Alex Grigg’s “Phantom Limb,” created for Late Night Work Club, is now online in its entirety (and apart from the LNWC compilation film).
Poignantly minimal, the short film tells a story of loss and regret with painful clarity. Its emotional power steadily builds until reaching a literal breaking point at the exquisitely paced climax.
Grigg’s explains the writing process:
One of the big things I learned while making the film is the separation between premise and writing. The premise itself didnt connect with any part of my personal life but I wanted to make sure that the writing of the film did. I think the premise I chose could have turned into loads of different stories and it was really interesting to start figuring out what my version would be.
I think I’m a bit exhausted by the perfectly rounded out stories that seem to held up as the bench mark for animated film making. I wanted to keep things looser and almost dream like but still have a clear emotional through line. I ended up moving away from this idea a little, but it was my starting point.
Like some of Grigg’s recent 2D work, the film uses a limited palette to play with negative space and suggested forms. Fluidly animated sequences of the disembodied arm sell the idea that it is both a spectral thing and an outgrowth of the protagonist’s beleaguered mind.
The sound design by Oswald Skillbard deserves attention, as it adds a tangible realism to many of the shots and underscores the tension throughout the film.
Grigg posted a fantastically detailed making-of write up on Medium that’s definitely worth the time to read.
Written Directed and Animated by Alex Grigg
Additional Animation By Alexis Sudgen, James Hatley, Jean-Gui Culot, Jarrod Prince, Bill Northcott,
Backgrounds by Colin Bigelow with German Casado, Jason Pamment, Alex Grigg, Bjorn-Erik Aschim
Sound Design & Audio by Oswald Skillbard
Music Written and Performed by Kirsty Tickle and Jonathan Boulet,
Doctor Voiced by Clifford Hume,
Martha Voiced by Sarah Jones,
Compositing: Ryan Kirby, Alex Grigg, Scott Benson
Digital Ink and Paint by – Rimon Bar, Alexis Sudgen, Jasper Parker Trenfield
Rosie Afford, Jake Armstrong, Greg Sharp, Ben Leon, Scott Benson, Bruce and Bronwyn Grigg,
Produced for Late Night Work Club