Film : http://vimeo.com/3911557
Making Of: http://vimeo.com/3040668
Steel life is an experimental master's thesis film finished in 2009 by Mathieu Gérard at the Arts et Technologies de l’Image Paris. Described as a "breathtaking tapestry of textures and light that evokes themes of genesis and rebirth" the film uses abstract realism, loving rendered imagery inspired by and incorporating real footage and photos from nature to build a reflective and absorbing narrative. Mathieu's goal for the project was to create an organic and dreamful aesthetic musing using the power of contemporary CG and visualisation software. As well as this theme being inherent to the entire piece Mathieu's process was equally organic as he first gathered footage and effects and began piecing the film together without having an original structure for it. In order to create the final piece Mathieu used Maya and Real Flow combined with live footage and digital textures. When it was nearing completion he asked composer Mathieu Alavado to write a short piece and the wonderful soundtrack was recorded by the Star Pop Orchestra at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris while the final scenes were being edited.
I find this film interesting because of the questions and hypothesis it shows by portraying a built world minus any humans or organic life. By making the liquid steel the main character it highlights how abstract the Earth would be if it were purely forms and structures without nature to inhabit it. There is a good sense of pace which hides the freeform creation of the piece and I find the colour and composition of the shots both incredibly beautiful and well constructed. Although the imagery is of a high and interesting standard the music adds a depth and romantic element too it which makes re-watching compelling and absorbing. Of all the student films I have seen online or at festivals this is the film which I have re-watched the most.