In an ever more serious world, one should not underestimate the value of getting to watch a woman shove spaghetti at her face with complete abandon. For that alone, we celebrate Andy Biddle’s short, “Herpy and Bobo in Spaghetti Love.” Add in a couple of absurd tiny puppets with British accents and we’re completely sold.
“Both (partner) Jonathan Hearn and I came up with these characters kind of by accident some years ago,” Biddle told us. “Before Herpy and Bobo became physical puppets they were simply just imagined, alter-ego-like characters of ourselves that we would come up with fun little scenes for. Spaghetti Love was one such silly scene, one that we eventually both thought it would be fun to animate. After a lot of procrastinating and some amount of planning we finally managed to make that first episode.”
When asked about the issues that predictably arise in stop motion, Biddle told us, “One of the biggest challenges we faced was combining the live action with the stop frame. This was mainly because I wanted to make the film as in-camera as possible with limited post. For me, this was mainly for aesthetic reasons as I’ve always loved the in-camera tricks of combining mediums rather than using green screen or comping.”
Rather than let that hurdle make him give up on his aesthetic, Biddle and team problem-solved. “One of the tricks we used to do this were printing some high-quality prints we took of the pub (where we shot the live action) so we could drop these in behind the stop motion sets,” he said. “This really helped us blend the two mediums continuity-wise and gave it a completely different look to what I feel we would have gotten with green screen. In a lot of the stop frame shots we also used a puppet version of the actress to blend the two worlds further. And on one shot we even printed and cut out our actress’ hand and re-filmed it in a stop frame shot (see the first BTS picture).” That hack proved particularly useful. It not only eliminated a tricky post job but also made the blend between the two worlds more seamless, and it shows.
For the near future Biddle has a few commercial projects coming up in London, but he and Hearn do have plans to bring Herpy and Bobo back to the screen soon. There may even be a longer form film in the duo’s future and we just want to say that if there’s spaghetti–or honestly any pasta at all involved, we’re in!