In Cheese Dog: The Movie, we meet a disgruntled fast-food employee who pursues her dreams after encountering a fantasy about anamorphic desserts, flirty hotdogs, and a pizza video game.
We got a chance to talk to Brooklyn-based animation team Justin Ulloa and Jamie Dwyer, the brilliant people behind this film, who told us more about the creative process behind their third movie together.
How did Cheese Dog: The Movie come about? What was the inspiration behind it?
“With backgrounds in art, advertising and film, the two of us have been collaborating on creative projects for nearly two decades. Lately, we’ve been working on some really cool art for Snaxtime (Justin’s online junk food ‘tabloid’). Out of that inspiration came the idea of producing a Snaxtime original movie.
“The goal with Cheese Dog: The Movie was to make something colorful, inspirational and a little bit twisted. Ultimately, it’s a fun parody of consumer culture and the American dream.”
A big part of the movie focused on Wendy-Lou’s dream. What was the creative process behind this, erm, trippy scene?
“Wendy-Lou’s dream is the meat of the story, and we wanted it to feel supersized. The tagline of our movie is, ‘Follow your dreams’, and Wendy-Lou lives and dreams in an overindulgent fast food world.
“The dream sequence was also a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic score by our crazy-talented composer, White Widow (Carla Patullo).”
What were the reactions from viewers when you first released the film, and did you expect that kind of response?
“The response has been super positive overall, but we never really know what to expect. At Phoenix Comicon, for instance, a lot of people were going bananas over it, but on the flip side, someone on Facebook commented, ‘PLZ MURDER ME!’ after watching it, so…”
What were the challenges in creating this film, and what did you love most in making it?
“It was a constant challenge reining in all of our ideas, especially during the dream sequence, where we couldn’t keep up with our imaginations. We got lost in all the details, but that’s where we truly had the most fun.”
The movie delivers a powerful message in a simple way. What’s your advice to other emerging filmmakers out there?
“With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to bring your imagination to life. There are so many ways to tell and share stories. Like Nike said, ‘Just Do It’.”