Vote! for a better future from Arne Hain on Vimeo.

As an election season that seemed to last a century comes to a close, we feature a piece meant to spread the word: Your vote matters! The project, “Vote! for a better future,” is by German director, Arne Hain. It was made during his time at Tippett Studios in California, where he worked on Phil Tippett’s fantasy short, “Mad God.” “It’s really more of a culmination of events,” said Hain, “and my way of protesting.

“The Studio is located in the Bay Area close to San Francisco. Every day I biked to work and on my way, I saw all the tent villages that homeless people had to build on the streets. Costs of living in California is immense and there is a lot of homelessness wherever you go. At the same time the government collected illegal aliens from their homes and stuffed them into detention camps. There was just so much social injustice all around me that I had to do something. So I made an animated short about everything I saw around me.”

What starts as an idyllic, diorama-type scene, with the innocent sounding jingle of the Mexican Hat Dance, soon turns dystopic as a UPS-like truck (reading Fed Up) pulls up and packages citizens up off the streets of their suburban neighborhood. What ensues is a disturbing dramatization of rising home prices and increased homelessness—families pouring out of homes they can no longer afford and piling up on streets to suffer fates as horrible as getting lit on fire and worse, with no help in sight. For anyone who has witnessed California’s rising homelessness problem, the illustration is very well done, and so, equally hard to watch.

“Phil Tippett was so kind to give me a corner of his stage,” said Hain, “and I started working on the project in my spare time. Two colleagues of mine, the amazing animator Chuck Duke and the long time fx DP, Jim Aupperle, joined and helped on the project. I decided to make the film as affordable and quick as possible, while still using real objects, so I used H0 scale miniatures that I bought online. That way I could bring my point across in a very simple but effective way.

“I worked on it for about one month every evening. In the end of 2019 I moved back to Germany, Jonathan Howe from Tumult Kollektiv did the sound design and really brought it to life.”