Author: Gladys Loh
Biomimicry is the a science that looks into nature’s designs, then replicates or draw inspiration from the designs to solve human’s problems. It is the evolution of fashion design and such adaptive clothing can be used to perform many different functions, as explored by many fashion designers today.
Biomimicry wearables in high fashion – Adrenaline Dress
Chromat designer Becca McCharen and Intel engineer Karolina Cengija collaborated to create the “Adrenaline Dress”, which allowed them to push the grounds for wearable technology. The wings, powered by Intel, were inspired by the natural flight-or-fight instinct in animals. For example, some animals would automatically expand their silhouette when they sense a threat, in order to scare off predators.
Using a sensor in the waistband, the wearer’s breathing and adrenaline levels were tracked. When adrenaline level is high, the wings would expand greatly.
The project explored the possibilities of adaptive clothing that respond to one’s emotional state. Its focus was mainly on experimentation and expanding the use of such technology. Eventually, through such technology, designers hope to break new grounds regarding communication via fashion. Such technology could even be explored in wearable security.
Biomimicry wearables for practical uses
Paramo’s waterproof jacket makes use of fabric technology, drawing inspiration from animal fur. It makes use to woven microfibre to deflect wind and rain, yet keep body warm.
The Nikwax Analogy Pump Liner mimics the action of animal fur – pushing liquid water outwards to protect you from rain, condensation and perspiration, while protecting your insulation. – Paramo Clothing
Biomimicry is a new field that still has much potential, and many possibilities for fashion to evolve and provide solutions in various issues.
Me as Walter Mitty
A scene of a girl walking home, through a park.
Walter Mitty in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – An ordinary, forgettable man who often fails in the things he tries to do and gets yelled at. In the light of all his failings, he creates an imaginative “secret life” for himself as a respected and powerful man, unlike himself in reality. He often gets lost in his own thoughts and has vivid fantasies about himself as someone who he is not.
Affinity to self: I can definitely relate to the part that he likes to imagine fantastical situations in his daily life, how he might be physically present but mentally not. I do find myself daydreaming as well from time to time due to my short attention span e.g. in lecture.
He is an exemplary illustration as to how the human mind is highly imaginative and able to make of most out of mundane situations. In a more deep sense, fantasy vs reality: sometimes the thoughts we conjure are often compensating for things we lack/we wished we had.
Affinity to self: Sometimes watching action movies with strong female heroes make me awe and imagine myself as them. However in truth I know I am not fearsome, strong-headed enough to have such a cool, assertive presence as these leads.
He also represents secret ambition and desire to be someone greater, something inherent in all of us. I believe everyone has this quality of Walter Mitty of aspiring and fantasising to be someone greater. For example, when people first pick up a skill, the humble beginnings before one actually become good at something – you admire others and wish you can be like them. We all want acceptance and when rejected we always feel the desire to fit in e.g. he always dreams that he is an admired person of power when in truth he is always passive and yelled at.
Affinity to self: In a deeper sense, I also had a phase of envisioning myself as someone bigger and even still do now e.g. when I first started dancing I admired proficient people and I constantly imagined myself to be better at dance and even a star, which is a fantasy (e.g. featured in Step Up).
Lastly, his lack of action show how one can always dream, but it is important to do the action instead of just fantasising it or one will never go anywhere.
Affinity to self: At times I do feel myself letting opportunities go due to hesitation.
Powerful, assertive man: His imaginary self / Passive, good-for-nothing man: Reality that he wants to reject
Other shortlisted character in film/literature:
Daenarys Targaryen In Game of Thrones – A compassionate yet fierce and powerful ruler that strongly fights for what she believes in and for the nation’s interests. One filled with ambition, she becomes very successful and dominates surrounding region with her rule.
However, she is also young and reckless. Naïve to the world and brash, she sometimes makes shortsighted decisions too quickly. Her actions impact others adversely at times, though not to her intention. She has a problem of listening to authority as well due to pride and believing her ways are better, which in turn result in negative consequences.
Affinity to self
I can relate to her in the aspect of liking to do things that make others happy, however at times I do not consider all the angles thus also making short-sighted decisions that implicate others. I am also strong-headed and at times fail to heed advice from authority. With quiet ambition, I like the aim for the highest in the things I am passionate about. If needed, I like to believe I am able to stand for what I believe in too.
