Train to Stalemate
A slow-paced hyper-detailed ambient music video.
This series blends real-life footage of flaming walls, intersections and trains with computer simulation and time-lapse photography.
I constructed a fake Livingroom wall, complete with big screen TV and potted plants. I filled it with diesel fuel and explosives and set it ablaze. I used the footage as the narrative frame for this psychedelic journey. I also composed the 60 minute ambient musical soundtrack with guest producers DuckmanSD and Jacob Becker (NY).
For the next episode, I'd like to apply my robotics skills and design a custom motion-tracking camera rig to send us on a journey through a scale-model 3D-printed volumetric fractal city, or even bring to life subject matter typically reserved for paintings or documentary film, like food or historical events. I plan on using augmented reality overlays, and of course, lasers, fire and smoke.
Help make the next episode a reality! Get exclusive access to the director's cut. You’ll be invited to the private video when you buy the soundtrack on Bandcamp or donate.
Travel through the dark, ambient world of the ForeverScape, a mind-altering decompression chamber. Train To Stalemate (2022) is a buttery-smooth blend of animation and real-life footage. It's paced for relaxation, but so full of detail, you'll want to watch it again and again.
The first episode was made in three months of ‘spare’ time. My partner threatened physical harm if I said the word ‘rendering’ one more time.
This is the first installment of a multi-film series.
Each episode will directly connect to the next film without cuts, as one continuous scene. It will extend into a 12-hour “season” contained as a single film.
Despite their seamless editing, every film will be unique, with new subjects, styles and techniques.
From the creator of the hand-drawn ForeverScape, an illustration spanning over 1,000 pages. It's so large, the artist had to build a specialized paper-rolling machine to make it viewable in one location.
I was feeling guilty about having not added any pages to the ForeverScape since 2017. After a harrowing, no-sleep installation of 1,000 pages, and assembly of my paper-rolling machine at the Blackfish Gallery in Portland, I was exhausted. Heck, I still haven't even dismantled some of the collection's panels to sort and return the drawings to their fireproof boxes. At that point, I had drawn the 'scape for EIGHT YEARS.
Fast-forward to fall 2021. I'd finished a few episodes of a raunchy adult animation. It isn't as funny as I thought it was. Not even 100 subscribers yet. I was in a creative desert. The pandemic work-from-home universe was trying to tell me something. My partner discovered “Slow TV”—videos of people riding a train for 6 hours, or slowly canoeing down a calm waterway. I said, “Damn, my thesis exhibition was time-lapses of people waiting for buses, contorted into crazy geometries. I'm going to make the craziest background video.”
Luckily, my poor-financial decision-making kicked in before the microchip shortage. I took out a small loan and bought the fastest desktop computer money could buy. Looking back, I think this was a good move. I don't think this film would have been possible with such horsepower (or the still-in-beta After Effects multi-frame render engine). This 4K UHK video with hundreds of layers, programmatic distortion and 3-D animation would not have been possible. Moving terabytes of data to the commercial cloud render farms bottlenecks at upload time, and is expensive. On my old hardware, I’d still be rendering sometime in 2024. If this creative project is to continue, I need to setup my own rendering cluster to take my films to the next level.
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EXTENDED DIRECTOR’S CUT
Includes new styles, colors and sound-reactive algorithms.