Behind the Scenes on “Boom is Life” with Director Jesse Collett
London director/designer Jesse Collett graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2014 on the strength of this low key but technically adventurous short film he describes as “an ethereal, multi-dimensional mashup of real and animated elements.”
Jesse Collett: Creatively the challenge was to try and almost hypnotize the viewer and make them feel immersed into the film. I wanted there to be moments where we snap out of a dream like state and back into the ‘real world’.
“I also wanted to create moments where we very slowly drift in or out of that dream state, so the challenge for this was to think of how I could transform the image and sound in one shot so we are gradually transported somewhere else.
“Technically there were many challenges. I was combining very different media so I had to make sure they would be compatible in someway and look like they belonged together. Each shot had its own different challenges so they would be addressed shot by shot.
“It was generally to do with lighting and working with projectors, motion tracking, the animated character holding real objects in his hand, connecting separate shots together seamlessly so they appear as one shot, etc. It was a new way of working, I had decided I wanted to make the set out of clay, to use UV lighting and projectors and to have 2D animated characters.
Behind the Scenes
“In terms of the ideas and concept of the film, my inspiration came from a few places. I had been looking into the psychological effect that astronauts experience when leaving the world that we all live in, then turning around and looking at it as one single object – when the horizon curves more and more until eventually it becomes a circle.
“I was also inspired by various theories about the nature of the universe, multi-dimensional geometry explanation videos, Sadhus and other spiritual people, and also some of my own experiences.
“My visual influences came from the concrete architecture around me in London and also from traditional mud built structures from around the world.
“My characters have developed over the years, partly influenced by African masks and paintings probably. For this film I found the squareness of the line work and the strong shadows helped to make the characters look part of their environment.”
Director/animator: Jesse Collett
Music/sound: Jesse Collett