"Old habits die hard."
A Peaceful Rest is a film created by Alma Henry about two deceased soldiers who continue with their fighting roles after being buried at a cemetery. Produced at Avignon-based ENSI, A Peaceful Rest features two main characters, an accent on the use of objects for creating conflict and a very creative approach to a supernatural theme for comedy.
Three shots, static cameras and great use of timing and offscreen space help build the staging of this short that unfolds a story of an otherworldy comedy with unpredictable plot points. The action has been designed for the established camera positions. Sound design plays an important role, too, helping bring materiality to the 3D characters and objects and extending the soundscape. It also helps prolong the comedy throughout the credits.
The stylized aesthetic employs a saturated color palette, in line with the comedy genre. Good effort has been dedicated to character design and animation, which successfully manages to transmit characters’ attitudes without facial expressions. Acting is particularly good: the two characters perceive each other and act organically, with a timing that makes their exchanges natural and believable.
Visual rhythm is handled mostly through motion within the frame, which implies a particular effort on blocking of characters, timing of actions and staging for the camera. The story advances at a good pace, there is no impression of slowness due to lack of visual rhythm.
What makes it work so well? Great creativity, surprise, plenty of humor, highly expressive characters with quality acting and an original twist on an otherworldy subject make for a highly enjoyable short.
A Peaceful Rest was made in just two months by Alma Henry during her 3rd year studies at ENSI, with “cemetery” as proposed theme.