BTS of the Incredible Experimental Macro Short Film from the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Two years ago I featured a macro videographer who was creating incredible visuals using chemicals and substances. Roman De Giuli has done it again, this time for the Winter Olympics.Creating truly unique bodies of work is harder now more than ever. Or rather, it might be as difficult as it has always been, but with the internet, you realize you're not quite the snowflake you thought you might be. Two years ago, almost to the day, I stumbled upon this video by De Giuli:

As someone who has worked in macro photography a lot, I was captivated but the visuals being created in camera and the sense of scale given. Since then, De Giuli has proven time and time again that he can create consistently stunning visuals in ways few have ever seen before.

His latest video, Geodaehan — which means giant, mighty, huge in Korean — is another festival of color and movement, this time for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games 2018 for International Olympic Committee under agency Giantstep. A selection of shots were projected on the floor as a circle of 72 meters in diameter during a piece about the cultural history of South Korea.

Still from Geodaehan courtesy of terracollage / Roman De Giuli & Giantstep

These videos contain no CGI, no 3D or 2D effects, no complicated editing techniques, or manipulation; they are all made on paper with acrylic paint, ink, powders, and magnetism and pouring. It's shot in a small studio, but not at all light on equipment. The film is a selection of shots from 15 terabytes of raw footage shot in 8K using RED Epic Helium.

BTS of Geodaehan courtesy of terracollage / Roman De Giuli & Giantstep

The brief for this shoot was loosely to feature topographic elements like rivers and mountains in a way that resembled a sort of aerial view of South Korea, in the experimental style De Giuli is known for. However, unlike his usual work, this video had to be static top-down shots which meant without camera panning or zooming, he had to be extra inventive with the subject matter.

Still from Geodaehan courtesy of terracollage / Roman De Giuli & Giantstep

De Giuli told me that the end goal was to be similar to the experiment short of his which received th Vimeo Staff Pick in July of last year, "Land of Mine":

The more De Giuli showed me about the project, the more interesting it became to me. It seemed to be a constant blending of the large with the small. The shots give this sense of scale, but are actually shot at almost a macro level. The images give the illusion of mountains and galaxies, when actually they are just paints and powders. The setup seemed so humble with sheets of paper and pipettes, but it's shot using a $30,000 camera for the opening ceremony of the Olympic games.

BTS of Geodaehan courtesy of terracollage / Roman De Giuli & Giantstep

I'm always encouraged to see such creativity and vision rewarded with large projects as for us artists, it's not always the case. De Giuli told me that his next project is much in the same vein as his previous short films, but this time it's to create an 8K stock library with a variety of organic visualization methods and practical effects using inks, colors, powders, and magnetism.

You can see more of Roman De Giuli's work on his website or his Facebook page.

All stills from Geodaehan, BTS images, and information courtesy of Roman De Giuli.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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