After my first macro short „STREAM – Explore The Unseen“ in 2015 I was a little overwhelmed by the positive feedback and the response to my festival submissions. I didn’t expect to get many laurels but experimental cinematography proved to have it’s niche and STREAM got 16 official selections, 2 nominations and the award for best experimental at the Fareham Shorts Film Festival.
I wanted to start my next project immediately, but the lack of time forced me to slow down. As I was reviewing my archives one day, I found some outdated files from my first experiments with fluids in 2014 which reminded me of something important: story.
A selection of freeze frames from Singularity, copyright R. De Giuli, 2016.
On the one hand, macro shorts usually represent what most people would call non-narratives. Montages of pleasing footage in some kind of basic structure, driven by it’s innovative moment and accompanied by a strong sound design. On the other hand, the term non-narrative is pretty destructive as it disregards the fact that narration is deeply connected to perception. The freedom of interpretation and association makes us adopt anything as narrative which creates meaning to us. Basically, anything has the potential to be narrative, even a blank canvas. It’s up to the audience, it’s highly related to context and at a certain point it is out of control of the artist. But don’t get me wrong, we are talking about experimental media art, not documentary interview shootings. This is not a pamphlet for the relocation of responsibility, the creator always has to do all he or she can to tell what is his or her purpose. By all means, humans are story driven and that’s why we relate with strong characters and their individual challenge.
Visual Storytelling and the dramaturgy of story might appear obvious and straight forward if we tell through characters, as people deeply relate to people. Of course it isn’t. But things won’t get easier if your story needs to be carried by something abstract. “Show, don’t tell” gets even more challenging if we are dealing with feelings, desire and atmosphere. And this is where “SINGULARITY” kicks in. Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” really occupied my mind for a while and if you did not see this movie I highly recommend to do so. At least, watch the trailer to delve into the topic before proceeding.
In short, way too often we only appreciate what we got when we have lost it. The impact of this human characteristic might depend on a lot of things, or let’s say the constellation of a lot of things. Men and earth have a very simple constellation to each other: we need our planet, but our planet doesn’t need us. But the complexity of simplicity makes us fail to preserve the very basis of all we are and all we represent. There is no swarm intelligence which will save us from ourselves. And I doubt that human being will develop fast enough to reach a level of understanding which gives us the ability to act appropriately. At least, we address this fact in many cultural forms of expression since our very beginning and this should be reason enough to be placated. “Interstellar” oscillates between a dull utopia and a much deeper philosophical core. Men can’t save planet earth anymore and the end of our population is just a matter of time. The last desperate attempt to find any substitute miserably fails and the mission of Coopers crew is nothing else than doing things for the sake of doing things. And although this movie has a happy end because otherwise it wouldn’t be a Hollywood movie, you get the infallible feeling that this is not the story to be written for us.
If we only would be able to fully understand the singularity of our planet and the wonder of our existence on it, we easily would be able to do the obvious.
The narrative mission of my second macro short SINGULARITY is to take us back to zero hour, 4.5 billion years back in time. Reaching awareness is not about the end, it is about the beginning. That’s why I did my very best to create powerful images which truly carry the story of an indescribable hazard and a singular fortune: the fortune of being a human.
Stay tuned, SINGULARITY drops March 21 on vimeo.
Until then…best wishes,