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Shape of Water

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 12:27 PM
Video-cover by dtab428Get an inside look at Guillermo del Toro’s trademark artistic style in his latest film, The Shape of Water. Experience the creative journey from design to production of its charming and unconventional amphibian love interest. Hear from del Toro himself, actor Doug Jones, and the design team on the labor of love that brought “The Asset” to life.
The Making Of

Author: MisfitsTamara Artist: nipuni

Stories of unconventional love have existed for millennia and have gained new momentum thanks to Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

The film, which explores the bond between Amphibian Man and Elisa Esposito, shows that love can bloom no matter how unlikely the pair or the obstacles that may stand in their way. The secret to understanding how Amphibian Man captured Elisa’s heart, and by extension ours, is taking a look behind-the-scenes into his creation.

From the very beginning, this film was born from long-standing fascinations and affections. It all started as an idea by writer Daniel Kraus (Guillermo del Toro’s writing partner for the children’s book series Trollhunters) who’d come up with a story in high school about a cleaning woman at a government facility befriending a creature and deciding to set it free. It immediately captured del Toro’s attention thanks primarily to his childhood (turned lifelong) fondness for the Creature from the Black Lagoon and desire to tell a version of the Beauty and The Beast tale without the Beast transforming into a human. This was in 2011 and film development began shortly after. Working on the book and script simultaneously while filming Pacific Rim, in 2014 del Toro hired a crew of artists to begin designing what would become Amphibian Man and the lab (a central location of the film). In early 2015, del Toro and Fox Searchlight hired Vanessa Taylor as a co-writer to perfect the script.

Take a look behind the scenes at how Guillermo Del Toro brought a story of
unconventional love to life in The Shape of Water.
(Content Courtesy of Fox Searchlight)

Non-verbal communication and connection is an extremely important aspect of the story as a woman who speaks primarily using American Sign Language (ASL) falls in love with a creature who’s never had to speak. That meant Amphibian Man must be expressive, realistic, and, well, beautiful. Del Toro was so committed to the process, he paid the creative team using his own money and used his Bleak House workshop as homebase. “I knew it was going to take a long time, so I didn’t even put it in the film’s budget,” del Toro said. “This is truly the hardest creature design I’ve ever done.”

To effectively create something that looked like it plausibly emerged from the depths of the Amazon, studying nature was extremely important to the process. Del Toro and sculptor extraordinaire Mike Hill (whose credits include The Wolfman, Apocalypto, and Men In Black 3) worked very closely together and looked at hundreds of fish for inspirations. For example, the way Amphibian Man eats is based on tropical lionfish and they were inspired by several species to add bioluminescence to his coloring. “People with aquariums are often attracted to glowing, see-through fish so we wanted to echo that idea,” Hill explained. “Later, Legacy [Effects] came up with a way to recreate that idea in an opaque suit that looks fantastic.”

The harder part was creating the alluring “man” half of the fish-man. “[Del Toro] said he wanted me to give the creature a soul,” Hill revealed. “He wanted it to be something a woman could fall head over heels for in every way.“[Del Toro] said he wanted me
to give the creature a soul...”
So I started sketching a handsome looking version of a fish-man, giving him kissable lips, a square jaw and doe eyes, and I went from there.” So they worked and worked, modeling clay day and night, until they got it right. Del Toro even took the designs home to get the opinions of the female members of his family, from shoulder width to hindquarters. Their dedication and passion finally paid off when they completed their striking first design stage.

With the maquettes and clay designs finished, the next challenge was to turn it into functional suits that someone could wear and effectively move in. This is where Legacy Effects’ expertise comes in. They converted the maquettes into digital images that were further developed and detailed while building Amphibian Man’s facial elements, as being expressive was just as important as having abs. Shane Mahan (Legacy’s award-winning Creature Designer and Visual Effects Supervisor with credits that include Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Pacific Rim) said, “One of the early conversations was that Guillermo wanted the eyes to be changeable on set in order to change the mood or look of the creature. Since you can’t take Doug [Jones]’ makeup off to change them, we ended up coming up with a magnetic system to interlock the eyes. It was the only solution. Once we were shooting, we would change the eyes four or five times a night.”

