The Beast I Am (2012)

‘The Beast I am’ is my animated graduation film from the Royal College of Art. It is a stop-motion animation film about a young boy’s journey through the British Museum, the labyrinths of puberty and on towards manhood.The original idea came from a piece of music by R. Murray Schafer called ‘Theseus’ and from the fact that at the time I was doing a lot of drawing practice in the British Museum. I had been asked by a friend in Belgrade to produce some animation for a performance of that piece and I started expanding on the idea of getting some of those statues from the museum to come to life. Sadly that commission fell through and the idea lay dormant for a year or so, until it came time to get ideas together for my graduation film.

Originally I had not gotten much farther than a number of concept sketches and some still life done in the museum, but this laid the foundation for the eventual plot. It then occurred to me that there really weren’t that many films that dealt with this moment in a boy’s life when he is fast approaching puberty – he’s on the cusp. Then the image of the Minotaur took on greater meaning as a symbol of manhood and masculinity, the only decision then was, what should the boy do? Try and kill it, or see if it has anything to teach him.

It is a whisker under 10 minutes long. It was shot on a Canon 1000d, using Dragonframe for capturing and After Effects to collate the stills and do a small amount of other post production, mostly adding blinks. It was filmed on a big metal table using the magnet tie-down system.

In competition at Angers Premiers Plans film festival 2013. Also at SICAF in South Korea and Encounters in Bristol, UK. It will appear as part of the London Short Film Festival as part of The Gothic and the Grotesque at the BFI, on Tues 14th Jan, 8.30pm.

A feature about the film at Dragonframe. The film on the British Council Film website.

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