This is a re-edit of our very first stop-motion animation that I had originally developed as a 3 minute stand-up comedy set that I was working through at open mics.
CATCH UP (Birth of a Republic if you haven’t read that blog-post yet) But if you already read that one, carry on and keep reading.
Shortly after contracting the Swine Flu from Hello Kitty; yeah, you just read that correctly. A few days after I was initially diagnosed with MS, the first of a three doctor trifecta, actually, we went to the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary signing event and art exhibit in Downtown Culver City, 2009. There was a huge art gallery called Royal Tea Cafe, that had girls in French maid outfits serving cappuccinos and desserts with a Japanese pop-culture retail gift shop, and artists from all over the world were showcasing their exhibits inspired by Hello Kitty.
There must’ve been close to a thousand people there that evening and it was actually quite something to see in the sense of licensing and branding because I had no idea that you could get a Hello Kitty Airstream trailer all decked out from top to bottom end to end in Hello Kitty everything.
Mrs S and I walked through every part of the entire 4000 square foot facility and I took notice that the individual wearing the Hello Kitty costume appeared to collapse and required assistance out from the event. Within a day or two, my wife became ill and I had to take her to the urgent care clinic. But when we got to the clinic, my wife had completely frozen up and became totally rigid and the clinic said they couldn’t do anything for her because they weren’t equipped and she needed to go to the emergency room and she had to be rushed out on a gurney and taken to the ER by ambulance. When we got there, they doctor said she had the N1H1 (A.K.A. the Swine Flu), shot her up with Tami-Flu and prescribed a bunch of stuff and sent us home. I tested positive the very next day.
We were stuck at home with the Swine Flu for two weeks, camped out in front of the telly on an air mattress. Since streaming Netflix was still new in 2009 and since we couldn’t leave home on account of the swine flu, and I was still reeling from my recent MS diagnosis, I discovered the new phenomenon of binge watching. Let me tell you, the swine flu took the both of us down dramatically, it was so hard to move. But after being cooped up sick for two weeks binge watching an unforgivable amount of television and movies, I had what I could only label as an epiphany because it came to me in vivid detail as if it were being dictated to me in stereophonic vision. Mrs S., had two bears with blank eyes on a nearby table staring right at me and I had just streamed the entirety of Family Guy, which I had never really watched all that much previously. I thought of South Park, and the bears and the fact that we’re a bunch of goddamned “TV babies” in this developed world of ours, and I just stood up and started pacing around. “Honey, we can do something better than that, just hear me out! All we gotta do is start by recreating our living room and I’ll write little skits and do all the voices, you just take the pictures and change the faces according to the script and that’s it!!” Then, I had to go to the pharmacy and pick up some medication.
But when I got home, this was what was already done.
Months before, Mrs S had made a nifty remote pouch that matched our couch so that we wouldn’t be searching for remotes, being that everyone has so many of them. Whilst I was out, she took some leftover fabric, some cardboard from some shipping boxes, a couple toilet paper rolls, and some bear stuffing and cobbled a couch just like ours. Within a few months, she replicated our living room.
It took less than a year to get the first episode done after a months long attempt to fund a one-hour live action episodic crime drama pilot I developed, with no representation, no crew, nothing but the fact that some crazy guy read CRIMINAL VIRTUE and put my character breakdowns on the Breakdowns without actually telling me and suddenly I had half of Hollywood calling my phone, but that’s another story altogether. After a hard lesson learned, Mrs S and I voiced, shot, edited, composed, and uploaded the original version of BEAT IT onto YouTube on Jan 9th, 2011.
Hotdog n’ Bun presents – THE BEAR REPUBLIC
created, produced and directed by
Hotdog n’ Bun
Akane Sandoval & J. Eric Sandoval
animatic opening – Akane Sandoval
photography – Akane Sandoval
art direction – Akane Sandoval
written by – J. Eric Sandoval
voices – J. Eric Sandoval
sound – J. Eric Sandoval
2011 version – J. Eric Sandoval
2017 version – La Gazza Ladra The Thieving Magpie (Overture) by Gioachino Rossini
NEO Sounds Ltd.
Certified: L License No: 59643-MTR-89537