The creation of the short film “Everything” is straightforward: slather on the words of Alan Watts, known British philosopher, on gameplay footage of a visually arresting game. The film, granted, is technically a promotion tool for the same-name video game, but it is also an effective piece of existential art. We know that the latter is true because film institutes take notice.
Bestowing the Jury Prize for animation shorts, the jury at the 2017 Vienna Shorts Festival says: “The “Jury Prize – Animation” goes to a film, which beyond being entertaining has a strong poetic and philosophical theme. It serves a highly educational purpose, including an important political statement, that encourages us to let our egos dissolve and gain a new perspective on the world. The award goes to “Everything,” by David OReilly.”
Apparently, The Academy has its eyes on it too. Although no confirmation comes from The Academy (yet), winning a prize at a film festival most certainly makes it qualified for the short film category. Being “qualified” for an Oscar simply means there is a definite possibility to get nominated. It is, however, important to note that everything I’ve rooted for, The Academy chooses to snub, but I have my fingers crossed.
OReilly, the filmmaker and developer behind Everything, of course, knows that making the short film is the best way to package his game. Everything, the game, in itself is existential as it allows you to play literally as everything on earth. Play as a bear, a cell, or a star—you name it, you can play as that thing. This effectively immerses you on perspectives completely alien to you. The effect is rather chilling in between bursts of giggles (when you play as a rolling bear).
Everything is available on the PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux platforms.