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SYFY short 'Boob Armor' takes on the unrealistic expectations of women warriors

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Apr 2, 2021, 3:12 PM EDT (Updated)

In honor of Women's History Month 2021, SYFY and Tongal, a global community of content creators, invited three women filmmakers to create video shorts that represent their experiences through the lens of science fiction and fantasy.

Starting March 1, these three shorts will premiere on the SYFY network throughout the month — and beyond. To further celebrate these original shorts, SYFY WIRE got in touch with the creators in order to break down their work and take a closer look at what inspires them. Next up is Rhiannon Evans, creator of "Boob Armor."

Tell us about yourself! 

I’m a stop-motion animator and director from Wales. 

Tell us about your piece. What inspired you and what does it mean to you? 

When asked to pitch an idea that would honor women’s history I took the opportunity to reflect on women’s present by illustrating the ridiculous way that female characters are often dressed in genre fiction.

It’s a topic that has many things to ridicule but the worst offender in my opinion is "boob armor." It’s useless, potentially dangerous to the character wearing it, and only serves to objectify women. The most frustrating thing is that it distances me from the character because it is clear she hasn’t dressed herself, and so it makes her unrealistic. It makes suspending my disbelief too difficult. I’m hoping that this video will resonate with all SYFY fans out there who feel the same way I do and provide a small amount of catharsis. 

What about this piece makes it a reflection of yourself and your love of genre? 

Well, I put my own voice in it which is a cringe-worthy first for me. I also used my hands to assist the characters in removing their boob armor, which I hope makes it more personal as well as adding to the tactile aesthetic. I like simple ideas and design that charms the audience, which is not generally associated with genre, so I suppose that’s also a reflection of me too.  

What and/or who inspired you to become an artist? 

As a kid, Garfield comics inspired me to draw and tell stories. When I visited Disney World in the '90s and saw the animators at work was when I realized animation was a career I wanted to follow. After that, it was a short called Flatland by Daniel Grieves that inspired me to try stop motion and I’ve never looked back. 

What do you love about genre? Tell us about some of your favorite works and why you love them.

The ideas are what attract me most. There’s a freedom in genre to let your imagination run wild and I find the artists working within the genre have the most interesting things to say. It’s the ability to create a whole world as well as the characters who populate it. You can have your world say something completely different to the story you are trying to tell or you can create your world to enhance the story. It can have parallels in reality or be entirely fictional and yet still be believable and immersive for the audience. It can help you understand the real world by removing you from it for a short time and giving you a new perspective, which is ultimately what storytellers are trying to do, show audiences a new perspective. 

Personally, I love anything with puppets. Godzilla, Gremlins, Labyrinth, Jason and the Argonauts… I know they can look dated against CG creations but there’s an authenticity to puppets that CG can’t replicate. 

Check out Rhiannon Evans and our two other creators' work below, as well as on SYFY.

SYFY and Tongal Invite Women Animators to Create Video Shorts for Women's History Month