Aftermath is a studio project, directed by Layla. The idea for the film originated after we were discussing collaborative ideas with a history teacher friend of ours. He was teaching a lesson on the 1st World War and was struggling to bring it to life in a meaningful way. We revisited Siegfried Sassoon’s work and were really hit by his poem Aftermath, it’s dark, visceral words have a haunting message, that seemingly as time passes we do the exact opposite of, ‘to never forget’.
Being that the poem obviously has a dark subject matter, we wanted to find a balance so that an audience would be able to enjoy the film, relate, and hopefully retain Sassoon’s warning, without being either too harrowing, or to warm.
We worked with the amazing Julian Rhind-Tutt on the voiceover, and he played with the delivery of different lines to help ground each scene in a reality.
The visual narrative has a cyclical structure that as we progress, slowly erases reality as memories take over, only for our main character to make a firm decision to regain control and pull themselves back into the here and now.
The poem was written in 1919, and we took influence from cubism, in so much as we wanted to tell multiple stories and ideas at once from different viewpoints. Layla also approached the overall look and feel using a mixture of different textures and materials to build up visual layers.
We used music vary sparingly on the project and worked with composer Dom James to provide some angular skronks and parps, that Barnaby Templer at Fonic then blended with the sound fx, creating a sound bed where you’re never quite sure what instrument or object you’re hearing.
We really love the final film, we learnt a lot, and worked with such an amazing crew over the 2 years it took us to complete. As the film was self-funded we had to dip in and out as different paying projects took over, but that allowed time to reflect and think about the myriad of decisions that go into making a film! It was a great process.
Since it was released we’re proud to announce the film has screened at over 23 film festivals worldwide, as well as being shortlisted for a British Animation Award.
Director- Layla Atkinson
Producer- Richard Barnett
Poem- Siegfried Sassoon
Animation- Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits, John Harmer, Rok Predin, Jocie Juritz, Jacob Read, Clelia Leroux
Music- Dom James
Mix- Barnaby Templer
Narration- Julian Rhind-Tutt