Ian Frederick Explores the Magic of “Mitosis” in New Short Film for MAKE

Given an open brief by MAKE studio to create a short film, Seattle motion designer and 3D artist Ian Frederick takes us underwater for an abstract and effervescent exploration of cell division in “Mitosis”.

Ian Frederick: “When I was engaged by MAKE to create a short film, I was given an open brief and asked to pitch an idea I would be excited to work on. What at first seemed too good to be true, indeed turned out to be one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on.

“Working with a blank page without creative constraints was itself a challenge. What do I make? Where do I start? Fortunately, I always have one or two undeveloped ideas kicking around in my mind and the loose idea for a surreal undersea coral reef was something I have been thinking about for a while.
 

“Whenever I make a personal piece, I like to use it as an excuse to experiment and learn new skills. But this was an actual client project and that scared the crap out of me.”

 
“The challenge then became about taking a series of abstract underwater FX shots and trying to weave them together in a way that felt cohesive and intentional with some sort of loose narrative.

“I knew the music would be key to holding this all together and driving the pacing. I imagined a track that would start with very minimal instrumentation and gradually build in complexity towards a crescendo. The quantity and movement of the organisms would mirror the score and build towards a wide shot of everything all at once.

“Whenever I make a personal piece, I like to use it as an excuse to experiment and learn new skills. But this was an actual client project and that scared the crap out of me. I hadn’t really used Houdini much in a real-world production environment.

“Fortunately, MAKE gave me plenty of time to complete this film and encouraged me to experiment and learn. Some of the shots came together on the first try, but the majority of them are a result of trial and error and experimentation. In the end though, the final result is something I am proud of, and I learned a ton in the process.”
 
 
Ian Frederick Mitosis Short Film | STASH MAGAZINE

Ian Frederick Mitosis Short Film | STASH MAGAZINE

Ian Frederick Mitosis Short Film | STASH MAGAZINE

Ian Frederick Mitosis Short Film | STASH MAGAZINE

Ian Frederick Mitosis Short Film | STASH MAGAZINE
 
Client: MAKE

Director/animator: Ian Frederick

Music: Steve Horner

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