Through the eyes of a young girl suffering from mental illness, CALDERA glimpses into a world of psychosis and explores a world of ambiguous reality and the nature of life and death.
CALDERA is inspired by my father's struggle with schizoaffective disorder. In states of delusion, my father has danced on the rings of Saturn, spoken with angels, and fled from his demons. He has lived both a fantastical and haunting life, but one that's invisible to the most of us. In our differing understanding of reality, we blindly mandate his medication, assimilate him to our marginalizing culture, and entirely misinterpret him for all he is worth. CALDERA aims to not only venerate my father, but all brilliant minds forged in the haunted depths of psychosis.
CALDERA was helmed by Evan Viera (Director/Composer/Co-Writer) and Chris Bishop (Co-writer/Animation Supervisor/Story Artist) and was produced at Hampshire College. CALDERA was the first film to go through the Bit Films Incubator Program, where founder and professor Chris Perry (co-producer/editor) invites orphaned independent films to be made on campus with the College's students and resources. MANY students and industry professionals generously donated their time to the making of this film. See below for the full credits list.
In co-production with Bit Films and Flicker Dreams Productions
Jarred de Beer
Cast Featuring: Mary Elise Hayden, Marissa Merrill & Dustin Edward
Executive Producers: David Lyons & Andrew Huang
Producers: Laura Merians & Stephanie Marshall
Cinematographer: Laura Merians
Production Designer: Hugh Zeigler
Costume Designer: Lindsey Mortensen
Hair & Makeup Designer: Jennifer Cunningham
Sound Design & Original Score: Andrew Huang
Psyop partnered with The Butler Bros to develop a new set of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for Legacy and Leave No Trace. The “Rethink Butts” campaign, which kicked off today, aims to raise awareness, spark discussions, and encourage the general public to think about tobacco trash in a new way.
In the spot, the camera pans from left to right, zeroing in on what seems to be toxic waste gushing from a run down factory. Nearing the end of the building, the camera elevates and reveals not an industrial plant but a discarded cigarette butt, swimming in the gutter along with many others. The camera looks down from a bird’s eye view as the collection of butts leak chemicals into the water supply.
“Despite the fact that so many Americans are hyper-concerned about the environment and are eager to recycle household items and pick up litter, there remains a total disconnect when it comes to flicking cigarette butts onto our streets and into our waterways,” explains Dr. Cheryl Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. The campaign urges viewers to “Rethink Butts” and take a new perspective on this environmental issue.
“We set out to reposition cigarette butts from merely an unsightly form of litter to what they actually are — toxic waste,” said Butler Brothers Director of Creativity, Marty Butler.
Psyop drew inspiration from a variety of ecological disasters, including the recent toxic sludge tsunami in Hungary, as well as abandoned oil rigs and factories.
"From the initial pitch style frames, we increased the scale of the factory by five times,” commented Psyop Creative Director, David Chontos. “This increased the level of detail across the entire design, which led to a tremendous amount of additional texture painting and modeling."
Modeling and animation for the PSA was completed in Maya, while all the liquid effects were simulated using RealFlow. The spot was rendered using Arnold in Maya, and compositing was carried out in Nuke and Flame.