Experiencing Interruptions?

You Reap What You Sow

When 5-year old Thomas is evacuating the city with his mother, he has some questions about why they have to go. Told entirely through animation, the film is a warning and call to action about the state of our climate.

  • Jacob Updyke
  • Jacob Updyke
  • Jacob Updyke
  • Jo Varnish
    Key Cast
  • Lauren Updyke
    Key Cast
  • Jacob Updyke
  • Jacob Updyke
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 24, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    150 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Millburn Film Fest
    Millburn, NJ
    United States
    April 26, 2019
    North American Premier
    Official Selection
  • Montclair Film Fest Emerging Filmmaker Competition: Winner Tie for Special Juror Prize Social Impact
    Montclair, NJ
    United States
    May 4, 2019
    Special Jury Prize - Social Impact (tie) You Reap What You Sow
  • Ocean County Library Student Film Festival: Winner Best Animation
    Toms River, NJ
    United States
    April 27, 2019
    Official Selection
  • First-Time Filmmaker Sessions

    Short Live Action Narrative Selection
  • Big Dreams Youth Festival: Winner Best Animation
    Westfield, NJ
    United States
    May 11, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Black Maria Young Filmmaking Competition First Place Animation
    West Orange
    United States
    June 8, 2019
    First Prize Animation
Director Biography - Jacob Updyke

Jacob Updyke is a rising junior at Millburn High School and is also an aspiring animator and storyteller. He is passionate about the environment and made this film during his sophomore year to create awareness around our need to address global climate change. You Reap What You Sow has been an official selection for 18 film festivals. In addition, it won First Prize Animation at Black Maria Film Festival, Best Animation at Big Dreams Youth Festival, tied for Special Juror Prize for Montclair Film Emerging Filmmakers Competition and won Best Animation at the Ocean County Library Film Festival.

Check out www.ureapwhatusow.com for more information.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Q&A with Jacob Updyke:

Q. Why did you make this film?

A. I feel as though a lot of people are unaware about the current state of the planet’s environment and climate. People hear the terms “global warming” and they’ve almost become desensitized. They don’t truly grasp the gravity of the situation. I am hoping that the film jars them out of complacency.

Q. What are you hoping the audience learns from Mom’s message? Why did you tell the story from the point of view of a boy and his mother?

A. I wanted to instill the sense of innocence of a child in dealing with the enormity of the issues we are facing.

Q. Why did you choose to make this film in black and white?

A. Black and white sets a mood of darkness and hopelessness, and I wanted the audience to feel that way.

Q. What is your process for animating?

A. I have never done a full-blown animation before. I started out using free software called Krita. After working with it for a month or so, I realized there were many better tools out there. I think the next time, I will use Adobe, which I’ve since purchased. I also was lucky enough to get a Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16 tablet halfway through the animation. This helped a lot. It took me seven months to animate 2 minutes because I was learning through trial and error. Ultimately, I made 1600 frames by hand.

Q. What is the significance of the blue face-mask at the end of the film?

A. It was just supposed to be a face-mask but the original intention behind it was to symbolize how we are losing our ability to breathe, which I think is terrifying. My uncle just moved to California, right after the huge wildfires. He said the film really hit home for him as he spent two weeks wearing face masks last Fall.

Q. What do you think each individual can do to affect the future of our planet?

A. Be a little more conscious of what you do. Don’t leave lights on when you leave a room, don’t throw out plastic and prioritize a more efficient means of energy. It’s the little things collectively that kill our planet. I also think we have a responsibility as citizens to get informed and demand our leaders take accountability. The government is not going to change unless we change.

Q. Will you be doing any more animations? What is your next film about?

A. Yes! While I haven’t exactly decided what I’m going to be doing next, I have a few options in mind that will be executed following my summer animation and art Pre-College program down in Florida at Ringling College of Art & Design.

Q. What do you hope your film will accomplish?

A. I hope it will spread awareness about the subject of climate change and ecosystem destruction. We are becoming increasingly more disconnected from these matters and it is my greatest fear that we leave them behind entirely.