A captivating experimental animation packed with style, atmosphere and intrigue, Ollie Magee’s 3-minute festival favourite Fall delivers high on impact with its emotive, physical approach. Essentially attempting to tackle the meaning of life in its brief run-time, Magee’s striking animation may be one open to interpretation, but it is a powerful film sure to resonate (in some fashion) with all that view it.
Created over a 9-month period in TV Paint, Magee decided to avoid more traditional pre-production methods when it came to developing the story for Fall and instead opted for a more organic route. “I discovered the narrative by building, animating and editing seemingly random sequences together”, the director reveals. “While much of this animation went unused, I found certain scenes creating interesting conflicts when put together. A falling man. A busy city. In this way the story emerged”.
The image of the descending man is not only central to the development of the story, but is also key in the impact of Fall. Magee reveals his thoughts to us, noting that the film acts as a reminder that “life is short” and “we are all in free-fall”, and thus this vision of a plummeting figure is an allegory for the futility of life. While these metaphorical themes are resonant, it’s also hard not to be affected viscerally by the imagery. In particular we’re reminded of Richard Drew’s haunting photograph from 9/11, a reference that carries darker and more tragic undertones than perhaps Magee’s broader explanations would suggest.
With Fall now released online for all to enjoy, Magee is now concentrating his energy on two new short film projects. One a live-action Horror about a “hypochondriac tearing himself apart”, shot on Super 8, and the other an ink on paper animation which explores “a young man’s descent into hedonism”.