Academy Award Nomination 2010: Best Short Film (Animation)
Orlando Film Festival: Best Animated Film
Big Muddy Film Festival: Best Animated Film
USA Film Festival: Finalist
Spokane International Film Festival: Silver SpIFFy

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Pollution is Personal
Director's Statement

"Let's Pollute" was a very personal project for me, dealing with a subject matter I'm extremely passionate about. Through humor, the film tackles the serious subject of pollution and waste in a way that is, I hope, accessible to a wide audience. The film acts as a funhouse mirror to our modern lifestyle, inviting viewers to laugh at themselves a bit while they think about and perhaps reconsider some of their habits. It raises the question, Will you, and society as a whole, continue down the road of destruction, or take a new path?

Six Minutes in Thrree Years
The Story Behind 'Let's Pollute"

Filmmaker Geefwee Boedoe has long been troubled by the disastrous impact on the environment of human pollution and the culture of disposability.

About six years ago, this concern prompted him to think about creating a film, the most natural form of expression for the seasoned animator. In the spring of 2006 Geefwee began writing and concepting an animated short in the style of 1950s public service films. He developed a satire about an average family who, in a society that values waste above all else, wants to do its part by polluting as much as humanly possible.

After thoroughly researching the topic through books, documentaries and environmental organizations, Geefwee wrote a script that would have spawned a much longer film. He then cut ruthlessly to keep the story accessible and entertaining while retaining its poignant and purposeful message. Visual research was easier. He knew from the beginning that he wanted a stylized and exaggerated design, so he referred to his 1965 World Book Encyclopedia and harnessed his own imagination and memories. The result is a film of substance, style and wit - attributes that bring its message to a wide audience.

Production

Geefwee wrote, directed and animated the film on his own in his home studio in El Cerrito, California. It took more than three years. He then teamed up with a tiny post-production crew, including editor Torbin Bullock, co-producer Joel Bloom and sound editor Chris Barnett of Skywalker Sound in Marin, to finish the project. The final editing was completed on an Avid Media Composer system in Joel's Oakland garage.

In keeping with the 50s style, the animation is very graphic and flat, while gritty textures underscore the pollution theme. Also in keeping with the techniques of that era and his own background of hand-drawn animation, Geefwee drew all the line work on paper with a black lithographic pencil and created the textures primarily with India ink on plastic sheets, rather than computer synthetic effects. He sketched out storyboards with pencil and paper and scanned them and artwork into his computer for editing.

Most of the music in "Let's Pollute" was pre-recorded by French artist Roger Roger. Geefwee also composed two original 'jingles' for the film. He rented a music studio and called on his wife and several musician friends to record the songs. As a result, the music department credits are actually longer than all the rest!

The estimated budget of the film, not including volunteer labor and in-kind donations, was under $15,000.

Why "Let's Pollute"?

From filmmaker Geefwee Boedoe:
As a society we are on a destructive treadmill of convenience and complacency, and though many people have made films either pointing fingers or trying to get the public to be aware, nothing really seems to get through. So I figured since people don't like to be told about unpleasant things and what to do and what not to do, I'll just throw the whole thing in reverse: "Think only of yourself - Buy More, Pollute MORE."

I figure when people view pollution and waste in that context they can really see how ridiculous and horrible it is. I don't know what kind of an impact a short animated film can have on such a global problem, but hopefully it can help stir a healthy debate, and perhaps along the way convince and motivate people to make positive change.