Supernovas are astronomical phenomena that occur when giant stars die, and they have been taking place in the universe since the billions of years. French self-taught videographer Thomas Vanz’s incredible short film ‘Novae’ tries to recreate these spectacularly-violent, but beautiful cosmic events which sometimes ends up in the creation of black holes.
Astonishingly, Vanz made the short by capturing stunning visuals of blobs of colored inks dissipating in an aquarium filled with water. The shots were then later composited and post processed on the computer. He consciously avoided the use of CGI, as he felt that we all see far too much of it in popular cinema, and used natural processes instead of digital simulations. He also produced the epic soundtrack of the film, using sounds found in nature to artistically represent the explosive visuals on screen (though he acknowledges that one can’t hear sounds in space).
Vanz considers such colossal events that occur in the infinite space around us to be the real definition of beauty and aestheticism, and he feels that they helped him to get close “to a certain shape of spirituality.”
Explaining more about his creative process, Vanz says,
In 2015, I discovered a bunch of artists who were using plate glass, inks and oil in order to make interesting compositions with lights and textures that reminded me, in a paradoxical way, of all the cosmic imagery from the Hubble telescope.
I soon learnt to make microscopic things looks like giant nebulae using this process. In this way, I started shooting at my home, with a quick DIY setup, but I discovered that it was essentially useful for making still images with an amazing amount of details, but not really animated in the way I wanted, in consideration of the idea of making a supernova that was growing in my mind.
Then, I stared shooting in an aquarium filled with water, which I considered as empty space, and by using inks, I was able to replicate the way in which different gases would behave in a supernova. I was able to catch a 3D explosion, full of colors that would become the raw material I would use to compose every shot of the movie. Since that moment, I shot for 2 months in different angles with different inks, each giving different results.
If you would like to know more about how the film was made, you can watch two ‘making of’ the film videos here and here.
Thomas Vanz is based in Paris, and has done work for game studios like Bethesda and Ubisoft. He was also the production designer for the award winning sci-fi short ‘Hello World’.
You can visit his website to know more about him.[via JazJaz Submissions]