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“Frog” with Chris Conforti

January 29th, 2010

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Animator/director Chris Conforti’s “Frog” is a Cartoon Hangover favorite, only a few hours after the episode was posted! Below, Chris tells us about screaming, eating live animals, and candy mishaps.

Cartoon Hangover: Where did you study animation/film?

Chris Conforti: School Of Visual Arts (SVA).

CH: Who are your favorite artists/animators?

CC: Tex Avery, Bill Watterson, Shannon Wheeler, Don Hertzfeldt, Nicolas Marlet, Christy Karacas, Mark Van Orman.

CH: What gave you the idea for “Frog”?

CC: Spending a summer at my parents home in Florida. It was always crazy hot and frogs were everywhere - in the pool, in the car, in the cat’s mouth.

CH: What is your favorite sequence in the film?

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CC: Probably the shot where the frog gets swallowed from the glass of water. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but had no idea how to go about it. I sat down one night and just took it frame by frame and got it on the first try, where as some of the simpler shots drove me mad.

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CH: I really like cartoon screaming, and “Frog” is full of it! Who did the VO for the frog? Anything interesting about the recording session?

CC: Ha! I know I love over the top screaming! The voice of the frog is another animator- Garrett Koeppicus. It’s funny because I overheard him telling a story to one of his friends about some really loud dude in a bathroom stall, so after hearing him mimic this guy’s grunts I was going to cast him for the character who swallowed the frog, but Garrett has this really raspy voice and it just worked better for the frog.

Instead, the character on the toilet was voiced by Marc Tatti, who also did the voice of the cat and the girl with the spatula!

CH: Ever accidentally swallow a live animal?

CC: Yeah… a friend brought over some tangerines from her backyard, started eating one but something didn’t feel right, looked down at the rest of the tangerine to find it crawling with tiny worms.

CH: I did not expect a real answer to that. But, on topic, what’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to digest?

CC: Had just popped one of those LifeSavers candies in my mouth when someone made me laugh and I swallowed the whole thing. Felt pretty uncomfortable for about 15 min but I think I was more bummed out that I didn’t get to enjoy the candy.

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CH: Favorite alcohol beverage?

CC: A large stein of dark lager.

CH: Favorite swear?

CC: Sh*t-for-brains, that always cracks me up.

CH: Are you working on anything new you can tell us about?

CC: Haven’t worked on my own film in a while, but me a several other animators formed a group called One Stuck Duck and are finishing up our new film “Ramshackle”. I’m also animating on a new show for Nick Jr. called Team Umizoomi.

Thanks for the interview, Chris! Check out “Frog” right here on Cartoon Hangover!


-Bailee DesRocher

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