500 Pound Planet: Chapter Three

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

Professional animators script, record, and "lock" audio before animating a frame. Josh Dolgin and I are not professional animators.

We wanted 500 Pound Planet to have a loose, improvisatory feel. So we decided on a general plot outline, a handful of settings and scenes and a cast of characters. For each character, we animated a number of facial expressions, hand gestures and lip-positions, so that we could figure out what they're saying at any point and drop it in.

This "worked" in a sense, but also made for a lot of crazy, since everything was infinitely malleable. We could always record more, tweak a line, second-guess a plot point- whatever. The process became so maddening that we bickered constantly over every detail and bit by bit, that's what the film became about- our spiteful, imploding "marriage", which we kept alive for the sake of the children- our deformed, clay puppet kids. Enjoy!


500 Pound Planet: Prelude

500 Pound Planet: Chapter One

500 Pound Planet: Chapter Two


  1. I think you’ll find that dialogue is much funnier when the expressions and poses are specifc and keyed to the context and accents of the delivery. Arbitrary stock movements are ok for a few minutes, but they become like water treading fast. The funniest films are the ones that have something to say with every aspect… dialogue, design, color, music, movement, personality, etc. But of course those kinds of films are more of a challenge to make.

  2. Jesse, the links to your 500 Pound Planet are infinitely malleable, too. The links should be more like:

    Prelude = …500-pound-planet-twi.html

    Chapter One = …500-pound-planet-cha.html

    Chapter Two = …500-pound-planet-cha-1.html

    Chapter Three = …500-pound-planet-cha-2.html

    Chapter Four = …500-pound-planet-cha-3.html
    (Okay, I’m actually just guessing on this one. I’m not really psychic.)

    On this post, you’ve currently got the link for Chapter Two pointing to the Prelude URL.

    (And your Ch. 2 post pointed to the Vimeo site instead of BB, but it seems you’re trying to conform to BB style with this post. Good dog. ;-) )


  3. I didn’t like the intro. In fact, I flat out hated it, and wasn’t gonna watch the rest of these, but after watching part one proper, I really dig the patter of the two characters. I like that they inhabit this world which is partly familiar and partly bizarro. I liked how he complained about losing his hair. “I’m going straight from childhood to bald”

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