Tell us about your creative process - what inspired your idea, and how did you develop it?
Lucy: I began by developing a visual style before the actual storyline. I knew that I wanted to work towards something out of my comfort zone, and to take inspiration from graphic design and commercial works. This resonated with both Rusnė and Ying when I approached them for a collaboration, and we later developed our work based on one of the ideas that Ying came up with. We then made adjustments to the story to bring out the information more clearly, since that was the crucial aim of this film.
Ying: My starting point was visualising the target audience: musicians. I was first inspired by Édouard Manet's oil painting, The Fifer (1866) and drew an original version of the character design. However, later in the client meetings, we came to realise that the animation should be more about the media composer, so we changed our character ideas.
The most challenging part was visualising the buyout process. I thought flowers could be a representation of musicians' creative outputs and my team liked the concept, so we explained the buyout through flowers being picked by a giant hand, representing the exploitation that doesn't benefit music artists.
Rusnė: I came to the team when Lucy and Ying already had the initial idea for the film; however, after a review session, we decided to change direction. We had a lot of brainstorming sessions where we looked for a suitable metaphor to present a rather complicated topic. Ying suggested using flowers as a symbol for the work that media composers create, which we further developed into a choice between giving away the seed and receiving a short-lived bouquet - which stands for accepting a one-time payment, a ‘buyout’ - or planting the seed and growing a garden, only giving away the blossoms that regrow later, which represent royalties.
Then, we created a storyboard with the narrative, I put together the animatic, and all there was left to do was to animate the whole thing.