“Sexy yetis, scientists, and neon colors collide in Better Humans: a kaleidoscopic romp through the possibilities of gene editing and body augmentation.”

Directed and designed by Moth Studio, U.K., 2018.

Made as part of a seven-part series commissioned by Massive Science on the lasting impact of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Director’s statement

We were approached by Massive to create one out of a series of seven short films on the lasting impact of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. They wanted a more fantastical visual interpretation to contrast against the factual scientific voice over, so we were given full creative freedom to push that brief wherever our minds would take it. Taking inspiration from 80’s Japanese monster vinyl toys, we mixed monsters, optimism, and scientific facts to create a look into the neon future.

We wanted the film to look loose and fun so we started experimenting with using bright colored markers (Posca pens) on plastic cels. As we fell in love with the texture and the look that they gave us, we decided to embrace the technique and design the whole film on physical cels. These were then scanned and used as our backgrounds to our digital 2d animation, enhancing the film with imperfections that gave it a special charm and unique result.

Produced, directed, and designed by Moth Studio
Animation: Maria Morris, Keziah Philipps, Knifeson Yu, and Moth Studio
Compositing: Daniele Baiardini, Keziah Philipps, Ross Plaskow, and Moth Studio
Featuring: Braden Allenby, environmental ethicist and environmental attorney, and Conor Walsh, biomedical engineer
Sound and Music: Skillbard
A Co-Production of Massive and Plympton massivesci.com
Producer: Harriet Bailey
Senior producer: Nadja Oertelt
Executive producers: Ed Finn, Bob Beard
Produced for the Frankenstein Bicentennial Project at Arizona State University
In partnership with the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab
Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

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