Left the oven on? Forgot to lock the front door? We’ve all experienced those consuming thoughts when we leave the house and can’t remember if we remembered to complete that important final task before stepping over the threshold. Frederic Siegel takes this relatable and universal experience and develops it into a fascinating and unique narrative with his his 5-minute film Ruben Leaves
Inspired by the experiences of Siegel and some of his family members, it seems all it took was one particular incident to light the creative fuse of this filmmaker and inspire this 5-minute animation. “We all have those weird, little obsessive compulsions”, Siegel says, “like, right after leaving the house, we need to go back, checking if the front door is really locked. One day, when I had to walk back again, the idea to turn this habit into my graduation project struck me like a lightning”.
Created over an 8-month period with Siegel producing most (he did have some help from other students at his school) of the animation himself in TVPaint and After Effects, though the premise for Ruben Leaves may seem simple the execution and style of the piece means the end product is anything but. In fact, what the animator has created is a surprisingly engaging short that hooks you in with its easily relatable subject, but keeps you watching with the inventive direction (and gorgeous aesthetic) it takes its storyline.