The wait is over! “In A Heartbeat”, an animated short about a young boy whose heart threatens to drag him out of the closet, is finally done and available to watch.
“In A Heartbeat” is a dialogue-free animated short that follows Sherwin, a boy deep in the throes of a crush on his oblivious classmate Jonathan. He moons over Jonathan but can’t get up the courage to share his feelings. Suddenly, his heart leaps from his chest. Will Sherwin be able to contain his heart before it gets him into trouble? Watch below and find out!
Many young LGBT+ people can empathize with Sherwin’s desperation. On top of the agony everyone feels during first love, LGBT+ kids have to worry about whether the object of their affections is also queer. There’s also the fear of harassment and bullying by other kids who don’t understand, or whose parents have taught them that being gay is wrong. Having a film like this, one that shows boys in love in a positive light, can help lessen those fears.
Creators Beth David and Esteban Bravo made “In A Heartbeat” at Ringling College of Art as part of their Computer Animation major. They tried to make a film “that deals with a real and personal topic in a very sweet and lighthearted way.” This was definitely a success: the finished film brought a smile to everyone in the room when we watched it. (There were also several high-pitched squeaking noises and one gasp.)
The project might not have drawn as much attention as it has, but as their animation neared completion last year David and Bravo decided to have a custom original score created. The pair turned to Kickstarter to raise the three thousand dollars needed to hire a professional composer. Their project charmed viewers (including your editors here at The Geekiary). People shared it back and forth, and by the time the campaign closed last November it had more than quadrupled its funding goal.
David and Bravo got their original score, and it is beautiful. The whole film is beautiful, with bright, smooth animation and a score that makes dialogue unnecessary. Every emotion is carefully rendered: Sherwin’s infatuation, the panic when his heart escapes, Jonathan’s awkward surprise, the other kids’ confusion that balances right on the edge of scorn without quite tipping over… Basically, it hits all the right notes to rip your heart out (and put it back).
The creators released “In A Heartbeat” for free, but they could use help getting it to festivals. Anyone who wants to help support the film can buy “In A Heartbeat” swag from their Redbubble store. You can also follow the project on their official blog.
What did you think of “In A Heartbeat”? Have you shared it with an LGBT+ kid in your life? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and game enthusiast. She can talk fandom in five languages, and her proudest nerd moment so far was presenting original research titled “Gender, Sex, and Werewolves” at an international anthropological conference. Her first game, None For Me, is due out from Calico Games early next year.
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