Watching the scene, it’s notable how much the puppets' movements look real. That’s because the directors filmed real people acting out the scene in order to ensure that everything was as precise as possible. “We filmed real people moving,” Johnson says. “The animators need a lot of visual reference to see how things like fabric moves and comforters and how bodies press against each other. We filmed people not acting the emotion of the scene but going through the physical actions of it multiple times, and chopped that up and edited it together with the sound that the actors recorded.”

It was important that the action unfolds seamlessly, as well, because of the scene’s narrative arc. “You see the whole shebang from the beginning flirtation to the nervousness to when the lights go off,” Kaufman says. “It’s one continuous real-time thing. You don’t see that in movies generally.”

“We know how to watch movies because we’ve seen so many movies,” Johnson adds. “And there never is a sex scene where from the moment they start kissing to the moment have orgasms there’s no cutting. [In Anomalisa], they start having sex and the camera just stays on them. It’s almost unrelenting for an audience because you don’t cut away. You’re just watching this whole experience.”