genre research: sci fi


  • ‘notoriously male genre’ – only because of overriding dominance of male-centric stories told in film and males within film industry, something that needs to be addressed and changed
  • reflective of patriarchal society of how even in future speculative alien worlds, women still don’t exist and aren’t given the same opportunities as men to live out adventures of leading protagonists
  • sense8 and outlander – both shows i have watched and enjoyed greatly especially because of the mentioned focus on balancing out sci-fi as an inclusive genre that includes people from all walks of life, breaking stereotypes and social norms
  • ‘feminisation of sci fi’ – i would strongly disagree, hint of a degrading tone much like saying ‘why are women ruining sci fi for everybody’, also is not just about gender but more about including diversity and increasing acceptance, showing a wider variety of society on screen and not just the straight white male

relating to genre animation:

  • reflective of how engrained patriarchal values are in our society – of how we assumed our characters would be ‘he’ and male, do they have to have a gender? could they be female?
  • pushing boundaries of sci fi as a genre – our film coming together and having elements of a rom-com in its feel, could it be an intergalactic love story?

films: in the mood for love/chunking express

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Chungking Express (1994) – Wong Kar Wai

  • most striking cinematography style: slow motion blurred tracking shots moving through backdrop of Hong Kong locations
  • stunning neon colours, captures the vibrant energy that I view my city as through my eyes
  • matter of fact, fragments in time way of storytelling, feels very real and ‘slice of life’, very refreshing and perfect way to capture the contrasts of a HK lifestyle

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In the Mood for Love (2000) Wong Kar Wai

  • unusually vibrant colours used to depict ‘period’ setting of film, refreshing compared to muted colours commonly used
  • slice-of-life storytelling of forbidden love, subtle in how the protagonists never fully express their feelings for each other, are ships in the night connected at this one point in their lives

–> animation inspiration: bold colours, slice-of-life style of storytelling

animation research: The Maker

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  • tonally – very effective in capturing sombre mood, mysterious tone
    • helped through colour scheme + lighting, muted colours, minimal lighting
  • under 5 minutes but able to capture effective, moving story with two characters
  • quirky, not-of-this-world aura and style –> inspiration for our animation, aim to capture similar mood and tone
  • thematically: raises questions of passing on, life after death, inheritance, futility of life
    • very existential ‘wider’ themes, also touched upon in aesops fables

feb 9: phil lewis animation lecture




  • having grown up with watching wallace and gromit – very surreal to see behind-the-scenes of making and how characters were brought to life
  • storyboard: almost picture-perfect to shots from final film, amazing thought and planning taken into account, very clear vision of what film needed to be
  • interesting to come back to it looking through lens as a designer, as a kid did not even consider that someone had to hand animate characters and scenes!


  • in awe of the detail gone into designs, Phil’s passion and knowledge for boats really shows in his work


  • seeing that professional designers also work in this manner in their workspace – inspiration and ideas placed visually everywhere – made me really happy as this is the way i naturally work and think through ideas!



  • particularly liked Phil Lewis’ concept art, really like his illustration style, aesthetic and conveys a mood clearly whilst serving its function of expressing idea and concepts
  • reminds me of Studio Ghibli’s concept art – fluid expressive watercolour style

concept art for Spirited Away (2011)

—-> use Ghibli films as visual/conceptual inspiration, have various spider like characters, birds, relevant set designs