“The Light At the End” by Chris Burton

The Light At The End is by Chris Burton, a 26 year-old self-taught animator (“…and still learning”) based in London.

Burton writes:

“I’m actually a web developer my profession – I make films in my free time, and this – like my previous work – took six months from conception to final cut.

“Icebox Studios is just the moniker under which I show my work – the “studio” itself is little more than my desk and computer.I made the film using Blender and Gimp, both open source software, so apart from living costs the film didn’t cost anything. A friend of mine composed the music, and the sound was sampled from a creative-commons licensed website.

“I struggled quite a lot with the story details beyond the initial idea, and I actually started over and re-animated the whole thing after the first cut wasn’t entertaining enough. There are a lot of “pearly gate” comedy shorts out there, and I really wanted the divine aspect to take a back seat to the film’s underlying theme of learning to look out for yourself rather than being dependent on others.”


  • Scott B.

    Brilliant! Funny story, well-told.

  • Chris Webb

    I dig toon rendering!

    Nice job Chris, I especially liked how the shirt moved.

    Great jokes, too.

  • http://www.andrewchesworth.com Andrew Chesworth

    I love the prolific output that this piece demonstrates. There is a unique visual movement style, an individual style of polish, that gets sanded to a fine grain when people work hard at being self taught. Congratulations on the achievement, Chris! Great work. I’m curious as to what your biggest inspirations are.

  • tonma

    Many home made or student shorts fail at humor timing, in this case I think it was flawless. Animation and overall look are very good, this was a great use of CGI! Thanks!

  • alan

    Great job Chris! I liked the kinda rag doll feel of the main character particularly when he was being controlled by the light.

  • Sleazy Exec

    That was great. Very entertaining.

  • http://www.theindependentanimator.com/wordpress The Independent Animator

    Congratulations on finishing another short, Chris! I like the fact that the film has a visual style that doesn’t really remind me of anything else…in other words, it feels distinctly yours.

    I also love the fact that you’re doing independent animation, which is always interesting to people like me!

    Keep up the great work…we want to see more!

    -Jeremy

  • http://iceboxstudios.co.uk Chris Burton

    Wow, I’m humbled this went down well, thanks very much!

    @Andrew Chesworth: Art style-wise, I’d say the work of Igor Sinkovec is my biggest influence, but as far as story and tone goes, I’m not really sure. I think I just have a good sense of what’ll work and what won’t when it comes to writing. I come up with a lot of bad jokes as well as good, but I can usually spot them before too long.

    @Chris Webb: Thanks – one of the benefits of flat-shading was that I could paint over any cloth-sim errors that came up. And there were a LOT of errors!

    @alan: “Rag doll” was exactly what I had in mind – although I’m trying to improve the subtle movement of facial expressions, it was a lot of fun to do a whole bunch of broad motion like that.

  • hash

    the character design wasnt much to my liking and when i realized it wasnt 2d I was about to move on ,but then the first joke hit. I burst out laughing, what a great concept. I really liked the idea you had and watched it until the end. Great film!