This amazing and surreal short film was shot entirely using practical effects
Forever is the short film creation of German filmmaker Nicolas Arnold. He was commissioned in July 2018 to create a “Motion Response” for Australia’s upcoming Pause Fest 2019 tackling them theme “The Future is Intimate”. Four months later he’d completed the absolute eye candy you see above.
Already a very impressive film, I was blown away when I saw just how much of this was created in-camera and that it isn’t just some CG special effects reel. Nicolas posted a behind the scenes video showing some of his design and practical effects processes and it’s just as amazing as the film itself.
Nicolas told DIYP that given the theme of “The Future is Intimate”, he chose to visually translate one of his favourite quotes; Emily Dickinson’s “Forever – is composed of nows“. The sound design is all analogue, and all of the effects are practical with the exception of a little kinetic type for the titles.
For some of the effects, Nicolas used a laptop placed and a mirror to create some very unique lighting and reflections on spheres placed within the scene. But to keep those spheres perfectly aligned and not rolling around all over the place, the mirror has to be set perfectly level.
This also means that the laptop and camera also have to be perfectly aligned with each other, as well the mirror, in order to produce flawless reflections and refractions in the final shot.
Nicolas also used a technique which seems to be quite a common theme across his work, and that is the interaction of various liquids. And watching the process reel above, you can see just how much work went into the whole production.
It’s amazing to think just how much planning and work went into the creation of this film in such a short space of time. And when you watch the final result, it’s incredibly impressive. Nicolas was also asked to create a number of posters and other media for promotional material, which were made from assets created during the production of the film.
I’ve seen tablets, laptops and TVs used as backgrounds for images and video before, but this really takes things to the next level. And the liquids have such a surreal and alien quality to them.
Images used with permission.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.