My Final Major Project is a short 2-3min 2D animation and this module counts for a third of my degree classification (SCARY!).
Centred on an ordinary woman who is targeted by a human trafficker whilst visiting the supermarket, the film looks at the illegal human trafficking trade and how it affects ordinary people's lives. Here's a rough overview which was taken from my written feasibility report which we did at the start of the year. It has changed and evolved a bit from this but the main concept and style is pretty similar.
'Absence' (working title) is a short, serious 2D animation set in the present day city. It uses muted colours and paper-like textures to portray the haunting notion of modern day slavery.
The film begins with the main character going to make cereal for breakfast but realising she has no milk. She decides to go to the supermarket.
She browses the aisles and casually searches for other products to buy. As well as the supermarket products the viewer also sees a host of bedraggled, sketchy figures tucked into the shelves but the main character is oblivious. They look sad and frightened - some are hiding and some are trying to escape.
Alongside this there are other more powerful-looking, surreal characters, the traffickers, who appear like real people to the main character, but the viewer sees them flicker and distort to surreal and more scary looking creatures. They are eagerly searching through the bedraggled figures looking for their perfect purchase. Some of the figures get beaten and some get dragged away by the traffickers.
One particular trafficker is getting frustrated because they cannot find someone to meet their requirements. Their anger increases until they spot the main character and decide she is exactly what they want. They must have her.
Suddenly panic ensues as the main character realises she is being targeted and desperately tries to escape his grasp, fleeing from him in fear. She sees the exit and runs towards it.
The final scene shows a new day at the supermarket and new people shopping, again oblivious to the bedraggled figures. As they search the aisles the viewer spots the main character tucked in between the products and realises she didn't escape after all.
The aim of the animation is to raise awareness of human trafficking by relating it to consumer items being bought and sold, hence the supermarket setting and (attempted) use of metaphors. I want to convey the fact that it can happen to anyone, and is happening in the UK not just in ‘other countries’.
Here's the very initial sketch storyboard (which doesn't look great but fingers crossed it will become clearer :) )