PostPanic director Mischa Rozema's new short film, Stardust, is a story about Voyager 1 (the unmanned spacecraft launched in 1977 to explore the outer solar system). The probe is the furthest man-made object from the sun and witnesses unimaginable beauty and destruction. The film was triggered by the death of Dutch graphic designer Arjan Groot, who died aged 39 on 16th July 2011 from cancer.
The entire team at PostPanic (the Amsterdam-based creative company) pushed themselves in their own creative post techniques to produce a primarily CG short film crafted with love.
The film's story centers on the idea that in the grand scheme of the universe, nothing is ever wasted and it finds comfort in us all essentially being Stardust ourselves. Voyager represents the memories of our loved ones and lives that will never disappear.
From a creative standpoint, Rozema wanted to explore our preconceived perceptions of how the universe appears which are fed to us by existing imagery from sources such NASA or even sci-fi films. By creating a generated universe, Rozema was able to take his own 'camera' to other angles and places within the cosmos.
Objects and experiences we are visually familiar with are looked at from a different point of view. For example, standing on the surface of the sun looking upwards or witnessing the death and birth of a star - not at all scientifically correct but instead a purely artistic interpretation of such events.
Rozema says, 'I wanted to show the universe as a beautiful but also destructive place. It's somewhere we all have to find our place within. As a director, making Stardust was a very personal experience but it's not intended to be a personal film and I would want people to attach their own meanings to the film so that they can also find comfort based on their own histories and lives.'
Rozema turned to his regular audio partner, Guy Amitai, to create the music for the film. 'I approached Guy to make the music because I trust him and knew he would instinctively understand what I wanted to communicate with this film.' Their long-term collaboration over the years helped them explore different musical approaches before finally settling on a musical journey featuring analogue instruments. Amitai explains, 'Once we started working on this project and I told people about Stardust and what Arjan meant to us all, the offers started pouring in. Musician friends and friends-of-friends all wanting to join in and record even the smallest parts. It was an incredibly emotional and personal journey for us all - not something you can professionally detach yourself from.'
The track is now available for purchase, with all proceeds going to the KWF (Dutch Cancer Society)
Download the song here via iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/a6j2f34
A PostPanic Production
Written & directed by Mischa Rozema
Produced by Jules Tervoort
VFX Supervisor: Ivor Goldberg
Associate VFX Supervisor: Chris Staves
Senior digital artists: Matthijs Joor, Jeroen Aerts
Digital artists: Marti Pujol, Silke Finger, Mariusz Kolodziejczak, Dieuwer Feldbrugge, Cara To, Jurriën Boogert
Camera & edit: Mischa Rozema
Production: Ania Markham, Annejes van Liempd
Audio by Pivot Audio , Guy Amitai
Featuring "Helio" by Ruben Samama
Producers: Seamus Spilsbury, Darcy Prendergast
Cinematographer: Shelley Farthing-Dawe
Grip: Austin Haigh
Costume designer: Paige Prendergast
Visual FX / post production: Josh Thomas
Special thanks: James Bailey, Hannah Van
Working together with Onesize we created the Playgrounds festival opening titles. Basically it are two guys beating the shit out of each other. It was very important to give the movie a high end feeling. While there was a small budget it looks like it was created with a big budget. It has the look and feel of a movie filmed with an expensive high-speed camera. But actually the complete movie is build up out of photographs only.
Quoted from Onesize (with whom I created this piece with):
The film was created in little over 2 weeks.
Playgrounds director Leon van Rooij asked us, like 6 months ago, if we wanted to do the titles for this years' fest.
I quote: "Playgrounds is a two-day festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where you can see the best digital audiovisual art in the world, such as musicvideos, animations, commercials, character design, VFX and games AND you can find out how it's been made during artist lectures and Q&A's."
Of course we said yes, because doing titles for festivals like these are rare opportunities. So we welcomed it with open arms.
Next to that, we've been involved in the festival for 3 years now and we are the first ones to design a title sequence for this festival. What a burden... ;)
With no creative brief and even less budget, we slowly started thinking, concepting, designing, thinking of how we could create something impressive, something new, something with a lot of production value but produce-able within 3 weeks and of course something we had not done before with our team, to challenge ourselves even more.
We ended up with the idea to have 2 fighters fighting over whatever on a children's playground. Kind of a metaphor for a creative process, which can be a battle sometimes.. kill your darlings.. etc.. etc... Anyway, this could become visually very interesting, so we thought. We focused on the image, look and feel, a bit more than we used to this time, simply because we wanted to.
We did some research, especially on the visual style in photography, the air we wanted the film to breath.
Initially, the film needed to be very slow paced, almost like a dance on classical music in ultra slow motion, this was still the idea at the time when we shot the images.
Just ultra slow motion, shooting with a phantom camera would not do the trick for us. We wanted to have more control over the slow motion in post production, still be be able to decide camera angles and motion. To do this we used the camera mapping technique in 3D.
The production was made fairly simple compared to live-action shoots with high speed camera's shooting on location. By using this technique, simply because we only needed still images, we wrapped the shoot in 3 hours. Our photographer, Jasper Faber did an outstanding job by using only 2 flash lights, a camera and a macbook.
In post production we changed the direction a little, we wanted more action. Jasper took a bunch of photo's which I found out could work just fine in a quick sequence. The contrast between the ultra slow-motion image and super fast paced short sequences made it more powerful and dramatized the impact of the slow motion sequence.
Joris, our sound designer did what was necessary to enhance the impact even more.
For the production of this shoot we contacted rotterdam based production company Revolver and asked them if they wanted to help us out producing the shoot.
Luckily they said yes They just contracted photographer Jasper Faber who was willing to shoot the images and help us out with the production, since we knew that post production would be very time consuming. Revolver helped us out producing it, so we could focus on direction and post production.
The people who saw it thus far, all responded to the film equally, asking the same question "... how did you shoot it, with a phantom?" .. no, it's all 3D.
Our latest car porn introduces Lamborghini's new super sports car Aventador with its 700 HP bull power - powerful and classy just like his namesake, Spanish bull legend Aventador - relentlessly fighting the forces of nature in a 3-minute special effect thunderstorm, shot in the Californian desert Coyote Dry Lakebed and directed by Ole Peters.