Draw with me- a glass wall between

by mike inel 

In another ‘universe’, where only a glass wall exists and  no sound can be transmitted through the air even if the wall doesn’t extend infinetely upwards, there’s a boy and a girl with some animal features like tail and strange ears. They discover the existance of each other and long to communicate. Soon the boy finds some black crayon-like sticks with which he can write on the glass surface. They start a msn-like conversation that ends in fun hours of drawing.

The time passes and feelings develop. Human communication needs not only proximity of minds and souls though. And to be able to see the other is not enough either. People can convey their strong feelings successfully only through touch. “It feels cold” writes the boy. “I want to be with you“. The girl answers that they are together. “Only there’s a glass between us”- loneliness is born when we don’t live fully, when we don’t activate all our senses and despair follows, when we understand we can’t ‘reach’ the others, especially people who are important to us. The boy tries to break the glass by punching it hard and he succeeds…only for a second. The glass gets magically restored and the boy gets serious injury on his left hand, the one he used to draw. The sad outcome: he can draw or write no more.

fan arts by GRafuk and Nichii respectevely

Days pass again and at a point (in the time of that universe) the boy comes back near the glass again because he saw something near it. The girl behind the glass wall ,who wore a coat that covered her whole body now, smiled at him. She had threw a wrapped package over the wall. He unwraps it with one hand slowly and his expression changes drastically- it’s not just surprise. “Draw with me” the girl writes. He now has a new hand: hers…

This short was a real tearjerker. The written dialogues are few yet tell so much. They enclose almost all the sentiments: joy, shyness, sadness, surprise, terror. The character and background design are minimalistic as well. To be fully understood and felt, this film didn’t need flamboyant visuals. Simplicity delivers strength of emotions and lefts a big impact in the spectators heart. The only vivid colours are the ones of the bodies and those doesn’t serve any aesthetic purposes rather the clarity of the plot: the ending scene is the one focusing on a yellow-pink hand; it’s to tell that the new hand the boy got was a sacrifice the girl made for him (that’s something Neko noticed). Finally, the music is humble, too. It’s there to accompany, not to be the center of attention. The music is subtle, because the story is strong. It’s not dramatic but bittersweet. Like any long distance relationship is…

The music wasn’t always the same. The first version had Ai Otsuka’s ‘Cherish’ as background music. The lyrics match at some points, yet Daniel Jame’s music suits the short much much better.

…I could imagine loving you for all eternity
Reaching out to you, forever.
Love is such a frightening thing…
whether as an adult or as a child
it makes no difference…
If we never had the chance to meet each other
I wouldn’t be able to smile the way I do now…

Mike Inel on his deviantart page has posted how he made this little ‘jewel’. He shows the steps he took and it’s like a tutorial. He also speaks about how it started and the concept:

I needed a special gift for my special girl ,so I wanted to make something special for her. A 3-minute animation gift isn’t something you commonly see, so…Voila, I guess…

I wanted a heartwarming story for this project (since it was for my gf), but I didn’t want everything to be all lovey-dovey…I’m a fan of horror movies and I’m not a fan of typical happy endings (unless it’s comedy) so I put a little twist to the animation and made the entire concept sad. I chose a fantasy, misty, it’s-just-the-two-of-us feel to it so I could have freedom to add aspects to help improve the concept of the story…

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2 thoughts on “Draw with me- a glass wall between

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