The design took a lot of thought. Mainly because it depended a lot on what the story was going to be. Once we decided that our story would be a thriller/horror style animation we wanted from here we started creating concepts. At first we wanted a more modern setting but as we went along we found ourselves attracted to the older Victorian/Edwardian style houses and decor that is usually associated with horror and thrillers. We did a lot of research including a huge mood board on pinterest and watching movies like woman in black which was a huge inspiration for our work as well as some more classic “horror” animations (not really but they have a nice style). More specifically Tim Burton’s work, his features more widely known like the corpse bride and the nightmare before Christmas to his more lesser known work like Vincent, a 1982 film about a boy who dreams of being like Vincent Price the famous actor who is famously known for his work in the horror industry. In the animated short the narration is done by Vincent Price. The style that is found throughout Time Burtons work is what we tried to capture in our own. This style is heavily influenced by German Expressionist art, most notably The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Nosferatu as well as many others. The warped surroundings and decor used to full effect to help make the audience feel more of the surroundings whether its claustrophobia or entrapment. We wanted to have that influence in our own animation with our warped and bizarre character in a liveable environment but also have a warped and bizarre surrounding to help keep the believability within the animation.
The character design as well was heavily reflective of the time period in which the animation was set. The characters are based upon Victorian dolls, perhaps not in style but in fabric. The use of cloth for the body and the porcelain face was used heavily in dolls of this time period and so we wanted to have that come through in our work. This also allows for a good use of opposites with the body being hard and rigid and the body being soft and moveable as well as the arms. We also used this to our advantage by making the monster and the character similar but with a difference. The monster having a hard body and the character having a soft one. The similarity in the materials and the use of the stripes eludes to there being a possible relation between the characters (Is the monster really a monster hence the light hearted ending) as well a subtle difference so that the characters are not carbon copies of each other. Another huge influence was from Amanda Louise Spayd, creator of the dust bunnies. Another huge influence was from the the short animation, The Maker directed by Christopher Kezelos which features 2 of Amanda’s dust bunnies. The style is cute but unsettling and we had a huge influence from her work and style.