We live in a world, or very close to it, where our every moment can be documented and archived for future posterity. When you go to a show, long gone are the days when a sea of lighters would be held aloft, now you can be sure that the band will instead be captured from every conceivable angle and uploaded so you don't miss a thing. Francois Ferracci's melancholic short Lost Memories questions what we might be missing in the now, while we're obsessively preserving the moment for the future:
An Art Director and VFX Supervisor by trade, Ferracci initially conceived the project as a competition entry but held back so he could do the concept justice:
It started with a short film competition in Paris in which we had to imagine our future. The main actor, Luka, wanted to do it with me. I’d had this idea in mind for a long time, so I wrote it in 2 hours, and then we were ready to shoot! But there were too many visual effects shots in the film so I didn’t enter the competition, because I wanted to spend more time on post-production. As a visual effects artist, and visual effects supervisor, I knew it was going to be a nightmare! We shot with the 5D and the main problem is that a shaky camera creates huge distortions in the shots. It is sometimes impossible to get a clean tracking for set extensions in post.
As Lost Memories was shot in a busy area of Paris near the Eiffel Tower, the heavily improvised outdoor scenes were in constant threat of being disrupted by onlooking curious tourists. Having a film designed to be conveyed through images and voiceover meant that Ferracci could direct his actors while the camera was rolling and grab all the necessary shots in a mere 2-3 hours. The Final Cut Pro edit went equally fast and was completed in a day, however the After Effects VFX took around 6 months to complete, slotted around paying gigs. Take a look at the Visual Effects Breakdowns video to see how Ferracci took presented day Paris into the future:
While an argument could be made that Lost Memories weighs in on the often rehashed film vs. digital debate -- with film coming out as the last man standing once digital is wiped out -- it reads more to me as call to live in the here and now. I'm guiltier than most of maintaining a ubiquitous connection to the net or skulking in the corner of a party in the self-appointed role of archivalist, and perhaps Ferracci is right and we should cast away the filters we place between ourselves and the world -- although I am more than a little excited about the arrival of Google Glass.
Has Lost Memories convinced you to spend more time tech free or are you confident your backups could weather the electromagnetic storm?