During a steamy afternoon at the beach, a seagull makes its way through crowds of phone-distracted humans in its search for a meal. When it lays its eyes on a fresh box of french fries, the seagull stops at nothing to get a taste, even while increasingly strange fates are befalling the humans. While everyone is distracted, by fries or by cell phones, a vortex opens in the sky and carries everyone into the unknown. Finally, with the people vanished, the seagulls reap the benefits of an abandoned beach full of snack foods left behind. Blue Light began as an introspective look at society’s relationship with technology, but shifted dramatically in tone when a global pandemic changed my perspective. After a summer of false starts, my work turned into finding ways to illuminate the humor and absurdity of humanity’s dependence on technology. Inspiration for this new draft was sparked by wanting an opportunity to move the focus away from any main characters, and towards the backgrounds so I could sharpen my skills in layouts and background painting. In doing so, the main mechanic of the film was born; an ever escalating backdrop of strangeness. By balancing a mix of quirky character design, ominous coloring, and other-worldly music, I was able to achieve a successfully weird yet amusing look at ourselves in a fictional, apocalyptic future.
Film and Animation (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CAD)
Mari Jaye Blanchard
Greenfield, Rachael, "Blue Light" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus