armstrong

A woman secretly watches her crush from across the factory floor.

The moon disappears.

Things start to fall apart.

With the world breaking into pieces like a giant jigsaw puzzle and her crush’s life in danger, our heroine struggles to hold herself together. How will she solve this moon mystery? Time to go out on a limb and take matters into her own hands.

Armstrong is a film about strength that plays with the building blocks of the universe.

A continuous goal in my work is simplicity. I love strong and bold imagery in design and storytelling, slowly removing the unnecessary elements so my work stands out and connects with people through its clarity. Consequently my personal design and animation work over the last few years has focused on simple character concepts, often using stripped back materials and shapes. This has involved balloon characters to characters constructed from toy blocks. Armstrong takes this idea to a more conceptual level where not only is the town made from simple geometric blocks but, as it is revealed, so are its inhabitants, a loose metaphor for the fundamental building materials of nature. 

The origins of the story came from our desire to tell a fantastical story in the vein of Hindu mythology, where anything can happen and celestial bodies often interact with human beings. In an episode of Hindu epic narrative the Mahabharata, the moon is stolen by one of the gods. This made us wonder - how might the sudden absence of the moon affect the world? We began to experiment with the idea of things falling apart, into their component pieces and the story began to take shape.

The design is partially inspired by 20th century Indian artist Jamini Roy. Roy’s work builds upon classical Indian art motifs by simplifying and exaggerating colours and design features. I felt this resonated well with our concept and helped in developing my own style for the film. Considering the prominence of the moon and the night setting I wanted to have maximum control over lighting, so 3D animation techniques felt right. I have kept a lot of 2D design principles in the mix which I hope creates a unique and eye-catching look.

credits
Director
Russ Etheridge
Writers
Ayndrilla Singharay
Russ Etheridge
Production
Russ Etheridge
Ayndrilla Singharay
Sound
Mutant Jukebox
Additional Vocalisations
Helen Plumb
Marketing Consultant
Catherine Pitt
For BFI
Thomas Wightman
Ruth Thompson