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The life of a pampered gentleman is seamlessly automated by machines, but his orderly existence is thrown into chaos when he chooses to pursue a free-spirited woman, against the advice of his robot butler.

In this new short subject by Simon P. Biggs Steampunk, animation, and an existentialist crisis all come together in Simon Biggs’ short subject Widdershins.

Remarkably, Biggs has done most of the animation himself, as well as writing and directing. The character modeller was Martin McGhee, and the music was created and recorded by Giles Lamb. Will Adams and Rory Lowe produced.

The role of Mr. Widdershins was voiced by Brian Cox. The object of Mr. Widdershin’s desires, Miss Caprice, was voiced by Jam Gray.

The artistic style is one of photoengravure, a very common approach to printed artwork for publication in newspapers and advertising around the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. This approach firmly cements the Steampunk aesthetic in place, and I believe it is the first time I have seen this aesthetic used in animation with respect to 3D objects — 2D animation, certainly yes, the work of Terry Gilliam is practically made of the stuff, but production designer Scott Morriss has done something unique and wonderful with it.

The production of the film was supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and distributed by the Scottish Film Talent Network.

Will the horribly repressed Mr. Widdershins buck the system (and his robotic valet) and find true love? Watch and find out.

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