As Armistice Day approaches Layla asks that we remember. Trunk’s director Layla Atkinson has animated Siegfried Sassoon’s moving and very personal poem ‘Aftermath’. The poem reminds the reader to never forget the horrors of war. Although Sassson survived the war the awful things that he witnessed, would change him forever. He has since been recognized as a leading poet of the First World War.
One of his most famous poems ‘Aftermath’ written in 1919 asks if the terrors of war have been forgotten. He writes “Have you forgotten yet?…. Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget”. This powerful poem, in the early years of the century, was broadcast on Armistice Day to add force to the meaning of remembrance.
Trunk’s Layla has created a beautiful and moving short to accompany the poem. In its own way, it pays tribute to Sassoon whilst visually following the poem’s narrative. We see a clear peaceful spring day brutally transform to the hell of the front line at Mametz. Layla was drawn to the poem as it clearly and fiercely reinforces a simple and awkward truth. She notes ‘”Our studio when flooded by sunlight and the sounds of children playing outside it is all too easy to forget the horrors of war. We need poets whose words are powerful enough to reach across decades to hold us in check and make us grateful and watchful of our peace. Sassoon’s poem I feel is one such work”.
The short was composited in After Effects using a variety of hand-drawn lines, textures, and elements. By using the language of cubist imagery seen in such works as Juan Gris’s ‘The Bottle of Banyuls’ Layla cleverly roots the poem in the period in which it was written. This is reinforced by her use of a washed subdued palette that skilfully captures the post war era. The wonderful Julian Rhind-Tutt narrates the poem whilst music was by Dom James, Barnaby Templer at Fonic created the sound design.
The short was funded by Trunk Animation as part of it’s ongoing mission to foster and develop creative talent.
Director- Layla Atkinson
Producer- Richard Barnett
Poem- Siegfried Sassoon
Animation- Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits, John Harmer, Rok Predin, Jocie Juritz, Jacob Read, Clelia Leroux
Music- Dom James
Mix- Barnaby Templer
Narration- Julian Rhind-Tutt