Harrison Gregan

Be Happy

Bachelor of Design Compositing Video Narrative Health and Wellbeing Mental Health

A live action drama/horror featuring integrated liquid and smoke simulations. A story about a mother and daughter in mourning.

'Be Happy' is a live action film which aims to answer the research question, “How do I represent the internalization of emotions in the face of toxic positivity through integration of simulations into a live action film?

‘Be Happy’ is a short drama/horror film that explores the relationship between a mother and a daughter mourning the loss of a husband and father respectively. The central conflict of this piece is the fact that the mother wants the daughter to be happy whilst the daughter needs to mourn in order to experience catharsis. My aim is to convey that grief and anger are a natural part of the human experience and not worthy of being vilified. As a visual effects showcase, ‘Be Happy’ also makes use of the integration of visual effects into a live action piece and requires a display of technical skill. It utilizes visual effects tied directly to the symbology of my narrative, aiming to heighten the viewing experience of my audience by strengthening their emotional response. Specifically my film makes use of Liquid and Pyro FX simulation from the Houdini software. All in all I wanted to make my film a story that pushed back against the societal insistence that we should always 'Be Happy', and instead advocated the need for sadness as a path to catharsis.