Picturing myself in her shoes, I would imagine myself making the same mistakes she does due to naivety in morality and a brash attitude.
Righteous and compassionate: fights for people’s rights e.g. freeing slavery and being very kind to the oppressed / Ruthless and not giving a second chance: Little regard for people like slave masters by killing them all, unknowingly killed a master who was fighting for her cause, thus not giving people chance of repentance
- Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games – a strong, emotionally mature, independent female character that demonstrates her strength not in the forefront but behind the scenes. Very compassionate and constantly gives emotionally support.
- Merida in Brave – courageous, adventurous, not a conformist and strong mind of her own
- Remy in Ratatouille – character that have big visions and never give up no matter how hard things get, reminds me of my tough journey in A level Art and JC dance concert
People I know:
1. My sister – On the outside she seems worlds apart from me, very different personality. She presents herself as a quiet, shy and demure individual. I seem more extroverted, loud and outgoing. However, deep down, we are very alike. She is equally as bubbly as me once she warms up, we are both be strong-minded and dominant e.g. demonstrated by our hasty driving, reaction to situations. We are on the same wavelength in terms of “weirdness” and hobbies as well e.g. dancing, designing. Regarding to flaws in character, we share common traits too e.g. at times too headstrong or unable to cope well when things do not go as favored.
Sweet and shy: People often perceive her as meek / Dominant personality: People close to her know that she can be very headstrong
2. Friend, Halyn – My good friend who is alike to me in many ways, yet also different. She share common interests with me like the love of eating, traveling etc. We click very well and relate to each other a lot.
In terms of more complex qualities, we know both of us are not heroic archetypes, after taking the Dungeons and Dragons’ Alignment Test. In a hypothetical story, we are not the “absolutely selfless heroes” who will sacrifice all for the greater good of humanity, but rather we represent the characters who will look out for their loved ones and their self-interests first. However, the characters we represent will not be self-serving to the extent where their own happiness can be in the expense of others.
Selfless: Doing very sweet favours for friends that is not in convenience / Self-serving: Doing what is required for oneself if in a hypothetical survival situation, if in expense of others
- My dad
- My friend, Crystal
- My boyfriend – Timothy
1. Iris Van Herpen – A brilliant, extraordinary fashion designer who is always interested to push the boundaries of clothing as wearable art. She creates works with timeless beauty yet edgy qualities, dares to try new things. She explores issues inherent to herself in her fashion work, interested to venture into the topic of the human condition and self-expression.
I myself can resonate with the source of inspiration for her works (like nature) and the issues she explore. I admire how she is daring to innovate and test new waters, in which I aspire to have such qualities as well.
Form over function: The vision that characterizes all her designs, strong aesthetics / Practicality: Question regarding designs of how wearable and useful in daily life
Other public figures:
- Jennifer Lawrence – Actress, entertainer whom even though she is constantly in the limelight, she is not afraid to be her candid self and does not put up a front
- Alexander Mcqueen – fashion designer in which I greatly admire and can resonate with his artistic vision/inspiration
- Marzia Bisopnin, also known as “CutiePieMarzia” – fashion blogger that is very quirky, not afraid to show her weird side and her nerdy interests like games
This micro-project is a simple video depiction of me getting into “performance” character, my artistic dance self, one with confidence.
“Pixel” is a mesmerising, extraordinary performance piece that creatively combines interactive technology together with dance choreography. Produced by performance artists Adrian Mondot and Claire Bardainne, it was jointly choreographed with Mourad Merzouki.
“The hour-long performance incorporates a host of digital projection mapping techniques, 11 dancers, and bills itself as “a work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop and circus.” ” – Colossal
The performance mainly utilised projection mapping techniques onto the stage and backdrop. Adrian Mondot and Claire Bardainne used this custom built software, eMotion, that allowed them to produce virtual environments with realistic physics. They also combined it with QLab and Vezer, technology shared via open source. eMotion is now shared through open source technology, so that more artists can make use of such a software to improve their works as well.
In addition, wearable technology was used in the form of data sensors whereby the dancers’ motions are captured and the space reacts with it. Everything was hence spontaneous and in real-time, with none of the projections pre-recorded but rather stimulated by the dancers’ movements. Lighting of the costume also played a huge role in allowing the illusion to happen:
“In order for the dance to exist with the image without being overpowered by it, the dancer must be brilliantly lit.
