In a Heartbeat is an animated short film in which a closeted boy tries to hide his heart – literally – from the boy of his dreams. You see, his heart appears from his chest and chases after him.
Since its release on July 31, 2017, the short has gained a massive following and is currently trending on YouTube for its heartfelt themes (pun intended).
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. In a Heartbeat Is a Thesis Film For Two Ringling College of Art & Design Graduates
In a Heartbeat was created by Beth David and Esteban Bravo, two graduates from the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. The film is their senior thesis.
David’s Twitter account lists her as an animator on Ask the Storybots, an original series on Netflix.
MTV News writes that David and Bravo split the work on the film evenly. Both took the lead on animating individual sequences, with David animating the Sherwin and Bravo animating his crush Jonathan.
2. The Film Was Funded on Kickstarter
David and Bravo told MTV that pre production of In a Heartbeat began in January of 2016. They then launched a Kickstarter page on November 15, 2016 in order to get the necessary funds to hire a composer and a sound designer.
The Kickstarter had a goal of $3,000 with a stretch goal of $2,000 for a live studio ensemble for the soundtrack. However, by the time the funding period ended in December it received $14,191 from 416 backers.
MTV writes that they hired Arturo Cardelús as the composer and Nick Ainsworth as the sound designer.
The film was set to release in Spring of 2017. Had the Kickstarter failed, it would have been completed but without music.
3. The Filmmakers Felt that LGBT Themes Weren’t Explored in Computer Animation
In the Kickstarter page, David and Bravo write that In a Heartbeat was not only a culmination of their four years of study, but also an expression of something not explored in computer animation.
They told MTV that while the idea for a heart popping out of someone’s chest was always the central idea, the boy’s crush was originally going to be a girl. However, they made the decision early on to have two boys as the duo felt a deep, personal connection to the idea.
“It was very important for both of us,” David told MTV. “It resonated with us very personally. We always say to each other that it’s the kind of thing we wish we had when we were kids, something positive we wish we could have seen on screen.”
Bravo added that “A lot of people have been yearning to see this kind of relationship portrayed not only in media but in animation,” Bravo said. “People are very excited, and a lot of LGBT people who needed this kind of representation finally see themselves represented, and that inspires them.”
In the book LGBTQ Stats by David Deschamps and Bennett Singer, they cited a 2016 study by GLAAD that examined feature film releases from seven major Hollywood studios as will as films from four major subsidiary studios. Of the 126 films analyzed, 22 films (17.5 percent) contained LGBT characters. GLAAD counted 47 LGBT characcters among all mainstream movies in 2015.
4. People Are In Love With It & It’s Trending on YouTube
On YouTube, In a Heartbeat is currently trending at the fourth spot and has over 3,600,000 views. The video also has over 470,000 likes with only 17,100 dislikes.
The film’s official Facebook page has over 120,000 followers.
The film has received many awards as well as festival showings as listed in the thumbnail of the video, including the 2017 Jury Award at NCGLFF and the Alumni Choice Award at Trinity Film Festival.
Twitter is flooded with people’s love for the film, praising its artistry and relatable themes.
It’s safe to say that the film has indeed inspired people as Bravo said.
5. People Are Begging For a Feature Film
Many fans have expressed interest in a full feature-length film starring the two boys in the short.
The Duo told MTV that they both plan to continue their partnership and create more things together as they pursue careers in animation.
As for continuing the story of the two boys, they don’t have any official plans yet but it’s still possible that they’ll revisit the characters and their story.