Format: Animated short film / 3D, VR (Quill) / Underwater musical – 4 min. 56 sec.
Directed By Christen Bach
Written by Christen Bach & Elia Rediger
Music by Elia Rediger & Christen Bach
Music & Sound design arranged and produced by Elia Rediger
As a fiber optic cable suddenly appears at the bottom of the ocean the mythological creatures gather to debate: Will this be their salvation? Or will the teeth of this thing cause nothing but tears?
Back in late 2021 I was approached by the Dutch production company, Productiehuis Spinbarg, to create a visual narrative for their exhibition “De Kraak” alongside 9 other animation directors & visual artists. The exhibition is centered around the Wadden Sea, the largest tidal flats system in the world that extends along the coasts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.
‘The Great Connection’ is a short, animated underwater musical/operetta dealing with the first encounter between the mythological creatures of the sea and the Information Superhighway. It is a loose reinterpretation of an H.C. Andersen’s story ’The Great Sea Serpent’ where the ocean wildlife is wondering about a telegraph cable suddenly appearing at the ocean floor. We reworked the material to be a more contemporary philosophical musing on human connection through mythology vs the digital communication age.
The short is written (text & music) in collaboration with musician and artist extraordinaire Elia Rediger – who also created all the musical arrangements and additional sound design. He was an invaluable collaborator in the process of creating this strange little snippet of universe…
After delivering the audio/visuals for the exhibition we decided to expand it into a full fledged short film. (I thought it would be a shame not to make proper use of Elia’s stellar score.) Working on a shoestring budget I spent the better part of a year (next to all my other jobs) creating all the visuals myself – mixing music, mythology, Quill, Blender, mocap data and classical animation into a beautiful bastard of a short film. I wish I had had the luxury of a small team of animators at my disposal (or better time) to highlight the characters a bit better, but under the conditions I am pretty happy with the final result.
I had a little help for the intro though, where the ever amazing Matt Schaefer designed and animated the Trawler that opens the ball.
“Deepest down of all lies the outstretched serpent, a blessed Midgard snake, which bites its own tail as it encircles the earth. Fishes and other sea creatures clash with it; they do not understand that thing from above. People’s thoughts rush noiselessly, in all languages, through the serpent of science, for both good and evil; the most wondrous of the ocean’s wonders is our time’s”