“He has a love for our craft that is infectious,” said Mahan. “He would meet with us anytime, late on a Friday night or on a Sunday, and he was involved at every turn.”

Every detail was important, considered, and rigorously tested, down to his gills which added another way for Amphibian Man to express himself. And del Toro was there every step of the way. “He has a love for our craft that is infectious,” said Mahan. “He would meet with us anytime, late on a Friday night or on a Sunday, and he was involved at every turn. It’s very rare that you find that kind of interest in being so super refined and, for us, that kind of obsession is inspiring. You end up wanting to invest more and more into making it as great as it can possibly be.”

The Shape of Water: Behind the Scenes (Content Courtesy of Fox Searchlight)

With four beautiful, fully functioning latex/silicone suits perfected and ready to shoot, there was never a doubt in del Toro’s mind who would play the creature and truly bring him to life. Doug Jones has been in many of his films, playing what he calls “some of the most crucial roles” in them - a collaboration that has stretched back twenty years. Indeed, many people have depended on Jones’ uncanny abilities with roles that include Billy Butcherson in Hocus Pocus, one of the Gentlemen on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cochise on Falling Skies, and Saru on Star Trek: Discovery.

“If you don’t have an actor inside the creature’s suit, you don’t have a movie – and Doug is not a performer, he’s an actor,” del Toro said. “I think of such moments as when he enters the movie theater and you realize the creature has never seen a movie before. Those are actor moments. I also remember before Richard Jenkins [who plays Elisa’s artistic friend, Giles] did the bathroom scene where he is getting to know the creature, Richard was worried he would be acting with a monster suit. Afterwards, Richard came to me and said, ‘The moment you said action, I was in front of an ancient water god.’ He felt all the pain and the confusion of the creature in Doug.”

The suits were constructed beautifully but they did present many challenges, like occasionally not being able to see beyond the prosthetic eyes in a scene and needing four people to get Jones into the suit. As tight as they were, they were constructed with corsets to ensure they were skin-tight but had segments in the abdomen that still allowed fluid movement. Because it was designed to reshape no matter what movement or action Jones performed, he described acting in it as “an intense workout. Every movement is like doing a pushup or a pull-up.”

“I feel the creature is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen...”But the years of design work and two to four hours in the makeup chair everyday absolutely paid off.  “I feel the creature is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen,” said Sally Hawkins who plays Elisa. “I had to be reacting to someone who feels alluring to Elisa and, because of their work, that came naturally. I didn’t see Doug at all; I saw this incredible, mysterious specimen. Others might see a monster but Elisa sees something else entirely and that comes across.”

“It was so beautiful and touching, I didn’t realize I would have the type of response I did,” Spencer said. “I just started sobbing watching it.”

Everyone who worked on the film seemed to fall under his spell, even Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer who plays Zelda, fellow cleaning woman and friend of Elisa. Purposefully avoiding looking at and designs or photos prior to her character’s first interaction with him, it had a profound affect the first time she saw footage of him interacting with Elisa. “It was so beautiful and touching, I didn’t realize I would have the type of response I did,” Spencer said. “I just started sobbing watching it.”

The marriage of an intense, involved design process and actors flawlessly performing and connecting with each other created a magical atmosphere that you can feel in every frame. “I would get so lost in watching Sally that I’d forget what I was doing,” Jones admitted. “There’s something so real, so raw about Sally, I just fell for her, much as the creature does.”

“Water takes the shape of whatever is holding it at the time and although water can be so gentle, it's also the most powerful and malleable force in the universe,” said del Toro. “That's also love, isn't it? It doesn’t matter what shape we put love into, it becomes that, whether it’s man, woman or creature.”

Watch Shape of Water

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Answer in the comments below.

