Abigail Oswald

There are two kinds of transformation (2022)

Content warning: gore

1. Either your skin and muscles accommodate the shift, allowing for a new form, or the wolf exists inside of you as a separate entity, tearing you apart from within.

2. The actress discovers early on that the transformation in this particular film will be the latter. She learns that the animal will nose curiously out of her mouth, then tip her head back and burst out, shedding her body like a fleshy chrysalis. After this, whenever she tries to sleep she is certain she feels something moving within her, waiting to venture forth.

3. In an initial meeting with the writer it is explained to her that the transformation operates as a kind of destructive puberty. The film is a metaphor, etc. The actress swallows, returning to a line in the script: her body, crumpled in a bloody heap on the floor.

4. For the duration of the shoot the director instructs her: Imagine there is something inside of you that wants to break free. Something that will destroy you when it does. Really dwell on that. Think Alien, you know?

5. She pays a visit to effects, begs them to explain how they did it. Perhaps if she understands all of its details, the change will no longer be something she fears. The man she speaks with must recognize a frightened glint in her eye, but thankfully does not ask questions.

6. After they wrap, the actress says goodbye to the wolf they used on set. Silver-gray fur like velvet, a good girl. They gaze at each other through the gate that separates them; perhaps each sees something in the other that they recognize.

About this work

There are two kinds of transformation was born from an obsession with werewolf films. Deviating from these films’ typical focus on a male character’s transformation, Oswald instead narrates that of a woman.

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