Volsunga : Apollonian and Dionysian : an exploration through character concept design : Master of Design thesis, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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In this research I will explore the polarity of Apollonian and Dionysian perspectives as they relate to the character design process for film. A science fiction adaptation of the myth of the Volsunga provides context for this exploration. The design response will use character designs as promotional artworks for a potential movie. The creative practice seeks to explore how an emotionally engaging character artwork can generate a meaningful Dionysian experience that speaks to our inner human nature and curiosity. The work intends to show how character concept design can be conveyed to the audience for a potential film before it is green-lit, and by appealing to a Dionysian impulse, persuade studio executives to take a risk on a more visually diverse project. I explore Nietzsche's original concept behind the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy and the experience of the Dionysian as a potential answer for systemic nihilism. I then look at how these concepts have been expressed as archetypal characters and how they might be represented visually. Lastly I relate the Apollonian and Dionysian perspectives to the Waterfall and Agile design methodologies and to all of my design approaches. Through this lens I have explored the design of artworks for the six main characters in an original science fiction adaptation of the Norse myth of the Volsungs.