For Whom the Bell Knows

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This was my senior thesis I finished in 2014. I wish I planned out the story I wanted to tell much better, though I'm still proud of it. I hope it's a fun viewing for y'all and do enjoy the musical score by my good friend Darren.

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I'm a huge sucker for this style of animation. Exaggerated art styles really fit in with the drama setting and is very good for things like satire. The animation, and voice acting was Smooth!

I enjoyed it thoroughly. You sir deserve 5 stars.

I was expecting it to end at the "Change, if you can" line. The next scene after that didn't do anything for me. Seemed like a bell tea-bagging the dude, didn't fit with the overall serious tone of the film.

coltenseamans responds:

Man that’s a good idea, that’s like a really minimal way of fixing it. Thanks :)

Thought the animation was great, as was voicing, and sound, and pacing, and symbolism with the bell... I didn't really catch the story at all. Something about finding religion...? It seems to lead to a realization, and that's the symbolism he holds in his hand at the end, but the story leading up to that particular point doesn't seem to have any relation. He doesn't seem like a religious man. He doesn't seem like a sinner, either. I wonder if his work might have something to do with it, or if he suffers from some disease, and thus the bell tolls for him, or if it's a material bell and he suffers from lack of sleep but... in the end I still haven't figured it out. So conclusively: script could definitely use some polish, but otherwise it's work well done!


coltenseamans responds:

The inspiration for it was this really annoying bell on my way to class that was super loud and seemed to go off every time I went by it. I was like, oh what if a guy had a really traumatic experience with a bell and it kind of haunted him to an extreme level until a breaking point. So I knew moments that I wanted to happen and originally he lit the bell tower on fire after snapping but people were pointing out problems with my storytelling for that part. I ended up going with this thing where he is defeated and just does what the bell was telling him to do. To change by confronting his past. Not that that’s even conveyed haha.

Extra notes are that I was having him be this WWII British firefighter of the auxiliary firefighting service that I was doing research on for another class. So that was the uniform he had on in the beginning and that was a child he was trying to save but got spooked by the falling Bell (totally didn’t look like one) and ran from that. At which point he tried to start anew elsewhere. Anyways the thing he holds at the end is a little badge from his firefighting times and I was like, I don’t know, he’s going to stop forgetting it/confront what happened or something.

The script was a mess :)

I do wish that I did something smaller so that I could of focused on the script, my weakest point at the time. You know, less, but done really well.

It’s interesting that you saw a religious side to the end and I think I might watch it through with that in mind. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to try sharing it again because I always wondered what others thought of it and such. Thanks for the comment!

Great animation, camera angles, and story.
Very cinematic.

Great Stuff:)

Interesting idea and good animation. I feel like it ends a bit abruptly. I know that this was supposed to be his guilt that he can't get over but he could have at least realized something. The plot isn't the most original and it was obvious what happened from the beginning. There were these random bits of humor that didn't really fit the tone. For example, the bell slapping him with its.. *ahem* bell thingy. The voice acting could also have been better. The movie comes off as artsy, but not overly so. Keep improving and you're gonna make something amazing, dude.

coltenseamans responds:

Thanks and I totally agree with what you’re saying. Like the voice acting was my friends and professor, which was really nice of them to help out but I should have gotten some money together to pay actors at the university next door. A lot of blunders and ill planning definitely happened but I’ve certainly learned from that stuff :) I’ve got something in the works now and I’m looking forward to when I get to share it!

Thanks again for the critique!

Credits & Info

4.09 / 5.00

Apr 18, 2018
6:50 PM EDT