Just a small rough cut sequence for the film Branch that never made the final edit. In the end, I wanted to pace the film differently, and this sequence ended up not working for the finished piece. This is the introduction into the strange and bizarre mindset of the character. The films and stories I have been tackling lately have been emotionally heavy. I needed a film I could escape, explore and experiment with. Branch was that film. Shot in Los Angeles, the project was an intimate process for both actor and director, allowing us to exercise certain areas of our craft.
This is the character introduction into the mindset of Branch. Aaron Massey, who plays the role of Branch, demonstrates a somewhat emotionless/monotone personality. There is a mix of delusional disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive personality, and paranoia blended into the sequence. I wanted to present Branch in a very robotic manner. As the time goes on, the character breaks out of that mold, and the emotions become more pronounced.
The colors in the film, and in this rough cut, have a colorful and synthetic feel, like that of an old technicolor movie. The colors and light will become progressively darker and more desaturated as Branch’s mindset starts to unravel. I’m experimenting with various looks in Speedgrade, using old Technicolor movies as references. I then export those LUTs and import into Premiere.
Things get strange way beyond what this clip shows. The character of Branch shows a love for a painting I titled “The Woman”, and a submissiveness to a painting entitled “The Old Man” Aaron Massey tackled the scenes, and in the end, showcases a fantastic performance of someone either having a total mental breakdown, or an awakening . I shot the entire film myself, and was able to really experiment with performance areas with Aaron to see how far he could go in certain scenes. The overall film will grow extremely bizarre and strange, with plenty of subtext and symbolism.
Mauro Colangelo, who is handling the sound design, is taking the score to a whole different direction that one may imagine. This first five minutes presents a bizarre, strange, and unfitting mix of sounds and instrumental, which embodies the mind of Branch.
Much of the VFX that I am wrapping up on are being executed in a practical sense. I’m attempting to create bizarre imagery with Branch’s visions, in the most simple and practical way. Thus, the reason why there is a screenshot of me, filming myself in front of a green screen, butt-naked, stashed inside a giant latex balloon. I can’t explain why these ridiculous ideas pop in my head. I can only say, when they do, I have to try to see if it works. Its all in the fun experimentation of filmmaking.