  • How would you design the Amphibian Man?
  • What kind of creature would you design if you were creating your own unconventional love story?
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story.

Get an inside look at Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, The Shape of Water, through the design and production of its charming and unconventional amphibian love interest.
Add a Comment:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner 6 hours ago
This was a cool Feature. Not usually my Interest though, but I hope others will find this nice. Take care of yourselves!
Smallandsilent Featured By Owner 7 hours ago  Hobbyist Artist
to answer three questions. 

1. designing an amphibian man I would love to take a komodo dragon for example and toy with other sea creatures along the lines as well as a more human anthro like body style. Like in the movie a little bit. If it doesn't have to be an amphibian man I'd look for what inspires me at the moment. Like right now wolves and cats are my first option. I'd mix them together into one figure and turn it into a sly character or something like that. 

2. The type of character? I'm working on something now between angels and demons. My creatures pretty much excists out of a demon that is a bag of fluid walking around being rather dangerous and a seraphim type warrior angel holding a few soul weapons against the demons. 

3. The love story Always starts with a problem like the angel demon one is a bit like Romeo and Julliette. Tragic that two so different beings fall for eachother while both worlds try to destroy the other. I make a few twists in it. There'll be some story before the story and story behind the story stuff. Kinda like a series. What happened before how came my char to life? And how will it go on after the ending? I won't say too much otherwise I'd spoil it. 

I really love the shape of water cause it attracts me. The guy falling for me has to be a monster considering I would rather have a funny intelligent person rather than an idiot that only thinks as far as his nose reaches which happens to be a majority these days. ;-;
My bf isn't really a monster or anything. He's just a chubby friendly bear like guy that wants to protect the world. He's smart, funny and knows what he does (most of the time) and when he makes a mistake he's man enough to admit it. Couldn't love anyone more in the world. 
PresidentOso Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
Every shot of Shape Of Water is a beautiful piece of art!  I love this special feature:)
fempharaoh3000 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
...I actually have my own Unconventional Love Story, but it might be easier to write a novel about it rather than explain it to someone or even here in the comments. What I do know is that he is my Twin Flame, and we've been promised an eternity in Heaven together... I'm not sure what to name the story, but I might work on a manuscript soon. #TheShapeOfWater #MyShapeOfWater #GuillermoSempaiPleaseNoticeMe
Shio-bookmark Featured By Owner 1 day ago
1. Maybe with more fins and flowing movement, like those tropical fish have. But it would look absurd out of water with it flopping into his eyes all the time and I can't imagine it would make sense for an amphibian. Give him a tail like a mermaid. Or a shedding skin like a selkie.

2. Probably something with feathers or furs. Think Howl's monster form from the Howl's Moving Castle movie. Horns that are curly and mismatched and can be decorated with metal or jewellery. Big teeth. I'd think about the environment he belongs in.

3. A lady knight and a dragon. The lady is the King Under the Mountain and will have to sleep again and again for centuries in between the times she is needed. But she meets a dragon in our time who agrees to sleep beside her so she won't wake up alone. Dragons sleep for thousands of years just for an afternoon nap, so it's no trouble. The dragon is female and can't shift into a human. Always sort of disappointed when that happens.
Morphicelus Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Man I cried so hard. It was beautiful.

