500 Pound Planet: Chapter One

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest bloggger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

Yesterday I posted the prelude to 500 Pound Planet, the cartoon I spent a few years making with my buddy Josh Dolgin when I was younger. Here's chapter one, wherein we meet our "heroes", Spencer and Blue, voiced by me and Josh.

Josh and I were your typical college film geeks at the time; we had just been exposed to Italian Neo-Realist cinema, Film Noir, Cassavetes- all that stuff. But we were also comic book/animation geeks.

We were curious about how much of these styles and techniques could be applied to animation. We came up with rigid "naturalist" rules for 500 Pound Planet: all music had to come from actual sources in the scene. Characters would talk like normal people talk- stepping over each other, mumbling... The camera would be a fly on the wall, intruding as little as possible. We played with Orson Welles' "deep focus" technique. In our minds we were visionaries, auteurs, pioneers! In reality, we were pretentious nerds.

Previously: 500 Pound Planet: prelude (link).

7

  1. To be fair, visionary pioneer and pretentious nerd are not mutually exclusive professions. Suffice it to say that you were not as cool as you thought you were, which is totally OK.

  2. Am I just being a complete dick, or is there really a distinction between CARTOON and STOP MOTION that should be acknowledged here, at least by the creator?

    Cool work, btw.

  3. “Josh and I were your typical college film geeks at the time; we had just been exposed to Italian Neo-Realist cinema, Film Noir, Cassavetes- all that stuff.”

    I loved that paragraph. Very honest.

  4. Ha ha, Mcguffin ritual

    Re: “cartoon” — it’s animation, dude. Stop motion is just the KIND of animation.

    “Cartoon” has never been a precise word.

  5. Jesse, I meant to comment in the thread on the prelude, but I , erm, got distracted (I believe that’s what the Internet is for).

    It’s weird animation, with a weird start and a weird connection to the other bits. (I kept checking to see if I were watching two different animated works named 500 Pound Planet. I wasn’t; all five parts are really of the same whole.)

    The ending was surprisingly satisfying. I’m still wondering about the title, though.

    Good work.

  6. @4 Scixual

    Ok, I’d just never dream of calling Jan Svankmajer or the Quay Brothers “cartoonists”, god forbid. Yes, it’s all animation all right, but to me (at least) a cartoon is quite clearly a “drawing based” animation, whether it’s old school paper and ink or digital vector-based dito. But I’m not sure, English is not even my first language, so…

    Anyway I’ll stop bitching about this now.

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