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kottke.org posts about Jared Hess

The Short Student Film That Became Napoleon Dynamite

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 22, 2020

While in film school at BYU, Jared Hess made a short film called Peluca in just a couple of days for under $500. Two years later, Peluca and its main character (played by Jon Heder) became the basis of Napoleon Dynamite. Here’s the original short — the main character’s name is Seth instead of Napoleon but the moment he speaks his first line, you know it’s the same exact character:

See also The Case of the Napoleon Dynamite Problem. (via open culture)

Napoleon Dynamite opening title sequence

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 01, 2010

The Art of the Title Sequence interviews Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess about how the film’s instant-classic title sequence came about.

We actually had Jon Heder placing all the objects in and out [of frame], and then showed it to Searchlight who really liked it and thought it was great, but some lady over there was like “There are some hangnails, or something — the hands look kinda gross! It’s really bothering me, can we re-shoot some of those? We’ll send you guys a hand model.” We were like “WHAT?!” This of course was my first interaction with a studio at all, so they flew out a hand model a couple weeks later, who had great hands, but was five or six shades darker than Jon Heder. So we reshot, but they’re now intermixed, so if you look there are like three different dudes hands (our producer’s are in there too.) It all worked our great though and was a lot of fun.

The interview also addresses Pablo Ferro’s involvement and the Napoleon Dynamite animated series currently in development.