This year we were thrust head first into the project I have been looking forward to every since I first joined the course in 2014. Over three years I had compiled a long list of ideas for an animated short (which is what I really wanted to make). These most of these projects included dragons which would be an absolute nightmare to animate, especially for a longer project. However, I did want the theme of the short film to be something that I personally care about and that I would be invested in over the 10 months or so of production.
I talked to my teammate, Callum Luckwell, about what kind of story he would like to tell. He expressed that he was excited about the possibility of animating a horror film, but not one with a lot of jumpscares. He wanted to make a horror film with a heavy, foreboding atmosphere and creepy visuals. He pitched an idea called “The Diver” which was about a man from the Victorian times being drawn to the ocean in the middle of the night and deciding to dive to the bottom of the sea, where he is inevitably eaten by a massive deep-sea creature. Though we both loved the idea, we realised that it would be technically unchallenging as most of the film would take place in the black ocean depths.
After throwing several ideas around, I proposed to my teammate that we could possibly create a film about anxiety disorders. We were both hesitant at first, knowing that short films about mental illness don’t exactly sit well with the lecturers, but after some discussion we figured out how it could work.
Our plan is to keep the whole anxiety metaphor subliminal, with the main focus of the story being on one character’s journey to overcome his/her fears and be accepted by his/her friends and family. The allusion to mental illness would not be a limitation, but rather an opportunity to showcase some intense visuals and turn a simple story about a character overcoming fear into a gigantic, terrifying experience.