All Things Unholy
Date of Submission
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
“All Things Unholy” is a short animated film which follows a single mother, Sage, trying to raise the incarnation of Satan in a small Christian town. She grapples with the perception of her son and wonders how to provide him with the best life that she can. For Sage, it is unclear where her son belongs but, ultimately, she is forced to make a great sacrifice to keep him safe. This film examines what it means to be “other” and how that may affect a family.
This project is an exploration of unconditional, maternal love, asking the question, how far can that love be pushed? I wondered if something as impenetrable as a familial bond has a breaking point, and if so, how is that embodied? This film attempts to deconstruct the binaries of good and evil, forcing the audience to sympathize with the physical embodiment of evil, as he tries his best to do right and assimilate into a world that is not his own. “All Things Unholy” lives in a world of heightened circumstance. It explores relatively universal themes such as disruption, isolation and sacrifice while taking them to the utmost extreme.
I chose the medium of animation for this film since it allows for a more intensified reality than other methods of filmmaking. The absurd world of the script is complimented by the unusual visuals that accompany it. It was important for me to create a world completely from scratch and to be absolutely in control of every detail. My hand is ever present in the film. The medium that I chose allowed my personality to be visible in every frame. The use of animation informed the content of this story in many ways. Animation enabled this film to draw on thematic elements from multiple genres including comedy, coming of age, and horror without the demand for a massive budget. The themes of the script influenced the physical production of this film. Like Jonny, the film is unusual in the way it looks.
The premise of“All Things Unholy” was originally conceived as a spiritual sequel to Polanski’s film “Rosemary’s Baby”. However, it took on a life of its own throughout the duration of production. The characters began to reveal their unique personalities to me. Every day that I worked on the film , it evolved further away from it’s point of conception. It was no longer a sequel, it was its own entity. The thematic elements that became the most powerful in this story, such as otherness, isolation, and sacrifice were never a part of my original plan, but these developments allowed me to bond with and understand my characters in a way that creates fully fleshed out and three dimensional art. Everyone has felt like an outsider at some aspect in their life, and I hope that through viewing this film, we connect through the shared experience of alienation.
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Buncher, Lola Elaine, "All Things Unholy" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 350.
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