And conversely, for the illusion to work, the tulle must only be lit by the video projections and the global lighting level must remain as low as possible so as not to affect the transparency of the material.
Our choice is therefore to only light the essential, the dancer’s body, thanks to an automatic tracking system (based on a capture) and in this way minimising any glare.” – Deduce Blog
This piece is an amazing example to show how differentiation between real and virtual worlds are blurred tremendously with the creation of digital environments. This provides an out-of-the-world experience for audiences. A seamless combination of art and technology, it pushes boundaries of a dance choreography.
With 3D relief
I looked mainly into surrealism and also some artists for their works. The surrealism artists I looked at were mainly Vladimir Kush and Rene Magritte. I also looked at surrealist photographers like Christian Hopkins. I liked how they juxtaposed things, make the expected unexpected.
I also looked at contemporary art like Francis Bacon, and cubism from Picasso.
Anita Maslov was my main inspiration for illustration. I was very intrigued by her dark style and intricate drawings.
Mind map of the idea generation, finding out what qualities were unique to me.
Example of process – Overthinking
Cubism – Test of fragmentation, composition and color
Always known as the hyperactive one, and often said to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Used Cubism art and fragmentation to give the emphasis on the lack of concentration, and disruption. Colour discord was intentionally used to give a clashing feel.
Reference – Cubism art, Picasso
Food is integral to my life, I am one who constantly thinks of food. Thus, I used this picture with the pondering look in my eyes and made the hair illustration elevating upwards to give the feel of thought. My idea around this was to make my hair made out of food. I referenced the mixed media style, photo collage with watercolour illustration. Colour theory used was split complementary.
Morphing both the ideas of Food and ADHD, I decided to incorporate food in the portrait (after all, we are made of meat!) and warp the picture to infuse the fragmentation/distortion idea. I was very interested as to how Francis Bacon painted his portraits, warped and almost disfiguring. Colour theory used here was analogous.
Reference – Francis Bacon
I focused on surrealism and symbolism in this work. I looked into an oriental symbol of positivity, prosperity and good fortune – Koi fish. I morphed the koi fish together with the girl and her dress. I referenced Christian Hopkins surrealism photography, to capture the spiritual essence, an ethereal quality to the work.
References – Christian Hopkins
I was inspired by the dark, detailed illustrative style. I drew this out in marker, scanned it and painted colour over. I used motifs that could best represent such negativity – skulls of raven (birds that are not associated with good fortune), dried brain coral, black feathers, bones. Roots were used to show how negativity has already latched onto me, deeply rooted.
References – Anita Maslov
I drew a withering skull, to suggest it fading away. The skull represents all negativity and death, but once removed it reveals brightness and colour. This shows that once the negativity is removed (also using a pivot for interactive purposes), it reveals the positivity.
The cat family has always been known for their lone, individualistic behaviour. Thus, I decided to use the feline family as a representation. I referenced heavily to Golconda for this work, the emphasis on common man with the lack of identity. I juxtaposed with the cat individual, someone different and apart from the common man. Complementary color was used here.
References – Rene Magritte’s ‘Golconda’
The concept behind this work was that no matter how heavy the rock and how its weight increases with water, the taut rope will not break despite struggling (evident from the fraying). Thus this represents resilience. Once again, surrealism was the main inspiration.
References – Rene Magritte’s ‘Clear Ideas’
The blooming, luminous flower that cannot be reached by the dark hands. The hands represent negative influences, trying to drag the flower down but are failing. The ideal state is where the flower cannot be touched like the picture. Surrealism artist Vladimir Kush was referenced, regarding the use of the flower in his art and the scale.
References – Vladimir Kush
Think out of box
The idea behind this was to think, literally out of the box. The cover had the strips representing the lines inside the card. Once the card is opened, it is as if the strips come out of the box. like thinking out of the box.
Paper pop-up art
The paper pieces turning into the birds represent the manifestation of ideas/thoughts from thought to reality. Surrealism was referenced to once again, give a fantastical feeling to the work and create impossible situations that make the work more interesting. This represents transformation from dreams to reality, birds were used as symbols of flight and hope – thus ambitious dreams that come true.
Me in 5 Years
Combining both of the ideas of the birds as the realisation of dreams and light bulb as ideas, I decided to approach a surrealist style to this work too. The light bulb is like the idea generator and the birds are flying out of my head, once again literally out of the “box”.
