The first narrative live action to be filmed on the RED Digital Cinema’s Hydrogen phone, N.I. is a short film written and directed by (VFX Emmy-nominated) Sallyanne Massimini about a romantic encounter that goes horribly wrong…or is it?
In association with Palo Pictures, N.I. stars Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher, 13 Reasons Why) David Meza (Millenials, In Echo Park) and features original score by The Angel.
In the current climate of constant scientific discovery there is so much focus on the advancement of A.I. and how it will define and shape the future. In N.I. (Neo Intelligence) I explore what a new, more advanced form of A.I. would be like, how it would integrate with human society and how it would react to the ultimate test, the integration of human emotions.
Visually, Caravaggio’s chiaro scuro technique was an inspiration, pushing us to embrace darkness. Filmed primarily with just the light from the phone the actress carried as her prop and story point, we weren’t afraid of letting everything drop off to black. Sound design and score also played a key part in the short, defining the space and story.
I was lucky to have access to prototypes of the RED Hydrogen phone. A big decision was what to shoot with, and because this piece becomes about technology I thought it’d be apropos to film on brand new technology, being the first to shoot a live action narrative with the Hydrogen. We filmed one of the cameras in H4V (holographic) mode for a behind the scenes segment and as a fun way to compare both modes – the short itself was filmed in its regular/2d mode. The reason was to utilize and experiment with the specific benefits to both modes. It was really refreshing to be so nimble as far as the gear goes, not only did we use the phones, but we used the Steadicam Air and the Squish, some of the new camera inventions from the company Master Cinematographers that I am a part of, where the focus is on streamlining filmmaking.
Every completed movie is a miracle; this short film couldn’t have been made without an amazing team. Collaboration is key and part of the magic. It was always so exciting to see what each artist brought to the table, every step of the way. A goal is to always work from a place of passion, to work with people who share that passion, and to enjoy the ride along the way. I think we definitely achieved that.