1.) I think they set a perfect balance. I'm just one person, and they had a team, so I doubt I could do any better.
2.) I'm not really that in to writing romance. I'd probably have to think long and hard on that one. But I think I wrote some vampire romance when I was a teenager (like, 15 years ago)
3.) Well I married my high school sweetheart so I don't have one of those, and as I said I don't write romance. But I do enjoy this kind!
Angelotti37 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
  • How would you design the Amphibian Man?
I wouldn't change anything, to be honest. The design was perfect.
  • What kind of creature would you design if you were creating your own unconventional love story?
A mythological creature, like a centaur.
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story
A young, lonely woman forms unlikely yet strong bond with an upiór she saved before.
zakuro5 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
the cgi and the creature's design are awesome and indredibly impressive but like. he doesn't have any personality?? it was so unbelievable to me that anyone would fall for the fishman because i really didn't see Anything to like in him on a personal level
PresidentOso Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
That's true, I also thought the same thing. Beautiful film but I didn't care too much for the creature. 
RadicalBroseph Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
  • How would you design the Amphibian Man? He is beautiful, so nothing
  • What kind of creature would you design if you were creating your own unconventional love story? Based on mythical creatures or urban legends. Yeah, a horror love story would work pretty well.
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story. Ha, funny.
producer-7 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
I have a question. How did such an atrocious film win so many awards?
TaintedTruffle Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
  • How would you design the Amphibian Man? like this  Eridan sprite edit by Candlepen
  • What kind of creature would you design if you were creating your own unconventional love story?  Nomosaurusrex by TaintedTruffle
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story. once upon a time a dinosaur loved some one so much he ate them the end 
PlnetFawn Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
resMENSA Featured By Owner 2 days ago   General Artist
ChicaPinguino Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Beautiful movie =)
Darlyn2243 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Absolutely beautiful
DjGodary Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional General Artist
When a cgi is done right. Even tho not much interested into the story. Will watch it in 10 years or so to see how the cgi holds up.
wazupdudes123 Featured By Owner 3 days ago
This movie was garbage lol.
ShieldMaiden83 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved the movie and I am looking forward to get my hands on a special edition blue ray. Yeah I am old school and it deserves a place amongst my dvd collection.
moon-coyote Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I really loved this movie but to be honest the bestiality part made me uncomfortable.
Sheka4 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude, the trailers literally told you what you were getting. Plus the fact that it had an adult rating to it.
talosthefakegod Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
When I originally watched it I honestly had no idea what I was getting into, like, i knew nothing, but it was everything i didn't expect and more, and I looove the bold move that was made and I'm glad people happen to love it 
Miss-Phengophobia Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Loved the film. It looked so out of this world, so different to what we're being thrown these days. 
  • How would you design the Amphibian Man?
I wouldn't change anything, to be honest. The design was perfect.
  • What kind of creature would you design if you were creating your own unconventional love story?
A mythological creature, like a centaur.
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story.
I wish I could :D
Hipmlee257 Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago

Mature Content

Sofwater by Hipmlee257
 i like love story between amphibian man n woman
Amphibian warrior (maybe his power only can survive in dee water not like aquaman who hav super power
AmeliasGaming103 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Digital Artist
i really would love to watch this movie! this looks so romantic and the fact that the sea creature can show love is really amazing! its like the beauty and the beast! super excited! Daisy excited  
crazzycat5 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
  • How would you design the Amphibian Man?
I actually really appreciated the design and honestly wouldnt have anything to add myself. Since I dont do a lot of character design it would probably look awful hahahha
  • What kind of creature would you design if you were creating your own unconventional love story?
I always loved the story of love when uncontrollable change exsists (so werewolf forms or even looking at the Hulk)
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story.
I dont have one....

But now for my main reason for commenting.
I actually just watched this movie last night, and then happened to log on right before bed to see this...and BOY did it give me the perfect forum to rant.

