In issue 155 of 3D World we talk to director of student short Worlds Apart Michael Zachary Huber about how the effects of pollution on Earth prompted the creation of this heartfelt story. Watch the animation trailer here
Global warming, climate change and freak weather conditions are all signs of the impact humans have on Earth. New student short Worlds Apart follows this subject, telling the story of how man-made pollution contributes to the end of the human race. The desolate Earth is visited by aliens, who find a lonely teddy bear in an abandoned farmhouse in California. Using futuristic technology, they’re able to extract memories from the soft toy and learn how humans had once enjoyed happy existences, full of hopes, dreams and goodness.
The nine-minute short is the second film created by student group Project X of Cogswell College in California, and assistant professor Michael Zachary Huber. The idea for the short first came about as Huber contemplated his future. “A few years back, my wife was several months pregnant with our son and I was consumed with concern over the world in which we were going to be raising him,” he explains. “The environment and pollution are big issues with me. And being a sci-fi fan, the story just flowed out one evening.”
The characters followed shortly after the plot, with Huber designing them from the world around him. “I wanted the teddy bear to be that stuffed toy we all had as a kid,” he says. “As far as the aliens go, I wanted to go with amphibian types. On Earth they’re one of the species most susceptible to pollution as they breathe through their skin. And they’re also cute in their own way, which helps from an anthropomorphic perspective.”
With the plot decided, Huber took his idea to the Cogswell College students and production got underway. First they had to decide upon the short’s overall visual style. “There were many inspirations for the film’s look,” Huber explains. “In particular, I found some great pastoral paintings of central California that were done over 80 years ago, perfect for the look of some of our more idealised scenes.”
You can read more about the technical process behind Worlds Apart in issue 155 of 3D World magazine.