Somewhere down the line while working day and night for broadcast animation work in Singapore, I realized I lost my way while pursuing animation. I should be tiring on my own stories rather than the product renders and commercials.
Thus came the idea of a perfect society. A utopian city with a twig of immigrant complication. And the literally similar looking citizens. I conceived it as a graphic novel in 2010. The thematic allegory and lore was so dense that I decided to realize it in a short film first. The film at its core is simply a metaphorical reaction to the sort of world we live in. A mental dystopia with a misinterpreted idea of a ‘perfect life’, and the unknown territories it can lead us into.
I was excited. I left the job and took a long break to write and create the animatics for the short film. It was a painfully long and nervous process. I had never told a story this dense before and I wasn’t really earning enough to fund it. So I had to take a job eventually that made things even harder as there was no time to work on the film everyday after work and family. Something about the story intrigued me so much that I kept going. Sometimes I couldn’t work for stretches as long as 6 months. But after excruciatingly nervous yet fun 4 years I could finish it.
The look and design is inspired by both classic anime and modern stylized games. Hence its sort of a hybrid. And I am hoping to maintain this look in my future films.
From a technical standpoint, Schirkoa would not have been possible without the achievements made in motion capture and rendering today. Mixamo & Redshift are just one of the few names that helped boost Schirkoa’s pace of production.