Move over, Bazooka Joe! Welcome to the latest–and possibly most outrageous–selection in this year’s Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival: Gum by Noam Sussman of Canada’s Sheridan College. A mere sixty seconds, Gum begins with a bizarre premise and keeps building. Filmmaker Sussman topps (pun intended) every scene with an even funnier one using zany drawings, assured staging, and a “what-did-I-just-see” attitude, making this a whole bunch of politically incorrect fun.
Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Noam Sussman:
It all started when I was a fetus. Already in the womb, I was writing out ideas for my 4th year film. And so when it was finally time to make the film, I had a bunch of ideas which I boiled down into one. One part of the story was about a woman that eats chairs. Another involved an AA meeting, and a giant gum baby attacking a city. Originally the baby wasn’t even made of gum, it was just a giant human baby….
I animated everything frame by frame in Flash and painted my backgrounds in Photoshop. For the stop-mo scene, I sculpted the baby out of 3 chewed up pieces of bubble gum, shot it with a DSLR, and had to carefully animate his limbs using a toothpick. It was tricky because it was slowly getting drier and stickier. I used Premiere and AfterEffects in post production. The music I recorded with a couple of friends on a laptop, we improvised, we did a couple of takes and we kept laughing after each one. Yes, we were sober.
Fighting the urge to run outside and enjoy the weather, since we had a bizarre, warm winter. But really the biggest challenge was to try and make the film trippy and disorienting without making it too confusing and incoherent. I learnt that you should always look at your film as a whole, instead of focusing on just one part at a time to make sure everything reads.
I love 90s cartoons, especially wacky stuff like Ren & Stimpy, Cow and Chicken and Rocko’s Modern Life. Those were pretty big influences on me. The Simpsons too. As well as artists like Robert Crumb and Keith Haring. Also music is always a huge inspiration. Syd Barrett, Jandek, Alexander “Skip” Spence, and other experimental/psychedelic musicians were a major influence on the atmosphere I had in mind, as well as the score for Psycho by Bernard Herrmann. Also it always helps to bounce ideas around and brainstorm with other people, the ideas tend to intensify and get weirder.
The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.