“BRUTUS” tells the story of Brutus Clancy, a super-shy, seven-foot-tall Gorilla as he’s dragged to a party against his best interests by his best friend Nicky G (a drug dealer with a chicken nugget for a head) and mutual friend Violet Fernanda (an alien that believes she’s the mean girl in a teen drama). At the party, Brutus falls head-over-heels for Lily Willow - a tiger that he believes is way out of his league.

Nicky G hatches a plan to help Brutus talk to Lily by tricking him into smoking weed in order to loosen him up. The plan succeeds, and after Brutus finally talks to Lily he discovers that she likes the same girly anime that he’s obsessed with. Just as they start hitting it off, Nelson Hughes, the affluent grandson of town-founder Howard Hughes and resident jock, arrives to the party and claims that Lily is his girlfriend (which Lily objects to). To decide who Lily will hang out with for the rest of the party, Nelson challenges Brutus to a game of Beer Pong. “Winner gets lovely Lily’s hand... Loser has to leave!”

Nelson and Brutus have a heated match, and Brutus seems to winning. But Nelson pulls an obscure rule out of his back pocket and wins the whole match. Brutus and his friends leaves the party, heads hung low in defeat. But before they can get in their car, Lily runs out and tells Brutus that she doesn’t care about the stupid game - she wants Brutus’ number and wants to talk with him more (especially about their favorite show). Brutus gives Lily his number, and his friends celebrate while Brutus (partially shellshocked and completely dumbfounded) processes what just happened...

  • JoJo Scanlon
    "Boys Night" Podcast, "Just Be Friends", "Final Lap"
  • JoJo Scanlon
    "Boys Night" Podcast, "Just Be Friends", "Final Lap"
  • JoJo Scanlon
    "Boys Night" Podcast, "Just Be Friends", "Final Lap"
  • Will Brady
    Key Cast
    "Brutus Clancy"
    "Millenial Impossible", "Firecracker", "They Might Be Saints"
  • John A. Bryant
    Key Cast
    "Nicky G"
    "Not All the Star Crossed are Lovers", "It's Your Lucky Day", "At Death's Door"
  • Alexsia Tarquinii
    Key Cast
    "Violet Fernanda"
    "Tsar and Tsarista"
  • My Linh Tinnirella
    Key Cast
    "Lily Willow"
  • Hayden Loudenback
    Key Cast
    "Nelson Hughes"
  • Catalina Qualantone
    Key Cast
    "The Woods", "Quarantwinned", "Video Journals"
  • Mark Stubblefield
    Key Cast
    "Party-Goer #1"
  • Michael Szalkiewicz
    "Just a Kid", "Mystery Shop: Jelly Jamboree", "Panic At The Drive Thru"
  • Priski Martino
    Background Artist
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Television
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama, Adult, Adult Comedy, Animation, TV, Pilot
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 30, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Animation
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Vegas Movie Awards
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF)
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    United States
    November 3, 2023
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - JoJo Scanlon

JoJo Scanlon is a Writer, Director, and Actor based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2022 and received his BA in Filmmaking cum laude with a focus on Writing and Directing. JoJo has previously worked with Starburns Industries as a Development Intern, where he came up with the idea for “BRUTUS” and set out to independently produce it. JoJo’s work has been shown in festivals in India, Italy, and the United States and has garnered awards like the Neo Futurist Theater’s “Lisa Buscani Award” and “Top 25 Most-Voted Podcast” in the MyRodeCast competition. JoJo aims to inspire creativity with his work and remind viewers that, no matter how tough it gets, there will always be better days ahead. (

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Director Statement

When I was a kid, "SpongeBob SquarePants" was my favorite show. I would come home every day from school and watch it until I had to literally be dragged away from the screen. I understood time so quickly as a child because "SpongeBob" episodes were 15 minutes each, and my parents used that to their advantage.
"How long until we get home?" I'd nag.
"Two SpongeBob episodes" would always be their response.

I say all of this to make the point that animation is at the core of who I am. Growing up, all I wanted to do was make a TV show like "SpongeBob". And with this project, I can say that a younger me would be incredibly proud. In fact, I'd argue "BRUTUS" would be a hot contender against "SpongeBob" as my favorite show (even though the subject matter is wildly inappropriate for a ten year old).

I set out to independently produce "BRUTUS" after I pitched it to over a dozen studios during my time in Los Angeles in the Spring of 2022. I was disappointed to learn that the animation studios I admired were making TV shows that would have no longevity or artistic success: adaptations of TikToks, prequel-sequels to already established shows from decades prior, and raunchy celebrity-driven sitcoms that only served as paychecks for the people involved. What I was pitching with "BRUTUS" fit none of these categories, and because of that they wanted nothing to do with me.

I was devastated. But it was my mom who reminded me of another animated show I was obsessed with and their independent success: "VeggieTales". As it turns out, the company that produced "VeggieTales", Big Idea Studios, operated out of an old Woolworth's store-front at Yorktown Center - a mall that was only a few miles from my childhood home in suburban Illinois. "VeggieTales" would go on to become one of the best selling children's TV shows of all time. She asked me, "In all seriousness, if they could find success independently, what's stopping you from giving it a try? And what's stopping you from also finding success?"

The remainder of 2022 was dedicated to pre-production and in the Spring of 2023 I officially began producing a Pilot for "BRUTUS". It felt like being on a big expedition, going somewhere that you've only heard about in storybooks and fables. But after seven months of blood, sweat, and tears I can confidently say that the journey was amazing. Creating "BRUTUS" has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life: every day became a chance to not only make my work the best it can be but also gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual and as an artist. If I could do it all again, I wouldn't do a single thing differently.

I am extremely honored and grateful to be considered for your festival and would love to bring this project to as many theaters across the United States and across the world as I can. "BRUTUS" is a story about taking a gamble and desperately hoping it pays off. Not only does Brutus take a massive gamble when approaching Lily, the girl he desperately wants to ask out at the party he's dragged to, but I took a massive gamble when I dedicated everything I had to making my dream a reality. It's only fitting that the story takes place in Las Vegas: a place where you can risk it all to gain everything, and the place where I started my film career in 2017 and my long journey to create something that makes other people feel the way "SpongeBob" made me feel.