What happens when you’re different in a world where everyone is the same?
About the Film
“DIFFERENT” is an exploration of LGBT issues. Created as a high school graduation art project, it’s essentially my first attempt at creating a short film.
The assignment was about visualising taboos. Initially, my chosen taboo was the social taboo of (homo)sexuality and transgenderism.
DIFFERENT’s final cut isn’t about sexuality per sé, but about all the ways in which someone can be different – ‘the fear of being different, standing out in a negative way’ is the new way in which I chose to articulate this taboo. The main issue in this film is that Ren Bow is a different colour from his peers, and is afraid to be mocked for it. Dark-skinned children, especially in the early days of the segregation area, were afraid to be shunned by their peers because of their skin color. Adults dealt with unemployment and other, more severe levels of racism. So the ‘he has a different color’ idea from Ren Bow and Trys Gin (the transgender character) can be applied to multiple forms of ‘being different’. I quickly started to notice that my original idea was too extensive, and then kept the story very concise and as easy as possible to understand. I have considered extending the story, but for the sake of finishing this assignment on time, I had to cut it short. I put over 130 hours of work into this project, so in retrospect this shortening was absolutely necessary.
This project was a good exercise to let me get familiar with my animation program; after finishing this project, I’d become much more familiar with the tools available to me in said program, and the speed at which I was and now am able to animate has increased significantly.
This project has a personal touch to it. I don’t like to talk about it because it’s irrelevant to me and my personality, but I myself am transgender and bisexual.
I know what it’s like to be different. I know what it’s like to be afraid of being considered ‘weird’, to be shunned and not belong anywhere. I never truly fit in during elementary school and the majority of my high school career. I actually pretended to be someone I’m not for the majority of that time, bringing myself nothing but pain and disappointment. I often feel that I have let down others as well. That is why I wanted to show in a colorful environment how I felt going through these emotions. Not everything is exactly the same, of course as the characters and situations are caricatures of reality, but the situations do reflect my experiences.
The characters are deliberately brightly colored and anatomically incorrect in order to detach the viewer from the reality in terms of design, in order to bring the reality of the performance (the story) to the foreground.