Here’s how a Portland videographer reinvents Hollywood blockbusters into cat videos
Titanic had Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. jurassic park had Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. Alone at home had Macaulay Culkin. But for a videographer, there was something important missing from all these films: a four-legged feline. It’s true, they needed a cat.
Rest assured that Tibo Charroppin is working to change that, with the help of her cat Lizzy.
Charroppin is a French-born videographer who lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works as a senior videographer. editor for the ACLU. It’s also where he creates parodies of movies and TV shows with the help of the fluffy black cat passing by stage name OwlKitty.
“I had a green screen and I had a really cute cat and I wanted to combine the two somehow,” Charroppin said. “And I wanted it to be big budget and like some that seem expensive even though it’s done in our kitchen because that’s where we have the best light.”
Then Charroppin said the idea came to him to use existing footage of something and put Lizzy in it. It was obvious.
Lizzy and Charroppin have created their own interpretations of many classic films, including Titanic, Jaws, The matrix, Pulp Fiction, and jurassic park – Just to name a few. Of course some videos have updated titles like Purranormal activity.
In Jurassic Park, Lizzy replaces the Tyrannosaurus rex. Charroppin decided to recreate the scene where the T. Rex comes out of the enclosure, walks around and smells the cars as the humans sit petrified inside.
“That scene in itself would be really funny with a cat,” he said.
And to make it even more accessible to her cat-loving friends, Charroppin tied the daily mealtime ritual together.
“In my version of the video, you see Lizzy, who is now 30 feet tall, walking around the cars,” he said. “Then one of the child characters, the little girl in the back of the car, I had her open a can of tuna and it makes this noise and all of a sudden that’s when Lizzy sees him and goes and tries to attack them and his head explodes through the roof of the car.”
“It’s a really silly moment that goes really well with a cat, surprisingly. It doesn’t seem as threatening or anything, it’s just funny.”
Production time for videos varies depending on how much involvement Charroppin wants, but he said the jurassic park and Titanic the videos each took about two to three months to produce.
“The hardest [part] of this one, funny enough, doesn’t add Lizzy – it removes the stuff I want to remove transparently,” he said. He tries to delete Kate Winslet, who takes up half the screen because she’s the second lead. “
He has to trace the characters he removes frame by frame before recreating the background that would be behind them if they weren’t in the frame. That alone takes three quarters of the time it takes to produce a video, he added.
Next comes the fun part – recording Lizzy in front of the green screen. Treats and toys are key to getting the star actor into character. Charroppin said Lizzy can be a bit of a diva.
“It has to be the perfect storm of her not too hungry but not just eaten and not too tired but also well rested,” he said. “And once you figure that out – which is maybe an hour a day – that’s the perfect time.”
Along with the featured introductory videos, Charroppin also shares a behind-the-scenes look at how he puts it all together with help from his wife Olivia Boone and the couple’s other cat, a 10-year-old tabby cat named Juliette.
Charroppin said Lizzy’s life as a house cat would remain much the same despite her growing fame, with millions of social media followers. And ultimately, the family wants to use their channels to promote pet adoption rather than buying from breeders. Lizzy was adopted from Cat Adoption Team five years ago.
“If there was a reason to do all of this, it’s mostly to raise awareness that adopting cats is much better than going for full-breed cats,” Charroppin said. “Anything we can do to help is worth it.”
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