Finalists’ artistic statements

I asked the finalists to write a bit about their films; below are some of their responses.

Rodrigo Aben-Athar (“An Arrow”) | Brazil

I started producing my own short films by the end of 2007 and for all this time, I have been often drawn towards slow-paced, contemplative images and rhythm, which I believe served me really well in this project. After choosing the song from the album, I decided that I would visually represent each one of the elements mentioned in its title, “Earth, Wind, Wood and Flesh”, using as little perspective and camera movement as possible, trying to keep the theatrical/staged feeling that you would normally associate to an opera. Total producing time was 3 weeks and all elements were handcrafted using 3D animation technique, which allowed me to control hundreds of arrows and feathers while being inspired by such a touching and beautiful soundtrack. Thanks a lot Mr. Fisher for the inspiration and opportunity to take part in this challenge.

RK Adams (“Whisper Part 2”) | US

I was struck by the haunting beauty of Garrett Fishers’ music. I immediately saw the image of a young girl in a state of becoming immersed in the blossoming spring. With every new beginning a dark past follows. The layered rain over the sunset and the dark shadowy figure personifies Winter’s chilly grasp loosening and fading into this new beginning. The dreamy nature of the music and the iconic imagery it evokes begged not to be subverted so I was eager to create images that thrust the viewer deeper into the music’s lyrical intensity. To realize this goal I sought to avoid the sterile nature of high definition video and fashioned a pinhole aperture to replace the lens in my camera.

Joriah Goad (“Widows of the Sea”) | US

Film to me- is a means of participating in virtually every realm of human existence.  If more of us set out to capture our generation in pure portraits- whether through external display or internal metaphorical interpretation- without question, these documents, would be the most important key to assembling lines between our past, present, and future.  Film is science, psychology, spirituality, philosophy, sociology- it is as far as I am concerned the greatest element of passage ever created.  I as a filmmaker, want to create portraits that inspire us to think, live, and create.  I am just as much a part of the audience as anyone else.  Widows of the Sea is an example of internal metaphorical interpretation- it is a glimpse into the mind of a lonely woman who has lost her only connection to the world- she is mentally paralyzed- the static has consumed her.

Mattias Graham (“Thaw of Juvenility”) | Canada

“Thaw of Juvenility” was not the film I had planned to make. It wasn’t the plan at all. I had planned to explore the slowing of cognizance through freezing, literally, how a human dies from the cold. It was based around an opening  reveal, an extreme close up of the eye, slow zoom out, revealing the man’s situation, his inevitable fate. But, by the time we were able to film, the snow, the aesthetic basis for the original concept, had melted. So, my friend and I went out with only one thing in mind: the initial reveal. I trusted everything else to the chance of inspiration. Arriving at the location, that inspiration hit. The lake thawing, weathered leaves, a child’s game in faded chalk. A metaphor was born. This metaphor, while absolutely deliberate, is at the mercy of the viewer’s interpretation of the calculated title of the film.

Hermes Mangialardo (“Sound of Sea”) | Italy

Hermes Mangialardo was born in 1975 in Copertino, a little town in the south of Italy. After a childhood with a passion for Italian comics and Japanese cartoons, and after some graphic experiences, in 2001 he started to product his animations. In the last years he has developed many clips and animations, and he has won many prizes, like the MTV Flash Awards at Hamburg Bitfilm Festival, the Giffoni music Concept for the best animation videoclip, as well as the first prize at Independent film Festival in Florida. In 2006, he founded a multimedia agency, Plasmedia. In this video, Hermes’ initial inspiration was an old fable from his region in the south of Italy.