I was SO incredibly disappointed with this movie. It was so disturbing...and honestly I couldnt stop getting beastiality vibes. All around visually it was a STUNNING movie, fantastic acting, and the script itself....could have been utterly perfect. But the point wasnt. At the end of the movie I felt NO connection to their "love" story...NOTHING...This movie...made me feel nothing for their "relationship". The relationship is the foundation for the movie... I felt like I got absolutely NO character from the Amphibian Man....and more than man he like??? Which was extremely disturbing. I kept waiting to see an actual relationship...but honestly there never was anything. So she taught him a few signs...he appreciated music...this is nothing more than what researchers do with chimps. The beginning of the movie established that she lived a mundane, repetitive life...and that she was rather horny....(which btw im sure people will call me prude...but it was so unnecessary to include the multiple masturbation scenes...made me so uncomfortable...) I mean I was just so disappointed... There are a few scenes in the movie which solidify my feelings. The scene were the amphibian man eats the cat....HELL NO...if he did that to me I would give absolutley ZERO fucks about him...thats beyond messed up...and she even approaches him lovingly with all the blood on him...sick! But this scene is important because her best friend (the owner of the cat) says he cant be blamed because...duhduhduh HES A WILD ANIMAL. This is followed up with a scene were the amphibian man, asks for forgiveness??? or shows remorse??? by acting like...duh duh duh... A DOG. Its just friggen weird...and again to say the least I was super disappointed....URGH THAT CAT SCENE PISSED ME OFF SO MUCH!!!!
Cuttlepluff Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Yup. A thousand times yup. I'm sorry if your comment gets hate due to this site's issues with echo chamber mentality, cuz reading someone else felt the same way was a BREATH OF FRESH AIR! I can't get swept up in a fantasy when there is so much bizarrely realistic brutality giving me tonal whiplash. And Jilling off is no crime, but when I'm introduced to a character or anyone, I don't need to feel like I just walked in on my mom or sister jacking it like a jeep in the first five minutes. Let alone walking in on them twice. No wonder she did it with a fish and needed to discuss with the audience how big his dick was.

Guillermo del Toro lost my confidence in going to see everything he did because it guaranteed I'd be treated. To me, I was cheated. This work was his Shyamalan, and it's awful that I have to say it. Going back to Pan's Labyrinth and others, here. :(
crazzycat5 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
THANK YOU. And I was prepared to get some disgruntled fans, so we shall see. Im all for the idea of this film but when the character acts more like an animal/dog/child IDK starts to becoming disturbing. And she clearly was a little mentally...sad? I dont want to say depressed...but I mean she has some deeper issues...And to fall "deeply in love" with something (even someone) based on just small similarities of experience (ei they cant talk) okay big dog cant talk either. It just wasnt healthy. And yes to those first few described it just in the right words. Thats what I felt. Yah over all I was just really disappointed with what was the foundation of this movie, the "relationship", and felt more grossed out/disturbed with her than anything at all. Had they actually given him character, personality, more than just seemigly the mindset of a dog or child, I would have been okay with this. I just needed to feel SOMETHING human about him other than his bodily similarities. After all what makes a good love story is thst you can understans why two people are in love, you can relate to those emotions. But im not attracted to animals...or behavior that is animal like...and I certainly require the ability to communicate more than just a few words with someone. IDK just creeped me out xD
Cuttlepluff Featured By Owner 2 days ago
I understood Wolf Children and Swamp Thing far better than this. I empathized with Kong when he grabbed Darrow and climbed the tower until the planes shot him down. Hell, Monster in Paris had a more sympathetic creature romance than this, and not a one of those and many others with this romance angle needed to shoehorn in messages as subtle as a bag of bricks to the skull or have the hero have fantasy sex to nail it home that differences are beautiful. Viewers could feel their intelligence mocked by the makers of this, yet most seem to be enthralled instead. It's a great film tho, cuz everyone's OC lead turned into a mermaid with their ideal fishman to swim off to paradise far from the Christian mania, racism, sexual prudishness, and general bigotry of the 1960's that this film so eloquently exposed is actually, surprise to everyone here, a bad thing! I know, right? Big shock that the truth is finally exposed by someone bold enough to cover the topic! [/sarcasm]

If Twilight had an amazing effects team and creature actors like this film, it'd still be Twilight, yet no one calls it here.

