Not Over Easy

A scrambled story of love and heartbreak as a woman starts to fantasize about a second chance with her boyfriend after a forgotten refrigerated gift leaves her picturing them as a couple of eggs.

Produced with a grant awarded by bravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent), a division of Bell Media Inc.

Creative team

Writers: Jody Richardson and Jordan Canning
Producer: Sam Pryse-Phillips
Director: Jordan Canning
Animator: Mike DeCroock

Director’s statement

Jordan Canning says:

“Not Over Easy is about relationships and breakups, and how sometimes you should trust your instincts and NOT give someone a second chance.

I always had this idea of a woman breaking up with her boyfriend and feeling very certain in her decision only to have her anger turn to nostalgia when she finds these two caricatured eggs in the fridge. It was co-writer Jody Richardson who came up with the idea of playing out her fantasy of a reunion using the two eggs.

Because the concept for the story is pretty bizarre we felt that animation was the best way to create this ambitious alternate reality. Cinematographer Sam Pryse-Phillips and I had always been huge fans of stop motion. The hands-on, organic look and process was something that really appealed to us. We wanted the transition between “human world” and “egg world” to be seamless, and stop motion felt like the best way to accomplish this. We built a miniature replica of the live action apartment and designed and shot the animation exactly as we would a live action film.

We had an incredible team working on the puppets, sets and miniatures for about three weeks leading up to shooting. Tara Murphy designed and built our eggs, Brad Archdekin built our table top sets, and Tiffany Barnwell made all the incredible miniature props and set pieces within them. This was definitely a different filmmaking process than I was used to. Compared to the insane size and pace of a live action production, animation takes so fewer people but so much more time.

After we had filmed the one-day live action shoot, Sam, animator Mike DeCroock and myself essentially barricaded ourselves in our apartment for four weeks. Our apartment served as both the set for the live action portion and our animation studio.

We had to cover all the windows with black garbage bags to control the light and we couldn’t use the air conditioner because it caused fluctuations in power. This wouldn’t have been so bad had we not been shooting during a heat wave! This certainly made for some hot and sweaty days. But even with day after day of overheating camera equipment – and overheating people – the storytelling process remained an incredible experience.

Because there is no dialogue, the soundscape and music had to be involved and dynamic.

Jody Richardson and Grant King composed the complex orchestral (and now award-winning) score. Before we even began shooting, Jody and I talked at length about the music for this piece. Inspiration was drawn from classic films like Double Indemnity, Touch of Evil and the work of Carl Stalling (Looney Tunes). Truly, Grant and Jody’s score is the third character in the film, acting as a musical narrator and bringing so much emotion and life to the story.”

About Jordan Canning

Jordan-Canning

Jordan Canning has directed over a dozen short films and music videos.

Bedroom screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and won Best Atlantic Short at the Atlantic Film Festival. NSI Drama Prize film Countdown won a number of awards including a Golden Sheaf for Best Director.

Not Over Easy continues to screen all over the world including Tribeca, Newport Beach, Nantucket and Nashville Film Festivals. It is also a finalist in CBC’s Short Film Faceoff 2012.

Jordan is developing a number of feature films including an adaptation of the award-winning novel Come, Thou Tortoise. She is a 2010 graduate of the Director’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre where she directed her most recent short Oliver Bump’s Birthday.

2 comments

  1. Very enjoyable. I’m about to start my own stop motion animated short with a provincial grant in NB. I know very little about it and bought istopmotion. What software did you use? May I ask how you did the changes in expression (or eggspression)? Layers in Photoshop?
    Congrats on the NSI festival. 

    • Jordan

      Hi Gretchen! Thanks for watching the film! We used a program called Dragon, which is a pro stop motion software. It was a little pricey, but man was it ever worth it! Re: the eggspressions, we did indeed layer them in after the fact. We shot all the egg puppets with green tracking marks, and then our CGI guru laid the faces in from photoshop layers in an animating program. Hope this helps, and good luck with your short!

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