This assignment was very introspective and fun, allowing us to think what aspects of ourselves we would like to show. The challenge was coming up with visual ideas that would intrigue others and convey the idea well. It was a fulfilling assignment that really helped me to push myself in thinking creative ideas to communicate.
Group Project by:
Alfred Yeo, Gladys Loh, Feliciana Natali
“When everything falls apart and the light goes dark, love comes.”
“And truth is not the same as what it seems.”
Elijah is an aspiring photographer who is preparing for an exhibition. Unfortunately, he experiences a car crash and his parents passed away. His eyesight starts to deteriorate, believed to be caused by a severe form of depression: hysterical blindness. His conditions worsens as his world falls apart.
As a photographer, Elijah suffers even more. His photography skills are affected by his impaired vision, his exhibition is at stake. Janet, his assistant, noticed Elijah’s sufferings and is willing to help him through thick and thin. He develops a liking for Janet.
However, Janet starts to find out that something is not right regarding Elijah. His parents did not die due to a car accident. Elijah starts to remember something buried deep in his memory, a dark past that he has forgotten from that tragic day.
Who is Elijah?
From this project of shooting a trailer, our group learnt the ups and downs of actually taking the time and filming one. Even with pre-preparation through watching trailers made by the professionals, going heads into the project and really doing it with our hands was a great experience that we feel could only be taught through this.
First and foremost, we changed our original plot due to the fact that the main character was not as relatable, nor strong. This created a sense of distance for the audience and changing it helped the story to flow better with better dynamics. We also thought that incorporating a mystery also adds a very interesting twist, making the trailer more compelling.
While filming for “Find Me”, there were definitely setbacks that held us with instances like how to plan our shots, how to tweak the story to make the character/story more appealing, deal with inconsistency with our story, or even locations that were not suitable and had to be changed at the last minute.
Overall, it was definitely a wonderful experience that was fulfilling and also very fun, mainly due to the ability for us to work so well as a team. Everyone was very co-operative and extremely supportive of each other, we are very thankful for having each other as teammates 🙂
Process – Story
The story is a combination of Find Me by Alfred and Clandestine by Gladys. By taking almost equal amount of elements from both stories, we crafted an interesting twist in the final story: Find Me.
Original Find Me by Alfred is about a young man who lost his family in a car crash. He was depressed because of the deaths of his parents and eventually developed hysterical blindness. Love seemingly rescued him from his depression and also his disabilities of losing his eyesight. In conclusion, the story is about his struggle and how he fought his hopelessness. (Genre: Tragedy, Drama)
In the other hand, Clandestine by Gladys is about corporate warfare in the modern setting. The story is about the wife of a businessman who is caught in a moral dilemma: to support her husband’s evil schemes or to expose him. (Genre: Psychological Thriller, Drama)
As a result, the final Find Me took the idea about a young man who lost his parents from the original Find Me and a woman who faces moral dilemma from Clandestine. To create a better flow of the story, we added the idea that the death of the parents are not because of an accident, but potentially a murder which is a mystery to unveil.
Process – Editing
An early trial edit of the first few footages taken.
The result felt more like a short film, we ought to make it more trailer-like by jumbling some of the sequence and changing the music.
We did most of the work together, planning the story sequence and art direction as a team.
Gladys: Main editor and cameraman, actor
Alfred: Main actor and story writer, editor
Feli: Main Animator/effects and story writer, cameraman
Trailer: “I Started A Joke” by Becky Hanson
Process: “The Last of Us” by Gustavo Santaolalla
Kranji memorial park
NTU’s Hive, ADM, Hall
HAVE FUN LAUGHING!
Chosen Rhyme: Wee Willie Winkle
1 – Wee Willie Winkle runs through the town,
2 – Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,
3 – Tapping at the windows and crying through the locks,
4 – Are all the children in their beds, it’s past 8 o’clock.
- Wee Willie Winkle is a Scottish rhyme based in the 1800s. Attempted to give a historic, vintage feel to the designs
- Many possible speculations who ‘Wee Willie Winkle’ was, e.g. some believed he was Prince William III
1 – Wee Willie Winkle runs through the town
- ‘V’ font symbolizes houses (roofs)
- Tip-toe shoe, give off motion of running
- Motion of flying away, as if blown by the wind (to give motion of running past houses)
- Going by the interpretation that ‘Wee Willie Winkle” was possibly Prince William III
- Represent royalty
Animal – cat? wolf?
