Dan Warner is a desaturator, tasked with sapping beauty from the world in a future where Color is used as energy.
PRISM is the end result of an ambitious collaboration between director Jackson Miller, producer Matt Rebong and VFX artists David Reynolds and Chris Purse. A gripping film with beautiful professional level VFX which accentuate the unique world and characters. Completed as a Chapman thesis film on a student budget and with limited resources, the film has nonetheless garnered industry attention and awards.
Prism actually started out as a thesis at the digital arts branch of our school. [VFX artists] David and Chris came up with the initial concept and wrote the first draft along with Matt Rebong, theproducer of the project. They needed a director and I was fortunate enough to have been chosen. From there, it very much became a collaborative process. It didn’t take long for us to get on the same page. I did a few rewrites and then we went right into pre-production.
The film thrives on its unique concept and its surrounding environment. The desaturated life brought a captivating and oppressing environment that both direction and VFX did a fantastic merge to set the film’s tone.
In terms of PD, when you are on a budget you want to create as little as possible and use what is around you as much as possible (and not always in the way it’s intended to be used!) That way, you can devote more resources to creating the things that you absolutely have to make from scratch. Often, but not always, I think that building sets is a poor allocation of resources when on a budget. It takes a whole lot of management, people, time and money, and then when it’s all complete it may not even suit your needs as well as a location that already exists just down the road.
With the unique concept comes some intriguing fictional elements like LARS, which reminds us of an in between of HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey) and TARS (Interstellar), and the desaturator, which in some ways brought us back to the Ghostbusters‘ Proton Pack broken into a futuristic environment.