Animated Short Film Uses 160 Film Clips to Warn Against the Prevalence of Technology

"All Your Favorite Shows" premiered at SXSW and took four months to create.
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An ordinary tablet haunts the mind of a young kid in the clever, partially animated short film “All Your Favorite Shows!” from production company ornana. Combining hand-drawn animation with clips from over 160 movies, the short—which took four months to make and premiered at SXSW—cheekily takes advantage of the assault of imagery that it’s also gently chiding.

We spoke to producer Benjamin Wiessner about ornana’s inspiration for the film.

All Your Favorite Shows! from ornana on Vimeo.

What was the inspiration behind creating “All Your Favorites Shows!”?

Benjamin Wiessner: The message behind the film has a lot in common with our first feature, euphonia, which like “All Your Favorite Shows!” premiered at SXSW. Both films dig into technology and the loss of control experienced when we all start to live through these screens. euphonia was more of a reflection of our generation's struggle, while “All Your Favorite Shows!” was born more of what we are seeing with our little cousins, children weaned on these gadgets.

How did you choose which clips to splice into the animation?

BW: Selecting the clips was a huge, beautiful task. We'd all get together and be rummaging through Mari Walker's, our editor, DVD collection with half a dozen different people looking for the right clips. We had storyboarded all of the action, so it was a matter of finding the right clips--both for the movement and for the weight of the reference. We put together an enormous spreadsheet with way more clips than we needed and were able to kind of carve the right moments from that wealth of choices. There was a celebratory feeling every time someone pulled up a perfect clip. The group dynamic definitely built up a fun adrenaline to fuel the search.

What software programs did you use to animate and edit the video?

BW: The animation was all done by hand, first drawn by [director] Danny Madden and then water colored by Hannah Elder. We photographed those and popped it all into Final Cut. There wasn't a lot of manipulation.

What was the biggest challenge of this project?

BW: Overall, the most important challenge was balancing the mixture between animation and footage. There was a danger of going too far and making it too trying for the audience, but holding back would have defeated the purpose of the film. Our director, Danny Madden, has a real knack for giving the audience just enough information to piece everything together on their own. Still, it is amazing how much effect a few extra frames of animation can have not just on a sequence, but on the entire film.