At the end of 21st century, mankind was facing global resource depletion. Space Rovers were sent out to find potential inhabitable planets.
Planet Unknown is a glorious little animated film created as a thesis film by 3D animator Shawn Wang. In the likes of some famous cinematic space robots, Shawn explored the idea of intelligent and comically relieving rovers studying foreign planets.
I had been working full time on Planet Unknown from July 2015 to June 2016. It was a passion project as well as my graduation thesis film at Communication University of China. This 11-month journey was very challenging, but it was a perfect learning opportunity as well.
The idea started back in 2014 when Interstellar was released. I was deeply impressed by the movie and was inspired by the two robots TARS and CASE. The idea of intellectual robots exploring space developed from there. Other inspirations include Pixar movies like WALL-E and Toy Story, as well as CHAPPiE, NASA documentaries about Mars Rover Curiosity, and short films by individuals like Alex Roman’s The Third & The Seventh, Richard Mans’ Abiogenesis, Erik Wernquist’s Wanderers, Alf Lovvold’s Dawn of the Stuff, and so many more.
Echoic Audio, one of the UK’s leading music & sound design studios, joined this adventure with epic cinematic score and detailed sound design which catapulted the film to a new level that I had never imagined.
The film’s beauty certainly comes within its details, while a lovely score and sound design push ‘Planet Unknown’ to a new height, its core comes from a well written script with enough turning events and nail biting moments surrounding two attaching characters – despite being voiceless robots on wheels. And of course, none of this would matter without the fluently beautiful animated work, where attention to detail is evident to the tiniest particle, only enhancing our experience on this unknown planet.