Studio Kiln have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their beautifully animated film, Waterbeing
When not working on vibrant brand identities, the team over at Studio Kiln have been quietly developing and producing a personal venture – their first film. Titled ‘Waterbeing,’ the eight-minute animated film uses music and moving image to tell the story of a woman who learns to love herself, and survive in a world that feels sink-or-swim, through swimming. To bring the story to life, the Penryn-based studio joined forces with animator and illustrator Glenn Young, producer Harvey Hayman and motion designer/animator Miguel Rodrigues.
Created at a slower pace than previous projects, the carefully-considered and mindful approach to both the story and production finds some origins in Studio Kiln Founder Charlie Hocking’s personal experience. As he explains on the film’s Kickstarter campaign page, “Waterbeing is a very personal project to me and a story I feel is relatable to many. We’ve all experienced the pressure to perform or to race to the finish line. Only then finding that we’re not entirely happy when we get there.”
“Working in the creative industry, I was always slightly dismissive of slowing down,” Hocking continues. “It felt like defeat. After taking a step back from this world in 2020, I was surprised to find equally fulfilling ways to work and remain creative, all the while making time for myself and those that I cared about.”
The film’s signature look, with a minimalist yet authentic feel, can be credited to the illustration style of Glenn Young. “Glenn was on the project from the start,” Hocking explains, “he is a fantastic animator but surprised us all with how talented he was as an illustrator too.” Early ideas for the character’s designs suggested a look as if they had been sculpted by the water, highlighting the contrasts between the two women in the film. “The younger swimmer needed to feel fast and aggressive, her limbs and face drawn out by the water,” Hocking notes. On the other hand, the older swimmer takes a more considered approach to the water. “Instead of attacking it,” he continues, “she lets it support her, so her features are more rounded and soft.” These aesthetics are enhanced with a high-contrast colour palette of whites, greys and blacks. Meanwhile, hand-drawn textures and line strokes provide warmth and humanness.
In the film’s promotional posters, the lone swimmer is stood facing the overwhelming depth of the water, embodied by the bold and imposing typography of the title. The typeface used on the poster is Klim Type Foundry’s Manuka – Hocking tells us that the team were keen to use a condensed typeface, accentuating the depth of the water. “Manuka is really beautifully drawn, whilst also remaining super blocky and dense,” he reveals, “that allowed us to tell the story of our protagonist’s relationship with the water – a dark mysterious entity, that reveals its beauty upon further inspection.”
Due to the small scale of the team, Hocking and Studio Kiln are aiming to reach a goal of £6,500 to cover the remaining costs of production and ensure that all work is compensated fairly. Backers of the campaign can receive charming rewards: from swimming badges that nod to the nostalgia of learning to swim, to film posters and giclée prints.