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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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Oh wow this was really nice here I like the black and white and the drawings are really nice and some nice animation on top of this so nice film


Give the man some change would you ? It's the least you could do after you screamed in his face .
The art is good and the animation fluid . The main problem is that the story is at best lackluster , if there is any story at all .

coltenseamans responds:

Thanks for the art compliments and yeah the 'story' is where I feel the most personal cringe here haha. Definitely inspired my drive to get better at that aspect though and figure it out. Feeling great about a current project I'm working on, MANY years later lol. Spending time on the writing, the substance of the thing, is the biggest advice I'd give any creator. Because then your art could be any level or type of good and it'll always hold up and be worth coming back to for the story/joke/etc.

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!

Credits & Info

4.09 / 5.00

Apr 18, 2018
6:50 PM EDT