An Animated Short Film by Dan Criblez (Weeze)

Written by Gigi Butler (they/them)

Dan Criblez (Weeze) has released his animated short film “EVERYTHING’S A LIE”

a symbolic mirror reflecting the journey of internal and external discoveries during 2020’s pandemic. The film visually is a colorfully intense mind trip through traditional on paper animation and mixed media found footage. Criblez invents new characters that symbolize different parts of his brain and emotions through short vignettes of personal narratives. While watching the film, you are visualizing the lessons he absorbed as a mental timeline in the heat of the endless and hopeless societal experience of 2020.

     Music and film projects give Weeze room to expand his relationship between the hybridized audiovisual universe. This process began with his debut album and short film “The 8ugs R 7ruit” in 2019, which follows a similar format while exploring the reality and the abstractness of the mind. Composed of mostly first person perspective live footage collaged into an edited combination of memories, colors, shapes and imagination, you are experiencing life through Dan’s mind and eyes. The follow up, “EVERYTHING’S A LIE”, is the newest addition to Weeze’s creative portfolio and his never ending pursuit to reveal to his audience the roots of creativity in his life. Dan used the quarantine created collection of songs “6 feet apart” as the visual’s score, a chopped and finessed sound collage of experimental songs. Through vulnerable and captivating animations of the intense components of societal unrest, Dan encourages viewers to reflect on how creativity and community can be the lifeblood in times of isolation and despair, and how they can pursue creative expression in unhindered capacities.


     In “EVERYTHING’S A LIE”, Weeze creates this creative amorphous figure that transcends space and time. This figure finds the individual, alone and stranded, and grants them the beautiful gift of creative exploration. This presence with one’s self expression, however, is limited by both human-nature and systems of oppression — mainly capitalism. When creativity is stifled by allegiance to wealth over craft and self, we lose the connection to our communities, and most importantly, to our inner selves and our complexity. Dan encourages the viewers to realize how special our creative relationship is to our past, present, and future selves; it is the force keeping us alive amidst environmental, political, and social collapses. To be a better part of a collective means being better to all parts of ourselves, and allowing our creative expressions to be present, engaged, and create the communal relationships necessary for existing in the current day.

     The community showed up for Weeze at Leroy’s Place this past October as he released “EVERYTHING’S A LIE” to the crowd of friends, family, and strangers, who were all there to celebrate and enjoy a beautiful fall night. The evening of the release was filled with incredible live performances by Weeze and DJ Djavan Guy, stellar food, and the formation and deepening of friendships. Leroy’s Place is a whimsical environment that urges all who attend to get in touch with their silliness, their creativity, and to be connected with those we share space with. Knowing Dan and the Ambient Pasta team means being in touch with your capacity for unbound creativity and expression. Each event they throw encourages attendees to engage with themselves and to imagine a creative ecosystem that forgoes our mundanities for a deeper connection and understanding of life. With evenings like Ambient Pasta’s takeover of Leroy’s Place, we can imagine sustained creative communities centering play, creativity, care, and each other.

Photo by Sara Laufer

Artist Statement

     “EVERYTHING’S A LIE” was born out of the lockdown experience of 2020. As it was being created, the scenes and messages kept changing as the external and internal perspectives were heightened. Understanding that when distracted, the truth gets further and further away which makes us easier and easier to control. I wanted/needed to create this project to understand and remind myself what I learned throughout the experience of 2020. 

     Visually, the project was inspired by a world I had been exploring in sculpture, painting, and drawing, prior to creating this film. Dabbling in film and animation, I knew I wanted to create something like this but I didn’t know how. Inspired by traditional animation and mixed media experimentation, I wanted to make something different and new. It’s easy to think or say that but actually doing it is a tuff thing. The whole time I felt like I was on to something without knowing if I would ever finish or get there. It was a very vulnerable time and I was keeping everything I made to myself. No one saw the film until it was completed including me. I only had the pieces and mental sequence of it until it was ready.

     The experience of the film is an abstract lesson that is seen through the lens of my mind and creativity. The anxiety and exploration of the brain is something I am always chasing in my work. The project started with the music in March of 2020 right as we were kept inside. The short film supports a collection of songs called “6 feet apart” which had its own form of exploration through sound and music making. This film and collection of music was one of the greatest creative challenges I’ve ever experienced. I am proud to create conversations with this project and hope that you can relate to its themes in your own way.

Stay true everybody.

_Dan Criblez

You can check out Dan’s other work through the icons below.