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Q&A with Tiffany Tong, director of MOTH - EFN CRITICS’ AWARD WINNER

Saturday 28 August 2021, by carrie

Animator Tiffany Tong won the Critics’ Choice Award at the last edition of Emerging Filmmakers Night for her short Moth. She tells us a bit more about the film and her background in animation. Moth is available to view online.

There is so much to unpack in the 3 minute run-time of Moth. First of all, can you explain the choice of title?

Moths are attracted to light, drawn to bright lights. It represents Hong Kong residents, seeking the light in the dark, like chasing hope in the dark.

Also the pronunciation of moth in Cantonese is the same pronunciation of one of the surnames of the Hong Kong Chief Executive. So, ‘Moth’ has a double meaning in my film.

What are you hoping to communicate to your audience?

I would like to share my feelings and the truth with my audience. As there’s a lot of news media that have their own angles, I would like to record the truth and communicate it to the world.

Can you tell us more about your choice of colour palette (black and white with very specific injections of colour) and soundtrack?

I want to create a serious and neutral perspective, but not too much. So I add those touches of colours. For example, at 01:10, the stand opposite the disordered line, green and black is the uniform of the police, pink is the colour of respirators, black is the clothing of protesters, yellow is the colour of the ribbon. The music is created by a talented local music composer, Joyce Chung. I also use foley.

Is your background in animation? Can you explain your particular animation style?

Yes, I completed my Animation MA in the United Kingdom and Animation degree in Hong Kong. My particular animation style is a mixture of rotoscope and motion graphics. I think it’s the perfect way to present documentary animation, it combines realism and creativity.

What sort of filmmaking and subject matter are you keen to focus on in the near future?

I am working on another project, a documentary animation about Covid-19. Stay Tuned.

How has the pandemic affected your work thus far?

Affected by the pandemic, I had to go back to Hong Kong and get used to another animation environment. The animation industry in Hong Kong is very different from that in the UK. But on the other hand, this pandemic also gave me inspiration to start making another documentary animation.

What would be your top tips for someone starting out in animation?

A strong spirit. Creating animation is a very long process, so we need to have faith, passion and love towards both animation and the topic. Also, a stylish animation style will be very helpful as well. These can support you to complete your journey.

Any message or comments?

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