If you’ve seen the trailer for Avatar Secrets, you might just remember the sequence where the illustrated version of Ramona reaches out to touch her reflection and the glass shatters.
This follows a transition from footage to illustration and provides an introduction to the idea of parallel realities and identities.
Ramona’s life from before shatters. And that moment is the impetus for change — the trigger that pushes the story to begin.
This sequence sets up a lot of themes: the artifice of modern life, the veneer of civilization, our parallel selves inside and out, and the modern paradox of being alone in a crowd.
We start with footage then transition into the illustrated scenes, which are still clearly “real” but speak to a contemporary duality in all of those themes. Then, everything shatters.
In the shards of glass, we see fragments of Ramona’s life from before; everything she thought she knew, everything she thought she wanted.
There’s something about the balance of footage and illustrations that depicts the tension between the status quo of identity and community, camaraderie and alienation, in a way that is greater than either medium on their own can do.
When the reflection shatters, it is literally real life shattering, giving way to this other reality, life just falling apart.
While we didn’t end up incorporating a 3D push into the screen here, this is where we first developed the Z-Axis move between worlds, the transition we would later use to visualize the layered reality, and our progression between the two.