Digital Witness / St. Vincent / Chino Moya / 2014
The brief was quite open, but they mentioned things like "tecnoparanoia" and sent a few references from artist's that I really like, like Ryan Trecartin. I gathered from their brief that they were looking for something slightly dystopian. But without the usual ominous morals, so I offered them the idea of a colourful simplified world.
It was all shot in Madrid, where I grew up. Ten years ago, during the housing bubble, they built a lot of new areas in the outskirts of the city. But they ran out of money they couldn't build the subway, schools etc, as they promised so the areas ended up half empty and half finished. Now there are just a bunch of big buildings standing in the middle of nowhere. ➡︎
After the shoot we spent four weeks in post removing windows, trees, cars, pedestrians, etc, from the locations and adding a few extra elements to achieve the look we wanted.
The inspiration for the treatment came from a few different sources, a soviet sci fi novel called We, the painter Neo Rauch, photographers Josef Schulz and Elad Lassry, Playmobil toys, comic books... But as soon as the project got signed off Stephane (Carpinelli), the set designer and I made the deliberate decision to not look at any references in order to try to produce something that didn’t come directly from something else. ➡︎
Dystopias have been an obsession of Chino in his search for the darkness in humanity. He blames his Spanish heritage – a nation with a fairly recent history of Fascism. As he puts it, “two worlds: a dictatorship and a democracy with supposed freedom, access to happiness, consumerism and promise. I guess the combination of both had a big effect on my world.” He’s gone further than most westerners in his exploration of models of society, having visited Iraq during the American invasion, Palestine on two occasions and even North Korea. ➡︎
▶︎ St. Vincent: Digital Witness - VFX Breakdown / USER T38 / 2014