Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Anika O'Hagan-Ploug 

Design for Stage + Screen

Anika is an emerging Production Designer based in Dublin and has a particular interest in Stop-Motion animated work. While studying, they were leading designer for two of the annual operas with the Royal Irish Academy of Music and have directed and designed two stop-motion animations. "The Toll" has been screened in a selection of film festivals such as the Dingle Animation Festival and won Best Animation in the Disappear Here Film Festival. "Colour Me Pink" is a stop-motion music video for upcoming artist K E L. Throughout, they have elevated their skills in visual storytelling through drawing, draughting and 3D modelmaking, both physical and digitally on AutoCAD.

Major Project - Colour Me Pink

For Anika's Major Project, they created a Stop-Motion Animated Music Video for the song 'Colour Me Pink' by K E L, an upcoming artist based in Dublin. This video depicts a sweet story of young queer love to fit the nostalgic indie-pop feel of the song, which this stop-motion animated style nicely lends itself to.
Anika banded together a team of over twenty fellow students to bring this video to life. They had the roles of Director and Production Designer while also taking on some producing tasks, puppet fabrication and set building along with their hardworking crew. This crew consisted of students in a variety of courses in IADT, including Film, Television, Animation and Design for Film. To convey their ideas to all the different people, Anika created drawings using AutoCAD and Affinity photoshop.

The ‘Othering’ of Non-Binary Gender Identities on a Contemporary Screen and the Importance of Accurate Representation

Anika's thesis discusses the ‘othering’ of non-binary gender identities on a contemporary screen and the importance of accurate representation, focusing on mainstream film and television shows on a Western screen. As gender diverse people already face ‘othering’ in society, it is important to have accurate representation which normalises non-binary identities on screen. Audiences look to the media in aid of self-identification, they relate to what they think fits best with their personality. Media can also give examples of how to engage with other people, therefore it is important to have non-binary individuals to not be ‘othered’ on screen.
Within the past ten years non-binary people have been represented as characters which make others uncomfortable and villains, representing them as something ‘other’ to exclude. However, there has been progress, non-binary actors and film makers have been able to take part in creating accurate stories with diverse characters.