MIDWAY, a Message from the Gyre is a short film. It is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.
Our feature film MIDWAY is currently in post-production and expected to premiere in early 2014.
our feature length Midway film team:
Directors: Chris Jordan and Sabine Emiliani
Producer: Stephanie Levy
Chris W. Johnson
Midway feature film editor: Sabine Emiliani
Sound Designers: Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn
Production Sound Recordist: Jim Hurst
The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating
a moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For
our work we asked a dancer to visualize a musical piece (Kreukeltape by
Machinenfabriek) as closely as possible by movements of her body. She was
recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the
images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud),
so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process.
The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the
digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts
to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the
performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the
random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering
a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality
of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer,
as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective.
The body â€“ constant and indefinite at the same time â€“ â€œburstsâ€ the space
already with its mere physicality, creating a first distinction between the self
and its environment. Only the body movements create a reference to the
otherwise invisible space, much like the dots bounce on the ground to give it
a physical dimension. Thus, the sound-dance constellation in the video does
not only simulate a purely virtual space. The complex dynamics of the body
movements is also strongly self-referential. With the complex quasi-static,
inconsistent forms the body is â€œpaintingâ€, a new reality space emerges whose
simulated aesthetics goes far beyond numerical codes.