I decided to do my project on "The Martian", which I just saw this past weekend. I really enjoyed the macro-micro scale that the film portrayed; how this guy was all alone, so incredibly far away from anyone else in such a desolate environment.
I actually didn't use any reference photos. I guess my style came to be more simplistic than minimalistic, but it's just stuff I made up from my own sketches/head.
Everything was made up in AE. I made a (really) quick storyboard, did a few simple sketches, and jumped in and started making it up. Here's the final piece.