Cartoon Brew TV #7: From Burger It Came

From Burger It Came (2008) is a humorous and thought-provoking personal tale about how fear can consume our lives. The film really stands out in our eyes for its sophisticated and eclectic approach to visual storytelling. It was directed by Dominic Bisignano in the CalArts Experimental Animation Program.

The filmmaker will be participating in the comments section so if you have any questions for him, feel free to ask. Here are some background details about From Burger It Came from director Dominic Bisignano:

From Burger It Came is a film I made digitally, using 3-D software, photography, drawings, and digital paintings. It is based around experiences I had as a kid growing-up at the onset of the AIDS epidemic. I tried to incorporate as many elements from that period which touched me personally (kid’s cereal, heavy metal, sci-fi movies, Moonies, AIDS, Catholic school) without burying the story.

I constructed the soundtrack (with the exception of SFX) first, recording myself recalling these episodes to people that I did not know. I then recorded an interview with my mother, and a script performed by an actress named Trudy Forbes. I spent about one year constructing the narrative. In my mind there were four elements that needed to converge for the story be complete:

1. My narrative about fear (told to the audience)

2. My mother’s narrative about fear, both hers and mine (told to the audience)

3. A conversation between us (spoken to one another)

4. Some popular ideas about the subject of AIDS at the time (told through the part of the teacher).

I am influenced greatly by American folk music and traditional storytelling, and my intention with this film was to do a sort of “’round the campfire” sort of narrative, but with modern subject matter which may or may not be easy to hear or talk about. Because of the voice overnarrative, I was careful to try and construct the visuals in a contrapuntal way to the soundtrack, as opposed to merely illustrating the dialogue the whole time.


  • J. Speed Schwartz

    Dominic- congratulations!

  • http://lastlightbender.blogspot.com/ Tyler Hewitt

    Nicely done. I liked the animation, and the story reminded me of how full of fear childhood can be.

  • Neil Graf

    That was super great. It really felt like taking a journey as well as hearing/watching a story. I gotta go look up moonies, but I can totally relate to the mysterious transmission of AIDS and the fear surrounding that. Vivid stuff, I really dig it.

  • Geo

    Nicely done.
    Thought provoking and entertaining.

  • http://eggheadcheesybird.co.uk Alex

    Wicked!

  • spencer drew bogart

    i really, really enjoyed this! very interesting and funny, too. definitely get a sense of that “round the campfire” feel you mentioned. this might sound a little stupid, but there are many animators out there who seem to forget the value of having a good story to tell.

    you said that you spent almost a year constructing the narrative for this piece — about how long did it take you to finish everything else? did you have a decent command over the software and media you used, or did you have to learn as you went along? i really like the way you incorporated all of the different styles and looks into the final product. it all seemed to blend together nicely, servicing and adding to the humor of the story.

  • VT

    I saw this at CalArts over the summer and absolutely loved it. I’m overjoyed that it made it here to BrewTV.

    Good show sir, good show

  • Martin Juneau

    I like the storyline and message of this picture. A lot of filmmakers and animators forgot the true values of animation but it’s very well done. This short deserve to be introduced in the public for the Aids and consumer mass messages.

  • http://www.dominicbisignano.com Dominic Bisignano

    Hey thanks everyone for watching and for your comments!
    Spencer – I made this film as my graduate thesis film. The program at Calarts is 3 years long; the second two years are generally spent on the thesis film. All in all, I spent about a year on getting the story down, recorded, and storyboarded and a year and a half (I finished a little late) on the visuals and composing music and SFX. In that time I also had to teach myself how to use Mirage, which is a pixel-based drawn animation program that no longer exists as such (it is called TVPaint now). As for command of the software, I am most technically familiar with the sound-editing side of things (Pro-Tools), and learned the 3-D and 2-D computer animation stuff mostly on my own with help from my classmates, and friends. I only really learned things I could use to make my film, so in that regard, my software skills are very focused in that area.
    Thanks again for the input and questions.

  • http://www.colpetteriabuona.blogspot.com fabio

    Ok ragazzo.

  • http://www.dinanoto.com Dina Noto

    Dominic! I’m so excited to see this here on Cartoon Brew! Your film is always playing on the TV in my MIND… Congratulations on your film and for somehow making AIDS funny!

  • Miwa Matreyek

    congrats, dominic!
    looks so great!

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Your hand turkey’s are brilliant.

  • http://bigskills.com Stephanie Hutin

    What’s next for you Mister Bisignano?

  • http://creatureco-op.com/film/did_i_tell_you Marianne Hayden

    Yay Dominic! I laugh so hard every time I see this! Congrats!

  • GameOverGirl

    this is amazing!

  • http://gabedozer.blogspot.com Gabe Fullilove

    Great stuff! It reminded me of This American Life in the storytelling and the animation was hilarious.

  • Kevin Walker

    Yepaw!!!! This should be on This American Life!!!! Great stuff!

  • A. Ramsey

    Can’t believe I missed this while it was up. I’m looking forward to seeing your work and am sure I will be impressed.