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Monday, January 10, 2011

Hungry! Hungry Mungry!

So, back in 1991 (I'm pretty sure, but my memory of said years is spotty at best) one of our class projects was to create a media project of a poem. It could be a picture book or whatever, but because I was an overachiever when it came to anything non-study related, we decided to go big.

Now, when I say "overachiever", some of you who know me will say, "OK, whatever, you're a liar with a big mouth". Which is true. My mouth is rather large and, as a result, I can be quite loud. And awesome. But that is neither here nor there. Well, actually, it is here, because our project was awesome. Digressions aside, my "projects" (mostly in English classes) tended to be giant illustrated children's books, giant board games, ridiculous videos and whatever else we could do to distract the teacher with style over substance. The argument being: if you went big and failed, you at least achieved the "A for Effort." (note: this trick did not work with the Spanish children's book I illustrated. The dialogue was too "simplistic" to get more than a B-. But it wasn't my grade, so I didn't care. I took German.).

Some friends and I (by memory it was Colin May and Matt Solem, but I can never find any of my friends from pre-2000 online, so I assume that I am probably an andorid. which makes most of these stories fabrications anyway) had a giant VHS video camera and figured out how to make a stop-motion film. So we sat down to create a claymation version of Shel Silverstein's "Hungry Mungry". Enjoy.

Well? How was that? Slow, right? A little bit. By today's standards, anyway. This was TWENTY years ago, so cut us some slack. MTV ruined us all, and now we can't sit still for anything. Plus, we were barely teenagers and that was our first (and last) attempt. You need the nervous system of a squid for this stuff. So mad props to Aardman & Co.

Where did this come from, you ask? Honestly, I've been looking for my copy of this for the past few years, as I know it's in a box somewhere around my house or garage. Never could find it, and lo & behold, this Christmas, my mom discovered her copy amongst all of her old VHS tapes of movies we recorded on TV. What else was on my tape with "Hungry Mungry" you ask? I Come In Peace, for starters. A movie that has YET to even appear on DVD, much less Blu-ray. What gives?!

Anyway, to this day, my favorite part of this video (aside from the hand slapping the igloos and the subliminal swiss army knife) is how Hungry Mungry deteriorates over the course of the video. This thing is SEVEN MINUTES LONG. It's a SHORT FILM by today's standards. It's TWICE the length of a webisode and 463 times longer than a "Robot Chicken" sketch. It's sloppy as hell and still, it took over 17 hours to complete. In real-time, no editing. Shot by shot, chronological order. And you might wonder why his body kind of melts. That's because we didn't have enough clay, so his body was actually a lemon, wrapped in clay. And we stabbed it with kebob skewers to hold him upright, so he was essentially bleeding out for that 17 hour stretch.

R.I.P. Mungry. And Gumby.


Blogger - The M.A.D. Hapa said...

I think Hungry Mungry is pioneering example of DIY claymation. You should have received an A+ on this creative interpretation of the Silverstein classic.

The most time I ever put into something like this was to tape ketchup packets behind the "eyes" of Oedipus the sock puppet so he could have squirting blood when he stabbed out his eyes.

You guys had sound effects and multiple locations! I think this is a metaphor for humanity. Yes, a f*cking metaphor!

7:19 PM

Blogger mAc said...

HAHAHA! Glad you liked it. I vaguely remember making it, all I know is that our nervous systems took a huge hit that weekend.

8:38 AM


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