David Knight - 13th Sept 2013

Last year Hoku Uchiyama and Adam Bolt were responsible for an extraordinary feat of animation, involving drawings on steamed-up windows, for Evelyn Evelyn's Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn. Now they're back with a video for Brooklyn brain-pop stalwarts They Might Be Giants featuring something else you've never seen before - singing mince.

Not only that - dancing vegetables and mixing bowls on vocals too. Hoku and Adam's video for You're On Fire involves a young lady's preparations for dinner for two... while a pack of minced beef (or possibly lamb) takes the part of TMGB's John Linnell, singing about a girl who is, not just hot, or steaming, but actually on fire (due to combustible hair). 

This was pretty much all done by puppeteering the food, as Hoku explains below - some of which, like the brocolli and carrots, was perfectly genuine and edible. And you may need to eat after watching this. 

Hoku Uchiyama: "People think the food in the video is animated, but with the exception of the mixing bowls, everything you see is puppeted.  We both love animation, but it was fun to work with puppetry this time around.  It's a different pace and a different energy.  

"The meat puppet was custom made from latex.  The vegetables are actually grocery store produce that we rigged with rods.  We removed the rods in post. The lead puppeteer is named Steven Ritz-Barr.  When he'd operate the puppet during and between takes I think it freaked people out.  People would just stare at it, distracted.  He did an amazing job.

"We talked over a lot creatively with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants.  He's super creative and very supportive, which is a boost when working with an artist you look up to."

PRO Credits


DirectorHoku Uchiyama
DirectorAdam Bolt
ProducerDave Hebenstreit
Production CompanyPartizan Darkroom
Executive ProducerJeff Pantaleo
Director of PhotographySeth Johnson
PuppeteerSteven Ritz-Barr
CastLauren Lapkus
CastScott Tanner Jones
Other creditsMeat Puppet build: Sue LaPrelle

David Knight - 13th Sept 2013

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