pre-teen girl named Anna was searching youtube. She no longer used her american girl dolls. they were behind the closet doors, gathering dust. She reluctantly glanced over, then began to type in the search bar: American Girl Dolls. A video came up. She clicked on it. 14 coustumed dolls slid onto the screen and began to dance together, waving their arms and doing cartwheels. Anna was shocked. How could this be possible? This was.... Amazing. She quickly searched a few more. There were hudreds of videos, by usernames like stephenswodadancer, AGlovejess and girloftheyearstudios. Anna couldn't believe it. This new discovery was incredible! She ran to her room and pulled out her two dolls, felicity and samantha. She grabbed her camera. And, she began to film.

It is now four years later. I work on videos almost everyday, usually stopmotions. I have gathered quite a few veiws and subscribers on youtube, and I really appriciate when people comment on my videos. I have come unbelievibly far, but I still leave up those first videos from two years ago, because for me, those are the memories that I will always treasure. I am so happy that I can share them with you.