Most people have already heard about this acclaimed animated short film, but in case you haven’t, In a Heartbeat is one of the most watched videos of the moment. But how did this piece of animation and the concept behind it originate?

Esteban Bravo and Beth David are behind this original project that has already received several festival awards. They are two senior Computer Animation majors from the Ringling College of Art and Design, and In a Heartbeat constitutes their thesis film. This project is the result of four whole years of education at school and tons of hours of hard work. 

Back in 2016, in January, a friend of Esteban and Beth pitched to them one idea for a short film: a young boy whose heart popped out of his chest, and took an anthropomorphic shape. In order to be able to work on this project and turn this idea into a reality, they set up a Kickstarter funding page.

In less than three hours, they surpassed their initial goal of $3,000. Thanks to 416 pledgers, they raised over $14,000 in funds for the project. Since they were already in mid-production for the film production, they initially shared some material like screenshots, character design sheets, sketches, color tests and 3D character renders of the protagonists of the clip, called Sherwin and Jonathan. 

Once the project had enough funds, they would work non-stop until last Spring, when the film was ready and ready to be released. Even though the film is only 4 minutes long, when you watch it you’ll understand that great animation, character design, storytelling and music take their time.

On May, an online trailer was released for the film, and it spread quickly over many media platforms. The plot was simple: Sherwin, a shy boy, has a crush on schoolmate Jonathan but tries to hide his feelings. Everything changes when Sherwin’s heart pops out of his chest and then starts causing a lot of trouble for him! The Internet fell in love with the premise, and awaited the final release date which was set for the 31st July.

The moment the short was released, it immediately went totally viral. The animated short, featuring Sherwin and Jonathan’s love story, received an overwhelming and warm praise due to the combination of beautiful animation, its message and the emotional resonance that it produced in the public. The short has already reached over 28 million views and they just keep growing. 

Esteban and Beth have always been inspired by the films that they grew up watching: Finding Nemo and A Bug’s Life being some of them. They were so surprised and overwhelmed by the success of their first film! 

Their senior year film project was developed with completely creative freedom, and it’s a great thing that they were that lucky, because there’s nothing to change about the outcome! The film has become so popular that quickly after its release people started creating fan art, fan-fiction and all sorts of custom merchandise. 

For the future, they have thought about the possibility of creating a series of shorts with the In a Heartbeat concept, but for the time being they’re just enjoying the success of their project and working to further improve their skills and knowledge. We hope to see more of their work in the future!

Learn more by visiting the film’s page.