Whale Heart

"Silas lives in a whaling town, he has developed an ungodly method for extracting his emotions for being able to do his job."

Age: 18+

Three main characters, a father and son relationship, strong internal conflicts and supernatural elements compose this striking short film produced by students from The Animation Workshop.

Situated in a whaling town and in the open sea, the short employs related iconography and is filled with sensory images. The stylized aesthetic work of the film is impressive, giving it a painterly feeling, with prevalent use of cold, desaturated colors. The work on the character designs and environments are worth noting, with some of the later resembling wonderful paintings. Special attention has been dedicated to framing and composition of elements, which have been used to build and transmit the relationship between the father and son. Two-shots abound, as well as medium shots and close-ups, to show the main characters’ interaction and emotions, or lack of them.

Editing is usually slow paced except in emotionally loaded sequences. Visual rhythm is usually handled through editing and motion within the frame. A few camera moves are present, usually slow paced. Off-screen space, occlusions and reflections are employed to create suspense, as well as to build emotionally charged shots by combining elements within the frame. The use of psychological subjective shots and a dream sequence are also worth noting, which, together with the supernatural elements help raise the film above standard narratives, incorporating an element of mystery, changing expectations and hooking the audience.

Once again, The Animation Workshop has supported the production of a quality film made by students that has edgier content, strong visuals, a captivating story and remarkable artwork. The school’s production system that allows 11 students to work on the same film shines through, as it allows for such ambitious work.

One comment

  • Gangadhar panday

    I watched and liked this short film. It brings out the conflict between environmental protection and livelihoods poignantly. However, the ‘method’ applied by the father could have been more clear and elaborate. Best wishes to Robert Allen and his team

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