Directed by: #AlexiScheiber
Animated by: Alexi Scheiber
Beautifully combining five different methods of animation (cut paper, claymation, charcoal animation, stop motion and 3D) with film and personal footage, Alexi Scheiber’s simply told yet poignant animated short A Love Letter for the End of the World has a unique innocence to it which works wonderfully in its favour when addressing its central theme. One which is fundamentally very simple and yet universal, something a child could understand - the end of the world. Obviously, the clue is in the title and the short has a melancholy (augmented by a lamenting piano) theme that permeates it. It presupposes that the world is in the process of ending and thus the short is very much a love letter and thanks to what will become lost. To this extent I think its message becomes stronger as it doesn’t offer solutions but simply reveals what will be gone for one person, and so it operates on a very personal level indeed and the multiple #animation styles cleverly allow the message to gain shape in a very short space of time, allowing several things to be experienced at once without it ever becoming confusing.
When the personal footage and voiceover is augmented by its multiple animation styles, and even framed within the animation, the short manages to then combine the personal with the universal and I think this is its point of fulcrum, when the message of A Love Letter for the End of the World achieves its intended goal. The innocence and simplicity is in fact what actually makes it and its message more intelligent, more direct. This (when combined with colourful and engaging animation) make it a great little film short. When you witness someone’s personal experience of the world, you naturally consider your own experiences too, and when they become finite that can become quite a sobering experience. One wonders if we were to all to create our own four-minute love letter to the end of the world, then perhaps we would all begin to see our role in the world’s future differently too, notice the quotidian, pay a little more attention.