If you’re familiar with the work of filmmaking collective Factory Fifteen, then you’ll know they have an exceptional talent for making stunning, and surreal, computer generated visuals. From their speculative architectural musings to post-apocalyptic scenarios brought about by nuke-powered molluscs, their films have a captivating style that always packs a visual slap.
Their latest effort is Jonah directed by Kibwe Tavares—one of the collective and director of Robots of Brixton—for which the trailer’s recently been released. Tavares describes the film as a “Live action/animation mash up, almost like a collage, the CGI is photo real but how we use it becomes increasing magical as we progress through the film.”
The film is set in Zanzibar and looks at the effects tourism can have on a country from an economic and environmental perspective. These themes are explored through the narrative of a friendship between two guys and “the world’s biggest jumping fish.” The trailer teases a little of the detailed and richly realised CGI, and you can see more of how intricate the visuals will be from the images below.
Trailer for Jonah
The lush underwater world of the fish is contrasted with the built-up town above, which is full of flashing lights and jumbled architecture stacked up together. This aesthetic, Tavares says, came from the team looking at the bustling commercial landscapes of places like Khaosan Road in Bangkok, Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Along with taking inspiration from film and TV, like the meticulous scenery of anime Tekkonkinkreet and the realistic, award-winning CGI in Boardwalk Empire.
Coming from an architectural background, architecture always plays an important role in the films of Factory Fifteen and for Jonah Tavares says, “The architecture is folded into the narrative as well as the production design. The image of the fish is what becomes famous, this becomes replicated in billboards, posters, physical signs and buildings—it’s all very ”http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/learning-las-vegas" target="_blank">Learning From Las Vegas."
The short film premiered at Sundance and will be released later in the year.