- Evoke the idea of a predator
- Representative of “Wee Willie Winkle” – he is stalking through the night and checking on all the children, seems a little intimidating
- Made use of the idea of ‘V’ as roofs
- Tried to play with positive and negative space, forming the shape of a running leg
- Silhouette of town to seem like running through the town
- Played with positive and negative space
- Represented “Wee Willie Winkle” with a cat – interpreted him as a intimidating figure that stalks through the night with hint of creepiness, thus the fierce cat
- However, cat looks stale and no motion is suggested. Do not convey “Running through the night”
- Warped the perspective of the town silhouette – overlaid town silhouette with shoes
- Shoes to add motion, give idea of running round and round
- However, the warp of perspective of the town silhouette + overlay of the shoes on the town silhouette: too messy, obscure and cannot tell that it is a town silhouette anymore
- Placement too random, not a successful design
- Used the early idea of ‘V’ as roofs, forming legs
- Idea of running through the town
- Idea is conveyed easily but maybe too literal
- Crown to represent “Wee Willie Winkle” as royalty, like suspected in his identity as prince
- Tried to be less literal, using ladders to symbolize rooftops – thought it to be more creative
- However, bottom of the ladders might give away the idea of ladders symbolizing roofs – might want to cut off the bottom of the ladders
- Shortlisted design
Using shortlisted design, various considerations
2 – Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown
- Use nightgowns to form stairs (Different fill within nightgown – different stairs?)
- Once again trying to manipulative the positive and negative space
- Initial design
- Tried to be continuous, upstairs represented by upright gown and downstairs by upside down gown
- Result ended too flat, does not effectively convey idea too
- Looked more like a print
- The design uses girl’s nightgown, might be inappropriate in the context
- Shoe also looks awkward
- Nightgowns in black to achieve upward stairs, nightgowns in white to achieve downward stairs (white ones not obvious)
- Idea of going up and down the stairs
- Shoes look too random
- Once again nightgowns as stairs
- Positive and negative space to represent different tasks, to distinguish (Going down is portrayed in negative space, going up is portrayed in positive space)
- Still too flat
- Multiple nightgowns might not give the impression that it is only one person’s nightgown
- Decided to break out of the idea of stairs and use the idea of ladders
- Incorporated ladder with perspectives
- Immediately draws more attention grabbing and interesting due to perspective
- Still looked too random in terms of placement – ought to be meticulous
- Changes: Delete the oxford shoes, add negative space, change shoes and nightgown
- Shortlisted design
3- Tapping on the windows and crying through the locks
- Radial waves to suggest screaming effect (where the radial waves tapered in the centre – source of screaming, maybe can add a mouth)
- Overlay hands to symbolize the” tapping on the windows” line
- Tried to use pointy hands (“tapping on the windows”) to represent soundwaves (“crying through the locks”)
- Also looked like a mouth screaming
- Tried to insert windows on top of the hands to reinforce “tapping on the windowd”
- Mouth to form keyhole, literally “crying through the locks”
- Could add window grills
- Making use of musical lines coming out of the lock, depicts soundwaves travelling through locks (“crying through the locks”)
- Mouth at the lock, crying through the it
- Hands are formed round the lock (too much stacking however, looks messy)
- Windows to suggest the line “tapping at the windows”, however looks like a jail – message given out as if in a prison context
- Lock also too cartoon-ish, looks like hello kitty
- Radial effect – screaming from mouth
- Hands to represent the knocking on windows
- Incorporated soundwaves plus the windows within the soundwaves
- Combination of all my idea looks like a mess, not a good design
- Lack a focal point and too much is going on (mixture of ALL my ideas)
Overall, nothing was shortlisted as I attempted to mix all my ideas into a single design – coming across as too cluttered, messy and lack of focus. I attempted to simplify my designs, try not to fit in ALL my ideas.
