DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45
A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.
The Next Day
An austere animated web documentary in which four people who attempted but failed to commit suicide explain what drove them to their desperate act.
“If you’re feeling these emotions, you can’t just wait until the next day.” Nevertheless, this is exactly the idea behind this austerely animated web documentary. About a million people kill themselves every year, and there are no fewer than 19 million failed suicide attempts. What if these people had waited 24 hours to let their decision sink in? Perhaps they would have changed their minds.
The Next Day is a cross-platform project consisting of a ground-breaking graphic novel and a separate interactive website. The basic, almost childlike drawings are made by comic book maestro John Porcellino, who struggled with severe depression for years. While his lines in black felt-tip pen unfurl on a beige background, four survivors tell their life stories, full of broken homes, bipolar disorder, problems with addiction and excessive pill-popping. After every audio fragment, a number of options appear, marked by keywords such as “accident,” “family” or “molested”; depending on your choice, you will either continue with the same story or switch to a different protagonist. These distinct puzzle pieces combine into an increasingly complete portrait of what brought these people to the point where they felt they had no choice. Meanwhile, the animations get more and more ominous: dark clouds gather around the freestanding house with its connotations of safety. The suicide attempt is getting near. The sun can return only after it has been performed, when the protagonists explain how they got their lives back on track.
Co-written by a social worker turned playwright, directed by a filmmaker, illustrated by an acclaimed fine artist and cartoonist, and developed for the web by an award-winning animation and technical production team, The Next Day is an exciting new hybrid of documentary film, animation, comic book and interactive storytelling.