Me + Her: A Cardboard Love Story

Me + Her is an award winning short film performed entirely with puppets made of corrugated card board. A love story about two characters named Jack and Jill, it tells the story of what happens when they are separated after Jill falls ill and Jack must find a way to reunite them.

The film was a labour of love that began in 2007 and required six years and 11,209 hours of labour to create, not to mention hundreds of sharpies, glue gun sticks and, apparently, paper cuts. It also took a large team of puppeteers led by Keiko Agena (best known to audiences for her role on the popular American series Gilmore Girls), Patricia Ja Lee (a former Power Rangers cast member) and T.G. Levin to bring the cardboard universe of Me + Her to life.

Here’s a look at the making of the film:

Director Joseph Oxford describes Me + Her’s journey to the screen:

“The very first “Jack” puppet was made in late 2007… I returned to Northern California for Christmas 2008, decided I would stay there, finish this short script, build all of the sets and characters, and shoot it. I estimated the whole process would take me a year. Maybe two tops.

I was off by a couple of years and a few dozen crew members. I had built (and, in a lot of cases, rebuilt, and re-rebuilt) the majority of our puppets and about 60% of the sets by early 2013. In March, I moved the operation from Sacramento to Los Angeles (the birthplace of Jack). Budgetary constraints made it impossible to have all of the sets erected at the same time, so the build/shoot schedule was broken up over a 7-month period.

The first block of shooting took place mid June, the next block in early September, two days in early October, and the final block at the end of the month: 18 shooting days in total.

I joked a lot about how “if I knew it was going to be that much work, I would have never started.” Which isn’t true. It was ambitious. It was frustrating. It strained my relationship with a lot of loved ones. The end result is something I’m truly proud of and could never have accomplished without the support (and tolerance) of my friends, family, and a great deal of talented crew members that believed we were making something special.”

On this featurette from Adobe’s web site, Joseph and film’s cinematographer Bradley Stonesifer discuss their technical workflow and the tools they used to make the film:

The filmmaking team also had an in-depth discussion about their process with Filmmaker Magazine last year.

Me + Her was an official selection at Sundance last year and has won several awards, including Best Animation at the Aspen Shorts and AbuDhabi Film Festivals. You can learn more about the film at CardboardFilm.com.

Via The Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry’s Facebook Page.