Xygarathma Lebibi Sugumaran became the second student to bring the Golden Sailing Award 2017 for Best International Short Film to Limkokwing University from the Beijing Film Academy’s Modern Creative Media College.
The Star Collector
Xygarathma’s story, “The Star Collector,” tells of a tale about a being that has the appearance of a little girl. This being lives in a floating clock-like castle that seems to exist within a place outside of time.
This being had the ability to manipulate the weather while tending to her duties as she prepared to welcome the break of dawn.
Creating a World
“I had to do a lot of visual effects, because I wanted to have a lot of special effects for this animation,” she said.
She wanted to create an environment with a mood that is suitable for the animation.
“For this, I needed a lot of special effects such as particle effects,” she said. “I needed the rays to show the effects of the animation.”
For example, in Xygarathma’s animation, she animated several collections of stars and magical glitter to follow her character. This was how she managed to manipulate the particle effects to create a sense of wonder and mystery for the story.
Unique Stylised Concept
“My inspiration for the story is that you have a fantasy where you live in a world where you don’t understand science,” she explained.
Her story’s concept idea was something that the judges had not seen before.
The animation uses a unique stylised concept which attracted their attention. The story reminded the judges about the joy of creating an entire world based on ideas.
Xygarathma’s story stood out from the competition as her classic style was different than other modern animation style pieces.
“I wanted to do a lot of effects that were not like what you are normally taught in classes,” she said. “This is something that is taught out of school hours.”
“The lecturers at the University are always responsive and can be easily reached on Facebook,” she added. “They can give you critique and help.”
“Two of the non-academic things that are incorporated into the course is teamwork and organisational skills,” she said. “You do develop a lot of confidence, and that has helped me a lot.”
“I had to learn a lot of ways to improve and learn to do things better,” she explained.
Career Focused Practise
Xygarathma also added that aside from building her confidence, the University helped her by exposing her to various industry practises.
“It helps me career-wise as it provides me with more industry experience and networking opportunities,” she said.
“This exposure will help, because any company that will want to hire me will be able to reference me.”
“Like a referral, this will make me look better on my resume,” she said while adding that it could show her potential employers that she is capable of creating concepts and animation.
She also added that it helps to jumpstart her future career, because it is like an accolade under her name.
Before coming to Limkokwing University to pursue her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Animation, Xygarathma Lebibi a/p Sugumaran was just another introvert with a lot of ideas.
Her experience at the University changed her after being exposed to different cultures and countries, which encouraged her to express her creativity by experimenting with various animation styles.
Xygarathma said Limkokwing University offered a lot for creative minds, and a multicultural learning environment made her classes more interesting.
“It was an interesting experience, because we have a lot of people from different countries,” she said. “So you get interesting viewpoints and different ideas.”
She also added that this helped her to create new ideas and concepts.
Advice to Students
Xygarathma’s advice is to never stop learning in the classroom.
“You can also learn a lot of things by asking your lecturers,” she said. “If you want to do things that are not in the syllabus, you can always ask them and they will help you.”