Winner - January 2022 Edition: Best Mobile Phone Short Film & Best Weird/WTF Film
Sock Puppet Master is a New Jersey-based artist who created short animations using real audio from 911 calls, traffic stops, viral videos, and more. In the past 18 months, she has gained over 460,000 followers on TikTok and 26,000 on Instagram, with growing accounts on YouTube and Facebook. There are approximately 300 Sock Puppet Master cartoons available to date. Other film festival award winning animations include The Quiz Show and Traffic Ticket Freakout, both in 2022.
Hello Sock Puppet Master. How did you discover your passion for Animation? Where and what did you study?
I actually never studied animation, although I've been an artist for many years. I just saw a free app to make simple animations at the beginning of Covid and I was curious, so I downloaded it! I didn't want to write content to animate while I was learning, so I took some real life audio and animated to that (which was a winning combination according to my followers). The program was easy to learn and is also why my animations are so "primitive". It is the equivalent of using a notepad to make a flip book animation (the app is called Flipaclip).
How did the idea come up to use police sound/image reel to create short films ?
I was experimenting with audio tracks for animations and I started with a funny 911 call about a cheeseburger. After a bunch of 911 calls I discovered audio tracks from traffic stops, and I started animating those. Pretty soon I developed a niche for myself… something about the tension between people behaving badly and authority figures (in the right context) can be pretty funny in an animation as long as no one gets hurt.
Is your intention educational? Who are your target audiences ?
I think of it as part PSA (people call 911 for just about anything these days) and part silliness. I just like taking tense situations and animating them to make them a little weirder. The more unexpected, the better.
How did you engage with the police administration to present your project ?
I have not worked with the police department directly, since body camera footage is available by public record request. I do work with a couple of officers who maintain sites with body camera footage and they will let me know if there is a funny one.
I would love to find a police department who would partner with me, but I doubt that's even possible. There is a quite a bit of material available on the Internet, I just make sure to credit the original audio sources and tag the creators.
Do you plan to make more of these films, how many have you made so far? What are/will be the topics ?
So far I think I have about 300 one-minute animations. They fall into specific categories (as I organize them on my website sockpuppetmaster.com): 911 calls, Arrests and violations, Karen videos, TV show spoofs (eg, Judge Judy), Real (Stupid) News clips, and "Other" animations for all the rest.
Any favorite Anime series, or full-length films? Who inspires you ?
I have a few cartoon influences: Bugs Bunny, Dr. Katz, and the animated Ricky Gervais Podcast series. A lot of people are reminded of South Park, so I can see the connection there, as well. I'm inspired by people who dare to be silly. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a perfect example of unexpected silliness in a dark setting. It has agreeable symmetry… and that's why it's so funny to me.
Have you put your skill to the service of projects other than your own, like other people's stories, or commercials, etc.?
I don't do any paid work, but I have collaborated with several other creators to make animations. I also created some for clips from Howie Mandel's podcast (Howie Mandel Does Things), so that was really exciting to work with his team. Mostly I have been focusing on entering them into film festivals like this one, which gives me a great opportunity to share outside of my TikTok and Instagram platforms.
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