We recently spoke with Cake executive producer Alex Plapinger (Wild Life) who is part of season 5 of the shorts including Swan Boy, Beings, and The Dream.
About Cake on FXX
Cake is a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized shorts carefully curated and served up as a tasty treat for the mind. Featuring a diverse array of narratives from storytellers both new and established, this half-hour weekly showcase is equal parts thought-provoking, laugh-inducing, artistic, authentic and raw. (Not to mention, totally gif-able!) In addition to airing linearly on FXX, both the weekly showcase and individual programs stream via FX on Hulu. Cake is produced by FX Productions.
Check out what Alex Plapinger had to say below.
When did you decide that storytelling was something you wanted to do?
AP: I’m not sure I ever really decided. I’d always obsessively watched movies and read books and plays my whole life. When I got into the “business” professionally it was really just coming from a place of blindly loving the end product. I was clueless about the process. But then I started actually reading scripts. I read sooooo much garbage and it really made me appreciate how good you have to be and how much work goes into making stuff that’s lasting that people are going to respond to. Even if you have talent – it’s so much work. I found I liked the work, especially with people trying to do unconventional, new, different things. I got kind of addicted to that.
How did you get involved with Cake?
AP: The first project I did for Cake was a CG animated series created by Gustaf Lindstrom – a writer/animator I had worked with on a VR project. He sent me a short he made called PLANKTON – a hilarious short about some chatty plankton grappling with insignificance. Not only was it funny, but it was so beautiful and realistic – people thought it was actual underwater footage. Anyway, I loved it so much and wanted to help Gustaf make more. I had heard about Cake doing interesting short form animation and comedy through the grapevine.
I knew the team there and hit them up saying I loved this thing – would they be interested? And they said yes, and we made ten episodes, becoming DRIFTERS. Around the same time, I asked if they’d want to do a live action project with Dr. Brown and bunch of clowns and they said yes to that too. From there, we started making a lot of stuff together. Gustaf and I have now worked on a bunch of stuff for FX. After Drifters we made BLACK DEATH for CAKE and now we’re working on a half hour version with James Demetriou, the creator/star of Stath Let’s Flats.
What can you tell us about the animated shorts over at Cake for anyone who has not heard of them?
AP: As far as I’m concerned, the animated shorts of Cake represent the most exciting original voices in animation today. There’s just this incredible moment where all these independent animators around the world are working in new styles and tones and doing stuff that feels really fresh, elegant, artful, and also really funny – which is like the fullest meal. People like Gustaf, Dan Britt, Joe Bennett, Angela Stemple, Georgia Kriss, Kirsten Lepore, and Jonathan Djob-Nkondo. They’re all on Cake and they all rep the forefront of animation.
What do you hope people get out of Cake when they watch it?
AP: I hope that people fall in love with these artists and what they’re doing! I want people to get excited about these unconventional voices and styles and demand more like it!
What is the best advice someone has ever given you about the entertainment industry?
AP: Brian Eno has a quote where he says “everything good proceeds from enthusiasm.” I’ve never met Brian and he wasn’t really talking about the entertainment industry. But for me that rings true.
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