The tragedy of a large passenger spacecraft carrying a cargo of colonists escaping destruction on Earth veering off course, leaving the Solar System and entering into an existential struggle.

Based on a segment of Harry Martinson’s Aniara, written in 1956, the short film takes on a visual journey from effects technical director Romain Le Guillerm. While the story is vague with the sci-fi setting, we are quickly captured by the transcending images that simply let our imaginations roam along. We spoke with Romain who told us a little more about his intentions and process.

Can you tell me a little bit about ‘Aniara’, how did this film come about?

I have been a FX_td in the cinema industry for 7 years. It’s a very technical job and sometimes I like to use those skills for more creative/artistic goals, like making concepts and short movies.
I wanted to do a simple short, atmospheric, with realistic ambition, relying on visuals and using different techniques I’m using in my work everyday 🙂

Which tools were used to create the incredible scenes?

Maya for Layout, Houdini for FXs, Nuke for compositing

How long did it take to create the film from its conception to release?

I started this project 12 november 2022 and published it 25 january 2023 so 2.5 months total 🙂

Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow filmmakers?

I guess making a full CGI film is a little bit different, but I would say planification for sure.
You need to get a full cut of your film before you even shoot / or render anything.
Getting a full Storyboard or Animatic with shot length/ camera mov etc, can save so much time.

What do you hope people will take away from Aniara?

I see a lot of Films / shorts that try to make some kind of point, which is good, but I think sometimes it’s also good to simply reach for beauty.
Visuals / pictures / paintings stick with us for unknown reasons, and I’m always trying to chase that mysterious feeling 🙂

What are your favorite films?

My main influence and favorite Filmmaker would be Terrence Malick, with films like Voyage of Time / Tree of Life or The New world.
I also love atmospheric horror movies, like “Lake Mungo” or “The Witch”.

What are your favorite short films?

I don’t know a lot of them but “Light out” which is a model of efficiency for horror short
and “Pinnipèdes” for a good laugh ^^