The Acid House was invited to be one of 10 studios who will participate in Pause Fest (https://www.pausefest.com.au/) Motion Response 2019.
We were all asked to create a film as a response to this year's theme, 'The future is intimate'.
This is our entry entitled 'HINABI'
'HINABI' is the Filipino word for 'WOVEN' which is how our future paths should be: devoid of barriers, prejudice and bias, free from toxic herd mentalities.
Technology has indirectly built these imaginary walls that have torn through our social fabric.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
With the main idea of 'weaving' as concept, we wanted to show two contrasting design aesthetics to indulge each other in the film. Our main character, Katu, comes from a cold, rigid, and controlled society. Because of this, we wanted to apply a lot of straight, angular and geometric designs on him, which will convey the stiff parameters his social group follows. On the other hand, the other character, Habi, is an outlying free spirit, someone who had long broken free of the suffocating shackles of this toxic herd mentality. It made sense for her design to tear through that rigid geometric silhouette and go for more organic looping curves. We thought why not give her a head formed like a flower? The concept of blooming connotes transcendence, which is in line with the themes of the film.
For this film, we took a lot of inspiration from our own Filipino culture. Locally, we have a lot colorful indigenous textiles coming from the various tribes scattered all over the country. We have taken particular interest in the weaving of the Yakan & T'boli tribes. These tribes have often been referred to in various resources as 'dreamweavers' for they say that the designs they weave into their textiles are not something learned, rather 'dreamed'. The weavers wait for the designs to come to them in their dreams and that's when they know what to create. Even the main head design of the character of Katu was inspired from Yakan ethnic weaves.
We also made use of color to show the development of the story.
To illustrated the cold, desolate and controlling climate in the opening scene, we opted to use neutral colors. The drones are colored almost white to show an environment that's clincal & antiseptic, something that is very scrutinized down to the last details.
To break this monotony, the character of Katu is colored inversely, he is using dark heavy colors to distinguish him from this group. From his character we also start to inject color, in the form of teal and blue. The introduction of color means that he's starting to wake up from the hive mindset.
Lastly, when the character of Habi comes in, she brings in warmer tones. We want to connote that she has long awakenend and lived away from the toxic society, so her colors create more life.
The palettes of Katu & Habi are also designed to complement each other, as we planned to merge their colorways when the two meet and connect with each other towards the end of the film.
A peek at the early draft of the storyboard for the film. The last part was cut out after doing the animatic because 1) we felt it's not integral to the story anymore and 2) we actually don't have the time to do it a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In sculpting the drone, Katu, and Habi, we took inspiration from the bulul sculptures and wanted to have a roughly-cut finish to the surfaces.
As mentioned above, a lot of the design is inspired by local Filipino tribal weaving. For example, the 'eye' of Katu is inspired by the Yakan weave, and Habi's dress has a motif based on the lumad elder warrior, Bao Bibyaon's own clothing.
Here now are some draft passes while we were working on the character animation, as well as adding dynamics to the clothing, earrings, and the various assets that make up Habi's head ensemble.
Last but not the least, here's the official movie poster that we did. Yes, it's not a feature-length, but it felt a lot of fun working on the poster.