A Consumer Gets in Over His Head With a String of Small Purchases in the Animated Short ‘Five Cents’

In “Five Cents”, a highly insightful, award-winning hand-drawn animation by Aaron Hughes, a lone consumer finds himself making a string of small purchases, several unnecessary, until he runs out of the money that would otherwise save him from drowning. Market data pages constantly run in the background of the animation, driving home the message of financial insecurity.

Five Cents

Hughes states that he was inspired by his own struggle with debt and working for the New York Federal Reserve to make this film.

It is a critique on current day capitalism inspired by my own struggles with student debt, as well as my time working for the New York Federal Reserve (where I would raid the recycling for financial newspapers to use to make this film).

Hughes also explained the process of making the film.

It is drawn by hand on thousands of market data newspaper pages with white out, gold leaf, gouache paint, ink and other materials.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.