We’re proud to present a new entry in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival: Peace One Day by Phoebe Halstead and Angie Phillips of London’s Kingston University. The film was made in support of the non-profit organization Peace One Day, to raise awareness for The International Day of Peace on September 21st. Two people battle each other as civilizations are built and torn down around them. Their uniforms–sometimes recognizable and sometimes abstracted into colorful shapes and forms–change at a frenzied pace, but the combatants and violent behavior remains ever the same. The powerful anti-war statement is heightened by Halstead and Phillips’ strong visual concept that smartly ties together violence throughout history and geography.
Continue reading for comments from the filmmakers Phoebe May Halstead and Angie Phillips:
Conflict feels inevitable given our history. Human nature seems an unstoppable force pushing people into war. Tectonic plates collide and two men are forced to fight. Costumes flash up and change, symbolizing time passing and the multitude of individuals involved in war. We wanted to communicate the fact that historical and cultural forces push people into fighting. Peace One Day gives the individual a chance to pause, reflect and see the negative impact of their violence. Once the individual realizes that fighting is unnecessary they might stop for good!
Also we wanted to create a film that communicated a moral message for social good. Peace One Day is a charity which promotes and creates a day of global cease fire as the first step towards world peace. We jumped on the idea of promoting such a worthwhile cause. Creating a narrative that shows people how destructive violence is and how it impacts the environment around us. Animation is the perfect medium for such an international message as it transcends all language barriers.
In order to highlight the human impact on the environment we needed hands on finger prints and mess that can only be achieved through splashing real ink on real paper. So we used ink, paper and pegbars. Each frame is hand colored, one of us coloring one character each. Inventing costumes as we went based on our historical timeline. Capturing the frames under the Rostrum using Dragon. We then used Photoshop to edit the stills and used After Effects for compositing.
We learned that collaboration is a most powerful tool! It made us more ambitious, and the process more enjoyable. We also learned acting out movement is key. Lots of fights, lots of fun.
We were inspired by the thought of using design to spread a strong social message. It was good to know during all those long nights that we could make a difference to the world with what we were making. Those long nights were filled with breaks of yoga, aerobics, and manic dancing to Talking Heads and Duke Ellington. We owe a lot to our tutors and peers at Kingston University who gave us invaluable advice and criticism. We found inspiration in each other and we will continue collaborating.
The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.