Today is the first day of the end of your life.

Airdate

Channel 4 - Monday 5th August 2013, 11.05pm

Awards & Achievements

Vimeo Staff Pick (2013)
Audience Award – Anibar (2014)
Best Drama/Fictional Programme nominee – RTS Midlands (2013)

Official Selections

Cut Out Festival - Querétaro, Mexico – 13-16/11/2014
Int. Short Film Festival of Cyprus – Limassol, Cyprus – 11-18/10/2014
Curtocircuito – Santiago de Compostela, Spain - 6-11/10/2014
Anim’est – Bucharest, Romania – 3-12/10/2014
World Festival of Animated Film – Varna, Bulgaria – 10-14/9/2014
3D Wire Animation Festival – Segovia, Spain – 2-5/10/2014
Encounters – Bristol, UK – 16-21/9/2014
Bornshorts – Bornholm, Denmark, 11-14/9/2014
Anibar Int. Animation Festival – Peja, Kosovo – 5-10/8/2014
Animation Block Party – Brooklyn, NY, USA – 26/7/2014
Anima Mundi – Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo, Brazil – 25/7-3/8 & 6-10/8/2014
Spike & Mike’s, Comic-Con – San Diego, USA – 24-27/7/2014
Fest Anca - Žilina, Slovakia – 18-22/6/2014
Huesca Int. Film Festival – Huesca, Spain – 16-21/6/2014
Northwest Animation Festival - Portland/Eugene, OR, USA – 15-25/5/2014
Pictoplasma - Berlin, Germany – 30/4-4/5/2014 (plus Q&A)
Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film – Stuttgart, Germany – 25/4/2014
Future Film Festival - Bologna, Italy – 1-6/4/2014
Flatpack Film Festival - Birmingham, UK - 22/3/2014
Stoke Your Fires - Stoke, UK – 7-11/3/2014
Mecal Festival Barcelona - Barcelona, Spain – 6-30/3/2014
London Comedy Film Festival - London, UK – 23-26/1/2014
London Short Film Festival - London, UK – 11/1/2014
Bradford Animation Festival - Bradford, UK - 13-15/11/2013
Klik! Amsterdam Animation Festival - Amsterdam, Netherlands – 12-17/11/2013
Malta Horror FilmFest - Zabbar, Malta – 31/10-3-11/2013
London Int’l Animation Festival - London, UK - 30/10/2013
Milano Film Festival - Milan, Italy – 5-15/9/2013

Screenings

Spike & Mike’s, Stan Lee’s ComiKaze – Los Angeles, USA – 31/10-2/11/2014
Spike & Mike’s, New York Comic Con – NY, USA – 12-19/10/2014
Bar Shorts / Overground Festival – London, UK – 26/6/2014
Friars Club Film Festival – New York, USA – 2/4/2014
Arts & Science Festival - University of Birmingham, UK - 17/3/2014
The Animation Spot - London, UK - 5/3/2014
Multivision - St.Petersburg, Russia – 30/10-10/11/2013

Press:

Interview with Skwigly

Review by the film’s commissioner, Chris Shepherd

British Comedy Guide’s Top 12 Online Comedy Films of 2013

One of Rik Mayall’s last projects: GuardianTelegraph, Metro, Huffington Post

Info:

July 2013   |   3:03min   |   Colour   |   Stereo   |   2D Drawn   |   Comedy

Screening & Distribution Enquiries:

For distribution enquiries contact: georg.gruber@magnetfilm.de

For screening enquiries contact: louis@diceproductions.co.uk

Links:

IMDB | PRESS KIT (pdf) | POSTER | BLOG

(Download high quality images from here as a .ZIP file.)

Credits:

A Dice Productions film in association with Lupus Films and Channel 4.

CAST:

Rik Mayall

Marc Silk

Myles McLeod

CREW:

Director – Louis Hudson

Writer - Ian Ravenscroft

Producer – Ian Ravenscroft & Louis Hudson

Associate ProducerEd Bye

MusicRob Connor

Sound Design Mark Ashworth

Animation – Louis Hudson, Ross Butter, Jo Hepworth, Ian Whittle

Animation Assistant – Alex Joliffe

 

Synopsis

A fast-paced comedy arguing the joys of being dead, aided by a montage of corpses and a dance-crazed Grim Reaper.

