Empower the meatless!

Watch this short film of Terry Bisson’s well-known short story, They are made out of meat. I like the idea, but it was a little off-putting that they used actors made out of meat to play the main characters.

There is no shortage of non-meat actors, you know, and there are some CGI functions that might want to protest the usurpation of roles that really ought to go to minorities. Here some excellent, juicy non-meat roles come up, and they hand them over to the meaty majority.

(via The Valve)


  1. says

    And to think I thought this was going to be about vegetarianism. ;)

    I had predicted when Jurassic Park came out that within 10 years of that a mainstream, full length, entirely CGI movie (which wasn’t designed to be a “cartoon”, either) would be released, and that by 10 years after that one would be released with completely synthesized voices, as well. Looks like the first was correct, but I am now weary about the second.

  2. Paul W. says


    Not bad. (But what’s with all the humans?)

    This is one of the all-time great short shorts.

    If you’ve never read it, wipe your brain clear of this particular video, and read the story straight from Terry Bisson’s web site. (Borrow a Neuralizer(TM) if you have to.)


    Years ago, I got permission from Terry B. for my avante-garde puppet video team to film and freely distribute our interpretation of the story, which was going to be… um, rather different from this video on youtube. (Then certain “artistic differences” interfered with production, and we never got it done. [Cue violins.] I still have some of the puppets, though.)

    I suspect Terry’d be amenable to many different interpretations.

    Which makes me think everybody ought to make their own video of this tiny story and put it on the web. There should be a contest, or at least some serious one-upsmanship; it should be a standard floor exercise for filmmakers. (Some day, I’ll show these guys how it’s done, I swear. Meantime, read the story and spread the meme/link.)

  3. says

    About sixteen years ago, for the movie Robocop 2, we digitized Tom Noonan (minus the fez and Sgt. Pepper getup) while his meat emoted. The shapes of the meat of his face was probed by a laser, so its expressions could be resolved into a succession of ordered point cloud meshes. On the graveyard shift, my job was to model a mesh that could blend convincingly from one expression to another as a digital (rather than meat) puppet. The machine I used spoke Lisp.

    When the character Tom Noonan portrayed in the film (Cain) had his brain appropriated to be the meat that made Robocop 2 move, that robot’s monitor displayed emotions with the digital face, displacing Cain’s (now missing) meat face.

    That’s why I don’t begrudge the fact that, although a machine could do it, Noonan’s meat got the role, despite the fact that I never met him, at least not in meatspace.

  4. Carlie says

    Wow, there are an awful lot of people in the credits for a 6-minute video. The ways of movie production are indeed strange…