Strange design inspirations

I thought I'd share a few design inspirations from my 2012 animated feature film Heart String Marionette

Lord Wor's special life stealing machine
Lord Wor's  "system" that he used to steal peoples life force was based on the original Cray computer
A Cray Supercomputer

When I was a kid someone told me that there was a Cray supercomputer that ran on HUMAN BLOOD?! Later I learned it was cooled with a blood plasma substitute BUT a computer than ran on HUMAN BLOOD was stuck in my head as a kid...
The Switch for Lord Wor's machine
The switch for Lord Wor's machine was based on the switch for the original electric chair

When I was looking for reference images for the electric chair I came across this one- pretty haunting

That's a photo from Sing Sing prison in 1900- thats the place that where the saying "up the river" came from- 614 people were killed in that electric chair- a ruthless machine frying flesh... operated by men in suits- men in suits that worked for the system.

The Haus that Wor built

"The Haus that Wor Built" was based on a Pagoda firework I always liked
A Friendship Pagoda firework
The puppet control mechanism that appears in the film was based on the idea of the human meridian/chakra system
My simplified puppet control system
I find myself getting bored of modeling/creating literal objects for my films- so to keep things fun and interesting I try to find some deeper reference or meaning to the objects that I call upon for inspiration...

There's many more things like this in Heart String Marionette as I went NUTS with the design and art direction. My new film I AM NIGHTMARE doesn't have much of this stuff as its a straight forward film wherein I'm focusing on the story and character development rather than the design...


  1. It really shows how much effort went into making the set pieces. I think my favorite is the firework pagoda.


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