UHAnimation: three animated shorts from the University of Hertfordshire’s digital animation program


If you are interested in some very cool short animated films check out the Film Page on the University of Hertforshire’s digital animation program (also check out their page on Vimeo).

These films are made by students as graduation projects and are really very impressive.

I’m showcasing three films here, two of which (“World War 3D” and “Alienated”) have been shortlisted by the UK-based “Animex Animation Festival 2009”; which apparently is a big deal ;).

First off: “World War” by Vincent Chai.

Ok so the message here is pretty straightforward, but what I like about this video is (a) it’s masterful use of sound and effects, which really push it forward, and (b) the way twists in plot are so understated, taking the user by surprise (much as they do the protagonists themselves). Go here for more on this film, including concept art.

And another one: “Alienated” by Mohammed Aqeel Ahmed and Kristina Josephides.

This film tells the story of “Al”, an alien who decided to move to the planet earth but is having somewhat of a tough time with the locals’ xenophobia (and the job market on Earth as well apparently). The underlying narrative here is that of contemporary immigration and national identity, but of course it’s also the story of each one of use trying to make a go at it. The film has a positive message: redemption is at hand, is probably just around the corner, just figure out what you want to do with yourself.

Finally this one: “Tidy Monster” by Tim Marchant

This is the story of a room, a the room inside some guy’s head, apparently. “Tidy Monster” manages to be simultaneously dark and ominous and yet visually is simply very beautiful; something about the sparseness of that room really appeals to me. I watched the film a second time with the sound muted and found it to be just as compelling as with sound. In fact it would have been interesting if they had set the film to some sort of intense music and not bothered with words at all.