What do you get when you mix experimental film with fantasy via Jim Henson? Andrew Huang's new short film, Solipsist, provides a beautiful and vaguely disturbing mind-trip of an answer. Some of you may recognize Huang's name from his earlier viral short -- Doll Face. For a film that started as a Kickstarter project last summer, it's pretty impressive to see how quickly Solipsist was finished and released -- especially considering Huang did a large chunk of the post-production himself. Coming off its recent win of the "Special Jury Prize for Experimental Short" at Slamdance, the short is now available to watch in full, along with some very intriguing "making of" footage that reveals some surprising use of practical effects:
Beyond being a beautiful piece of visual art, it's another great example of how far one can go with today's available tools. Shot on a RED camera against green screens, the short is a mixture of practical and CG effects composited in Maya. Now here's the kicker -- you may think the majority of the effects are CG, but according to Jason Sondhi of Short of the Week, Huang assured him that practically 99% of the effects were practical. Needless to say, it takes careful pre-planning, testing, and most importantly, skillful compositing of the various elements, to pull it all off. Don't believe it? See for yourself:
For Huang's thoughts about the piece as well as how he has navigated his career choices since his first breakout short check out this "Director's Notes" interview. It brings back the earlier debate about the importance of short films as calling cards for directors -- even for relatively established ones like Huang.
Have you watched any other recent experimental shorts that put special and visual effects to great use?