“Wind-Up” — Animated Short About Love, Loss, and Music

Nell Minow
5 min readFeb 2, 2021

Yibing Jiang’s animated short, “Wind-Up,” is a wordless story of a father and daughter, connected by love and by a tune that he plays to her as he sits by her bed in a hospital, where she lies unconscious. Somehow he hopes it will bring her back to him the way he used to hum it when they were playing hide and seek to help her find him.

The touching film is available on YouTube.

Writer/director Yibing Jiang and animation director Jason Keene talked to me about creating the film in a pandemic, bringing together artists from around the world and a variety of different disciplines, with the aid of Unity, new technology that makes instant rendering possible.

Yibing, I know you’ve made films before, but you say this is the first time you’ve been a “real director.” Why is that?

Yibing Jiang: I was born and raised in China, and at that time, there was no animation industry. My parents only want me to be either lawyer, doctor, or engineer. So, in engineering school, I have to use my spare time to making animations. At that time, I needed to persuade my parents, you know, I need the computer can run [the animation program] Maya, and they said, “Your computer, good enough.” So, at night, I had to stay in the bathroom until the security guy’s gone and I sneak out and use the computer in the lab to create animation. Even now I sleep really late. So, I spend a lot of time to do short films without proper education. But then when I got in US, I got in SVA in New York City and got proper education of animation. And I made a thesis, a short film, directing myself. This is the first time we actually have a budget and have a producer and have many people working on this. So, that’s why I say I am a real director this time.

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Nell Minow

Movie critic, corporate critic and shareholder advocate, Contributing Editor at @ebertvoices plus @moviemom, and #corpgov #movies and editor at @miniverpress