FILM IN DEVELOPMENT
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Bon Appetit is an animated mockumentary that flips the human and animal roles. It’s a satirical reflection on the countless diets and habits we have to satisfy our appetites.
The film follows Daisy’s first day of her family's Hunk-Steak stall at the city market. Her bovine family are proud to offer their artisanal products to new customers, but what she discovers will rock her traditions and long held beliefs to the core. Her first day happens to falls on “protest tuesday”.
Told in a mockumentary style and presented in a vertical format, the candid conversations and opinions of the animals will reflect the diversity of a modern city. Misconceptions and traditions are being brought up into question and the audience is a swipe away from the crazy conversations between vendors and customers. Branding and marketing will interrupt the film to open our wallets so our bellies are full.
As of October 2022, the project has finished its development phase with an animated test in After Effects. Concept designs by Dale Hayward and James Braithwaite, Voice by Sylvie Trouvé.
A walk through of the test gives a snap shot of the multiple tests and directions that the project has undergone.
Hope you're hungry!
Bovine Family Farms
For generations, the Bovine family has carried the tradition of raising and farming Hunk Steaks.
Daisy is a curious and sincere cow who grew up with the hunks at the farm, but she’s fascinated with the big city and what the modern world has to offer. Her mom Bessie, is really passionate about their fresh mama’s milk and Angus, her dad, proudly trains the hunks to be at their peak girth and tenderness.
Daisy is bringing the small business into the city with new products that get the most out of their Hunks. The fresh cuts of bodybuilders are proudly put on display with their lean loins and strong shanks. Under the photos of their prized show-hunks, hang the hunk-weiners for sale. As the banner says “Tiny, but juicy!” And who can argue?
But Daisy’s big day is put into danger with every new character she meets at the market. Her long held family beliefs are put into questions with earth-shattering ideas like: Is it natural to eat humans? Can they think? Are scuba divers even human?
The Loon-Taloon Market
Home to a wide variety of vendors selling their wares to an assortment of animal customers, the Loon-Taloon Market attracts flocks, swarms, and packs of tourist groups from all around the world every year. From the animal's perspective there are different types of humans, a full variety of shapes and flavours to enjoy, nothing goes to waste! Some of the characters can’t imagine doing it another way while others demand change.
We interrupt this film with an ad!
Open on a flock of sheep standing bored at a street corner. In bursts a sheep with sunglasses and a leather jacket, he’s so cool. He takes a big bite of a burger and then from nowhere, whips out a surfboard. He leaps into the air and crowd surfs his board over the flock. All the sheep now have mohawks and funky hair, they gaze in wonder at the cool sheep. He turns displaying the HUMburger® logo on the package of his drink and burger.
Slogan sings “I’m eating it!” HUMburger®, made with 100% real Man-Meat®.
Loud trumpets introduce Cheapo-Chico®. A boisterous Lucha Libre drenched in orange spicy sauce who growls at the camera. He quickly rips off the arms of another wrestler and shows them to the camera “Cheapo-Chico® wings!” Then the legs “Cheapo-Chico® drumsticks!” Then “Cheapo-Chico® breasts!” shoving the wrestler's muscular chest towards the camera. Logo explodes on screen Cheapo-Chico®!
Fine print: “No wrestlers were harmed in the creation of this ad. Please enjoy Cheapo-Chico® brand products responsibly. Cheapo-Chico® brand is not responsible for death or injury caused by Cheapo-Chico himself.”
Characters and Businesses
E.I.T. (The Protestors)
The E.I.T. (Everything Is Terrible) movement consist of raccoons, seagulls, pigeons and other city pests. The Protesters have so much to be against that every hour it’s a new cause to fight for. Whether it’s disapproving of the Man-meat industry, demand for the return of the human economy or just pro-gluten, these aggressive rebels broadcast the harsh realities whether anyone likes it or not.
In the stall next to the Bovine’s is Fufu Tofu, run by Fufu, a sweet but feisty grandmother Pig. Fufu’s aggressive generosity is matched only by her ability to make an extreme variety of dishes using only soybeans; like tofu salad, tofu fish, tofu broccoli, tofu meat, tofu eggs, and even tofu tea! She claims this is what gives her youthful physique.
