Not Too Thin
A classified ad brings a couple together for a memorable meal.
Directed by Brian Paul Butnick.
Q&A with the Filmmaker
What was the inspiration for this short?
Several years ago I was single and living alone in New York City. I was thinking about joining a dating website and I thought to myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” For some reason, this idea popped in to my head. The whole story line — beginning, middle and end — in one thought. Though it made me laugh, I never pursued the concept until a few years later. It was a rainy day and I hadn’t written in a while, so I decided I just needed to write something short and simple to get the creative juices flowing again. This idea popped into my head and I wrote out the whole thing in only about an hour. Afterward, I looked over the script and thought it was ambitious but still do-able, so I got my creative and talented friends involved and got to work.
It’s risky making a film with a familiar twist. What made you decide to attempt it?
I knew this wasn’t the most original idea, but I also knew there are no original ideas anymore. My goal was to show off my visual storytelling skills, so I focused on telling the story my way. I acknowledged what had been established before and simply tried to build upon it. I feel that without this mindset, there would be no progress.
Describe your animation process for the monster.
I built the monster over the course of a few weeks. It had a wire skeletal-frame with oil-based clay around it. The eyes, nose and teeth were made of baked clay and it stood on a wooden base. I also used a mixture of vaseline, baby oils and food coloring to create that slimy goo on it’s skin. During production, we took a plate shot of Mark Klassen (our main actor) reacting to the monster. Then we shot the monster at the same angle and lighting in front of a blue-screen, animated it with stop-motion photography, and superimposed it into the shot.
Anything you’d do differently/change about the film?
I’d cut one shot and replace another — but I’ll never admit which ones.
How have audiences reacted to the film?
Audiences’ reactions have been great. They laugh when they’re supposed to, scream when they’re supposed to, and don’t take it too seriously. In the end, it’s just a bit of entertainment — a set up and a punch line — and they appreciate that.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m writing and producing shorts, music videos and commercials. I’m also developing scripts for web & TV series and feature films.