“The Film’s Main Characters: Ren, Stimpy and John K”: Directors Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood | Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story
Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell?
The opening of Happy Happy Joy Joy proved challenging.
For an audience unfamiliar with Ren & Stimpy, we needed to get them up to speed as quickly as possible as to the show’s significance while simultaneously introducing them, and providing insight into, our main character, John K, the series creator.
Shooting inserts of vintage television sets amongst the hundreds of cartoon figurines and ephemera around John K’s house provided the perfect solution. Showing only clips on TVs would fail to provide a window into who John K was and his level of obsessiveness, and shooting just the inserts of the toys wouldn’t introduce us to the series and why we should even care about John as the film’s main character.
The marriage between the two types of set decoration was integral to setting up the film’s main characters: Ren, Stimpy and John K.