Animator Andrew Khosravani has directed a short film about the relationship between the two philosophers Jean-Paul Satre and Albert Camus for Aeon Video. The animation is part of a series of films called Philosophy Feuds, which focuses on famous falling outs and arguments between some of the great thinkers in history.
After being given the script, Andrew was cautious about creating a film on a topic he wasn’t too familiar with. “I have to admit I didn’t know an incredible amount about Camus and Sartre but my girlfriend had read many of their books, so she was hugely helpful throughout this process in getting my head around the historical context of the time,” explains Andrew.
“As existentialism was the overarching theme of both the writers I wanted to keep this piece feeling pretty minimalist, grainy and dark. I massively liked the idea of empty space as a metaphor for existing outside the physical realm,” he says. “After researching, I started working on a storyboard and style guides for the piece.”
The animation was mostly drawn in Photoshop and then composed in After Effects, which gives the animation its grainy, rough texture and he worked with illustrator Rafa Cort to draw out the assets in the animation. “The main theme I picked up now while I was storyboarding was the idea of smoke. Camus and Sartre were big time smokers so I used it a lot in juxtaposition with the darkness of most scenes,” Andrew says.
The animation is all in black and white, to represent “the two writers themselves as well as the historical context of their story” and Andrew has created an aesthetic that captures Paris during the French Resistance. The shapes and figures used in the animation morph into the next scene with ease and reference the old book covers of Sartre and Camus, which “almost always were of abstract shapes and patterns in black and white”.