the making of solipsist by andrew thomas huang
mar 08, 2012
the making of solipsist by andrew thomas huang

‘solipsist’ by andrew thomas huang, 2012

all images and video © andrew thomas huang

los angeles-based director andrew thomas huang has created the experimental short film, ‘solipsist’. the slamdance 2012 winning three-part short
pictures puppets, light, sand, dancers and feathers, reconfigured visual effects in post-production in order to investigate the philosophical theory of ‘solipsism’.
this philosophical notion asserts that one may only be sure of his/her own mind’s existence. huang then developed ‘solipsist’ in opposition to this existing idea
as he created a world in which the characters are continuously merging with one another through digital re-mastery, enabling a collective existence
for all figures featured in the surrealistic short.

‘solipsist- making of’ by andrew huang

the film begins with two female characters swaying on a small cube-bench
against a black background. this is accomplished with the assistance of
CGI imaging,
as the two figures are slowly enveloped in a textile mass against a
green screen, which is then used to overgrow the women’s faces with
digitally animated,
multi-colored vines; it is through digital post-production processing that the two figures become a single entity.

the middle segment of the film was created through the use of a few
fish-like puppets submerged in a clear tank of water within the studio
space, made lively by
out-of-shot puppeteers in front of a green screen. after shooting this
segment, the surrealistic aquatic creatures are multiplied from just
three furry characters
to a seemingly innumerable quantity by means of CGI animation as the
collection of fish-like figures overtake the darkened screen.

in the final scene, the male character walks along a digitally
engineered shore, moving his yarn and paint covered torso and face with
the forced breeze of a fan
in front of a green screen. this backdrop facilitates more readily edited film
in post-production and aids in this instance, first, the duplication of
the male figure
and second the reduction of this character to sand. the
entire scene is accomplished in a mirrored effect as the male
character(s) of the film is slowly reduced to dust.
the filming of the steadily drained colorful sand is
filmed separately of the male character as the eerie vision is added to
the figure’s face and torso
in post-production.

the sand-reduced man then swells into the two previous two scenes– that
of the puppet fish and then to the swaying fabric women–
connecting all three scenes
through layering in digital post-production.

‘solipsist’ directed by
andrew huang

green screen to post-production comparison of the two rocking female characters

each still is digitally enhanced in order to produce huang’s intended affect

the moving fish-like creatures are puppets submerged in a clear tank of water

green screen to post-production comparison of the male figure turning to sand


in post-production, the fish-like puppets are duplicated until their moving forms fill the screen

cast featuring: mary elise hayden, marissa merrill + dustin edward
executive producers: david lyons + andrew huang
producers: laura merians + stephanie marshall
cinematographer: laura merians
production designer: hugh zeigler
costume designer: lindsey mortensen
hair + makeup designer: jennifer cunningham
sound design + original score: andrew huang moo studios + future you production
copyright 2012 andrew huang all rights reserved

via the creators project

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