Clicker Clatter is an animated short that exposes television and TV journalism for the wasteland that it is. From scare-of-the-week programming to Katie Couric’s stupid interview questions, inane drug ads, randy rhinos, “boob terrorism,” and the frustration of scrambled porn, nothing is safe in this sharp satire! Mike Reiss, writer/producer for The Simpsons, calls Clicker Clatter “smart, funny, and beautifully executed.”
In 2003 I wrote a book of media criticism called Media Mythmakers, and though it was a modest success, I realized that no matter how good it was, relatively few people would read it.
Taking a page from The Simpsons and Jon Stewart, I decided that a few seconds of visual humor could as effective as a whole chapter railing against inane television, social hypocrisy, and shoddy journalism. I decided to adapt some of the ideas in my book into a script. I didn’t have the money to make the film until I inherited a few thousand dollars from my grandfather, a lifelong Voice of America journalist in San Francisco. The result is Clicker Clatter, a film which most thinking people can relate to--and which would do my grandfather proud.
Though I had a longtime interest in film and animation, I didn’t really know the first thing about writing a script or making a film. Yet the more I thought about it, I had all the pieces I’d need: Edward Summer, who wrote Mickey Mouse cartoons for Walt Disney Studios as well as the original screenplays for "Little Nemo," was enthusiastic about producing the film. I had taken an animation workshop several years earlier with Animatus, a small, independent animation studio in Rochester, New York. I had been taking voice acting lessons from a professional named Toni Silveri, and she knew several voice actors who could do the characters. For the design, I wanted a visually interesting style and hired a professional caricaturist friend of mine, Adam English, to do the characters. Last but not least, I tapped a musician friend of mine, George Hrab, for the music.
I wish I could say that it all magically came together, but the truth is it was a hell of a lot of hard work. Almost no one involved in the project had done anything quite like Clicker Clatter, but it all got hammered out with a minimum of sobbing and debt-collector harassment.