AUTHOR: MEGAN MOLTENI.
LIFE IS FILLED with tiny defeats. Moments of scowling, sighing, face-palming frustration—like losing a spoon in a bowl of hot soup, or staring down a progress bar that never… fully… loads. You know the feeling. And so do the filmmakers, animators, and illustrators at Paris-based design studio Parallel. Unsatisfying is their beautifully rendered tribute to disappointment. The soft colors and slightly retro forms elicit a mix of nostalgia and vexation as fleeting as the video itself. “We tried to surprise people by creating warm, peaceful environments for each scene to accentuate the frustrating endings,” says Thibault de Fournas, the project manager for Parallel.
But Unsatisfying is more than just a misfortune montage. It’s also an invitation to join in the un-fun. Parallel is hosting an animation challenge, asking people to send in visual representations of the things that drive them crazy. The challenge is open to anyone and submissions can follow any style or technique. The only limitations are duration (1–10 seconds of animation), titles (opening and closing), size (1080 x 1080 pixels) and audio (no to music, yes to sound design). 24 hours in, the studio already has a few submissions and they’re excited to see what else shows up in the next week and a half.
On November 15, Parallel will post all the submissions online. While there aren’t any prizes, the end result will be a reward in and of itself, says de Fournas. “There are videos all over YouTube under the name ‘the most satisfying video in the world.’ We decided to simply do the opposite. It’s something that everybody knows and has lived at least once.”