Track: 'Leaving Hope' (edited) by Nine Inch Nails.
During my final year of university, I wanted to create a piece that would be pushing my skills further in terms of my production quality and ability to convey a message. Based on my original piece 'WeBribeYou', I had the idea of continuing the theme of mind control further.
I had researched about real-life cases of 'mind-control', such as Edward Bernays' effects on the media, advertising and war propaganda. He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud and used many of Freud's teachings to harness the unconscious minds of people - particularly large groups of people at once. Aside to this, I also indulged in some dystopian science-fiction that depicted a large amount of control over people through different methods.
George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' was a big inspiration. I found it particularly intersting the way that the characters in the story were controlled through the torturous routines toward the end of the book. Initially they had wanted to break free of the hellish lives they had, and the love between Winston and Julia was built up so well up until the moment that they were captured - and this made the conversion from a loving, soulful being into an empty shell of a person so much more believable and powerfully emotive. In my animation, the surface of which the subject is upon has a 'V' emblem underneath it - a homage to the book as a capital 'V' is used as the background for the logo of 'the party'.
Another book that I found very inspiring was Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World'. This novel depicted the world in quite the opposite way from George Orwell's, where everyone was conditioned at birth to be exactly right. Everyone had a specific purpose in life and didn't need to think for themselves. They were 'created' on a production line rather than born - and all worshiped Henry Ford, the father of mass-production. And when they wanted to escape reality completely, have a holiday, and just generally loose all conscious thought altogether, they took doses of a drug 'Soma' which sent them into a happy trip for a while with no come-down consequences. In the opening chapter there is a tour being held of the human production line which is described so vividly, this description aided me in creating a feel for the robotics that were to aid in the controlling of the mind in the human specimen.
From taking in this subject matter, I felt that I wanted to give the piece a much more emotive and serious feel, and so I had to move away from the flashy graphics and VJ style of 'WeBribeYou'. And so I looked towards movies such as La Jetée, Metropolis and Electroma. I especialy liked the industrial and mechanical feel of Metropolis, with it's huge set's and fantastic attention to detail in many of the shots. Electroma provided me with an idea of how the robotic and electronic parts might look. For the mechanical shell of a human, I wanted to give it as soulless a look as possible, though the shape of face plate is meant to resemble a smiley face - this links back to the inhabitants of the world in 'Brave New World' - all happy but they have no soul.
Interesting Fact: The skeleton I used was originally an Illustrator file created to match my height (6'3") and thus all the bones should be roughly actual size. These were then taken into Photoshop and textured to give the kind of look seen in X-rays and MRI scans.