Headless Population: Review

From the soothing sounds of the coast to the roar of rush hour, Catriona Carswell’s short film ‘Headless population’ will leave you contemplating- Just how hooked are you?

Headless Population: Review

The film’s premise is to look at how technology has impacted the world we live in exploring, in just 2 minutes 50 seconds, the stark contrast between how we connected with the natural world around us to the modern-day world with its promise of improved ‘connection’ in an entirely different way. 

With Matisse-esque imagery, Carswell utilises the colours of each scene to reflect the ongoing story. By using a mix of pastel and vibrant shades to create an upbeat atmosphere, we can observe a very clear change as the colours begin to drain leaving us with more dulled and dark animation evoking a more depressive feeling as we shift our focus to the now.

Catriona Carswell has also done an excellent job with the music production, the sweet chimes at the opening of the film subtly build to something much more impatient, panicked and destressing, reinforcing the message that she is trying to send.

One thing I particularly enjoy about ‘Headless Population’ is how she has managed to express her concerns very powerfully without it feeling overwhelming and critical. I feel this is due to her decision to use simplistic character with little detailing as to not distract from the key message. I also think by doing this it makes it easily understandable and accessible for a range of ages. In saying this however, as a member of the younger generation the comparatives are somewhat lost having only ever known a world abundant with smart devices.

In conclusion, I enjoyed this short narrative and it certainly stayed with me for some time after having watched it. Will you be blown away by the complex character developments? No. Is this a film with lots of dialog and action? No. However the film delivers all it needs to, tightly packed in a bite-sized chunk, with the promise of an interesting ‘twist’ at the end. The film certainly entices you to rewatch and each time you do, more aspects and clever animation cues reveal themselves. You will notice clear links back to the pieces title, which is interesting to watch unfold, and I would say well worth 174 seconds of your time.

Header Image Credit: Catriona Carswell


Carmen Wiggan

Carmen Wiggan

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  • Dayna Jeynes

    On 20 May 2024, 08:32 Dayna Jeynes commented:

    This looks interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sienna James

    On 23 May 2024, 15:50 Sienna James Voice Team commented:

    What an interesting style of animation - one to check out. :)

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