— Video Installation
SOMNI was the brainchild of myself and 3 peers, Intriguant, Andy Pang and Sam Shields. Commissioned by CAKE Theatre, we came together to develop a 20 minute piece that would explore the idea of exposure therapy ... for insomnia.
We leveraged our strengths, Andy being a theatre director, Intriguant an audio engineer, Sam being a filmaker based in Sydney and mograph being mine. The entire project was conceived on google meet, which is guess is the new normal?
We figured that a visual with strong contrast would be impactful, so we looked for shots that could do that. Expansive beaches, deserts and parks in Australia against the cold rigid blocks in Singapore.
Next was to craft a narrative that would allow this. We eventually landed on the idea of exposure theraphy and that the piece would be the 5 stages that a patient would go through to be 'free' of the disorder. It made sense, kinda.
Breaking down the general arc and the narrative beats was a tough cookie. We decided against having any dialogue and wanted the music and visuals to motivate the piece. After a little bit of research, we discovered that halluciantions was one of the symptoms of insomnia. That was the perfect reason for us to introduce the 'Reflection' character. It served as the manifestation plaguing the viewer, and the point of going to SOMNI was to get rid of it.
We then boarded the 5 acts and split the shots between Sam and the rest of us in Singapore. Act 5 being all on a blue screen, which was a heck of a challenge keying out a reflective asset. Definitely learnt a ton about the prep work required (even lighting/distance from screen) and the keying itself.
All of this was eventually cut down, coloured and composited for projection mapping.
We had a ton of help from CAKE with the troubleshooting Resolume and creating the constume for the 'Reflection'.
The Title Cards
One of the smaller bits that I was quite happy about. The title cards had to be reflective of the story. I dug out a bunch of references that had the essence of this 'inbetween' state and the blurred moments right before falling asleep.
I then reverse engineered and had to take a slightly modular approach with adjustment layers stacked on top of each other. Heavy on the CPU but worth it!
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