PES (director)

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PES
Born Adam Pesapane
(1973-05-26) May 26, 1973 (age 40)
Occupation Film director
Years active 2001-present

PES (born Adam Pesapane; May 26, 1973) is an American director and stop-motion animator of numerous short films and commercials. In 2013, his short film Fresh Guacamole was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.[1] It is the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar.[2]

Receiving a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Virginia, PES migrated to film as a storytelling medium. His use of everyday objects and stop-motion animation to create original material is instantly recognizable. His work has been recognized in the United States and internationally, especially the short films Roof Sex, KaBoom!, Game Over, Western Spaghetti, and Fresh Guacamole. He is currently in development on his first feature film, a movie based on the Garbage Pail Kids franchise.[3] An early influence on PES's animation style is the work of Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer.

Career[edit]

PES's first animated film, Roof Sex, features two life-sized chairs having sex on a New York rooftop. Though only a minute long, the film took 20 shooting days to complete.[4] In 2002, Roof Sex won the Best First Film award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Roof Sex was featured at over 100 film festivals worldwide and won numerous awards.[5]

The war short KaBoom! (2004) was instrumental in defining the artist's personal style and approach to animating objects. The film features an atomic airstrike on a miniature city using children's toys and festive objects such as gift bows, Christmas ornaments, and clown-head cupcake toppers. A "Making of KaBoom!" narrated by PES is available on the director's website and gives insight into the logic behind the object use and selection.

In Game Over (2006), PES recreated classic arcade death sequences (from the games Centipede, Frogger, Asteroids, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man) with familiar objects including muffins, toy cars, insects, pizza and fried eggs. The film was inspired by an interview with Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, who said the original source of inspiration for the Pac-Man character was a pizza with a slice missing.[6][7]

In July 2008, PES released his short Western Spaghetti. The film shows PES cooking spaghetti (the hands in the film are PES's[8]) but all the ingredients in the dish are replaced with objects such as tomato pin cushions, rubber bands, Rubik's Cubes, post-it notes, and bubblewrap, and all are brought to life through stop-motion animation. TIME Magazine named "Western Spaghetti" the #2 Internet film of 2008 in its "Top Ten of Everything 2008".[9] The film also won an Honorable Mention at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival [10] and the Audience Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June 2009.

In Winter 2008/2009 PES launched his own version of the classic Yule Log (TV program), creating a miniature fireplace loop using pretzel logs and candy corn animated in stop-motion. The film is available as a free screensaver on the director's website.

PES also directs TV commercials, including spots for Kinder Surprise (2011), Washington State Lottery (2010), Scrabble (2008), Sprint (2007), Sneaux Shoes ("Human Skateboard", 2007), Orange (2006), Bacardi (2005), and Coinstar (2005). The commercial for Sneaux, "Human Skateboard", became an internet phenomenon in 2007, amassing millions of views online. All films are available for viewing on the director's website.

In June 2008 Director Michel Gondry was quoted in Paste Magazine as saying "Clicking on a PES film is to open a safe and suddenly see a million ideas glittering and exploding. The only reason you close the door is to re-open it just after and discover what will pop this time."[11]

In December 2010, PES's short "The Deep" premiered in Episode 1 of Showtime Network's "Short Stories" series (PES's films were the source of inspiration for the series).[12] "The Deep" features various metallic objects including old hand tools, nut crackers, calipers, film lenses, faucet knobs, chains, skeleton keys, a bike horn, a belt of bullets, and a piece of a flute that come to life as mysterious sea creatures. The film is an imaginary nature documentary.

In March 2012, PES released "Fresh Guacamole", a follow-up to his stop-motion short "Western Spaghetti" (2008). The film features familiar objects such as grenades, a baseball, dice, x-mas bulbs, a miniature golf ball, and poker chips that are transformed into a dish of guacamole. In January 2013, "Fresh Guacamole" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.[1] It is the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar.[2] The film premiered as part of Showtime's "Short Stories" series online and on TV. Showtime's YouTube posting of "Fresh Guacamole" amassed 3.5 million hits in its first 4 days online. Of the initial idea, PES says "I had the core idea of a grenade as an avocado. Even though this type of grenade is referred to as a "Pineapple Grenade" I've always thought they looked more like avocados. I built the film around this idea, filling in the blanks and ingredients around it."[13] As in "Western Spaghetti", the hands in the film are PES's.[13]

After being nominated for an Academy Award, "Fresh Guacamole" was released along with all the other 15 Oscar-nominated short films in theaters by ShortsHD.[14][15]

On March 12, 2012 Deadline.com reported that PES has been set to direct a feature film based on the Garbage Pail Kids trading card series originally published by Topps in 1985.[3] The film will be based on a story by PES and writer Michael Vukadinovich. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner is set to produce the film through Eisner's The Tornante Company.

On November 17, 2012 WIRED magazine reported that PES has a second feature film project in development entitled "Lost & Found." Based on an original idea and incorporating the director's signature style, PES is teaming up with and Katz/Smith Productions and the writer Seth Grahame-Smith on story development.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Feature Films[edit]

  • Garbage Pail Kids (in development) (director)
  • Lost & Found (in development) (director)

Short Films[edit]

  • Fresh Guacamole (2012)
  • The Deep (2010)
  • Western Spaghetti (2008)
  • The Fireplace (aka Yule Log) (2008)
  • My Pepper Heart
  • Cake Countdown (2007)
  • Game Over (2006)
  • Making of KaBoom!
  • KaBoom! (2004)
  • Fireworks (2004)
  • Making of Roof Sex
  • Pee-Nut (2003)
  • Drowning Nut
  • Baby Nut
  • Moth
  • Marriage is for...
  • Prank Call
  • Rogue Peanut
  • Roof Sex (2001)
  • Dogs of War (first film)

Commercials[edit]

  • Het Klokhuis (Title Sequence) (2013) (NL)
  • Kinder Surprise (2011) (UK)
  • Washington State Lottery (2010)
  • Scrabble "60th Anniversary" (2008)
  • More Than "Journey"(2008) (UK)
  • More Than "Motor"(2007) (UK)
  • More Than "Home"(2007) (UK)
  • Sprint (2007)
  • Sneaux Shoes "Human Skateboard" (2007)
  • PlayStation PSP "Fred" (2006) (UK)
  • PlayStation PSP "Milo & Maria" (2006 (UK)
  • Orange "Socks" (2006) (UK)
  • Blue Cross (2005)
  • Coinstar "Gift" (2005)
  • Coinstar "Book" (2005)
  • Bacardi Coco (2005)
  • Bacardi Razz (2005)
  • Bacardi Apple (2005)
  • Bacardi Limon (2005)
  • Coinstar "Inspired Coins" (2005)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers "Bobbleheads" (2005)
  • Nike "Wild Horses Redux" (2003)
  • MoveOn.org "Missing" (2003)
  • Glacier Glove
  • The Learning Channel "Beasty Boy"
  • Tic Tac "Whittlin' Wood"

References[edit]

External links[edit]