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Research into Film

Films are the first source of research for me. There is almost always a film that I’ve watched, either recently or when I was young that inspires me to develop ideas for a new project. When I decided that I want to add a metal mini-gun arm and a metal laser eye, it was due to the films Terminator (1984) and Planet Terror (2007).

In Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared as a cyborg disguised in the form of a human. When his flesh is slightly damaged, his metal eye and metal skeleton are exposed and I always found that interesting to watch. I think there has always been a fascination of something inhuman functioning like a human. The fusion of two opposite materials combined together looks unearthly and it produces a sense of different reality almost similar to ours – simulacrum.

In Planet Terror, Rose McGowan’s character has a amputated leg, which she attaches a gun to and shoots by lifting her leg without using the usual trigger. In the poster it looks very unusually edited as it isn’t very convincing but it’s that concept that sparked the idea that I want to give my cardboard figurine model a part metal make over.

Terminator (1984)

His exposed metal eye…

I thought exposing too much metal could look sinister and I wanted my figurines character to gain the sympathy of the audience with a tragic appearance. Instead of exposing my characters skeletal structure, I thought it is better to make it seem like the characters body parts are detachable and can be replaced with gadgets or other suitable/customised body parts but they have to under go surgery to do that. I also thought that would be a perfect explanation for why my character would look like his appearance had been altered. It would also need a good reason to alter it’s appearance too and therefore something tragic must happen to him for him to take such a drastic action. I will explain more in the storyboard.

Planet Terror (2007)

The gun for a leg…

From observing these pictures I think that the joining of her leg and gun is not as good as it could have been. It looks very raw like not much effort has been put into how the gun is attached to her leg. For example in Evil Dead II (1987), Ash attached a chainsaw to his amputated arm and it made sense of how he attached the chainsaw. He operated it by pulling the string but in Planet Terror, how McGowan’s character operates the gun without a trigger is unclear and that’s what I think decreases it’s believability. I want my character to be able to operate the mini-gun without a trigger; I think the fact that he is a figurine that can detach, attach and reattach body parts, explains he can operate his new body parts just as well as his original body parts. I believe in the concept of my character if film makers can produce such concepts.

Evil Dead II (1987)

Ash and his new extension of his body….the chainsaw!!!

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Lastly Edward Scissorhands was and is one of my favourite films while I was growing up. I think it is a wonderful concept, almost like a fairytale where a scientist makes his creation come to life and and teaches him to become ‘human’. The tragedy of the story is the creation accidentally kills his creator before the creation was complete, hence the creation is and feels incomplete and unable to fit in with the rest of the community. This awkward and shy nature of the creation is inspiring and I would definitely like to work on the concept of a character that has developed from a tragic experience.

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