RMIT: Student talent shines in animation, games and interactivity showcase

MAGI is a two-year full-time graduate course that gives students an opportunity to experiment and develop their skills as artists, designers, directors and content producers across a wide range of media and user experience.
Launching Friday 5 November, the Boxtopias showcase shares the highlights of the year and gives viewers a chance to respond live to the work and meet some of the students behind it.
Boxtopias director Clarice Tan said it was a great opportunity for students to present their work, reflect on their development process and consider how the work can be presented to new audiences.

Reflecting on his own personal creative process, Tan drew on his experience to create work that deals with intense emotional expressions.

“I utilise the freedom of 2D animation to incorporate surreal experiences that portray abstract feelings,” he said.
“I hope to encourage others to express complex emotions using his works and hope my work can impact someone in a positive way.”

MAGI lecturer John Power said students had worked hard to adapt to the strains of rolling lock-downs in 2021 to collaborate remotely across Melbourne, Australia, and the world.

“The showcase will show a diverse array of compelling stories and creative experiments from the class of ’21; a cohort of over 100 Masters,” he said.

“We’re very proud of the polished work as these graduates take their contributions into the world.”

Producer Benjamin Mansur said his work HUMANANIMALS explores the relationship between humans and animals.

“I was interested in asking audiences to think about how they interact with animals in their daily lives,” he said.

Mansur’s work began after considering why he felt increasingly desensitised towards discussion of animal rights activism.

“I wanted to unpack this reflection in a meaningful way, which ultimately led to the development of HUMANIMALS.

“My work asks audiences to consider the relationship we hold with animals and recognise how one-sided it really is.”

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Yee Hui Wong’s obsession with animated film started from a young age, when watching animated feature films allowed her to see different parts of the world from such a young age.

“I think some people underestimate the influence film has on us all in those formative years,” Wong said.

Wong’s ambition to develop animated films is driven by the opportunity to convey messages that are digestible to audiences.
“Through film you can take the audience on a journey, provide a platform for other people’s stories and see the world in a different way.”
“I hope to bring joy to audiences who engage with imaginative worlds and continue to contribute to a better society with positive messages in film.”
Wong is currently working on her second animated short film “Who Killed Cock Robin”, the trailer set to launch during the expo.

Student Maxine Gorey said there were many artists that had inspired their own stories.

“Mel Roach with her animated short Rocket Dog, Mike Rosenthal who made Our New Electrical Morals and Slug Riot, the list goes on!”
Gorey said they enjoyed the heart and energy that goes into creating shows that tell stories of queer characters, from Raye Rodriguez and finds inspiration from independent animators that can carry humour, a good plot and character development.
Through the development of their work, Gorey hopes to use the characters to engage with audiences on an intimate level.
“I aim to write characters that the audience want to spend time with.

“I aim to create worlds that leave people wondering about what is over the other side of the hill.”
Gorey uses their own experience as much as possible in the hope that someone else may see themselves in the character or the world and be able to connect through shared experience.

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Duncan Corrigan was inspired from attending Play by Play, a New Zealand game conference in Wellington in 2018.

Overwhelmed by the compassion, generosity and skill sharing that was felt, Corrigan was inspired to build games with that feeling.

“I hope to encourage my audience to embrace and celebrate their playful sensibilities to engage their words with compassion and creativity.

Miles Colubriale said: “BROOD is surreal but came from my real feelings early on in my transition a few years ago.”

Their inspiration is drawn from concept artworks by Walt Peregoy and Maurice Nobles and the villain in Samurai Jack.

“This work exists mainly to be cathartic; the story exists as I felt I was trying to become human.”

Colubriale hopes audiences can resonate with being vulnerable, especially those who may have experienced similar feelings in the past.

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Currently working with FrogAsia as a Games Researcher, Iris Ng takes inspiration from expanding a baseline idea and creating it elsewhere in an experience that feels like an expanded version of the original.

“Satoshi Taijiri wanted a game where he could catch bugs and show his friends, and next thing you have is Pokémon,” she said.

“I aim to provide opportunities for conversations where people can explore ideas and expand on real world concepts to develop games.”

Ng is currently looking into ways of revamping FrogAsia’s learning application to provide a playable game-like experience for the user.

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