"Conor leads a fast-paced life on the streets of Dublin."

Age: 16+

Created by a team of students from The Animation Workshop, Shergar is a remarkable film that shows once again the school’s commitment to supporting artists’ visions and producing original, quality films with non-decaffeinated scripts. In a landscape of conventional, increasingly predictable content, shorts from TAW such as this one stand out noticeably.

One main character, abundant conflicts and a subject that deals with the choices life leads us to make are the ingredients of this short.

Staged mostly in the outdoors, in the streets of Dublin, Shergar transmits a strong feeling of authenticity, which seems to point to the personal experience of one or more of the authors and detailed research on the subject.

Conflicts, crime and anti-social behavior play a prominent role, good effort has been dedicated to creating supporting characters that help develop the story in this direction and build tension and drama. Performances are particularly noteworthy, in many cases employing nonverbal communication to transmit the character’s intentions and feelings.

The aesthetic work is exceptional, including the attention to character design, environments, backgrounds, framing and composition, color, lighting, etc. It’s ambitious work that adds a lot of quality to the production, the large-sized team of artists who collaborated on the film clearly shows through in this regard.

Directing reveals some interesting choices, such as an amusing way of introducing the main character and frequent cross-cutting with scenes of a horse to create identification and add rhythm to the narrative. There’s an emphasis on creating sequences with accelerated visual rhythm as well as on building tension. Techniques that contribute to the later include the use of strong conflicts with expressive characters (augmented through camera work), particularly good performances that in some cases include the use of objects (the wallet thrown to the fire, the can being crushed) and the quality work done on music and sound.

Another highlight is the way the aesthetic changes during the fight scene to a more abstract, geometric one, as well as the ensuing running sequence with the strikingly tight close-up. Sensory images are worth noting as they populate the whole film, helping bring the streets alive.

What makes it work so well? Bold script, gripping conflicts, a main character who generates empathy due to his misfortunes, wonderful aesthetic work and a chance for redemption linked to a particular Irish horse.

Shergar's film poster

Making of material on Tumblr

Shergar on Instagram


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