Short of the Week


A lone photographer plays witness to a murder and a chase ensues down a dark urban landscape in this stylized and fast-paced game of cat and mouse.

The low-poly look is not something you see very often in a finalized movie, in fact we most often see it in the development stages of a 3D computer animation. However, when used to effect, it can be a distinctive look and a way of making an animation stand out from the usual Pixar look that now dominates the genre. Pivot, is definitely a stand out short, however, it is not only the highly stylized aesthetics of the film that make it stand out, but also the pace, energy and tension of the piece. From the Saul Bass styled titles, to the Tron like chase sequences, every frame of Pivot’s entirety is expertly constructed and precisely measured, creating a stunningly original animated short.

The two main characters in Pivot are meticulously designed and it’s easy to see that a lot of thought has gone into how to give them an eye-catching, individual look.

The concept for the styling of the main character was inspired by the look of our shadow in the Californian sun.

The long, stretched, oversized limbs of the main character are most effective when he is in full flow, bounding through alleys or bouncing across rooftops, his distinctive orange trousers (inspired by old Russian cosmonaut suits) a liquid blur behind him. In dramatic contrast the ‘villain’ of the piece, is a beast of a figure, his shadow swallowing light as he charges after Pivot’s ‘hero’, his heavy laden feet shattering pavement beneath his trunk-like legs, with every giant step.

In its essence, Pivot is a cat and mouse story—hunter versus prey—but it’s a short made with such panache and such vigour, it must be one of the best of its type. The night-time setting, low-key lighting and shadow play within the film, means we are treated to a mood and atmosphere similar to film noir, whilst at the same time hit with the high tension and frantic pace of a horror movie. To check out how the creators of Pivot created the vibe of the film, be sure to check out their mood boards.

It’s so refreshing to see an animation try something different in terms of style, form and content and I honestly can’t remember the last time an animated piece made me feel this tense and this on-edge. Pivot is a film I’m still not bored of watching, despite being in double figures in terms of viewings and surely that is the sign of a truly great short.

Editor on Short of the Week | Cohabiter on Directors Notes | Communicator at @kung_fuelvis
  • SotW: Pivot | Directors Notes

    [...] out my latest pick for Short of the Week, Pivot. ShareSHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "SotW: Pivot", url: [...]

  • » Short of the Week: Pivot

    [...] out the full review at Short of the Week Tags: Animation, Pivot, Short of the Week WHAT TO DO NOW? Post a comment or leave a trackback: [...]

  • Andrew S Allen

    I really enjoyed the movement of this film—the light trails and camera movements. It marks a new standard for animated chase sequences. And a solid story at that! Quite a treat.

  • Daniel Bottoms

    Very intense way of breaking down all the elements. Literally the angles ,music and the plot have pivot points. It over expresses things in a visual way unique to animation. It also is extremely efficient in how it shows a fight scene implied rather than bothering with the details. Excellent short animation.The minimalist approach makes it look very gritty.

  • Short: Pivot « nofilmschool

    [...] [via Short of the Week] [...]

  • Jason Sondhi

    Oooo. I’m a little behind on things, but that was wicked. I agree the chase sequence was superior. nice pick

  • Little Quentin by Albert 't Hooft & Paco Vink | Animated Short Film

    [...] and produced by Il Luster, a small Dutch production house that also lists director Andre Bergs (Pivot) in their collective, Little Quentin has already collected prizes at the Wiz Art and Shoot Me [...]

  • Oben by EMCA | Animated Short Film

    [...] but it feels very much influenced by the low-poly aesthetic in other stellar animations like Pivot and Between [...]