In early 2004, with the intention of fleshing out her portfolio, Jennifer Shiman created a 30-second flash-animated reenactment of The Exorcist, and used bunnies as the actors – and your average internet-viral-phenomnen-scenario ensued. Two days after she posted the short to her website, her hosting server crashed from all the traffic and The 30-second Bunnies Theatre was born. Since then, Shiman’s been commissioned by Starz to create some Hare-Raising shorts for the network and the number of visitors to her site continues to climb. Take a look at her creations in action, and it’s easy to see the appeal.
It’s hard to cram all the action and must-see shots of a two-hour feature film into 30-seconds, but somehow Shiman pulls it off. Her bunnies rifle through classic scenes and unforgettable dialogue without losing a step, highlighting the most memorable parts of Pulp Fiction, Jaws, It’s a Wonderful Life, Star Wars, and other popular movies of past and present. A one-woman production crew, Shiman is currently commissioned by the Starz network and writes, storyboards, voices, and animates each of the 30-second shorts from her home studio. The bunny shorts appear on Starz on Demand first, and then later find a home on her site. In addition to The 30-second Bunnies Theatre, Shiman has a few other flash projects on the site. After a friend uncovered her third grade diary, Shiman added some flash animations to illustrate a few passages. She’s also got an interpretation of what the world is like through the eyes of a pigeon, a quirky dance scene, and a quaint look at how she creates her characters.
The 30-second Bunnies Theatre is an absolute pleasure to watch. The fast format makes sure that there are no lulls yet, Shiman still has enough time to add her own clever nuances to the shorts – like the ridiculous bunny ears on Jaws. But my favorite of the bunch is the censored version of Resevoir Dogs, where the bunnies make it PG by providing their own bleeps.