Watch the Painstaking Craftsmanship Poured Into Anomalisa

When we saw Anomalisa at the Middleburg Film Festival this past October, we were blown away. Written by Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson, the stop-motion animation was as gorgeously detailed as any we'd ever seen before, and the bittersweet story (this being Kaufman, after all) of a successful but troubled customer service expert, coalesced into a film that stuck with you for hours, even days after.

Anomalisa's life began as a "sound play" developed by Kaufman for the composer Carter Burwell in what were intended to be one-act plays created as sound experiences.  The actors would sit with their scripts on music stands while musicians and foley artists created the sound experience around them. Johnson saw it in September of 2005 and was floored, and a one-off project became something much more involved.

Now, a decade later, the film is done and has earned raves on the festival circuit. Paramount has released this featurette on the making of Anomalisa, and it provides you with a glimpse at the colossal amount of work that went into Kaufman and Johnson's elegiac masterpiece. The filmmakers created 1, 261 faces, more than 1,000 costumes and props, and nearly 120,000 frames of film to tell the story of Michael Stone's business trip to Cincinnatti, where he meets Akron baked goods sales rep Lisa in the Fregoli Hotel. It was a mammoth undertaking (one that began on Kickstarter), and the result is one of the oddest, most moving films of the year.


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.