ABANDONED feature image (by Emilia Schneider)


An award winning animated film centered around a sibling dispute

Within the reminiscent setting of an abandoned swimming pool, two siblings are faced with their childhood trauma. Twisted emotions, long banished to the watery depths of the pool floor are about to resurface.


The story of ‘Abandoned‘ takes place in a derelict swimming pool. In the time it was still up and running a tragic casualty occured there. A young boy jumped off the highest diving tower and in a freak landing died upon impact. That is the last memory Josie and Max have of their brother.

Josie still regularly visits the spot to feel closer to her deceased sibling. Max on the other hand can´t wait to escape his still grief stricken family and as the elder of the two is ready to move out. In the process of clearing out his room which he formerly shared with his younger brother, he also threw away much of his stuff. This point sets off an argument with his sister Josie, when he comes to find her at the pool. Long held resentments come out including Josie´s most bitter accusation which is that it was Max who convinced their brother to make the dive in the first place. A long supressed part of her holds blame for Max in their brother´s death. After this heavy accusation Max leaves Josie standing alone in the run down swimming pool.


The surreal imagery and major colour changes don‘t merely exist for aesthetic purposes, but also help convey the feelings of the protagonists. Since there is no change in location the temporal colour shifts bring a visible three part stucture to the film, setting the tone for each act. Part one is sunny and green showing Josie‘s calm and relaxed state. Part two is tinged in the reddish hues of the setting sun providing the stage for a heated argument. Finally, for part three the protagonists are enveloped in darkness reflecting the bitter end to their encounter.

This POV shot of Josie putting the substance to her mouth provides an effective transition to a different colour and signifies how long she was sat by the pool. It was also a fun place to break the style a bit since it was playing from her perspective.

colour transition


These are the colour ideas I had before and after making the colour script. Since the option was available, I decided that colourful skin would be a visually interesting choice.

final colours


My first storyboards were roughly scribbled on post-it notes, but this was my final one. Having everything on one page was super helpful for planning purposes since each panel represented its own shot.