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ExperimentalMusic Videos

“Countdown” by Céline Desrumaux

Every so often I run across a piece of animation that’s truly special. “Countdown” by ​Céline Desrumaux is one such piece. The short, which took over two years to make, is quite simply a masterpiece of composition, cutting, color and design. Céline, whose work experience include Passion Pictures and Cartoon Network UK, uses the malleable nature of film to express her vision: the film is narrative and the ideas pictorial, yet many of the compositions and shots would appear to be completely abstract if not for their sequential context. In other words, it’s a graphic experience that takes advantage of the animation medium and could make sense only as a film.

Her stated influences for the film are Chris Ware, Hans Richter, Len Lye, Stanley Kubrick and Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi trilogy. In the years to come, I’m sure a lot of people will be citing her own film Countdown as an influence.

Directing/design/animation/composting : Céline Desrumaux
Additional character animation : Florent Remize
Music : “Granulard bastard” from Apparat

(via Catsuka)

  • Wow! Gorgeous! Two years well-spent.

    I’m a bit surprised that the list of influences doesn’t include the graphic work of Tadahiro Uesegi or Ward Kimball’s Tomorrowland episodes.
    Great work all the same.

  • WOW! That was great. Beautifully done. Thanks for showing it to us.

  • Wow! Very impressive! An artistic achievement that is definitely greater than the sum of its graphic, and even expressionistic, parts.

  • Angry Anim

    Absolutely outstanding.

  • Jens

    what a treat! Great look.

    This a rare thing to say so please take it as a compliment not a criticism. But does anyone else feel this could have been a bit longer? It cuts so fast from one amazing visual to the next, especially at the beginning I keep having to press stop…

    please Celine can we have an extended edition :)

  • This is outstanding! Thank you, Celine, for creating such a great piece of animation for us all to watch!

  • jordan reichek


  • Chris Webb

    I liked the use of light, the sound design, and the cool way she used a particle system. Nice job, Celine!

  • christy

    wow awesome!

  • Awesome! I thought it could have been longer as well, but I guess its better to leave the audience wanting more than to give them too much. Beautifully done, and on a topic that couldn’t be any cooler.

  • holy toledo!

    that’s a really good looking short. I spent a good two minutes just clicking through the time line after it was over–even the still frames are amazing.

  • that was fucking amazing. I experienced feelings of jealousy during.

  • Wow! Nicely done!!

  • …I thought it was going to blow up in that final shot.

  • You’ve just been Kubrick’d!

  • Stunning stuff Celine! Lovely colours, compositions and the 4:4 aspect ratio works brilliantly.

  • obj_solid

    I’m blown away! this is everything I love, wrapped up into a few minutes, amazing work!

  • Bob Harper

    This short eloquently demonstrates why animation is the greatest medium known to man!!!

  • A perfect little film! (I saw it silent and it works a treat)

  • Mike Johnson

    Color me impressed.

    This was truly the dictionary definition of mesmerizing, and I found myself drawn into it like an especially pleasant dream that begged to be explored further. Everything works here, flat out and no mistake. Just absolutely, positively one of the best three minutes and forty-two seconds I’ve ever spent on anything animated.

    Now, if I only had a boatload of money to give you to see you bring something like this to my local theater…

  • anonymous

    Nice film and the colors are nice, although the palette seems to change a lot. It cuts a little too fast for my taste, no time to take in the visuals. Maybe it’s just me but I never quite got used to the digital look either, the digital painting. I would of like seeing this in oils, its pretty easy just do some color washes on canvas paper and scan them. But that’s me being picky, great job and congrads.

  • Not many animated films (compared to the amount made) can confidently declare they’re pushing the audiences perception of what an animated film should be like. Like you say Amid, it’s a special piece.

    I don’t remember where the quote about every drawing should tell a story comes from, but as someone alluded to above, every FRAME is something I’d be happy to have above my fireplace. It’s endlessly inviting to look at.

  • Brad Constantine

    That was a delicious moment waiting for those rockets to fire. The little details made it great!!… That little pan up from looking down through the grates. The little blast of the hoses coming off, The camera stuff was nice as well. It was interesting to me how the pacing varied. It seemed a little hurried at the beginning,but then really slowed down nicely to the blast, and then back to action… I’m wondering what different music could be tried with this.

  • Cath


  • it hit right my g-spot. if I’d had one

  • Michel Van

    a Wonderful piece of animation. its rendering homage to Saturn V and the Apollo Program in new fresh way with vintage style Art but with new Technology !

    Check out the other animation by Céline Desrumaux on their blog:

  • Classy.

  • Ahh
    thank you everybody for all these good comments !!

  • digimbyte

    Visually its great…

    I literally had to turn it down to 1 bar to tolerate the high pitch squeaks and zaps, clearly this was never checked over for Sound quality.

    Listen on headphones, good quality headphones and turn it up. Good music should not be nails in your ears.

    in other words, MUST MUTE VIDEO (or close to it)

  • Compare to this at 2:00.