CBTV STUDENT FEST: “Peace One Day” By Phoebe Halstead and Angie Phillips

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:

THE IDEA
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.

TOOLBOX
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.

LESSONS LEARNED
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.

INSPIRATIONS
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.

FILMMAKERS WEBSITES:
pH Level Studio
Phoebe Halstead
Angie Phillips




The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.


  • Dobs

    This is incredible!!!!!!

    • http://www.angiephillips.com Angie

      thanks – much appreciated!

  • http://www.natetheis.com Nate

    Really great work!

  • http://www.angiephillips.com Angie

    thank you very much!

  • GW

    I think it’s a good film, but it doesn’t really do any more than say that fighting’s destructive. In my opinion, a film, even a short, has to go a bit further in order to be effective in promoting peace. People need to understand the roots of and reasons for violence, how it’s justified, and so on. This short doesn’t do any of that. One could argue that this short is primarily a reminder for the International Day of Peace, but I think it’s better to start off with more ideas off the bat.

    • Cat

      GW makes a good point. But if the brief was to remind people of Peace One Day then surely this is answering that quite simply? What bigger idea can there be than to transmit the idea of peace? I imagine it is difficult to construct a narrative to promote an idea like that without leaving out lots of detail and avoiding overcomplicating it. The way I see it, this film does not claim to have documentary or factual bases, it is an attempt to create a narrative stripped of contemporary context. Would you agree?

      • GW

        Well, the title of the event is Peace One Day, so why not point out some of the issues which keep peace from occurring? I don’t expect a full exploration of peace in a couple of short minutes, but it’s still enough time to explore a few ideas. Including a few ideas for why there’s not already peace seems to be a relatively simple narrative to me. I agree on the last part that the film aims for a context over a longer human time scale. That’s what I’m guessing you meant by your last question.

        • http://www.BruceRichardsStudio.com Bruce R

          GW, you should make the film you say this should be. These artists started the ball rolling and your vision is a different one then theres on how to answer the title. Critic’s need to be doer’s to give their points credibility. Easy to say it should be orange when it is blue. Critic’s should look at what is there, not remake it into what is not. I think these artists served their goals and wants well in the time frame given. Very nice work.

  • GW

    I typed up a response about a week ago, but on somebody else’s computer that got turned off. I admit that I had the wrong idea about the whole video. Frankly, everything I said sounds ridiculous now. I didn’t read the text under the video carefully enough and overlooked the meaning of Peace One Day as an actual day of peace. If you’d read Peace One Day the wrong way I had, the idea of a charity that slowly works towards pacifism without immediate effects, you’d understand what I was thinking when I typed those first comments. While my ideas may have been out of line with traditional film criticism, they were relevant towards what I’d considered the film’s purpose to be. In light of what it actually is, my criticisms are clearly unrelated and misguided. While it’s ideal to be a critic and doer, two things should be clear: The idea that you have to be a practitioner in order for your criticism to be valid is an appeal to authority, a logical fallacy. If a criticism’s true, it should be true no matter what. And secondly, time is limited and we can’t do everything we’d like.

    Since I came in with criticisms that weren’t relevant to the nature of the film, I’ll make sure I understand a film better and read more carefully before considering any such criticisms in the future.

    My major idea though, that there has to be more to peace than human kindness remains. Somebody has to address the fact that those who work for the military will have to find new jobs and the nature of a capitalist economy makes that difficult. Because of that, you can expect resistance to world peace in capitalist countries. We need to find a more peaceful way to solve the dilemma of less advanced and smaller cultures being subsumed by larger and/or ones. And there has to be a means for nations to peacefully fold for new ones to form.

    I don’t care to drag this discussion on any longer, so I’ll have to leave it at this.