Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?
“Catnip is all the rage with today’s modern feline, but do we really understand it? Is it a source for harmless kicks, or a potentially crippling addiction? Is it a tool to expand one’s consciousness, or a downward spiraling path that can eventually lead to insanity? Once and for all the facts about this controversial substance are frankly discussed, in the long-lost drug educational film that never-was, CATNIP: EGRESS TO OBLIVION. “
This is a short film that I wrote and directed in 2012 for $25 (all of which was truly spent on catnip). After debuting (and winning!) at the Loft Cinema‘s First Friday Shorts competition, it was accepted into the American Film Institute’s AFI Film Fest, followed by a run at the Sundance Film Festival the following year.
That all seemed amazing enough, but then my little film actually WON the Sundance Audience Award for Best Short Film in 2013, and a SLEW of festivals and awards followed (many of which you can see on the poster frame above) — truly an astounding and unexpected series of events.
Above: Cast, Cats and Crew
Cast, Cats and Crew
Pictures of the fellas and felines behind this thing, including what I think we can all agree was the finest cast of cats ever assembled for comedy or drama.
And hey! If you’re looking for longer biographical sketches of everyone involved (and really, who isn’t?), well then by all means head on over to the expanded Flickr gallery that I’ve got going right here.
Above: Stills and Related
Stills and Related
Here’s an assemblage of images that were either used in the film, to promote the film, or that I just thought looked kinda cool.
As an awesome aside, I’ve been sent photos from folks who have printed up real world versions of my “Nip Trip” black light poster and hung ’em up on their walls. WAY TO WAVE THAT FREAK FLAG, FELINE FANCIERS!
Above: Reviews and Press
Reviews and Press
I’ll admit it — I stopped updating this one after the load got to be too bananas, but there’s still a lot of the juiciest/ funniest/ craziest mentions of the film from its initial media flurry to be found inside of this gallery.
Top Left: Jason Willis / Self Portrait” – “Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?” introduction at the 2013 Disposable Film Festival
Top Right: Nova the Cat “Screen Test” Footage
Above: Interview: Tumblr.com’s Storyboard – Director Jason Willis Talks ‘Catnip’
Bonus Video Nonsense
Really I could probably post about a dozen little videos in this spot that relate to the film, but does the world REALLY need to see me walking around my house with a cat perched upon my shoulder meowing directions at me for 5 minutes? (“Readers! What do YOU think? Let us know in the comments section!”)
Anyway, here are a few quickies. They include a stop motion introduction video I did for the Disposable Film Festival in San Francisco, CA, some early footage of “Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?” Superstar Nova showing off her acting skills, and an interview I did with Sky Dylan-Robins for Tumblr.com’s “Storyboard” series entitled Director Jason Willis Talks ‘Catnip’.
Above: Russian Language Versions of “Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?” Poster Art (Alterations by Eugene “Fat Chop”)
Unexpected Russian Translation
Well, talk about surprising!
An organization called Black Street Records (self-described on their YouTube channel as “Postproduction and translations of films! Music & Sound Production!“) has recorded and posted a complete (not to mention completely unauthorized, unexpected and awesome) Russian version of the entire Catnip: Egress to Oblivion? short.
I mean, I guess really they just sorta lowered my original audio mix and spoke over the top of everything, but I’ve been told that the translations are actually pretty good and I totally love the guy’s voice. And check it out! They even recreated the poster image in Cyrillic! Craaaaaaaazy.
So while I don’t exactly know who the folks are behind this, from what I can tell their business model seems to be: downloading videos that other people have made, translating and re-posting them, and then making money off of whatever traffic is generated. Hey, I’m not complaining — from what I can tell after watching all of those dashcam videos Russia seems like an insane place to live, so more power to ‘em. My best wishes, fellas!
Of course I doubt anyone was going to retire off of the funds in THIS case since their translated “Catnip” upload has already been removed and re-posted several times (not sure why), but what the hell — here’s a permanent version. Enjoy!
Credit where credit is due (found on their Russian homepage):
Translation – Perevodman
Narration – Vasily Siprikov Anton “Lil Osi”
Working with sound – Eugene “Fat Chop”
Graphics – Eugene “Fat Chop”