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