Final Alternative (after revision)
4 – Are the children asleep it’s past 8 o’clock
- Clock as the idea of continuity (suggest to idea of clockwork gears)
- Idea that clock is ticking, past 8 o’clock
- Tried to play with positive and negative space in one, and without in the other
- Eye to suggest Wee Willie Winkle eyeing on the children
- Eye looks out of place
- Message of “children in bed or not” not conveyed
- Children look too random, too many clock hands – messy
- Incorporated the idea of children on their beds to better convey message
- Clockhand is at 8 o’clock, ticking away
- Open eyes to show that children are awake – going by interpretation as researched, that Wee Willie Winkle was rudely awakened in his sleep due to noisy children at night
- Children look random
- Played with positive and negative space, contrast in mood (sinister vs innocent)
- The sinister eyes represent Wee Willie Winkle eyeing the children fiercely
- Mirrored position of the children for pattern, still looks too random
This assignment has helped me consider deeply what is literal and what is not literal, aiming that my designs are not too literal but at the same time understood by others. That aspect was challenging but it was fulfilling. Also, my first few designs had too much going on as I tried to fit in my different ideas. Along the way, I learnt to simplify the designs, take the essence of it.
Drama | Crime
The wife of a wealthy businessman has always been supportive of her husband’s underhanded methods. However, she slowly finds herself at odds with his decisions and ridden with guilt over an unexpected tragedy. She struggles with her inner conflicts. Every choice she makes will give rise to irreversible consequences.
Set-up: Tara is the wife of Silas. Silas is a very successful businessman that is able to promote commerce and trade in the nation. On the other hand, unbeknownst to others, he is also a very crafty man that knows who to eliminate his rivals mercilessly. He knows how to manipulate people in cultivating his own power and influence, yet able to keep his slate clean. Tara does much of his bidding, and often helps him in his schemes. She has gotten her hands dirty and conspired with him.
Inciting Incident: One of the Silas’ greatest rivals is his brother, Sam, whom he hates deeply due to their long rivalry and being the one to attain assets of the family first. Silas is able to rise to the top of his corporation by defaming his brother, Sam, whom was initially at the top. Tara feels very conflicted by this action, as she has actually been seeing Sam.
The jealous brother, with his position stolen from him, plotted to take over Silas’ position in the corporation by uncovering clues of his devious schemes. Silas finds out what he has been doing and decides to kill him. His son was tasked to carry out the deed. Tara is caught in a moral dilemma, decides to go tell Sam. By that time, he is going to be murdered. She finds out where he is and rushes to the place. In attempt to stop the situation, it turns into chaos and she accidentally kills her son by trying to protect Sam.
Sam is still killed by Silas, states that the plan was a test to see if she can still be trusted. He is very disappointed with what his wife has become. Lucas, another of Silas’ rivals, finds the situation and sequence of events in their household incredibly suspicious. He is another smart individual who knows how to receive insider information discreetly. He confronts a distraught Tara who denies all part related to the murder, but is able to break down the psychological barrier and eventually force her to confess. He makes use of the situation to strike a deal with her, stating that he can help her conceal her doings if she helps him attain evidences of Silas’ crimes. She is doubtful of Lucas’ motives, but decides that its her only better path from there on. She seeks to get things right.
Lucas continues to search on information about Silas’ methods via underhand means as well, e.g. seeking the help of hackers and having Tara to pretend that she is alright with Silas again. She continues to secretly look for information to expose him, but he leaves little traces. Lucas is not a righteous individual and Tara knows that, however he knows how to remain discreet. He also often has friendly chatter with Silas, debate about their viewpoints in life, whilst trying to monitor his actions and understand his motives. Both of them find each other an interesting rival.
Silas slowly suspects that Lucas is trying to retrieve information about his crimes to expose him, devises his own plan. He decides that he would like to taunt Lucas by foiling one of his own plans. He makes one of Lucas’ hackers turn onto him, by offering a better exchange. The hacker confesses to the police that Lucas has been always been hacking into the information of other companies. Lucas gets into a series of lawsuits, eventually serves a short sentence in jail. Tara also gets violently threatened by Silas, he warns her not to liaise anymore with Lucas or she will be his next victim. Tara retaliates and insults him deeply. Out of fury, he takes out a weapon but decides not to do anything in the end for he cannot bear to do so.
On the outside, he is prideful. He strongly believes that he has outsmarted them both, and cheated the authorities multiple times. However, he is actually also very devastated that he has lost his most wonderful aide and supporter, but tries to assure himself that Tara can be replaced.
