Top-down "Floor Animations"
I'm always exploring the web and finding different examples that people have done with stop-action animation and timelapse (aka. stuff you can do with the SAM Animation software). One category of animations that I really like are Top-down "Floor Animations." (Please: if you have a better/actual name, let me know!) These are animations created by using a high-mounted camera pointing straight down at the floor and actors lying on this 2D surface pretending gravity is "down." Set up in this way, it allows for neat effects, and simplifies some problems such as suspending objects during animating, etc. The following are some examples of this technique.
Kindle (the e-book reader) has been using this technique for some of their recent commercials!
Anyway, here is my own Top-down Floor Animation." What I found was: (1) need multiple people (to help take frames, move objects, etc), (2) need a BIG space (to mount the camera high), (3) don't need to worry too much about accuracy of motion/pacing/etc (just go with your gut and the effect works out pretty well without a lot of time/energy spent on double-checking position and location). Enjoy!