I truly hope you enjoy this film.
Inspired by The Tree of Life, by Terrence Malick.
Best viewed on a large colour calibrated display, full-screen at 1080p, with studio monitors or HD headphones, or in a home-theatre. (Watching on your iPad, you’ll miss the entire bass track without good headphones.) Also best viewed in a darkened room, for effect.
Composed of still images shot with a Fuji S5 Pro and Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1:2.8 lens, from my back deck in Toronto ON Canada.
Very minimal post editing in Adobe Lightroom, and assembled in Adobe After Effects. No added colours or effects.
Done, start to finish, in one afternoon.
My first short film and my first time using After Effects.
To my surprise, I felt most comfortable starting with the end and working backwards within After Effects. That is, I first put together the sound track, to give me my points of reference. With the sound track down, I created the ending, backwards, frame by frame starting with the final frame (titles added afterwards). I then worked on the opening sequence. And finally, I filled in the middle.
If you’ll notice, the there is a clear progression throughout the film, starting from fast and light images of clouds, progressing to the climax of slowly moving images that have a “fiery” space-like quality, to the dénouement of the sun alone.
The opening sequence has a very earth-like feel. Every day we move quickly through our lives, seeing a myriad of images throughout. But as we go out further into space, the concept of size becomes unobtainable, and time appears to slow to a snail’s pace. This is the idea behind the slow moving images as the film progresses. Deeper into the film, and deeper into space, and the images become more fiery, violent, and unfamiliar. The musical climax is matched to the visual climax, as we pan out to a scene with a blue streak across the heavens. The blue streak is intentional lens flare, and is not added in post. (No visuals were added in post.) The deliberate break in the music sound track is done to both emphasise the rumbling bass track and to set up the last shots. I added the bass track to give the visuals some added ‘weight’; the conceptual sound of an unforgiving violent space. During the musical break is one of my favourite scenes, starting at 3:13. This was done by taking a series of images of clouds as they approached the sun, and then blending them together in After Effects. It is in this scene that the musical sound track starts again and sets up the ending. Finally, the ever-present sun is all that remains, when the earthly clouds and strange heavenly scenes have long gone.
I decided to title this film “Perspectives” due to the impact that can be achieved by capturing a common every-day scene (you can’t get much more “every-day” than looking up at the sky!). I’m quite proud of this work. I think I was able to take some simple photographs of some clouds as they passed by the sun, and turn them into (what I think is) an ‘epic’ looking sci-fi space adventure.
Sometimes, the most humbling thing we can do is look up.
J R BERNSTEIN
Always be capturing.