The pandemic revealed how meaningful social interactions are to us. Physical isolation triggered mental health conditions and exacerbated existing ones for many, creating a hidden but real mental pandemic. Inspired by personal experiences, Disconnected is a short film that pays homage to the most suffocating time that many suffered during the pandemic, reminding us of how precious everyday life is. This piece aims to present the psychological impacts of isolation in a restrained yet compelling manner.
A crucial goal of the project is to interpret the accumulation of stress and tension over time effectively. Starting with the idea of being locked at home, we ideated about how the daily objects around us could become indications of anxiety.
For the look of the piece, we decided to go for hyperrealism. During the quarantine, these familiar objects became our companions 24/7 in the daunting jail cell called home. We closely studied the wear and tear with a high level of detail. These marks signify the accumulating mental burdens.
Falling is the framing device of the story. We tried to depict the fragility of the mind by placing the objects on the edges. Gradually pushing them over the tipping points, the gravity is ubiquitous and persistent. The act of free fall resembles the experience of a mental breakdown, helpless and inevitable.
The visual plays an essential role in this straightforward narrative. Using Redshift Renderer, we were able to achieve hyperrealism with astonishing details, presenting ordinary objects extraordinarily.
One key challenge during the process was how to address such an abstract topic clearly while keeping it open for interpretation. We solved the problem by iteratively simplifying the narrative, using straightforward acts, and leaning on art direction to tell the story. A huge part of the effort on the project was devoted to creating the detailed materials in Redshift. The final visual quality successfully pushes the piece to the next level.