HSE University Graduates Launch Interactive Project about Ecological Apocalypse
HSE University graduates Victor and Victoria Kravchenko have created an animated blockbuster, ‘The Last Days of Trash’, which recently premiered on the 2x2 TV animation channel. The heroes of the series are three pieces of trash who dream of escaping from the tip.
Victor Kravchenko is a graduate of the ‘Media Management’ Master’s programme and Victoria holds a degree in Multimedia Journalism. In 2018 the couple founded a studio called ‘DIKIDIGITAL’ to develop TV series, brand content and experimental interactive projects. These two HSE University graduates are the authors and directors of ‘The Last Days of Trash’ project. It was launched in October on the 2x2 YouTube channel and on the channel’s interactive platform.
The animated series ‘The Last Days of Trash’ tells the story of three pieces of unwanted rubbish: a cellophane romantic called Packet, an old styrofoam grouch called Peno and a plastic straw activist called Tru, all three of whom dream of getting out of an illegal rubbish tip. Our heroes set off on an exciting journey, trying to save the world from ecological disaster. On the interactive platform, viewers can follow the plot and also make decisions, each of which are assessed in terms of their ecological impact.
According to Victoria Kravchenko, the idea for the project came to her and her husband (the co-author of the series) out of the blue. Having decided to sort their rubbish, they faced some problems — it was hard to figure out how to separate the rubbish, and where to put plastic, glass and metal for recycling.
‘We were shocked by how much rubbish we generate,’ says Victoria. When Victor took the rubbish to be sorted he saw a skip full of plastic. It looked as if the bottles were trying to escape. That’s how the idea of this ecological blockbuster was born; three scraps of rubbish, dreaming of escaping from the tip. We were unstoppable — how can you write a story about rubbish and not make it a fight against an ecological apocalypse? It’s a great counterpoint’.
Victoria Kravchenko also said that the creation of the interactive animation has made their lives more environmentally friendly: now they also sort the rubbish in their studio office, and there is even a rubbish collection calendar hanging on the wall.
The series has received positive reviews from viewers, and YouTube commenters have praised its creators. The authors themselves didn’t expect such great feedback. ‘YouTube commenters are on our side! – noted Victoria Kravchenko. — The planet has a chance!’
This year’s Big Animation Festival featured a number of films by HSE Art and Design School students and curators. Out of 1,501 applications received from 89 countries, the Festival jury selected 95 films to participate in the Russian competition and 90 for the foreign one. Twelve works by students of the Bachelor’s Programme ‘Animation and Illustration’, as well as six animated films by curators of HSE University Art and Design School made it into the competition. HSE News Service spoke with some of the participants about making video clips for popular musical groups, inspiration, and the importance of festivals.
Cult Film Characters and a Bicycle Projector: How HSE Art and Design School Alumnae Created Video Clips for Moskino
Animation artists Katya Mikheeva, Yulia Kulikova, and Ekaterina Zhuzhleva (Design, ‘20) created animated video clips outlining cinema patron rules for Moskino, an organization that manages 14 cinemas in Moscow. Yulia Kulikova and Katya Mikheeva spoke with the HSE News Service spoke about their artistic choices and what drew them to animation.
On the 250th anniversary of the birth of Russian writer Ivan Krylov, third-year students of the programme ‘Animation and illustration’ (supervised by Elena Kitaeva) of HSE School of Art and Design revamped and gave new meanings and forms to the works of the writer. They prepared 10 short animated films based on his fables that will be aired on the TV channel ‘Culture’ (‘Kultura’) throughout the week.
A second-year student in the Animation and Illustration course at HSE’s Art and Design School, Ekaterina Mikheeva (curator Alexey Ermolaev), was named a prize-winner at the 23rd Open Russian Festival of Animated Film, which takes place annually in the city of Suzdal.