For many months the question of “what to do for the final project?” loomed like an amorphous, indecisive cloud. For the first few months of the course the vague answer was to be some kind of video game, but as time went on I became far less confident with the avenue. I did not feel my coding skills were refined or tempered enough to really make anything of it without the use of pre-made tools such as RPGMaker and the like. Further to that no real concrete idea emerged as to what shape, genre, style, etc this non-descript game would take.

With my continued studies in Screenwriting, however, came an increased interest in film, and I began to side more with it as the clock ticked onward. Two questions remained: how I would make such a thing, and what would the actual film be about? Although I did dabble very, very briefly in digital animation, it was clear that, much like coding, I would probably need at least another year and a proper dedicated course of it to be able to pull off something worthwhile. Or rather, and more importantly, something I’d be happy with.

Stop-motion animation, though something I am still inexperienced in, looked a better street to take, having a slightly less intense skill floor and an equally extreme skill ceiling. This allowed me to continue playing around my primary passion of writing, in producing a script, but also a new found interest in 3D-modelling and printing. With 3D printing, the visual possibilities of any stop-motion project are vastly expanded.

I still, however, required a story and central theme. This began as something vaguely sci-fi. Inspiration came from the likes of Fallout, Deus Ex, and even Overwatch to an extent to focus on a theme of prosthetic (and possibly robotics) technology and their implications. This, I felt, could be wonderfully represented using a mixture of traditional clay/putty models and figures combined with 3D printed parts to represent artificial prosthetics, augmentations, and replacements. I didn’t have a story, but I did have something to work with.

Only, the thematic brainstorming didn’t end there. While casually researching the medium, it occurred to me that the use of clay in modelling holds a rather dignified spot in several creation myths, being used to mold mankind or other legendary creatures such as the golem. When combined with the use of 3D modelling to represent the “artificial” and “unnatural” state of man, it seemed particularly appropriate. Specifically, my research is focused on myths of Mesopotamia and such figures as the god Enki (or Marduk, depending on the specific version) and their involvement in the slaying of other gods and subsequent creating of man.

Eventually a story and script began to form, one brief enough to be doable while still having (hopefully, at least) a strong thematic base that would give me plenty to talk when it comes time to write the dreaded dissertation and all its academic necessities and formalities. A sort of retelling of these sort of creation myths, with an added sci-fi flair and perhaps one or two pieces of Frankenstein thrown in for good measure.

A script obviously isn’t enough, however. For stop-motion, a set and models would be required, and I have been gathering supplies for it:

A terrain mat, clay, and foamboard to be used for the set

 

Extra set pieces, such as shrubs and barbed wire. Usually used in model train sets

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