A vivid new talent in animation just out of NYU, Jack Wedge is the director of Goodbye Mommy, a surrealist, sci-fi, neo-noir fable about a hard-boiled but heartbroken detective whose new case takes him on the trail of a giant missing king and his tiny, adorable alien baby. It is now screening in an online preview.
The delirious short takes place in a far future equal parts Blade Runner and Bruegel the Elder, full of tough-talking gangsters, jaw-dropping neon vistas, and enough bizarre creatures and robots to fill several Star Wars cantinas, all meticulously designed by Wedge. The stunning worldbuilding illustrates the animator’s philosophy that movies can be as much about their setting as they are their characters.
“I like how the geography of the world can play a role in the story – like in a video game where you can switch perspectives to see the “map of the world”. I think that the environment of a story is also crucial for creating the mood of the characters, the feeling of the place. I tried to tie together how the cameras were moving around with the psychological vibes of the characters.” JACK WEDGE
Wedge developed the short’s aesthetic after taking a history of cinematography class at NYU in which he closely studied German expressionism and American film noir. Struck by how directors and cinematographers like Anthony Mann and John Alton worked with fragments of light while leaving vast parts of the screen in darkness, he began to think of cinematography in 3D space. Ultimately, this allowed him to plan the dizzying, ingenious angles, camera movement and lighting of Goodbye Mommy – while also incorporating his love of Federico Fellini, David Fincher’s Seven (1995) and French comic-book artist Moebius.
Wedge is the director of several 2D animations, including Tennessee (2017), music videos, and two shorts for Adult Swim, Domo is Late for Work (2018) and Domo is Put in the Mail (2019). He is currently working on a compilation of electronic music videos, and developing a new film with a focus on environmental storytelling and the climate crisis.
- Credits for
- Goodbye Mommy
- Sophie Koko Gate, John Bedford Lloyd & Chris Wedge
- written by
- Jack Wedge
- produced by
- Alanna Bayarin & Joshua Gleiser
- ARCA & Will Freudenheim
- Sam Beneitone, Dasychira, Will Freudenheim, Ben Shirken & Jack Wedge
- special effects
- Spencer Sherk