Alessandro Novelli’s animated short Light explores the metaphorical meanings of light, as well as analysing “how we adapt to what surrounds us, whatever it is, environment, work, or people” and the way we “slowly morph into something different from what we originally are and lose our inner ‘light’”.
Minimally designed using white linework against a black background, Alessandro plays with these abstract concepts by using a central character for the action to happen around. Perspective is played with throughout the animation and the curious protagonist manipulates his form in various ways, keeping the viewer hooked.
“For me animation is a great communication tool, you can ‘transmit’ to the audience all kind of concepts; pragmatic, commercial, complex philosophical ideas in an extremely simple and direct way, with metaphors, or even with new kinds of narratives not yet explored,” explains Alessandro on why he’s drawn to the medium. “These properties, plus the possibility to express and create basically everything from scratch, where the only limit is the animator, makes animation something really appetising to me, but probably what I enjoy more are the infinite possibilities that animation offers.”
For the project, Barcelona and Oporto-based Alessandro began by developing the narrative, focusing mainly on the first and last scenes, which allowed the animator to easily trace the rest of the plot. The next step was finding the right mood and style for the story, which saw Alessandro sketching and crafting concept boards to create the pared-back aesthetic. “Once I had a clear idea of how the movie was going to be, I finalised the script, layouts, actions and interactions of the character with the environment,” he says.
Alessandro’s simple approach for the animation has allowed him to give “more importance and meaning to each element” and he uses clever composition to further his ideas. Focusing on familiar details, realistic movements and observations allows Alessandro’s unusual character to feel human enough so that the viewer is open to the abstract happenings, as well as adding a touch of humour to the piece.
“Making the short flow smoothly and keeping it ‘light’ in order to counterbalance the heaviness of the topic and the drama of the ending was a challenge,” says Alessandro. “So an element of comedy was added to scenes, like when the character puts on the clothes he finds and shrinks down or stumbles because its head is too heavy.”
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