The “BlackSwan” is part one of an animated series based on the classic ballet “Swan Lake”. The film is from the perspective of the Blackswan attempting to steal the Prince from the Whiteswan using magic. With her red pedant, the Blackswan is able to take on the form of the Whiteswan to nearly all that view her. She arrives at the Prince’s ball hopeful she can trick him into confessing his love for her instead.
I am Briar Quinn, an aspiring animator who appreciates both digital and physical forms of artistic media. For my animation project, I have combined my love for fairytales with a study of the human form in motion. Black Swan part 1 is the story of the ballet Swanlake, reimagined from the Blackswan’s point of view; in love with the Prince, the Blackswan uses magic to attempt to win his heart from the Whiteswan at a ball. With this animation, I have attempted to stretch my skills as an animator and challenge myself to see what I am able to accomplish. I focused heavily on creating dynamic camera angles, expressive characters, and animating dance choreography. I have focused on music and imagery to tell my story to ‘show not tell’ the plot. To do this I have focused on trying to illustrate the emotions the Blackswan goes through, focusing on unique character movements and expressions.
The Blackswan is often portrayed as a stereotypical evil character with not many examples of her being expanded upon. For my take on the story, I wanted to portray the Blackswan through a modern lens and not make her comically evil. The love triangle between the Whiteswan, the Prince, and the Blackswan, is often shown from the Whiteswan’s point of view. The tragedy is that her love was tricked into choosing another and stopped her curse from being broken. What if however, it wasn’t just an evil wizard who convinces the Blackswan to partake in his plans to thwart the Whiteswan’s attempts at love? What if the Blackswan truly loved the Prince, is what I asked myself. I then rewrote the story with that factor and dived into how it could change the plot. In my version, the story ends on a very different note than the original.
The Blackswan's pendant not only makes her look like the Whiteswan but actually switches their appearances completely. Only the Whiteswan and the Blackswan recognize each other for who they really are. The Whiteswan does not know this however and is heartbroken that her Prince suddenly seems to hold so much hatred for her. The Prince strikes the Whiteswan and threatens to execute her on the spot if she does not leave their presence immediately. Witnessing the cruel nature of the Prince and seeing the Whiteswan be reduced to tears, the Blackswan makes the decision to break the spell. She could stand by and have everything she wants but instead chooses to do the right thing so the Whiteswan will not suffer. The Prince then chooses the real Whiteswan but, after seeing his violent outburst, the Whiteswan wants nothing more to do with the Prince and both swans leave the castle. The Blackswan attempts to commit suicide, shameful over what she’s done but the Whiteswan stops her. The Whiteswan is thankful that through the Blackswan’s deceitful crime, she revealed the Prince’s true dark nature. The story ends with both swans reconciling and watching the sun rise together.
This was one of the most enjoyable parts of the project for me, it was an interesting process to take familiar characters and complicate their roles. As I was working I realized, I gave the Whiteswan more character growth as well. In most depictions, she is similar to Snow White and is treated as a helpless maiden. By having her reject the Prince, the Whiteswan becomes more driven and a more independent character. The Prince goes from being the hero to taking on more of a villain role and becoming a more realistic monster.
I hope to expand the animation to tell the whole story, but it made more sense to focus on the first section so I could complete the main goals of my project. I plan to do the rest of the animation and improve on the quality of the first part in the future.