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Friday
Dec242010

ZEN - AURORA-LAB (2011)

Directed this experimental short entitle "Zen". It marks the first piece I've gotten around do directing since my days in film school and the first of numerous projects I'm working on getting done independently under my production label Aurora-Lab, named after my upcoming sci-fi short film.

Its always been my goal from square one to get into the film industry and then create my own content. I took a combination of film classes and computer art classes in college and started my career in Visual Effects to have a good paying day job and use as an avenue to familiarize myself with the workings of Hollywood and the studio system as well as to learn a set of tools to tell my own stories (often but not always) through the use of computer graphics. The visual effects industry is full of incredibly creative people many of whom are capable of doing much more outside the typical technician based roles their day jobs have to offer and I've never worked at a single studio or facility where I didn't feel surrounded by untapped potential. I highly encourage all visual effects artists to not get pigeonholed always doing only one role and instead follow George Millar's advice which is get as good at as many different roles as possible. I've always tried to follow this moto and it's not only been great for job security but has allowed me to be a entire pipeline from start to finish if needed. It's so inspiring to see creative and original content coming from such artists and being made from the bottom up, whether from behind the camera or at a computer, no matter how simple the execution.

Being completely obsessed with Japanese culture, I wanted to do my own take on an iconic visual motif of feudal Japan, a samurai kneeling in font of Buddha. I'm not religious but have always been interested in Buddhism and have read that samurai would sometimes visit temples to meditate post battle as an effort to clear the mind and gain greater consciousness. I wanted to drop the viewer into that exact moment in time when that deep mental connection is made between warrior and deity starting off abstract and evolving to reveal that connection; with a bit of a magical twist of course.
 
Anime has been a great influence for years and my interest in it has grown so much I've found its style bleeding into much of my own personal work. As apposed to being shot live action, this piece was the perfect for doing in a illustrative animated style similar to what you would might see out of a Japanese animation studio. The primary tools used were Trapcode's amazing particle plugins Form and Particular. Both of which are 2.5D and phenomenally powerful. I highly recommend spending hundreds of hours playing around with them.


I highly recommend spending hundreds of hours playing around with them