Dinner Parties and Horse Racing Collide in the Pestle and Mortar Short Film 'Champagne Capitalist'

Mixing animation and live action in one film in a way that moves the story forward is never an easy task. Pestle and Mortar's Champagne Capitalist, however, does exactly that. In the short film (at just over 3 minutes it's the very definition of a short), a young girl is tired of her parents' dinner parties and "comes up with a surprising scheme to make this one work for her." Obviously you may not watch or even want to watch many of the short films posted on this site, but if you've got a few minutes to spare, it's worth checking out.

Pestle and Mortar is actually a pseudonym for the creative partnership between Faye Planer and Tristan Martin. They've worked on a number of projects together, from documentaries to animation, and it's clear they have a solid grasp on the short film format. I often talk about shorts with their "punchlines," but this is another perfect example. If I have a smile on my face by the end of a film, there's a good chance the filmmakers did their job. Good ideas, when executed well, can really work regardless of length.

I particularly liked some of the nods to Wes Anderson's style of filmmaking. Intentional or not, having seen most of Anderson's films, I was instantly prepared for the kind of short I was about to see, and in a lot of ways, that made it even more effective.

What do you guys think about the short? What worked for you?

Link: Champagne Capitalist -- Vimeo

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Beautiful execution! I adore films that are able to tell a story non-verbally, and the short form lends itself well to this kind of storytelling. It would have be nice though to have more setup before the girl gets into making the horses. The film synopsis says she grows "tired" of her parents "boring" dinner parties, but I don't think that comes across in the film. The name also suggests that she might be doing this solely for the money.

If there had been an opening shot/scene with her parents with a moment to see her frustrated with them hosting yet another dinner party, that would have made it better. Plus it could have been an opportunity for her to get the idea to do something different during the event.

Altogether though, an expertly crafted film, and at just a shade over 3 minutes, an easy video to watch and share!

November 12, 2012 at 11:46AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Hey guys, I'm the DP who worked on the live action stuff here. I just have to say I a huge thank you for doing this feature on a site that I love so much! It's a real honor! I was thrown into the deep end on this shoot, finding out I was going to DP this an hour after I had arrived with intention on mentoring the project (on behalf of The Roundhouse) when the previous Cinematographer dropped out due to a calender malfunction...
And yes, Wes Anderson and Robert Yeoman's work had a huge influence on this piece for Tristan, Faye and myself. Happy to answer any questions regarding the visual side of things!

November 15, 2012 at 2:51PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


i am a fan of horse racing and sometimes i also place large amounts of money betting.'

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January 16, 2013 at 2:51AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM