Making of “World History Of Insomnia” by Aris Zaglis

There’s a 2-minute video on the making of my project at here. For those who enjoy more details, please keep reading.

World History of Insomnia is an upcoming short film based in the writings of J.L Borges.
The idea started last year when Baumstrasse team, presented theatrical improvisations based on the these writings. At the end of 2011 we decided to make a trailer aiming to make it a short film later on. Aris Zaglis and Martha Frintzila along with a great set of actors and 1 musician, were responsible for this visualization.
5 different stories with common resultant the relations of power. Whole trailer is based upon this condition approached with strong contrasts between the scenes.
Shootings took place in an industrial building which is where the theatrical team has its base.
Shooting lasted one day and editing and color correction took about 1 month to finish.
it was shot with 5D Mark II full HD at 25fps. For lighting we used theatrical lights bouncing in walls of fabrics in order to give a dark theatrical feel. Camera moves were made by hand, adding some extra tension to the overall feeling caused by the wiggling of the hands.
Because of the different stories and characters, approaching for editing was quite difficult. Trailer has about 95 cuts in a total duration of 3 min and 13 sec, excluding titles. You could also divide it into two large sequences (delirium and violent scene) and 4 smaller.
The shot order is not parallel with the script. We decided to start with something that would make obvious we are talking about Borges. So we put a very significant phrase said by him.
In a white background accompanied with an extract from a Gregorian chorus singing in Latin language. A very calm and spiritual melody.
A strong contrast is created after we move to the next shot, where one of the characters of Insomnia speaks in delirium. At that point, editing rhythm starts to accelerate.
Next contrast comes where he continues in delirium but with no sound of him, just ambient dark sounds.
After that we enter the next character sleeping on the floor. Probably the most slow rhythm of trailers, but necessary to prepare us to upcoming intense sequences.
Next follow two more characters in an extreme intense scene. Although we had 2 takes of this shots, we decided to make rhythm accelerating in this sequence.
We edited the pause between the dialogues, so that the viewer feels uncomfortable from the intense of the violence that occurs between them.
Next we have all of the performers doing a synchronized choreography while there is a main female speaker who repeats over and over an extract from the play. It is overlayed with the 2 remaining characters and everything start to mix gradually.
As the trailer moves, rhythm gets even faster, almost like a nightmare that ends suddenly with old alarm ringing.
Finally in between the titles we have the last character, which is a psycho personality repeatedly laughing. For this persona we decided very close ups just like the first one.
The start of the trailer is black and white cause we wanted to give a dream feeling where you don’t easily memorize colors. But as you move inside the dream color appears.
Except the start of the trailer which was black and white, the color approach was very specific. We wanted to give a feel of theatre photographs taken with old analog sensitive film.
This means high grain and also blue tints in the darks and reds/magentas in the midtones/highlights.
each of the shot had a separate color correction for finer results.
Music was based on the extract from the script. We had a separate capture for speech, and then we synchronized it with shots. We added also some ambient sounds and mix/mastered for superb quality.

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  1. Aris Zaglis says:

    You can also watch the making of video here:

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