Star Wars fans are excited about this video of the Death Star making an appearance in the skies over San Francisco. Check it out:
While I've never been a rabid fan of the space opera franchise, to me this is a neat transreality tribute, and for a homemade effort, it's exceptional, playing the home-video approach completely deadpan (thereby making a virtue of necessity), which is just great. It also illustrates the point, noted here last week in relation to producing in-scenario fragments, that "the artifacts of documentary (jerky camerawork, imperfect vantage points, bad sound fidelity) can sometimes lend a more nuanced and lifelike texture to the story than squeaky-clean realist cinema".
The clip is reminiscent of what to me stands as the gold standard of high-tech, lo-fi "future documentary" -- South African director Neill Blomkamp's shorts Tetra Vaal and Alive in Joburg.
However, what really excites me here is that this kind of visualisation is becoming so accessible, a sign of the rapid democratisation of the means of production of video artifacts "from" the future. Says the filmmaker, Michael Horn, in an interview for The Official Star Wars Blog:
I shot everything on my junkie DV camera, did motion-tracking and comping in After Effects, and basic sound design in Final Cut.
Now that's cool.
> Neill Blomkamp, visual futurist
> Death of a President
(Thanks Bryan Boyer!)