Scintillation is a remarkable experimental piece by young director Xavier Chassaing. This piece stands on it’s own purely for its visuals, but the technique and craft that went into the production sets this film apart. What looks like film is in fact 35,000 photographs with a mix of 3d mapped projections. Being a young director, Xavier doesn’t have the facilities and financial backing that a commercial piece will grant. Instead he had to work under what he calls “the classic dogma which is ‘What can you do with what you have…’” I think this sums up Xavier’s process pretty well. Here is what he had to say to me about his technical process for Scintillation:
What I have was an apartment, a small DSLR camera, a small computer and a small videoprojector. I also made a contraption who looks like a motion control but with the particularity of moving extremely slow who allowed me to take sequences of pictures with long exposure. (1frame per second, with 1 second of exposure). Even the best camera can not compete with this kind of sensitivity if they shoot at normal speed. So, I did everything myself from the 3d animation that I project on object, building the machine, the editing etc..
Built a contraption that acts like a motion control!? Yeah, wow. Xavier also enlisted Mathieu Caulet to help color grade on a flame in the end and worked closely with sound designer Fedaden throughout the entire process to score his piece.
Scintillation reveals that cash flow isn’t necessarily the foundation for a great project. In cases when you have nothing, a little ingenuity can make a diamond out of shit. This is an important thing to remember in these times when budgets are being slashed and we all have less to live under the dogma of “what can you do with what you have”?