This did not do it right for me, and worse, it attempted to convince me duos like Kong and Darrow should have had sex amidst a graphically violent, religionist and racist backdrop. Thanks but no thanks. I'll be over here remembering the grand days where Pan's Labyrinth was seen as Guillermo's best film to date.
crazzycat5 Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist

Man on man I read your explanation of the "horrors" to which they juxstaposed this relationship, earlier, in order to normalize it. I was blown away and you articulated it perfectly. Ill be honest I actually didnt even catch on to that at first, and it didnt help me feel any better about what I was watching. I mean, Kong was so innocent, lets be real; Ann wasnt sexually attracted, she was like a mother to a child. Monster in Paris, again felt more like they drew the line where it needed to be (this is another example of where the monster...while human like...still acts animalish/childish...). But then you have this film and when you strip all the frills away, its a lonely woman, who is horney and feels attracted to an animal because shes got nothing else... At least when I strip Twilight away its just two idiots in love XD and I get that.

Ive been meaning to watch Pans Labyrinth for some time, should do it soon I guess!
Cuttlepluff Featured By Owner 1 day ago
And those frills were oh so amazing, yet I couldn't enjoy them due to indigestion while watching the condescending whole.

On to more enjoyable topics, absolutely see Pan's Labyrinth if you can. It blends a believable world of fantasy with reality. It can be just as brutal as this film in parts, yet I feel that was far better planned and executed with respect for the viewer's intelligence. You won't get that tonal whiplash. It's consistently a dark tale.
crazzycat5 Featured By Owner 7 minutes ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, the movie was stunning visually, I give them 100% credit for make-up, costume, CGI, scenery, and everything in between really! But like you, I became distracted  from really being able to appreciate it XD haha!

Then I think I must take some time to watch that! Im not a huge fan of horror films, so this is why ive maybe put it off. But now that Doug Jones name is being shared around properly, ive seen some videos of him including shots of that movie. I think that I will be able to handle it XD better now that everything wont be suuuuch a surprise. 
MediocreSon Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Digital Artist


The thing about being deeply in love with the amphibian dude though, oh my god

I was instantly reminded of this: hELP. IDK why. It's just a documentary of a few people who fall 'deeply in love' with objects. I watched it all when I was very bored but if you ever feel like being deeply confused even more, just skim through it im cr YIng-
crazzycat5 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist


Thank you I love you this is the best XD 
MediocreSon Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Student Digital Artist


Thing is when I was in Paris with school people I jokingly kissed part of it and now,

Now I regret.
crazzycat5 Featured By Owner Edited 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist

Ill tell you what I regret...

I just...Im the worst human being because I cant help but...wonder HOW when they say they make love to their objects....and then IM like picturing.............

Gigkka Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
1.- Like some abisal fish mixed with a salamander or axolotl.
2.- Beautiful creature cryptid but at the same time terrifying. 
A scientific girl is sent along with a group of biologists and scientists to investigate a remote area in the forest where life has mysteriously grown and that is where they are and their friendship story that later becomes love begins.
hewbeast Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
 Wow Story. artwork outstanding. 
  • Tell us your Unconventional Love Story...... Your happy in our Dreams. But are you Dreaming? who's Dream is it? Lovers can only meet when they close their eyes and sleep.  ripped apart as one wakes.  ( it was only a  dream) the one that still a sleep (it is a nightmare)
Lonemtnwolf Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
... am I the only one who didn't think the fish guy was that attractive? :\ Beautiful movie, and their relationship is also incredibly sweet and almost poetic. But the fish dude didn't really do it for me. Loved the glowing patterns though :D
FredKisses Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
1. cartoon-like, similar to the original teen titans art style.

2. I would create a dragon, or something similar to what people think of as dragons. A creature that has a canine-like body structure with scales that shimmer in light to create small rainbows on otherwise black surfaces. Wings that stretch out to large widths, eyes the same as a feline's, and a long snake-like tail. On the head and down the spine and tail, small scales that end in a rounded point. Claws in each paw that are pitch black without the same shimmers as his scales.

