The student film Cat Fight, created as a senior project by a group of recent graduates from DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore, will be heading later this summer to the Thurrock International Film Festival in the United Kingdom.
The zany film about two quarreling felines will be screening as an official selection in the animation category.
We caught up with the project director Yee Kar Kin from the B.F.A. in Digital Art and Animation program, to ask some questions about the making of the film.
Q. How did your team come up with the idea for Cat Fight?
It actually did not take us long to decide on the film’s theme. Most of us on our team were avid cat lovers, so it was quite quick — however, locking down the story itself required much more thought. In fact, our first discussion was held at one of our teammate’s house, and her pet cats provided both entertainment and inspiration.
Q. How would you describe the visual style you were trying to achieve?
The visual style was designed to be stylized and very colorful, a sort of nod to retro cartoons. Elements in the film are hence peculiar in shape and consist mainly of pastel colors. The 2D effects such as bubbles, smoke, and sparkles were meant to blend with the 3D animation to enhance the “cartoony” look.
Q. What were some of your overall goals for the project?
The film was intended to showcase the various skills we have picked up during our time at DigiPen. At the same time, it was an opportunity to create something in its entirety, from concept to polish, so it was important to me that the film looked unique and had a sense of identity.
Q. From beginning to end, how long did it take to make Cat Fight?
Cat Fight was created over seven months. The first half of the production was where we pitched the story, designed the elements in the film, and created the 3D assets. The second half was spent animating each scene and polishing the film to achieve the look we wanted.
Q. What was the most challenging aspect of the project? What was the most difficult sequence to animate?
I was very particular about the movements of the two cats, wanting them to best portray their characters. This required actual design during pre-production, as it affected the story. The fat cat, Pau, is clumsy but uses everyday items, such as a toaster, to his advantage. The sleek one, Xiao Long, can perform amazing acrobatic feats and unleash a fury of kicks! At the same time though, it needed to feel like a stalemate between the two. I would say that Xiao Long’s sequences were more challenging, given the extravagance of his moves. They were, however, very satisfying to animate.
Cat Fight was created by 2014 graduates Yee Kar Kin, Lim Wei Ning, Nur Hafizah, Siti Norhana, and Eric Lim.