Amar follows a 14 year-old Indian boy at the top of his class who would someday like to be a professional cricketer. He also happens to be his family’s main breadwinner, working two jobs six and half days a week. But, this film isn’t an analysis of Amar’s misery or an expose on his suffering. No, it’s instead a quiet celebration of the human spirit–of a boy whose tenacity and quiet resolve carry him through every day. The system may be broken, but Amar’s spirit certainly isn’t.
Narrative has become somewhat of an over-looked aspect of filmmaking in recent years, with short films often seeming to focus on aesthetics first and then worry about story later. However, Gabriel Bisset Smith’s short Thrush appears to slap this theory in the face by almost scrapping visual style altogether and adopting a scrapbook look of one man’s photo collection. Opting instead to present a strong narrative with a personal feel to his film adding multitudes to his film’s effectiveness.
Which Short of the Week captured your attention more? The beauty and mechanism of life shown through Amar or the style, narrative and power of still movie making displayed in Thrush?
What you are about to see, are not paintings on canvas! Alexa Meade paints with acrylics directly on human flesh creating the illusion of painterly portraits.
“Alexa Meade is an installation artist based in the Washington, DC area. Her background in the world of political communications has fueled her intellectual interest in the tensions between perception and reality.
Alexa Meade’s innovative use of paint on the three dimensional surfaces of found objects, live models, and architectural spaces has been incorporated into a series of installations that create a perceptual shift in how we experience and interpret spatial relationships.” (from her BIO)
What may look like an example of Photoshop trickery was actually created by throwing some high powered glow sticks into the waterfalls of California. Using long exposure that would range from 30 seconds to 7 minutes, San Francisco-based photographers Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard transformed the waterfalls into nocturnal underwater rainbows.
“This project came from months of refining a simple idea that finally turned into a concept worthy of using for an entire series,” says Kristoffer. “We were both fascinated by artificial light such as glow sticks, lasers, flares, and being big on landscape photography we tied them together in hopes of creating something that we had never seen before,” added the artist.
Even though neon lights is something completely unnatural and unrelated to the settings of the photoshoots, the final results in their ‘Neon Luminance‘ series are very harmonious.
The ‘From the Lenz’ artist duo also worked on lighting the nature around the waterfalls, and used various head lamps, road flares and even taking advantage of the moonlight: “Although this series was meant to focus mostly on glow sticks in waterfalls, we are exploring the idea of creating artificially lit landscapes in general as well, such as mountains, lakes, tree lines, grass fields and caves,” Mr Abildgaard added.
This is a film by budding Irish film maker Ciaran Mcillhatton. The piece which was made in four days on a shoe string budget has been getting good reviews in the Belfast Film Festival.
Unknown to the mainstream, Ciaran a trained Physicist, has been steadily making progress within the underground film industry in Northern Ireland, a budding film industry with the emergence of Game of Thrones and the infamous Titanic Studios.
I asked Ciaran what camera he used to shoot the video and this was his response “on a Panasonic GH2. 14mm – 140mm f4.0-5.6 and 14mm f2.5 with wide angle adapter to 11mm lenses”… This level of detail is what many believe will boost Ciaran into the mainstream or that sub genre of film currently occupied by films such as Christoper Nolan’s Memento and Inception and most recently Danny Boyle’s Trance.
Ciaran describes working on the piece below:
“I tried making the piece as accurate to the final scene of Memento as possible. By trying to work out how to match the shots and style as close as possible it forces you to think about every aspect of the set up such as Lighting, lens choice and camera movement. After doing that you see the amount of effort required to make each shot look the way it does then you can see the reasons why the director chose to film this way and then understand the type of lighting, lenses and angles adds to the plot and unraveling of the story”.
Also as the piece was made for a competition and only had four days to work on producing it for the deadline, some of the audio and video quality is “not great” however Ciaran has started working on the proper edit recently and it will be ready very soon.
Although the film is not properly edited or finished, there must be a level of appreciation for the styles and quality of some of the shots in the film. Also the backdrop of the whole piece is authentic and very close to the original.
You can also tell from his work that Ciaran is a trained Physicist by trade therefore Directors such as Christoper Nolan and Danny Boyle and directors who dabble in the filming the subconscious may beware as one day the student may most certainly become the master.
Canada-based photographer Matt Molloy brings sky photography to a new level. By stacking hundreds of separate sky shots he is able to achieve an incredible brush-like effect. Each final picture in his “Smeared Sky” series is a result of combining from 100 to 200 photographs.
The number of pictures he uses depends on various factors, such as weather conditions, cloudiness, or whether the object in the picture is moving or static. “Sometimes the clouds are moving quick and there’s lots of them. If I stack too many photos from a timelapse like that, it can get a little messy,” says Matt, adding that it’s usually mid day timelapses that cause more problems.
Matt has been shooting timelapses for over three years now: “For every day that I don’t shoot a timelapse, I probably shoot two the next day,” he says. What draws Matt to this process most is the experimenting, as you never know what you’re going to get in the end. That’s especially true with the sunsets, as the sky gets increasingly darker – but Matt says these timelapses seem to work very well.
Our first Artist of the week and with these inspiring images well deserved too!