In A Heartbeat: Captivating Short Film with Pro-LGBTQ Message Goes Viral + Commentary
WHAT’D I MISS?:
Beth David and Esteban Bravo are both recent graduates from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. For their senior thesis, the two created an animated short film, In A Heartbeat, which went live two days ago, July 31, 2017. Not even they could have imagined the success that was to come.
As of Wednesday morning, the video has just surpassed six million (and counting) views and is ranked number fourteen on YouTube’s trending videos.
David told MTV News, “There’s fan art, and people are cosplaying it. They’re sending us GIFs and edits. That’s crazy! We’re blown away, and it’s so exciting.”
David and Bravo worked on the project for a year and a half, creating and animating, and then launched a Kickstarter campaign that surpassed their original goal of $3,000 by just over $11,000, amassing a total of $14,191. The funds were used to hire Arturo Cardelús, who composed the score for In A Heartbeat. The heartwarming story of strength and courage in the LGBTQ community almost didn’t come about, though.
“The original pitch was a story between a boy and a girl,” David told NBC News. “But it wasn’t until we made it about a same-gender crush that the idea really started to take form and resonate with Esteban and I. We realized that we had something that could potentially be really special to us.” Bravo said they also wanted to challenge the idea that LGBTQ themes were inappropriate for a younger audience.
“It’s an innocent and lighthearted story about a boy and his crush that we hope will resonate with younger people regardless of their background,” Bravo said. David and Bravo both called upon their own childhood experiences as inspiration and motivation for the film.
Bravo said, “We embodied our characters, and they embodied us. Our story in some way became theirs. After having made the film, it just felt like we had written a letter to our past selves.”
The story told in the film shows two young boys, one with an obvious crush on the other and trying his best to conceal it. The video runs for five minutes, and just as the creators hoped, is an innocent depiction of love between two people of the same gender. It is a fresh and necessary display of the LGBTQ community with the main characters being a part of said community.
Bravo said, “There have been a few nods to the LGBTQ community in recent children’s programming … but it’s very rare that an LGBTQ character is given the spotlight.”
TAKEAWAYS & THOUGHTS:
We often hear the expression that a particular speech or movie really “tugged at my heartstrings”, but this film kept my heartstrings taut to where if one had a rosined bow, they could play a symphony. In just a few short minutes, I felt all of my emotions; some even multiple times. I was angry at the heart constantly pulling the first boy around despite his reluctance, but once the story ended I was thrilled. My anger mainly stemmed from misplaced nervousness and fear; I was scared of the first boy approaching the other and nervous of what would happen when his heart drug him along.
In the entrance to the school, when the heart is between the two trying to keep them from parting, I realized the reality of that situation. The looks these two boys were getting from their classmates, looks of disgust and judgment, are the very reason why so many people are scared to come out today. Then the heart breaks and the first boy runs out of the school and hides, and I started thinking about how many relationships could’ve been or how many were lost because of societal judgment and disapproval. It’s heartbreaking in every sense of the word.
The ending was the perfect resolution to an amazing story that was beautiful in its simplicity and honesty. According to the creators, there were mixed reviews at the announcement of the project last year.
“When our Facebook page first launched, there was some backlash coming from the weird, angry part of the Internet,” David said. “But it pales in comparison to the kind and compassionate messages we’ve gotten since.”
What were your thoughts on this short-film? Share with me in the comments below.