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Leah Shore’s “Meatwaffle”

February 23rd, 2010

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“Meatwaffle” is a strange, mixed media animation that has polarized audiences everywhere - from the CF YouTube page to Sundance. Take a look at what the the film’s director, Leah Shore, has to say about her work… plus the heartwarming adjective she invented.

Cartoon Hangover: Where did you study animation?

Leah Shore: I went to RISD for my undergrad and majored in Film, Animation and Video.

CH: Who are your favorite artists?

LS: SOOOO many artists… from off the top of my head - Ralph Steadman, Eric Fishl. Jan Svankmajer, My Mom, Dali,Tom Waits, Matthew Barney, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe. and many many mooore..

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

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LS: “Meatwaffle” is a compilation of ideas, dreams, improv and real life experiences.

CH: You use 2D and stop-motion animation in “Meatwaffle” - why did you incorporate the various styles?

LS: I wanted to incorporate as much as possible…pixelation, stop-motion, 2D animation, some film…everything, really not to get bored. What made sense to me was to do the old man scenes in the ‘real’ world and the vignettes in 2D.

CH: What is your favorite part of the film? Favorite segment to work on?

LS: Favorite part, ay….hmmm…I really enjoyed animating the flies at the end. I had mono at the time and for some reason I got a kick out of animating them darn flies. I also enjoyed compositing the whole film. Oh, and the audio. It’s all about the audio.

CH: Were you at all surprised that “Meatwaffle” was featured at Sundance?

LS: F**K yeah I was surprised! MY GOD. I mean, it’s my undergrad senior project, I made it when I was 21. I had no idea it’d get in! It was an honor. I hope to go back someday…soon.

CH: “Meatwaffle” has received rather extreme love it or hate it responses from viewers - are you happy that your film has gotten such a visceral reaction from its audiences?

LS: Right? It’s crazy! I either get people that looove it or hate it dearly. I kinda think its interesting that its an extreme of either-or, nothing in the middle. I like that I get mixed reviews, it would be boring to get one or the other. It seems to be controversial for some reason. Perhaps its the boobies, wieners and farts, or that jew thing. Or perhaps its the fact that I make pretty ugly animation, completely the opposite of Disney and commercial stuff them Americans are used to seeing. I think they need new eyes.

On CartoonBrew, they say its either Genius or Nonsense. Well. Why can’t it be both? OR why does it have to be so black and white? People need answers and explanations and if it isn’t given, mass hysteria is indeed ensured. What happened to abstract/surreal art? Personally, my film makes perfect sense to me, and if I wanted to, I could explain it to you, but wheres the fun in that? I like messing with peoples emotions, ideas, and eyes. There will be more. Be prepared.

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CH: What do you do to overcome creative blocks?

LS: I am always drawing and when I need inspiration or am stuck I look through my old sketches. I usually also write, collect strange photos, eat, or watch horribly bad-good horror films. It does the trick.

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

LS: I have teamed up with Chris Barrett (Powerhouse Pictures) and we are in the pre-production stages of making an experimental short documentary about a very infamous man (who cannot yet be announced). I am collecting audio files of him that I will then edit into a short story and then animate. I am VERY excited. Stay tuned!

CH: Favorite alcohol beverage?

LS: Jameson on the rocks!

CH: Ha! You are a classier dame than I. Favorite curse word?

LS: Easy. C*NTY. Yes. I made that up playing Scattergories with some friends. the letter was c and the question was “terms of endearment”. I think that’s pretty damn endearing. C*nty.

CH: Total win. Thank you so much for the c*nty interview, Leah!

You can check out “Meatwaffle” right here on Cartoon Hangover!

-Bailee DesRocher

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