Sean Parker is a Portland OR native filmmaker who created Hapstance Films, a comedy duo dedicated to offbeat short and feature media. He got his start in filmmaking by animating toy characters on VHS tapes at age 7, and still occasionally does that. 25 years later, Sean has directed 3 features and is in development of an innovative mystery-comedy series involving finger puppetry.
“I NEED HIS BLOOD FOR MY POISONS” is a spur-of-the-moment project that came about by complete chance. After getting into a petty online argument with a stranger over the validity of a parent’s personal anecdote about their wacky child “making poisons,” I noticed the tone of our conversation was getting completely and utterly… absurd. The wordage. The emoji usage. The ever-so-slightly unhinged vibes I got from my impromptu conversation partner, which became more pronounced with each response. I wasn’t arguing with just anyone. This was a special case.
Seeing an opportunity, I sought permission from the fellow I was sparring with to turn our disagreement into a script for a short finger puppet play. He surprised me by not only encouraging me to follow through, but by relentlessly HOUNDING me in the days afterward for updates to make sure I wasn’t breaking my promise. A challenge was set: I would complete the film by the end of the week—and I had just enough spare time in my schedule to pull it off (and a dogged determination to send him into a stupor over how much effort I planned to put into it).
Friends came aboard, and favors were called. Cardboard sets were hastily cut and painted. An entire meta-narrative wriggled its way in as the messages from my new pen pal continued to get stranger. The scope of the story ballooned after my voice actor improvised an entire monologue that gave the short a sudden thriller arc for Act 2. Over 50 finger puppets made up the cast, and two very sleepless nights of frantic puppetry and cinematography (mostly done solo) threatened to derail the entire venture.
In the end, I missed the Sunday deadline by one day, only able to finish uploading it online in the late hours of Monday. But I had, more or less, stuck to my word, and delivered the most over-the-top effort I could muster in the timeframe. I couldn’t be prouder of the result, and even my pen pal/frenemy was overjoyed with the final product.
The whole debacle has kicked some gears into motion to turn this into a series, and adapt additional online arguments into their own finger puppet dramas, but for now… enjoy what started it all with the world’s first comedic-drama/thriller-finger-puppet adaptation of an internet spat: “I NEED HIS BLOOD FOR MY POISONS.”