The Life-Long Search for Happiness — in a One-Minute Shortby Stephen Roth
Got an issue? Maybe the cable provider jacked up your monthly rate by $20, or you couldn't find goji berries at your favorite organic grocery store? Maybe you're bummed about the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, or overwhelmed about which Netflix true-crime documentary to watch next? These are known as "first-world problems," and we've all sheepishly complained about them from time to time. This level of dissatisfaction from relatively affluent people is what inspired Raghav Arumugam to make his darkly humorous short animation, "Too." The film's protagonist just can't seem to find anything that makes him happy, no matter what he tries.
"Too" was one of 10 finalists and semi-finalists in the first-ever GoComics Short Shorts Animation Contest. You can view all 10 of these witty and wonderful animated features by clicking here.
GoComics: What inspired you to create this animated short? How did you come up with the idea?
I honestly got the idea listening to people constantly complain about their incredibly comfortable lives. I realized that no one is happy with the situation they're in, and I found that very funny. That's where the germ of the idea came from. I had initally thought of it as a short comic with the snail and human, but as I started drawing it, it became more clear as a short film.
GoComics: Who are your biggest creative influences?
My biggest influence has to be Bryan Lee O'Malley, the creator of the Scott Pilgrim series. Before him, I only knew of superhero comics and cartoons. He was one of the first artists I noticed when I was a kid, and I realized that there are visual stories (comics or otherwise) other than superheroes. That gave me the drive to do my own work based on my own personal style and life experiences. That's not to say I don't love superhero comics.
GoComics: What is your all-time favorite animated feature?
My all-time favorite feature would have to be "A Cat in Paris," which is a French animated film from 2010. It's a great, hilarious little film that has some very unique visuals and animation. It's got a great, liquid motion style to its motion that I find absolutely mesmerizing.
GoComics: What is the most challenging part of the animation process for you?
Hmm. It's all pretty challenging, to be honest. I guess the most challenging aspect would be editing the story into something that's tight and efficient. I hate having a film/story that's full of unnecessary fat, so I guess the most challenging but also most fun part of the process is trimming the fat.
GoComics: What do you envision yourself doing in five years?
Hopefully running my own studio, making original content. I would love to go back to India and start a studio there.
GoComics: How did you learn about the Short Shorts contest? Why did you decide to participate (besides the $25,000 grand prize)?
One of my ex-professors from college told me about it. I thought it was a great platform and my film felt like it would fit there.