Spacecraft, floating rocks, jungle, desert, an astronaut and a beast. A chase on a planet that is almost falling apart. Tamás Rebák’s animated short film “Escape Velocity” tells the story of letting go, without words.
We have been following Tamás Rebák’s work for a while now on Instagram. Story-telling forms an integral part of his illustrations, his works feature strange, unearthly creatures, but the sometimes seemingly humorous visual world comes with a very deep emotional meaning. This approach can be observed in his diploma film titled Escape Velocity made at the Animation MA course of the Budapest Metropolitan University too, created out of personal motives.
“This short film is very important to me: it is the largest and most difficult challenge I managed to tackle unto this day and it made me learn a lot. I named the movie “Escape Velocity”, a technical term related to space travel for good reason. It also symbolizes a final determination, which is a hard step to take. The idea itself came from a breakup, which left a deep impression on me, and inevitably it also became the topic of the film – an inflamed relationship, a long persecution. Later on the story changed a lot of course: I tried to make the personal energies more universal. This is how the result became an allegoric story of letting go embedded in a sci-fi context, which, I hope, many people can relate to” – Tamás told us.
The few-minute-long story first shows the astronaut looking for his spaceship, with something or someone watching his moves from the background continuously. Ultimately he faces his follower, a beast, but the meeting suddenly turns into an escape, a chase. Just as between the characters, tension builds in the viewers, too, until finally the astronaut manages to get away. But the story does not end here: the closing scenes of the short movie give a peek into the relationship of the protagonist and the wolf-like creature – but we don’t want to spoil it for you.
Even though the short movie places the emphasis on the relationship between the two protagonists all along, we should also mention the appearance and concept of the characters. They underwent multiple changes until they ultimately reached their final form.
“I think human relationships can be portrayed a lot easier if we twist the set-up a bit by adding a pair of extra legs, this way emotions can come more into the spotlight. Our protagonist is a lovable, lovely character, a sort of galactic wayfarer, the eternal traveler of space. His main motivation is to find his spacecraft, and to finally leave this planet. The beast with fox-dog-dragon-wild cat ancestors wants to prevent him from doing that. This is a fairly simple story of a chase, an ancient topos, with a little twist at the end. The sci-fi environment lays down the foundations for symbolism perfectly. Leaving the continuously eroding, chaotic, disintegrating planet means the ultimate closing of something” – the creator adds.
The good news is that Escape Velocity will be screened at several film festivals, including La Guarimba Film Festival, Kinosaray Positive Film Festival, Festival of Animation Berlin, Flipbook Film Festival or Film Festival of Lanzarote. If you don’t want to travel too much, you can also watch Tamás Rebák’s short film at Friss Hús international film festival in Budapest, held between September 10 and 16. Until then, check out the trailer below!