Tara wonders if she should just abandon what she has built here, start her life anew elsewhere. She meets with one of Lucas’ assistants. She asks if what Lucas wants is power as well, just like Silas. Even his assistant does not know, but only knows that Lucas likes to be a participator in what he calls a game. She decides that she needs to take responsibility for what she has done, it is time for her to expose Silas’ crimes alongside with her own. She does not have existing evidence anymore, but she confesses every one of their plans to the media. She talks about her son’s death and how they are guilty. She is ready to face every consequence and no longer feels the need to have herself covered. Meanwhile, Lucas is off from his sentence.
One of Silas’ partners decides to call it an off in their partnership, finds him untrustworthy. He is also taken in for questioning, along with Tara. He laughs that this is just a crazy statement that she makes up because of their fight. The police searches the household and finds nothing. Despite so, he has lost trust and credibility. He is distraught and goes to the bar to indulge in alcohol, furious and frustrated. He regrets his soft-heartedness for Tara, that it only succumbs him to weakness, and decides to end it once and for all, attempting to disguise a murder as a suicide.
Tara’s friend sends a text to her by saying how she is in danger due to Silas. Tara asks for the location and rushes there, attempting not to let the same incident repeat itself. When she reaches the meeting point, she realises that no one is there. Suddenly, Silas appears. He looks confused, which quickly changes into anger. He then grabs her and strangles her, accusing her of taunting him by pretending to be one of his assistants. She struggles to no avail, tries to deny it, but all of a sudden Silas gasps and collapses on the ground.
Denouement: The police rushes into the place, preparing for a shootout. They see Tara, wide-eyed and in complete shock, with her dead husband on the floor. They proceed to arrest her. She does not know what has happened, and is in complete disbelief. In the car, she ponders over how her friend has texted her but was not physically there, if it was Silas’ doing. But that was unlikely judging from his confusion.
From the corner of her eye, she sees an all-too-familiar figure as she steps out of the car. Lucas mouths the words “I won”. Before she could say anything, he disappears into the crowd. Everything was part of Lucas’ plan, including the hacker’s betrayal. He also timed the surprise meeting between the broken couple, poisoning Silas’ drink in the bar prior to the event. It would only take effect in 1-2 hours later (whereby was the time he met Tara), so to make it seem that she killed him.
She is charged with manslaughter and asked to receive treatment for her mental state. Lucas escapes scot free.
Process and Breakdown (updated)
Definition of Clandestine: Characterised by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception; private or surreptitious
Clandestine is based on the myth of Sisyphus, the craftiest of men, who thought he could outsmart the Gods. However, in the end, he was condemned to an eternal punishment in the underworld. He had to roll a boulder to the top of the hill, only to see it roll back down again.
Re-telling myth and its parallels
When I chose this myth, I wanted to centre around the theme of greed, power, manipulation. I wanted this story lightly touch on Darwinian philosophy, survival of the fittest. I also wanted to give a morally grey undertone to the story, how people often choose between the lesser evil (i.e. Lucas or Silas). I was inspired was various series like Game of Thrones (in particular the characters Petyr Baelish and Varys), House of Cards for the idea of the battle of the wits. Moreover, this touches on the topic of how one can have many but yet have none – while Silas was at the top of the position, he seemed to have all in the world but he in fact lost everything.
Also, adding on to moral ambiguity, I depicted that when the protagonist decides to do the ultimate right thing, it does not actually repay off. It led to the character’s downfall instead. Ultimately, the irony is when she actually decided to do the right thing by confessing her sins, her route to redemption ends with herself being framed and her lost in the end.
The tragedy of Sisyphus, his eternal condemnation, was a manifest of his own defeat due to his doings (he outsmarted himself by leading to his own demise). To make things more interesting, I tried to focus on the character that was overlooked in the myth, which was his wife, Tyro (Tara). I tried to fix things to her perspective, focusing on her moral dilemma that she faced when she killed her son and how she was tangled in the situation. Sisyphus and Tyro did not have a healthy relationship too (i.e. in a scheme to cheat death, he would tell Hades that he wants to punish his wife for not giving him an actual burial), so I wanted to emphasize that aspect too.
In the original myth, Autolycus (Lucas) was outsmarted by Sisyphus. Autolycus could steal without a trace, but Sisyphus eventually was able to prove his crime. Moreover, Sisyphus’ fate was sealed by Zeus, an omnipotent being and not a human. I decided to twist it in a way that, he did not actually outsmart his rival even though he thought he did. And that carelessness actually caused his death, planned by the same rival he thought he outsmarted. The cause of his demise was caused by an unpredictable small foe, and not by the seemingly authoritative, omnipotent being like the original myth.
