My first-year animation project tells the story of a homeless tiger wearing a human mask.
‘The Tiger‘ tells the story of a tiger trying to enter into human society after having lost his home due to forestation. Yet, even disguised in a human-like mask he is viewed with suspicion and shunned.
The brief was focused on learning the preproduction process, so the film never passed its animatic stage. After putting forward a pitch for the story my coursemate Mollie Jones joined me in further developing the film.
MAKING MY FIRST PITCH
‘Day by Day‘ was the theme and the brief was to come up with a film idea to pitch to the class. I must admit I found the broadness of the topic a bit overwhelming at first.
But, choosing an aesthetic really helped me narrow it down. Having recently been to Japan I had aquired a great appreciation for traditional Japanese artwork. This definitely shone through in my early idea sketches and my choice to have a tiger as a protagonist, since it is a well used Asian motif. I opted to keep the rest of the cast human however, and I guess I ended up with a slightly darker version of “The Tiger who came to Tea“.
I understood the theme of ‘Day by Day‘ to be an exploration of daily lives. Most of us can expect a certain security in our day to day lives for things like food, housing and social integration. As a highly endangered species it is safe to say that tigers are in reality as in this fiction also living outside of these human privilges. Even though the tiger in the story has no harmful agenda and is disguised by a mask, I though the humans would still sense its otherness and act unwelcoming. The irony is of course that the tiger is not there by choice but by displacement due to human deforestation.
MY EARLY DESIGNS
These are the early character and environment designs I used in my pitch. I kept things purposfully simple to show the feasibility of my project if it were to be selected. Masks are really a wonderful thing - no facial animation!
My pitch was chosen (hooray!) and I got to further develop the project with my extremely talented classmate Molly Jones. Together we decided to rework the story and separately to further work on the characters and colours.
The complementary colours on the train, serve to underline the tigers inability to fit in.
Here are some shots we managed to finalise, featuring my backgrounds and Molly‘s characters.