Opening soon! The brand new location of HUMburgers®! They guarantee the biggest buns and patties of 100% real Man-Meat®. Flocks of Sheep are already lining the aisles in anticipation of the arrival of the fast-food franchise, but the Fried-Folks® and the Cheapo-Chico® wings have been controversial with the local vendors claiming gentrification and unhealthy processed meats.
Humans, or more commonly referred to as Hummies, have served animals for as long as anyone can remember, it’s hard to imagine a world without the “lesser beasts”. They’ve been carefully bred and artificially enhanced to bring out their extreme best. Some animals have even claimed that there is intelligence behind those vacant eyes, but that’s up for debate.
Across the market is a weathered Frog named O’Malley who owns the local diver-monger with his partner Jean-Jacques, an east-coast Lobster. They have all the fresh fins and filets of today's catch of scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers on ice. Today’s special is spray tanned beachers, only $1.99 a pound!
Mittens, the Kat lady
A chic and extravagant cat, Mittens is always being led by her flock of Kats; extravagantly dressed beauty pageant children. Only the best will do for her Kats, which she has lovingly named: Kathy, Katerina, Katrine, Katty, Kit Kat, and Katromeo.
Thirsty? Come have a brew at Moose’s, owned and operated by the one and only, Moose. Come hear his countless stories of adventure prize hunting rare Canadian sports figures. Take a souvenir picture with the trophy heads that are proudly displayed around the bar. Don’t worry about being called Moose, he calls everyone that, but the locals don’t seem to care when it’s happy hour on the craft brew.
Hummies: the general term for Humans. They’re food, pets and everything in between.
Hunks: beefed up bodybuilders that have been proudly enhanced to make your mouth water. Their distinct “Heeey” can be heard throughout the farm.
Plumpies: in every way the opposite to the Hunks, including their rich taste. Plumps learn their “Meee!” cries early in life and are ready for harvest when their hair recedes.
Kats: an exotic variety of pet that resemble beauty pageant children. Kats are traditionally bred to keep their southern accent alive with their signature “Oh My”.
Barbs: ample and obedient, Barbs are providers of the nutritious white juice Bilk. Their native calls can range from “Excuse me” to “OMG!”
Technique and Style
A whimsical photo collage aesthetic will play a vital role in pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable with this subject matter. Proportions of the humans and animals will be exaggerated for comedic effect helping the harsh content to be more digestible and will emphasize the ridiculous. The aesthetic is a mashup of juxtaposed contemporary imagery, with a heavy dose of brand presence, resulting in something more absurd than imaginable.
Inspired by Creature Comforts and Monty Python's whimsical animation technique and political wit. It also takes inspiration from The Office for it’s camera work and awkward situations. And the Baroness Von Sketch show for its parody of our daily lives through sketch comedy.
The mockery of branding is an important aspect to this film. Just like in our modern world, corporations are very good at keeping customers in the dark about the food industry practices. Fake commercials will occasionally interrupt the film just like on social media. They will be from brands in this world giving the viewer a bigger picture to the characters' lives and their opinions. These quick ads will be exaggerated reflections of the omnipresent advertisements and brands that surround our world today.
The dialogue will feel casual and candid, like they were recorded on location, that means improv will be an important element to the writing process to capture naturalistic conversations.
Why this project?
It’s pretty obvious that people love animals and it’s clear that there’s a strong social and emotional connection to food. Whether it’s Vegetarian or Flexitarian, Paleo or Raw, Carnivore or Vegan, Low-Carb, High-carb, or Gluten-free. Consumers can choose whatever diet they want, but it’s easier than ever to get overwhelmed by it all.
In recent years it has become glaringly obvious that our relationship with food and especially animals has to change; for the survival of our planet. But the answer isn’t an easy one, so blame is thrown every direction resulting in miseducation and resistance. We believe that real change doesn’t come from guilt, but from humour. No one has all the perfect solutions, but we sure sound hilarious thinking we do.
Bon Appetit is an original film that aims to spark awareness of our food habits and empathy towards animals through comedy.