This story was inspired originally by a book I was reading but mostly it was a film designed in every aspect to help me improve my directing, animation and general work practice.

Thus far I didn’t really have any solid work to put in my demo reel, nothing that showed movement done to a professional level at least. The original intent for this film was to design a series of movements that could be animated to a high level and strung together though a simple narrative. However as the story progressed through the boards, the journey began to become more and more important. Eventual the concept grew and I knew exactly what the character was moving towards. Perhaps much in the way that this film was designed for me to face my own inequalities, so too did Tohan.

I have always held a concept close to my heart of the light and darkness of humanity, perhaps I fell too deeply in love with star wars as a child… This story addresses some of those concepts of battling light and dark, the story also became a metaphor for depression in a way. I have never really tried to capture a topic as big as this in my work before, but in a way, this story seemed to infold itself. Perhaps it is a story that I have been meaning to tell for a long time.

Tohan’s journey became one in which he was running from the darkness of his own world, to make his way to sacred and safe ground, in order to face himself. But upon facing himself, he is plunged into a darker void, one from which he could not return. I wanted to try and portray the feeling of losing your own self, within your own self. A feeling of becoming your own shadow, a shade of your own existence, and the feeling of loneliness and helplessness that brings. There are many concepts and ideas close to my heart that I have tried to share within this story, hopefully they come through in the final film well enough.

Rough pencil board

Slightly less rough