Silas – Sisyphus
I tried to retain the original depiction of Sisyphus, whereby he is a cunning, smart, abusive, manipulative man and also one with great power. Seemingly “all-bad”, I however saw him as an immensely tragic character in the myth too. He was one who loved life, would stop at nothing to gain it even if it was a losing battle. His passion caused him to pay to ultimate price.
In developing him, I focused on the qualities that would make him more relatable to the audience and how he is very fallible too, making him more dynamic. I emphasized how he was a broken man – he gained all in the world but lost all around him. I tried to humanize him as well, pointing out the fact that he loves his wife which was his weakness being taken advantage of in this power play.
Tara – Tyro
The myth did not have much mention for her, only briefly stated how she did kill her son to save someone close to her. Given that information, I played with the fact that she was morally torn and broken inside from that incident. I decided to craft her as a devoted follower who got jaded along the way. She plays the role someone as the ‘lamb’ caught in the middle of two cunning men’s schemes.
Once again, she is a tainted person with blood in her hands and thus not a perfect. Her journey grows from how she was a conniving individual but eventually is filled with guilt and wants to repent – which makes her more sympathetic and likable as the audience will feel her heart to want to change for the better. She sought to set things right in her own way, exposing her husband. I tried to play with moral greyness with the fact that her decisions, while seemingly the right thing to do, was not ethical actually. She was striking a deal to help another cunning man to expose her husband’s underhanded methods through, ironically underhanded methods. She was at the same time trying to cover up her crimes. But I tried to show that it is partly also due to her confusion from the ordeal she decided to go ahead with the deal. Thus, I tried to paint her as a flawed individual as well.
Lucas – Autolycus
Autolycus was actually somewhat considered a hero in world of Greek mythology, though also a master thief that would never be caught for whatever he steals. He did accidentally frame his neighbour for his theft crimes which led to a tragedy and death of others. With that in mind, I made him to be the ultimate mastermind of the power play and the villain.
Inspired by the certain aspects of the myth and the character ‘Petyr Baelish’ from the Game of Thrones, I developed him as a mysterious, smart rival whom knows how to play the game well. I made him a ambiguous character that does not know what his true motives are, why he seeks to help Tara and whether he can be trusted. Making him an intentionally confusing character would add on to the power play theme.
The poster consisted of the male character (likely to be Silas), and a series of pawns lining up in a row. The series of pawns show the increment in power, with king being at where he is seated at. They represent the people in his power play, his manipulation. The different types of pawns also hint to some of the characters as well, e.g. the regular pawn as the powerless victim in his power play like Sam, and the rook as his rival, Lucas. The motif of chess is to show the battle of wits, how all this manipulation Some blood is hinted at the pawn, to show how the high position he gained is not by clean hands, that blood has been spilled.
The logline, “There can be no mercy”, is an insight to the cold-blooded, ruthless rivalry that the characters face with each other and represents the undertone for the film.
I was veering towards Greek mythology right from the start of the project, as I found them very interesting. They often have a moral message to send across, but yet at the same time are fascinating largely due to the complexity of the stories – things are not clearly black and white. Many of the “villains” in Greek mythology like Medusa, have a strong backstory to make you sympathise for her and realise she was not so villainous after all. The heroes like the omnipotent Gods, might be perceived as too ruthless, they also make mistakes and commit deeds that would be considered immoral as well. Thus, I liked how the distinction between hero and villain was blurred.
It was certainly difficult to think how to re-tell myths, for they are magical by nature. I had to think of ways to just take the bare essence of the story without the supernatural elements, and trying not to literally re-tell the exact sequence of events. I wanted to portray the side of the villains, their tragic backstories and how they are not what we think they are. I initially looked at various myths like Medusa, Icarus/Daedulus and Pandora’s Box. This project really opened my mind as to how I can push boundaries and stretch a story’s potential further.
Moreover, the genre was a challenging one for me to take as well. Crime and manipulation is usually not a genre that I am familiar with coming up with a story, as everything has to be well-thought, sophisticated and smart. I stepped out of my comfort zone by attempting this genre, trying to develop intriguing yet conceivable plot twists. I learnt a lot from this project in developing a story, and depicting characters as well.