“The Alchemist’s Letter” is an animated short film in which a young man explores his late father’s lab and learns all about his father’s arcane invention, a device that can turn objects into gold, but at the price of his most precious memories. The short combines gorgeous steampunk elements with the gravitas of John Hurt’s narration with magical results. It tells two parallel stories – one of a father who sacrificed his memories to a machine capable of transforming metals into gold in the name of greed and a second about a son who is faced with the decision of whether or not to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Funded through KickStarter, the short film was created by team of artists from LAIKA, which isn’t surprising given the mesmerizing beauty of the piece. Daniel Casey of Boxtrolls and Coraline served as the film’s art director. “Getting the film this far has been the greatest journey of our lives,” the team wrote on their Kickstarter page. “We’ve been working on it for nearly 5 years and have battled every single day to keep it alive.”
It’s a testament to the power of KickStarter that a film of this quality that might never have seen the light of day has been released free to the world.
“A visually rich, darkly inventive fairy tale directed by former Student Academy Award® finalist Carlos Andre Stevens.
Starring 2-time Academy Award® nominee John Hurt (V for Vendetta, Alien, Hellboy, The Elephant Man, Midnight Express) and up-and-coming star Eloise Webb (Cinderella, The Iron Lady).”