3.The story would follow the dragon, Xan, and his life as the last of his species in a Medieval time era. His home not existing as he is forced to roam from place to place. One day as he is running from some dragon hunters, he comes across a small young lady crying by the edge of a lake. He know's he's scary to humans, so he doesn't approach her, just watches as she sobs. He had never seen a human look so upset before. Slowly as to not scare her, he got closer, hiding by the trees. She hears something and surprises the creature when she stands up and bolts in his direction, colliding with him. He yips and chirps in fear and surprise, unable to make any other noise of communication. Instead of being scared, the lady is fascinated by the creature. In their moment of confusion and shock, a man with a whip comes out of the woods and lashes out at the young lady with the whip as he screams things about her trying to escape, causing her to cry out in pain which hurt the creature's ears. Xan charges at the man as the smell of the woman's blood reaches his nose. Xan slashes and bits at the man until he is screaming and running back the way he came. The woman is shocked by the events that played out before her and remains still as Xan gets closer. He lays his muzzle in her lap and whines. Slowly, scared she would spook the incredible creature in her lap, she brings her hand up and strokes his head, feeling his smooth scales. "Thank you,'' she murmurs and leans down to kiss his forehead. The moment her lips touch his scales, her mind is teleported into his head and vice versa. Both surprised by the change, and look around. Xan was in a brightly lit garden with thousands of flowers while the woman was in a could cave with millions of stalagmites jutting from the ground. At nearly the same time the creature pushes his nose into a flower as the woman reaches out to a stalagmite. He was taken to a memory of hers where that man bought her at a slave auction, putting chains around her wrists and ankles while he eyes her naked flesh, promising to treat her real nice. Because this was a memory that Xan steps into, he understood what was going on and learned the concept of slaves. Similarly, the woman was taken deep into a memory of running. Witnessing Xan run for his life as a group of mages and hunters chased him, barely missing him with balls of magick and arrows from bows. She understood now that he was running for life nearly every day and never knew that humans were anything but evil. "What's your name?" she asks in her mind, hoping he would hear her. He chirps back, and while all she hear was chirps, she understood what he was saying. "My name is Tezcacoatl, but I have changed it to Xan for those who care enough to ask." She gasps at the words she hears in her head. "What about you, human. Do you have a name?" Xan asks quietly, afraid the woman would not have a name at all. "It's Tiamat. My mother hoped that by naming me after a goddess, I would have a better life than her. So far, my life has been worse than her lonely farming life." Xan pulls away slightly and looks up at the human with sympathy, breaking the connection they shared and seeing her in real life. He yips softly and she cocks her head as if listening. "I do not mean to make you feel sad," he said. She responded by wrapping her arms around him in a hug. In the distance, they hear that the man was coming back, only with friends. Together they got up and ran before Xan convinces her to get on his back and he stretched out his wings and take off into the night sky together. Running from the ones that wish them harm. 
RosaVimana Featured By Owner Edited 4 days ago
Alexander Belyaev wrote the novel Amphibian Man in 1927. The film was shot on this novel only in 1962.…
summerlleka Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. anime style, but look more human.
zombie or a demon
3. the protagonist is a young woman, a student who loves life but sees how one of her classmates tries to commit suicide, she tries to save him and discovers that he is not human but a demon who is rejected because of his differences.....or something like that =)

Critica-7 Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Okay, I realize I'm in the minority here, but I friggin' hate The Shape of Water. From beginning to end, it just felt like propaganda.
JonWKhoo Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AzuelZorro102 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude this movie was hella weird but I liked it anyway?
MismeHellawes Featured By Owner 4 days ago
1. I think I'd go similar direction as the creators - I'd try to capture his otherness, and at the same time I'd try to make him human enough, in order to make the love story believable. I know it all sounds very vague... Welp, maybe I'd give him a little tail ;)

2. I'd design some of the Slavic demons - rusałka (a water nymph/spirit of a drown girl, who drowns people) or upiór (one of the inspirations for today's vampires).

3. A young, lonely woman forms unlikely yet strong bond with an upiór she saved before.
bironicheroine Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Artist
Ooh, thanks for introducing me to rusałka and upiór, those are really cool!
MismeHellawes Featured By Owner 4 days ago
You're welcome^^ I'm more than happy to introduce people to my country's culture :)
ElitaOneArts Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
I loved this film! Its now one of mg favorites!
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