It’s a charming love story that’s out of this world – literally!
In her short film, entitled Contact, animator Katy Wang illustrates the importance of human contact through a tale involving a stranded astronaut.
The seven-minute, dialogue-free animation introduces us to a lone astronaut stuck on an uninhabited planet. Deprived of anyone to talk to, he sends out a signal, hoping to find someone – anyone – to finally connect with.
Thankfully, he gets a response, albeit one coming from another planet.
Made for Katy’s graduation project at Kingston University, the film took her six months to make, and was inspired by her own tale of love. She told Lost At E Minor:
“Contact was inspired by my experience of being in a long distance relationship, and the feelings of loneliness that come with it.”
With beautiful hand-drawn scenes and characters, not to mention a touching narrative, Katy successfully communicates her feelings of loneliness and longing – something that we can all definitely relate to.
And better yet, it comes with a very important message: that if ever you feel isolated, you can find happiness by simply reaching out to others.
Check out the rest of our interview with Katy, wherein she talks more about herself and her work:
What was the inspiration for Contact?
“Contact was inspired by my experience of being in a long distance relationship, and the feelings of loneliness that come with it. It was also my first narratively-driven short film, focusing on character development.
“Along with doing it as my graduation film in my last year of university, I was also personally going through a tough time mentally and emotionally making it, so the process itself was also quite isolating, and those feelings must have translated through to the film!”
We really loved the film’s animation! How would you describe your animation style?
“Thank you! My process involves frame by frame animation or cel animation, and I predominantly use Adobe Photoshop with Animator’s Toolbar Pro to do it. I also love Kyle’s brushes, you can get loads of great organic textures with them.
“As for my drawing style, I would say I usually lean more towards a more childlike style of drawing, and a harmonious colour palette is also super important to each project I do.”
Also, could you take us through your creative process?
“With any project and its given brief, I usually start by sketching very rough thumbnails which is essentially the first version of the storyboard.
“Coming up with ideas in thumbnail format is useful because it means I’m already thinking of visuals within the necessary framing straight away. In a way, it’s good to be confined by something like this from the start so you know what you’re working with.
“Then I’ll design style frames in Photoshop, testing out different colour palettes and brushes and trying to see how my ideas and drawings translate digitally. I’ll also draw the storyboard up neater and with more detail to make it clear to the client what’s going on in the film.
“As for personal projects, the process isn’t always as streamlined as this, due to the nature of when I manage to find the time to do personal projects!!”
Is there a message or a theme that the film tries to communicate to its audience?
“I would say that the message I wanted to communicate was the importance of human contact and relationships. Even though it’s inspired by my experience of being in a long distance relationship, I never wanted it to be a romantic film. It’s more about the very basic human need for being around others and the extent to which someone will go in order to experience that.”
What are you working on next?
“I’m currently working on my second music video which will be out soon, watch this space!”