Beast is currently playing in festivals in the US and Canada including Film Invasion LA, Denver Underground Film Festival, Capital City Film Festival, and the Victoria Independent Film Festival. Additional updates will be posted on instagram. Read more about the project here, or check out the trailer below!
Beast is a short film about two sisters. When a destructive force shifts the balance of power between them, it tests the strength of their relationship. The story is inspired by the complicated dynamics of such an intimate relationship, and how those dynamics can change over time. It focuses on the experience of the younger sister, and her struggle to contain and control the negative emotions that threaten to overwhelm her. When her feelings finally overflow, they take the form of a spider that grows with her desire for power. It threatens both her and her sister, and they must reconcile their differences or be overwhelmed by it’s force.
Beast’s style is realized through a combination of live action performance and stop-motion animation. The blend of these distinct mediums is echoed by a blending of classic and contemporary formal elements to further reflect the contrasts between childhood and adolescence. Disney animated classics "Cinderella" and "Alice in Wonderland", and Tim Burton’s "James and the Giant Peach" serve as main references to evoke the beauty and softness of youthful fantasies. The classic aesthetic of these works served as a main inspiration for Beast’s cinematography and production design. Heavy filtration and filmic grain give the images a vintage feel, and the muted palette and arced shape of the attic set replicates antique styles. The sculptures of Eva Hesse, and the photographs of Cindy Sherman capture the spirit of transformation and of adolescence. These contemporary works inspired the stop-motion animation design and art direction. The faded yellow color and semi-translucency of Eva Hesse’s “Sans II” and "Sans Tire" inspired the shape and color of the spider’s skin and spindled legs. Sherman’s aggressive composition and grotesque props in her “Untitled (#175)” and "Queen of Hearts" inspired collage details of spilt, gooey, messy makeup and a severely clogged shower drain. Beast uses a mix of styles to illustrate a period of transformation and growth. Formal contrasts underscore the story’s thematic contrasts of love and power, and emphasize the dichotomy between internal experience and external appearance.