“Bottle” by Kirsten Lepore

The first time we wrote about Kirsten Lepore, she was studying at Maryland Institute College of Art where she’d made an inventive hand-drawn short called Story from North America. Now she’s a grad student in the experimental program at CalArts, and she’s turning out some top-notch work.

Bottle is the story of an unlikely friendship between a clump of sand and a pile of snow–a far more engaging concept than it may sound and the type of story that can only be told through animation. Kirsten uses stop motion to create a believably bittersweet fantasy within the natural outdoors, and her masterful storytelling has the ability to make us both smile and reach for a box of tissues.

If the heartwrenching final shot of the film is too much, here’s a brilliant and funny bit of animation she did that’ll cheer you up.


  • http://www.youtube.com/user/VujadeEntertainment#p/u/0/3HaupcJwAdk Steve Schnier

    “Bottle” is great. It’s a cute, sad, sweet little story – simply told. Throw in the technical challenges of stop motion photography “on location” – all I can say is “Wow”.

  • Karim

    Wow! thanks for sharing these gems.

  • Nick

    Bottle was simply gorgeous! i loved it! havent got a bad word to say about it! i found myself so involved with the characters.

  • a3olotic

    The bottle is one really fine piece! Though I think that ending would be more effective if there wasn’t merging with the ground while walking away or approaching the water.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    Bottle is a really beautiful film. I’m so glad it’s being recognized by the vimeo awards!

  • pappy d

    Bottle is wonderfully sweet & hilariously clever. “Booty Clap” reminds me of being her age & wherever I looked I’d see something that made me think: “Wouldn’t that be cool to animate?”

  • http://tkbox.com tom k

    Bottle is amazing, simple and cute! Love it.

  • http://thatssokraven.livejournal.com/ Kelly Tindall

    BOTTLE is great! There’s something remarkable about animation with a strong emotional center, and this is a fantastic example.

  • Tony

    Booty is quite forgettable. Bottle is truly beautiful. This is an outstanding film; whimsical, poetic, fun, romantic, and, memorable. The ending made perfect sense. I’m going to show it to my freshmen film students with enthusiasm. Congratulations to Kristen Lepore! We eventually do want to see more…..

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Wow, what a great little short!

  • http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ Nina Paley

    Chiming in with more praise for “Bottle.” Simple, beautiful, and profound.

  • http://tomboycomics.blogspot.com Emily

    Kirsten is a stop-motion mad scientist. She is also this way with cooking. Congrats to Ms. Lepore on her sand and snow animation feat, and may “Bottle” continue to prosper in the festival circuit, and beyond. Amen.

  • Glindahl

    I am a stop motion animator at the Maryland Institute College of art. I am writing this in the stop motion studio right now and I have to say that Kirsten is like my idol. I dont know how she does it but I love it.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    Oh wow. Brilliant all around for “Bottle”! And to tackle animation in an environment like that is really a great feat. Her Booty Clap puppet is hilarious, too!

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    I forgot to mention this when I first saw it the other day, but: I love how in this animation technique, the movement of the sun actually adds a lot to the story; these two characters are moving very very slowly (by our standards) while the universe just goes on around them, like all natural processes do.

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    That’s a charmer.