The Feast

The Feast is a 12 minute stop motion short film mounted as part of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s Puppet 6 Pack in 2021. I pitched the original concept, wrote the script and some of the lyrics, built some set pieces and served as overall showrunner for the film. The show is available for on-demand viewing at the BROS website (The Feast is the second feature in part 2).

The Feast official trailer.

The original pitch:

The story takes place in a teeny village of tiny citizens. For the most part, everyone gets along in relative peace. Annually, they host a food eating contest to determine who the mayor is for the next year. The more food a citizen eats, the bigger they grow (kind of like how Mario grows when he eats a mushroom). They crown the biggest citizen as mayor, and the mayor gets to determine things like the menu choices for the upcoming year, the town’s color scheme, and other minor municipal decisions.

Our hero raises an objection to this process – “isn’t this just a big waste of food?” and largely she is ignored, and people gear up to prepare a feast for the Big Day.

On the day itself, a Stranger comes to the table. The eating contest commences, but instead of eating the banquet in front of them, the Stranger turns to the contestant next to them and eats THEM instead. The Stranger eats about four or five villagers before the rest of them have the sense to flee to the hills, our hero included.

The Stranger has grown massive by this point. The hero bands the people together and comes up with a plan to fight back. They arm themselves with cutlery, march back into town and all rush at the Stranger, each taking a bite – in this way, the Stranger is vanquished.

At the conclusion, we’re left with the suggestion that the villagers have an acquired taste for flesh.

Inspiration

I’ve long been obsessed with both tiny things and the macabre. One source of inspiration for this show was the story of Tarrare, the man who ate everything. The medical history podcast Sawbones has a great podcast episode about him, if you’d like to delve into this story.

Also – who among us doesn’t like tiny things? When I heard the original call for pitches, the idea of tiny Borrower-like people came to mind as a way of making a framework for a socially-distant and pandemic appropriate show.

BROS not only accepted my pitch, but connected me with both a brilliant stop motion artist (Zeb Blair) and composer (Abby Becker), and thus started the seeds of assembling an unstoppable creative team.

Collaborators:

  • Zeb Blair, director / DP, puppet designer, animation director
  • Christina Ralls, assistant animator, assistant puppet builder
  • Abby Becker, composer
  • Patrick McMinn, composer
  • Mika J. Nakano, design / concept artist, post-production team
  • Megan Livingston, voice actor
  • Steven Pingel, voice actor
  • Penny Tsendeas, voice actor
  • Jessie Delaplaine, sets and props team
  • Eileen Heady, sets and props team
  • Carolyn Wright, sets and props team
  • Samantha Benya, puppet build assistant
  • David Lustig, post-production team
  • Christina Blair, costume designer
  • Dylan Blair, costume assistant
  • Arthur Blair, costume assistant

Accolades

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