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Filmmaker spotlight: ‘Left To Cool’

Introducing Christopher Mansfield, who clinched second place in the Junior category at last year’s Very Short Film Festival with his animation, ‘Left To Cool’.

This animation is a gem that’s sure to bring a smile to your face. To all budding animators, let Christopher’s work inspire you!

At VSFF, our embrace of all genres is wholehearted, exemplified by Christopher’s wonderfully told story through the power of animation.

Dive into Christopher’s journey in his own words below.

What was the inspiration behind your film’s concept?

At the time I made this film, I had been creating lots of short animation clips inspired by animators like Guldies and Ben Treat from platforms like YouTube. The idea for this film came partly from trying to tell a story using some of the techniques I had learned from that.

Which filmmakers or films have influenced your style the most?

As a young filmmaker, my style is still evolving, and I enjoy exploring and trying new techniques. Recently, I’ve been really inspired by the Hilda adaptation on Netflix, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

What kind of impact or conversation do you hope your film initiates?

I hope my film surprises people, makes them laugh, and inspires some to try stop motion and create something, even if it’s just for themselves.

What aspect did you love most about being a finalist in the VSFF event?

Having the opportunity to meet so many new people who share my interest in film and learning from such great mentors was truly an amazing experience. It was my favourite part of the festival.


What was the most challenging aspect to animate, and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging part was definitely pouring tea with the teapot. To achieve the desired results in the finished version, I had to hold the teapot, which was really heavy, for about an hour each time. During this, I photographed and swapped out the different pieces of scrunched-up paper I was using to represent the tea. Propping my arm up with a block of wood significantly helped, but in the end, it still required multiple attempts before I was happy with the result. 

What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects or dreams?

I dream of making my own animated feature film one day, but for now, I’m continuing to practice with shorter projects. I’d also love to try 2D hand-drawn animation.

Congratulations, Christopher! Your passion, talent, and perseverance are truly inspiring. 

Watch ‘Left To Cool’ below and discover more about the making of it here.