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Stigma

OBJECTIVE

Undergraduate Pre-Thesis project - Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology. Create a short animated film based on the concept of Science fiction. Can be interpreted metaphorically or literally and usage of any medium to animate is allowed. 

DESCRIPTION
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The 3-minute animated film is the Pre-Thesis project that focuses on a moment of a girl's life from Kerala, India. That particular moment after when she comes out to her parents as a homosexual.

The 2d movie captures her vulnerable walk from her garden, after her revelation and back to her room. It consists of shifts between her inner emotional turmoil and the mundane events that are happening around her as she walks. This movie solely focuses on conveying the pure feeling of agony through colours and sounds with no dialogues.​​​​​​​

DELIVERABLES

Animated movie

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CONTEXT

Science fiction by itself is a very broad genre, imagining and speculating a probable course that humankind may or may not take in the future. Embedded into the fiction are minute details, leading the audience to extract a bigger notion of the weak infrastructures of our society and its norms and how it will affect us with time. Vulnerability and discovering yourself happens to be one of the heavily focused areas in the theme of science fiction. Revealing and exposing oneself, whether to an alien race or to even our immediate family is always considered a weakness of sorts, afraid to be manipulated or judged, whatever the context maybe. 

The project solely centres around this emotion, taking it a step further, into a more personal and intimate space and to embrace this feeling, letting it see the light and to accept oneself.

 

What started off as an exploration into Science fiction, brought me to a topic that is sensitive within the LGBTQ community. 

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Pre Production

STORY

The project tells us a story about a young girl living in the state of Kerala, her sexuality constrained within the walls of societal judgement, religious concerns and homophobia, and thus it becoming her biggest weakness, her biggest Vulnerability.  It focuses on a moment, a paramount unravelling of her feelings after she finally comes out to her parents and her walk back to her room.

 

The animation consists of shifts, back and forth between the mundane objects she passes by and then a reflection of the tidal wave of emotions she is going through in that moment.

Simple actions such as the grinding of the coconut morphs into multiple hands clawing at her throat, leaving it dry and parched. Movements of the table fan morphs into a vortex that resides in the centre of her chest, ripping her insides apart. The opening of a door that morphs into her falling from a height and into the water that later transforms into water dripping from the ceiling and into utensils. Utterly normal actions that can be witnessed on a daily basis in a household in Kerala.

 

She enters her room and reflects on her situation, about how she is in love with another woman when her mother snaps her out of her thoughts. It ends with a tight embrace, the mother accepting her for who she is.

 

Vulnerability is often mistaken as a downside, especially for the simplest of things. My intention is to combine it with something so natural, like one’s sexuality, something that’s sadly frightening in our society where it is considered downright illegal. The first step for someone in such a situation is to accept themselves and then open the gates for the people around them to understand and wake up.

INSPIRATION

The animated clip draws inspiration from mundane yet very culture specific happenings to the state of Kerala. Whether it was the grinding of the coconut of water dripping from the ceiling into metal vessels. These are all personal sightings and settings. Kerala happens to be my native land, a place I visit frequently to visit my relatives.

 

Kerala also happens to be a very conservative state in terms of the LGBT community. Hence I deemed it important to show that these issues exist everywhere.

 

To come out to your parents who are raised in such communities is the hardest task and I wanted to show some, if not all, the overwhelming emotions a person can go through when they reveal themselves.

ANIMATIC
CHARACTER DESIGN
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Production & Post Production

SCENES

1) "Exposing" herself as she reveals her sexuality to her parents, leaving her vulnerable.

2) SHIFT from the main grinding coconut (colour) to the nails scratching the inside of throat (B&W)

3) SHIFT from table fan (colour) to the tornado ripping her insides apart (B&W)

4) SHIFT from opening her bedroom door (colour) to the feeling of falling (B&W) SHIFT to water dripping into vessels (colour)

5) SHIFT from window (colour) to flashbacks of past (B&W)

6) Mother hugging the main character.

RESOURCES

The animation is in 2D, momentary shifts between heavily coloured & textured art to simple black and white line art.

This is to create a drastic difference between the main storyline and the parallel emotional storyline the protagonist is going through. The heavily textured animation being the physical storyline and what the main character is doing. The black and white line art is to portray the internal chaos of the main character. Morphing between the two different storylines is the nucleus of the animation, making the audience feel her emotions quite literally.

 

This will be accomplished using Photoshop for drawing. Visual effects will be then added to polish and combine the shots using After Effects.

 

Since the animation is purely based on making the audience feel it on a sensory basis, with no voice-over or dialogues or music, many of the sounds will be recorded and then combined and finished on Audition.

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SOFTWARES USED -

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Animate

Adobe Audition

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