Salience is the name of the five minute short that will probably be remembered as one of the most innovative, experimental (and beautiful) short films of the year. If you do one thing today for your inspiration, please spend the next few minutes checking it out and you'll see what I mean. Directed by Paul Trillo, it’s a wonderful little creation involving a Phantom Miro camera shooting 1500 frames a second, chroma keying people to make them almost entirely invisible, an abstract wooded world and lots of awesome, colorful paint powder. I won’t say too much about it only that it's a brief glimpse into how inventive we can be in executing and testing new ideas.
Trillo says “With Salience, I wanted to experiment with visibility”. I’d say he’s done a pretty fine job of it here, executing something brilliantly that I would have trouble conceptualizing, let alone actually pulling the thing together and executing it as well as he has. He went on to say, "The film sort of spawned from the idea of seeing the human body as negative space. Using the form as a hole or window into something else."
On the use of the colored powder, he explains: "Powder behaves in a similar organic manner as fog but at a far more instantaneous rate. That's why I could only execute this idea with a high speed camera. It was about defining that short and subtle moment in which the invisible becomes visible."
The Miro definitely helped Paul and his crew achieve their vision through it's mobility, coupled with the high frame rate: "The Phantom Miro camera really opened the door to what was possible with this film. The camera is ridiculously small and lightweight for something that can shoot 1500 frames per second. It's also relatively easy to use, although on our shoot we did not have any media for the camera so everything was tethered to a laptop.The other thing that is great about the Miro is that it shoots raw, so the images can be heavily manipulated in post. There is a lot of layering, keying and grading going on however the effects I'm using are all pretty basic"
Like any successful shoot, a good deal of planning and forethought went into this short. "Since we're shooting with a pretty technical camera, using chroma key effects mixed with the variable of throwing a bunch of powder around, everything had to be carefully mapped out."
You can see some of the storyboards Paul used here:
Nofilmschool.com worked with Trillo to capture an insightful BTS video of the shoot which details some of the thinking and process behind the short.
You can also see some BTS stills from the shoot below:
Trillo is a talented director, and has already attracted critical acclaim for Brooklyn Brewery Mash, a 3000 photograph stop motion tour around Brooklyn in New York which he put out earlier this year. If you haven’t seen it, check it out, it’s inspired image making (linked below for your convenience).
We would love to hear what you thought of Salience. Are you guys experimenting with your work? Please feel free to share comments below and let us know what you are up to.
Credits [Paul Trillo]