This day has be a bit occupied with creative minds coming together, and so it seemed well timed to put out a new Recommended Analyzing piece. This also comes at a good time for the very source material I’m going to have you take a look at today, for it’s a short film that has gone viral recently.
Therefore, the title “In a Heartbeat” should ring a bell. For those who don’t know, in the span of four minutes, the film tells the story of a boy who has his heart set on another boy in his school, and in this case, it’s quite literal. The heart wants what it wants as it pops out of the former’s chest, and persistently makes an ongoing strive to the other boy.
Some have compared it to the many excellent Pixar short films (though I beg to differ in terms of style), and it should be no surprise that the filmmakers, recent college grads Beth David and Esteban Bravo, have been receiving several offers from a number of animation studios. As of the publication of this blog post, it has been viewed about 24 million times.
Now normally, I don’t pay attention to anything that’s going viral, unless if it is one that comes straight from any of the YouTube channels I follow. However, this one thankfully made it onto my radar, and I’m so glad it did, for in my not so humble opinion, it is one of the most adorable short films I’ve seen in recent time.
“In a Heartbeat” hits it right on the nose on what it’s like to like a person in that way for the first time. You can barely think, your heart is acting as if you’re constantly doing cardio, and God knows if you’d be able to properly utter a sentence when in their presence. What makes this short film even more special is that it’s between two boys, and in a time where there still aren’t a lot of LGBT characters in children-friendly content, this one does it right. It just goes to show that those first time, butterfly-esque, lovey dovey feelings are mutual, regardless of sexuality.
What I find funny is the thought of someone taking this short film scientifically seriously and point out everything that would not happen in real life. The fact that a heart – a.k.a. a very vital muscular organ that keeps you alive – spent so much time out of the boy’s body, that it’s a miracle he was still able to go about as he did. Also, the moment where the other boy almost bit into the heart could easily have been much more gory if the heart looked like, well, a real human heart. But of course, that is the beauty of animation; anything can happen.
Above all else, I liked how the filmmakers were able to tell such an effective story in the matter of a few minutes. When writing a short story or making a short film, time is limited, and so everything and everyone incorporated into this narrative matters. It’s a tricky art form – telling a short but effective story – but when done right, the results can speak volumes. “In a Heartbeat” is an example of just that.
If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and watch it and let me know what your thoughts about it. To Beth David and Esteban Bravo: Thank you for making such an adorable, beautiful short animation and I wish you both all the best in the future to come.
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Lastly, “Stories High“ is coming up at the end of this month, running from August 31st-September 16th at Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco. If you’re in (or will be in) the San Francisco Bay Area during that time and want to come see it, then buy your tickets here.