ITP Spring Show 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2-6pm & Monday, May 11, 5-9 pm

Xue Hou


"February" is a narrative animated short film that explores fear and dependency in relationships, as well as the unbearable fatigue of a doubtful future and insecurity.

Project Development Studio (Marina Zurkow),Thesis

This thesis project is a narrative animated short film entitled "February", inspired by a girl who was born in February.


User Scenario
There is a delicate little figure lives inside of my body who has never left the house nor seen world outside. She sleeps inside of my stomach. My mouth is her living room and my lungs are her backyard and swimming pool. She grows beautiful plants in her garden, among them there is a little red flower, her best and only friend except me. Despite the sudden bright light that sometimes comes from outside of her living room window that scares her so much, she lives a peaceful and happy life. I know she is here inside with me, I enjoy her company and feel protective. So I have to eat less and less in order to provide her a place to sleep that is safe, warm and clean. Slowly I get seriously sick because of that. She doesn't know and wouldn’t understand why. I can't stop coughing which constantly wakes her up at night, and the sticky liquid flowing everywhere starts from her swimming pool eventually kills her small flower friend. She gets really mad at the house. Thinking about the bright light, she suddenly has the courage to want to go out and leave the rotten house. So she rushes to the "door" with her dead flower friend in her hand. But then she stops at the door, feeling paranoid just by one glance of the outside view. For the first time in her life, she feels so insecure and she panics. She can’t do it. She wouldn’t know where to go or what to do if she left, she would always be afraid and on guard. She is trapped. Trapped with the person she lives in and shares a lifetime of memories with. She slowly walks back to her bedroom, now there is sticky fluid everywhere as well. She lies down and closes her eyes, humming, sensing she too will be killed, eventually.

Based on the mood board and narrative, "February Girl Leech" is made as a combination of clay stop motion and black and white video footage. The main character is an abstract figure which is made of modeling clay, polymer clay and sculpture wires. It is shot blank faced using istopmotion inside of an environment built with modeling clay and meat. Facial expression is composited in After Effects after the original footage is edited in Final Cut Pro. The animated style is delicate, soft and creepy, with a non-digital, low-tech appearance. So if they were to be printed, they would look just like traditional art piece.