Long Synopsis (Spoilers):

A narrator cheerily argues the benefits of being dead, aided by a montage of corpses in everyday situations and a dance-crazed Grim Reaper. After delivering his positive spin, it is revealed that the narrator is in fact an airline pilot addressing his doomed passengers on a plummeting jet.

Disappointed with their lack of support, the pilot gives up and hypocritically jumps from the plane with the only parachute. The passengers will just have to find out for themselves. 

About:

Don’t Fear Death was commissioned as part of Channel 4′s Random Acts strand and stars the voice of comedy legend Rik Mayall (Young Ones, Bottom, Blackadder)

Ed Bye, director of Red Dwarf and Bottom, was also the Associate Producer on the film.

Director’s Statement:

*Edit June 2014: The sudden and tragic death of Rik Mayall has been a loss for generations of comedy fans and has robbed the world of one it’s most irreplaceable humans. The morbidly ironic fact that this film is now one of his last projects thankfully hasn’t been lost. It’s nice of people to think that this would have been a fitting two-fingers to the world on the way out. From my point of view it’s hard to tell if the humour of the film’s been tainted as Ian and I felt quite close to him. But maybe everyone else can just see his vast body of hilarious work and incredible life for what it is. I just keep hoping that he faked it and has been in on the joke the whole time.

The aim of this film was to twist the connotation of death in an absurdly positive way, while still making a rich, layered film that rewarded multiple viewings. Hopefully we’ve created a 3 minute film that you could happily watch on a loop for 15 minutes.

Starting with Ian’s great script, we weaved in as many jokes, visual gags and plot twists as we could. When Rik Mayall came aboard and added his glorious performance the ambition of all aspects of the production were raised. A lot of attention to detail was spent on the character animation, music and sound design to heighten every laugh and to bolster Rik’s voice at the forefront of the film.

Over 50 characters were created to make the film feel like it was exploring different aspects of a world, rather than just a series of isolated events. Using a brightly lit ‘90s throwback world full of lumpy worn people gave the film a grubby kitsch which felt right for a cast that are being eyed up as potential corpses.

While the film is a series of vignettes with a punchline, the actual plot is non-linear. When put in order it is about a criminally insane butcher who poses as a pilot so he can crash a plane. Although partly told in the real world, most of the scenes occur within the pilot’s imagination. Plane passengers are addressed to as he places them in scenes, and he envisions himself as the Figure of Death. 

Biographies

rik mayall

Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall was a British comedy icon and pioneer of the alternative comedy scene. In 2014 he suddenly and tragically did, leaving a legacy that has inspired generations of British comedians. He starred in shows such as The Young Ones, The Comic Strip, Blackadder, and Bottom, and he was the title character of the film Drop Dead FredDon’t Fear Death was, in true distasteful form, one of his last projects.

 

louis hudson

Louis Hudson – Director

Louis Hudson is a 2D animation director and co-founder of comedy collective Dice Productions. He has created work for UK Film Council, Channel 4, BBC Comedy, Warner Entertainment and Oxfam, having created an established YouTube channel with millions of views. He is also a steering member of local support network, Animation Forum West Midlands.

 

ian ravenscroft

Ian Ravenscroft – Writer/Producer

Ian Ravenscroft has written for UK Film Council, Channel 4, and BBC Radio 4 Extra and is currently producing short films for Channel 4. Ian is developing concepts with independent production companies and was recently selected for the Cofilmic Comedy Lab to develop a comedy feature film.

 

Mark Ashworth

Mark Ashworth – Sound Designer

Mark Ashworth is also known as ZnO Sound Design. His first piece of sound design was for BAFTA nominated Robert Morgan on he Cat With Hands and has since worked on all of Rob’s films. He has recently finished the horror feature, Entity. Mark’s music, including free downloads, can be found at: www.z-no.org.

 

rob connor

Rob Connor – Musician/Composer

Rob Connor is a recent graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire in Piano. He is now Head of Music at Birmingham based film production company Little Bad Wolf. His work can be heard on his personal site, robconnormusic.com

 

ed bye

Ed Bye – Associate Producer

Ed Bye is a director and producer best known for his work on Red Dwarf and Bottom. He also recently directed the sketch show Anna & Katy.