It is no secret that there is a ton of trash in the ocean. 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris, to be exact. We are taking steps forward to get rid of things we simply don’t need or replace with reusables—like metal straws, long-lasting bags, and other eco-friendly items. However, we still have a long way to go until we clean our planet of the trash we made.

Swiss filmmaker Pascal Schelbli created a powerful animated short film that highlights the issue of trash in the ocean. The short film shows what would happen if the waste in the ocean came to life and replaced the animals and creatures living in the ocean.

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The video shows a fantasy world in which the trash dumped out into the ocean becomes the new sea life

Image credits: Film Academy Baden-Württemberg

The artist told Bored Panda: “Sometimes I feel numb and powerless regarding this tragic topic about ocean pollution. So I had this little idea of what if plastic could be integrated into sea life?

It turned out that this little pipe dream could actually work and that I might set a sign even living far away from the ocean. And through a lot of sweat, tears, and the help of an amazing team, it became something which I am really proud of and something I want to share with the entire world.”

The Beauty

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

In the description of the video on the channel Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, the short film is described like this: “What if plastic could be integrated into sea life? The Beauty directed by Pascal Schelbli is a poetic journey through the oceans, which are simultaneously stunning and filthy. Discover a world where concerns and fears dissolve into the mysterious depth of the polluted blue sea.”

The short film is beautiful and ‘ugly’ at the same time. Of course, the idea of such creatures is pure fantasy; however, the threat to our oceans is very real.

The fish in the ocean are replaced by flip flops

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

We asked Pascal what inspired this project: “The trigger to do this film was our massive plastic pollution issue, which we get reminded of whenever we’re on a beach or social media. But instead of showing another mournful plastic stomach, I thought, ‘What if plastic could be integrated into the sea life and nature would solve the problem?’ With this irony, I was able to play around with our feelings of guilt and might impact the consumer behavior of somebody. Because we need to change something asap.”

The seaweed becomes straws

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

The whole project took around 20 months to finish and took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to do. Pascal told us more about the team that worked on this short film: “The main team was nine people (me as a director and CG artist, Marc Angele as a VFX supervisor, Aleksandra Todorovic, and Tina Vest as producers, Noel Winzen as a creature TD and animator, Lukas Gotkowski as a TD, David Dincer as the underwater cinematographer, Alexander Wolf David did the music and Robin Harff the sound design) and I had different helping hands at the film school. So, approximately 20 people were involved in the film.”

Coral reefs become plastic cutlery

Image credits: blee_tv

Pascal shared some thoughts on waste in the ocean and what he thinks we could do to lessen the impact we have on the planet and animals: “I changed my consumption behavior a lot because of climate change and I don’t want to judge anybody at all. But if we continue as we do right now, that path won’t have a bright future. I think less buying and consumption in our everyday life is very valuable to the environment and our health!  Support more local instead of the big corporations. Repair more. Grow more. Eat without single-use plastic and less meat. Travel by train. Change your electricity provider. There a few things we ‘can’ change, but we have to do it. The good thing is that there is a change going on! Especially younger generations have a different mindset about this topic. But my main impression is that society could do more for the environment.”

A pufferfish out of bubble wrap

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

My goal wasn’t to point fingers. It’s just that sometimes I feel numb and powerless regarding this tragic topic and through this film, I might be able to leave a silent impact on somebody who’s watching ‘The Beauty.’ I didn’t get negative feedback so far. Once somebody told me that they started to cry after watching the film, I was quite impressed.”

Discarded tires turn into eels

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

Pascal tells us more about himself: “I’m based in Zurich, Switzerland and I’m part of a small collective which consists of directors, 3D artists, animators, and motion designers. I work mainly as a 3D artist for other companies and directors. But through the success of my film, I’m able to establish my directing portfolio. Because I love telling stories with beautifully captured pictures, which are modified by a pinch of visual effects. Besides that, I’m often on, at, or around mountains.”

The jellyfish are plastic bags

Image credits: blee_tv

Image credits: blee_tv

Whales turn into water bottles

Image credits: blee_tv

13 million tons of plastic reach the oceans each year

Image credits: blee_tv

“There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea,” as per National Geographic. That is a ridiculously huge amount of trash. It is very important for us to start caring about our environment.

Image credits: blee_tv

What do you think of this film? Did it make you think about what the future of our oceans could look like? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to follow the creators on their social media. If you like indie films like these, go to Film Academy Baden-Württemberg‘s YouTube channel where you can find many more!

Some concept art for the underwater creatures

Image credits: blee_tv

Here is how they made the short film

 

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A post shared by Pascal Schelbli (@blee_tv)

Image credits: blee_tv