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Culture

These Videos Mix Harry Potter Fantasy With Dali’s Perverse Surrealism

London-based creative agency The Ultimate Dream Company discuss their magical, modern fantasy.

by Michelle Lhooq
15 May 2013, 11:15am

Clone

There’s something really creepy about The Unlimited Dream Company’s videos. But it’s hard to say what exactly about them makes your skin prickle. Maybe it’s their fascination with things slowly decomposing in space. Maybe it’s all of the very strange objects (like a giant heart pulsing with dark water ripples) that loom at you in high-def. Or maybe it’s the slightly sinister-sounding music that’s almost always tinkling in the background.

In any case, the London-based creative agency—which was founded just last year by two multimedia artists Sergio Calderon and Céli Lee—has been behind the most hauntingly beautiful visuals we’ve seen in a long time. The Unlimited Dream Company’s website says their highly cinematic work is like a “magical modern fantasy.” We say… it kind of looks like what would happen if the dreamy, fantastical world of Harry Potter had a demon baby with Salvador Dali’s perverse surrealism. And because we really wanted to find out what the hell is going on (and what kinds of people do things like this), we’ve compiled the highlights of their work—and got Sergio to do some explainin’.

The Creators Project: Hey Sergio! Is your company’s name a reference to that ‘70s fantasy book by J.G. Ballard? Which is itself based on the visionary art of William Blake? Sounds like you’re into some mystical stuff.
Sergio Calderon: Both Ballard and Blake are extraordinary. But the name of the company is not a reference to Ballard’s novel, but some of their ideas definitely resonate with who we are.

How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
Some of our work can be described as modern surrealism, and somehow noir. We are interested in bringing empathy and emotion into our work, no matter if it’s a drawing or a piece of digital art. Sometimes the tools we use add their own aesthetics. We also like to put great attention to detail.

Epoch 4

Earlier this year we made a fashion film for the jewelry designer Noemi Klein, which was based on her collection Epoch 4: Underwater Constellation. The film was inspired by the idea of jewelry telling its own tales—so we used Zbrush and Cinema 4D to sculpt unique digital landscapes for each jewelry piece, with real photography of smoke and water as textures.

Working with 3D and real graphics not only allowed us to create a surreal representation of the real world. Merging the two styles also created its own aesthetic: a strong image of unreality that’s attached to reality.

DELS – “Capsize”

This is the music video for DELS’ “Capsize” featuring Roots Manuva and Joe Goddard. We made it in collaboration with the filmmaker Chloe Hayward. It was very challenging to make the giant pulsing heart look realistic. We used Maya and animated the heartbeats and melting effects in Cinema 4D.

We were inspired by the architect Étienne-Louis Boullée when building that architectural maze in 3D. One of our favorite subjects is space and the contrast between the vast universe and the maze’s tight winding corners expressed that Kafkian universe of government control, regulation, and surveillance in which DELS is trapped.

Gravity

This short film was part of a larger, non-linear film [created by FIELD in partnership with The Creators Project] called Energy Flow that you download as an app. The idea of things cracking open to reveal their true forms is a common theme in our work. It’s where the drama begins. Destruction creates new opportunity and you cannot progress without it. Decay and damage is, in a word, change.

Alles Wieder Offen (All Open Again)

The Amsterdam gallery Maxalot commissioned this series of wallpapers from us. The title is based on the idea that walls can also be doors to the imagination. It’s also a reference to an album from the German band Einstürzende Neubauten.

We are interested in interior design, but have never worked on a wallpaper before—that was reason enough for us to say yes. For some of the wallpapers we used 3D software. But we also worked with photography, drawing, or just Photoshop.

@MichelleLHOOQ

Tagged:
CGI
fantasy
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fairytale
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Energy Flow
The Ultimate Dream Company