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To Build a Fire


A man finds himself confronted with his own mortality and his inability to force Nature’s hand, for which he has to pay a great price.

To Build a Fire is a fully 2D animated short film made as a graduation project by Olivier Vanden Bussche at the RITS School of Arts in Brussels. It is based on a short story written by the famous writer Jack London more than 100 years ago and centers on a man who finds himself confronted with his own mortality and his inability to force Nature’s hand, for which he has to pay a great price.

I worked for 2 years on this short film in a little attic room which was pretty cold in winter(maybe helped me to feel what the character was feeling) and very hot in summer. It was a long and difficult process, in which I often questioned myself but in the end I tried to make a movie which I’d be moved by and would enjoy watching. I think I succeeded in doing that and hope other people feel the same way after watching this short.

The charming Disney-like style leaves us with a soothing expectation, while in contrast the harsh and frigid reality of the environment causes to us feel the stirring and tempering chills. To Build a Fire is beautiful and terrifying immersive animated experience… which makes us happy that spring is just around the corner!

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