Channel Frederator’s first featured filmmaker Kirsten Lepore’s artistic talents stretch across the arts (songwriting, directing, and animating to name a few). Her work was brought to our attention from different areas of the web - ranging from food websites to personal blogs. Despite the Internet explosion her work has undergone and being busy with new projects, she still found time to discuss this week’s films, neurotic narwhals, and her love affair with food.
(Click here for part one of our Kirsten interview.)
CF: What’s your favorite food?
Kirsten Lepore: Prosciutto di Parma with some crusty Tuscan bread and a glass of red wine.
CF: Have you ever entered a cook-off or other food based competition?
KL: I haven’t actually, but for a while I really wanted to have an iron chef style competition with my friends. I think that’d be amazing. Or maybe I’ll just stay out of the competition and be the tasting judge…
CF: How long did it take to shoot “Sweet Dreams”?
KL: The whole process from start to finish (including coming up with concept and storyboard) took 9 months. It was the craziest few months of my life, for sure. Shooting alone was about 3 or 4 months.
CF: Did you use real food the whole time?
KL: Almost everything you see in the film is real food, except a few main characters that I had to made trompe-l’oeil because they would have fallen apart after one scene had they been real.
CF: Did that pose any problems?
KL: Yes - major problems. I should have invested in a mini-fridge for my windowless 10×10 bomb shelter of a studio, because after just about 3 hours of vegetables sitting out under hot lights in that tiny space, things started to smell rank.
One time I made the mistake of building one of those carrot towers in the evening and subsequently shooting half the scene. When I came back the next morning to finish the shoot, not only was the tower completely wilted and shriveled, but the smell was near intolerable. I had to rebuild the whole thing from scratch and re-shoot, and that room still probably hasn’t aired out yet.
CF: It looks like you worked with your family on the music for “Sweet Dreams”. Do you usually collaborate with your family or was that a first? Are they pretty supportive of what you do?
KL: I am very fortunate – my family is tremendously supportive of me. As a kid, I made countless silly films with my sisters and parents as the actors. My mom’s also a music teacher, so my sisters and I have grown up playing instruments all our lives. So when it came time to do the music for “Sweet Dreams,” my sisters were the first ones I had in mind to help me compose and perform the soundtrack.
CF: The bakery down the street from me has “tomato soup” and “Arnold Palmer” cupcakes. What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?
KL: It’s funny because I’m not really even that much into cupcakes, or sweets for that matter. If I had to pick one, it would probably be something like a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese icing. Whatever’s the weirdest cupcake on the menu, I would most likely pick, just to try something different. That tomato soup cupcake looks pretty interesting though — I’d get that for sure.
CF: Why did you make “Craig & Walter”? I love it, and although it’s short I really enjoy Garrett’s voice work.
KL: “Craig & Walter” was actually the final project for my intro to 3D animation class at college. I’m so glad Garrett (Davis) was able to do the voice of Craig – he is such an amazing voice talent, and his acting completely drives this animation.
CF: I was wondering – is “Craig & Walter” based on a conversation you’ve had before? I’ve heard the “be a vegan” pitch dozens of times since I moved to California.
KL: Haha, no one’s actually given me the “vegan pitch”, probably because anyone who knows me knows how much I love meat – I just couldn’t give it up. But I do have some vegan friends and totally respect the vegan lifestyle, I just wanted to poke fun at them a little bit.
CF: Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
KL: At the moment I’m working on some animations on a show pilot for a big network whose name I’ll keep secret for now… I don’t want to jinx anything! But that will be a mishmash of stop-motion and 2D.
CF: Anything else you’d like to add?
KL: Thank you for asking me about my favorite food. That question made me very happy. I love talking about food.
Thanks for the interview, Kirsten!
You can watch Kirsten’s amazing animations here in her very own Channel Frederator episode!
– Bailee DesRocher